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Perception Of Social Inequality Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

Expanding my knowledge through the experiences in which I participated in during this last semester has opened my eyes to more than just the panhandler on the corner or the limousine pulling up to a five star hotel. I have not had much trouble perceiving the lower class or the o upper class in the past. However, I never really understood the classes in between. The discovery in what makes someone fit or strive to be in a particular social class, or be satisfied with their current situation allows me to perceive the world differently. This allows me to process the perception more thoroughly before making assumptions about a specific social class.
Most of us go about our day to day routines without recognizing where we are in the social class system. We all have our moments in which we realize that we are constantly hearing about the rich and famous and we see the panhandlers at the off ramp of every freeway. I clearly understood before this class that I was not rich nor poor. The majority of us see ourselves as middle class and I believe I would be in that same class. Most of us dream of moving up with education, hard work or hopefully winning the lottery. We find ourselves occasionally living the lifestyle of the social class right above us and we slip into the class below us occasionally as well, although we might not want to admit it.
One of my experiences that I wrote about was the difference between Nordstrom’s and Wal-Mart’s customers. In the past I have never been a faithful shopper of Wal-Mart. I will go to Wal-Mart on occasion to purchase something that I know they carry cheaper than their competitors. However, every time I go into Wal-Mart a thought always goes through my head about the preconceived ideas I have about those who shop there. Even though in reality I know a lot of people that shop at Wal-Mart, but I have never felt very comfortable there. Now that I have taken this class I feel that my perception of Wal-Mart has been validated.
On the other hand, I don’t feel uncomfortable shopping at Nordstrom, because I realize that I cannot afford a lot of merchandise in the store unless I save for it. I do know that when I do purchase something at Nordstrom’s I expect a better shopping experience and a better quality of merchandise then other “lower class” stores. Since our discussions in class I have come to the realization that I am not out of the norm; that I do not shop at Nordstrom’s frequently and the majority of citizens shop more at Wal-Mart.
I believe that we all compare ourselves to others, mostly unintentional; however, I find myself comparing my own life and lifestyle to others that I associate myself. My occupation is one place that I find myself in a higher class than others. I hold a higher position in the lower management level, which I supervise a large number of employees. It is common knowledge that I make more money than anyone else on the floor but I find myself comparing things about my life...

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