Monday, September 02, 2013

Social classes; definitions

Social class is not identical to wealth, but the two concepts are related (particularly in Marxist theory), leading to the combined concept of Socioeconomic status.
 Partly as a result of different economic conditions of life, members of different social classes often have different value systems and view the world in different ways. As such, there exist different "conceptions of social reality, different aspirations and hopes and fears, different conceptions of the desirable."
The way the various social classes in society view wealth vary and these diverse characteristics are a fundamental dividing line among the classes. Source: Wikipedia/Wealth

The lower class 
Those with the least amount of wealth are the poor.  Wealth accumulation for this class is to some extent prohibited...Most of the institutions that the poor encounter discourage any accumulation of assets.

The upper class

Upper class values include higher education, and the wealthiest people value the accumulation and maintenance of wealth, the maintenance of social networks and the power that accompanies such networks. Children of the upper class are typically schooled on how to manage this power and channel this privilege in different forms. It is in large part by accessing various edifices of information, associates, procedures and auspices that the upper class are able to maintain their wealth and pass it to future generations.

The middle class 
The middle class places a greater emphasis on income.
The middle class views wealth as something for emergencies and it is seen as more of a cushion. This class comprises people that were raised with families that typically owned their own home, planned ahead and stressed the importance of education and achievement.
They earn a significant amount of income and also have significant amounts of consumption.
However there is very limited savings (deferred consumption) or investments, besides retirement pensions and homeownership. They have been socialized to accumulate wealth through structured, institutionalized arrangements. Without this set structure, asset accumulation would likely not occur.

Source: Wikipedia/Wealth

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