This chapter touches on social stratification, also known as hierarchy. A few basic things that structure social stratification are that it is a characteristic of society, it is persistent, it is universal but dependant on location, and it is a system of inequality.
Social stratification is broken down into classes and ones placement in a class depends on income and wealth. From this social stratification can be broken down into two system; the classes system: that you are born I to your situation and you can’t change it, and the class system: which is more open (less strictly structured) and is said that the situation or class you are in is dependent on you and your efforts. The caste system is things like ascribed statuses, like someone could be born into wealth and it was not their choice or doing to be considered wreaths. This can be seen for people like Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, the Robertsons (duck commander), etc. The class system is achieved statuses, so things like working for your money or to build your name and status. This is seen in majority of people in the U.S. with upper, middle, and lower class.
The upper class is considered the elite and only the top most wealthy people. Again people like the Kardashians would be considered upper class. The middle class is those below the upper class but not considered poverty which is usually defined as and annual income of $30,000 – $150,000. This is where most people in the U.S. would fall on the class system. Even myself and my family would be considered middle class. The lower class is what most would consider poverty. When saying lower class many may think of the homeless but there are many others, not homeless and making money (<$30,000 annually), that would be considered lower-middle class. I once was good friends with a family of 6 who would be considered lower-middle class but lived in a nice rental and had luxuries like most middle class families. These classes can be further slept up into lower- and upper- upper class, middle class, and lower class.
There are many things that happen within social classes. Things like standard of living change for different social classes because it is the standard by which people maintain their living situation and to maintain their lifestyle. I have met many people of lower-middle class who wear nice and expensive clothes but feel that they must maintain this standard because it is their standard of living. There is also social mobility which is changes in social class status dependent on many things like generation, time, etc. Most parents want their kids to better than them and it seems like a lot of the times they do. In my family we are considered middle class but once I complete my degree I will be considered upper class based on my job. There is a thing called class traits, which also change by according to social status. These are things like actions or items people have to show social status. For instance many people think that wealthy people act “snooty” and that poor people are more generous. While this is just a stereotype and is not always true I find that there is most of the time a lot of truth to it.
As I mentioned before social stratification if global but it varies by location of what is considered upper, lower, and middle class or what certain treats of these are. Global stratification also compares all these things among different countries. What may be middle class in the U.S. could be considered lower or upper class elsewhere in the world. For instance what we consider lower-middle class in the U.S. is considered upper class in the Phillipines. This could be due to many different things and many may argue that it is because of our standard of living. Social class is everywhere although it may change depending on system, location, economics, time, standard of living, and more.