Social Class Inequality

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  • Capitalism
  • Social Class Inequality
  • Three Class Model
  • Capitalism is the individual private ownership of property or business that produce vital resources all people require in order to survive such as food, water, material, land etc. The owner of this industry usually is privileged and maintains their own wealth, while providing jobs and minimal wages to the workers. (Whittington-Walsh, powerpoint)
  • Ideology
  • Capitalism Rocks!
  • Social Class inequality occurs all over the world, and refers to the existence of unequal opportunities within a society that ultimately determines the success of an individual. For example, a person residing in a mid to high class level in society may be more likely to afford schooling to gain experience for a higher paying job, whereas a lower class person may not be able to afford the proper education needed to obtain a well paying job to improve their status in society. (Whittington-Walsh, powerpoint)
  • Example One
  • The Three Class Model was developed by Karl Marx to represent the effects of capitalism on society. This model is divided among three main classes according to their wealth: the first (highest, wealthiest) class is the bourgeoisie who prosper from the work of the lower classes, followed after by the petite-bourgeoisie who maintain the ideologies of capitalism, and finally the working class who must use manual labor to survive. (William Little, Chapter 9.)
  • Example Two
  • Ideology is the way of thinking that enforces and justifies the ruling class position of power. There are a number of everyday examples of ideology, primarily the media. These ideals are often maintained by the petite-bourgeoisie social class, such as academics, philosophers, etc. (Whittington-Walsh, powerpoint).
  • In Harper Lee’s novel, How to Kill a Mockingbird, even the children of the town understand at a young age the social expectations in terms of the different levels of classes. "There’s four kinds of folks in the world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes.”(Harper Lee, p.230)
  • The Finches’ maid, Calpurnia, represents the sub-proletariat class on Marx’s class model. This class refers to the working class individuals that are seen as lesser due to their poverty, race or gender. In Calpurnia’s case, her ethnicity causes her to be in a poorer class with little opportunities. (Harper Lee).
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