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Social Class Ladder Essay

1841 words - 7 pages

As sociologists claim that social class position greatly affects your “life chances” in the world, it is safe to assume the majority of students at Westminster stand fairly high on the class ladder. This assumption would come from current ideas of status and class based on income and other assets. For me, I am no exception when it comes to the stereotype of a private school student. Although my family may not reach the top of the class ladder, we do live comfortable lives. As you read on I will discuss my family’s current social standing, the prediction of what my future family’s class standing will be in twenty years, and the effects my current status will have on me in the future.
As I mentioned before, my family does not reach the top of Gilbert and Kahls six-class model of social class. We do however, live very comfortable lives living on the border between upper and lower middle class. I have created a 7th rung in Gilbert and Kahls model to accommodate where my family lies. My family lies in a middle-middle class position due to their education, economic, and occupational positions in American society. Both my parents have graduated from high school as well as a college, common in lower middle class positions. However, my father is an exception and went on to post-graduate study earning a bachelors degree in business, an MBA. This is an educational trait of being in the upper middle class. The second factor of Gilbert and Kahls model is income. Together, my parents bring in an estimated amount greater than lower middle class of $60,000 and less than the amount of upper middle class of $125,000. This firmly places them in the new category of middle-middle class in terms of economics. The occupational positions of my parents are the exception to my middle-middle class position however and they both occupy managerial positions in their companies. These three factors greatly determine a person’s position in society, but other factors can influence a person’s position as well. My parents have remained together through the years and have worked together to raise me as well as to create a better life for me. In the book Working Class: Invisible in America by David Shipler, Shipler details the lives of single mothers working to raise their children. These women often found themselves falling into debt and unable to get them selves out. These families tend to lean toward lower rungs of the social model. By having two parents that are able to support each other and build a family together they instantly were able to jump up to higher areas in the social model. Job security ties in heavily to where I placed my family on the social model. Many families in lower areas of the social model fear the effects of recession and inflation because of their effects on their job positions and wages. While growing up my parents were always working and never truly complained much about the changing economic times. My mother has worked with the same company ever...

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