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    What characteristics mark people as belonging to one class or another?

    How does growing up in a particular social class affect one’s self image and expectations in life?




Subject Sociology Pages 2 Style APA


Social Class

Social class refers to classifications in society that are based on social and economic factors such as education or the level of income. People in these social divisions exhibit particular characteristics. This paper discusses features that mark people as belonging to one class or another as well as how growing up in a specific social class impacts one’s self-image and expectations in life based on the video All You Need is Cash.

Social Class Defining Characteristics

            Area of residence. As depicted in the video, where a person lives is one of the primary characteristics that mark an individual as belonging to one class or another. At the beginning of the video, one of the two ladies in the car is mentioning the sections of the Hamptons New York area. She mentions West, south and East Hamptons but dismisses Hampton Bays as a place where electricians live. This implies that those living in Hampton Bays are in another class.

            Profession. An individual’s occupation is another determinant of whether a person belongs to one class or another. Still, from the first conversation in the car, it is evident that electricians live in the Hamptons Bays because their profession does not pay enough income to acquire houses in the other three Hamptons residences.

            Financial muscle. The amount of wealth people possess also determines the class in which they belong. The commentator states that fitting in a new environment may prove challenging even if one is very reached and have moved to a fancy part of town. Again, here it is evident that for accumulating riches takes people to another class forcing them to move to other parts of the city where others in the same class live. Also, it is stated in the video that those at the top comprise of a small percentage of the population making billions of dollars.

            Family. The family in which one is born is another feature that classifies them in one class or another. In the video, most of the people that attended the social advancement event are from wealthy households. For example, Kimberly Rockefeller is married to Nelson Rockefeller’s grandson making her a Rockefeller, one of the most influential families in the country. Amanda Randolph also comes from an affluent business family.   

How Social Class Impacts One’s Self-image and Expectations in Life

            From the video, it is apparent that the social class one grows up in impacts their self-image and expectations in life. For example, growing up in a high social class improve individuals’ social acceptance and family expectations. In society, everyone wants to be accepted and hung around the group they feel is the best, thus, they spend heavily to be to associate with groups of their choice. According to Couri Hay, the development of self-image of these individuals starts by attending the right pre-school and attending private clubs where they meet their peer groups. They might also study abroad and learn different lifestyles that make them more socially acceptable. Once the children from upper-class families are grown, they are expected to reciprocate their journey with their kids and continue moving up the social ladder.       





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