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How Does Class Stratification Affect How Individuls Think?

1542 words - 7 pages

Kelly (2014) explained part of social psychology’s focus is “to understand social factors that influence how individuals think, how they act, and how they feel.” How does stratification affect the individuals that live in social class systems, caste systems, or slavery? According to Baumeister and Bushman (2014):
Back when social mobility began to increase, so that some aristocrats became poor while merchants became rich, the upper classes wanted to continue believing that they were inherently better than other people, even if the others had more money. The upper class could not point to obvious differences in behavior because in point of fact many aristocrats were drunken, conceited, ...view middle of the document...

Rising inflation and increased costs of living are contributing to this debt crisis. As the middle class vanishes, the population of the lower class increases. In years past, it was poor people on public assistance or receiving benefits who would look to debt advice agencies for help. More and more middle class people are struggling with credit card debts, mortgages, and secured loans, and they are turning to these types of agencies for help as the debt crisis grows. In the United States, the government chose to bail out the banks at a cost of trillions of dollars, and only put them in a position of greater risk for a fiscal debt crisis. To improve the fiscal situation, spending will have to be reduced, which will also make the unemployment rate worse. The job market in the United States continues to decrease; the Bureau of Labor Statistics fails to give an accurate picture of true unemployment statistics. In order to be counted as unemployed, there are three requirements all individuals must meet. These include the individual must be without a job reference in the week, actively participated in a job search in the last four weeks, and was available for work. Even when people are unemployed, if they do not meet these criteria, they are not included in the labor force. Other factors that exclude people are when they work part time or have given up on finding employment. Another issue with the labor market is the increasing number of college graduates. The market is saturated with college graduates who are over qualified for the positions they are applying for. The rising costs of continuing education, and the poor labor market add to the dissolution of the middle class. Based on research by Marshall (2010), during 2008, 24% of individuals with some college education but not bachelor’s degrees put themselves in lower middle or lower class, and that percentage has increased to 47% today. Many countries do not have middle classes, and western culture middle classes are maintained by debt. Social changes are expected to occur as the middle class vanishes. In the United States many families are living with many generations in the same house. As families struggle to maintain their households, they are losing them through foreclosure and loss of employment. Middle class westerners may face challenges, but ultimately will not face social stigmas that have been present and accepted in the caste system.
Today in India, caste based discrimination has been illegal for more than sixty years. Outside of modern India, untouchables still exist. Other members of society believe these untouchables are contaminated by, and are kept at a distance. According to the dalit.com (n.d.) website, untouchables are ritually unclean due to the nature of their work – they clean up and deal with dead animals. Many of these untouchables work in the agricultural industry, are under paid with few personal belongings. Untouchables are the poorest of the poor, and live with...

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