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Race Vs. Social Class Essay

844 words - 3 pages

Race vs. Social Class

THESIS: Race differences in identity and social position were, and are, more important than class differences in American society.

"Events in the nineteenth century made it abundantly and irrefutably clear that race as a concept sui generis superseded social class as the dominant mechanism of social division and stratification in North America." (Smedley 219) For many decades people have been using race as a way to classify humans into different social categories. Lower, Middle, and Upper classes were created to divide humans into appropriate categories using their individual lifestyles, financial income, residence, and occupation. People decided to ignore this classifying system and classify one another, simply by the color of their skin. People's skin color says nothing as to what a person does, their beliefs, attitudes, or any of the ideas for creating a fair social classification system. Racial barriers were created that divided people into different groups at work and at home. Race differences in identity and social position were, and are, more important than class differences in American society.

The role of work, money, and the effect they have on individuals has changed throughout the past years due to social classes and racism. Social classes being based on by race is just the beginning of the differences. In the work force there are always people who feel the need to dominate in their field or profession solely because they think they are the dominant social class or race. People of any rank at the office will look down upon others, not because of their position, but skin color. People are not only treated differently at the work site based due to these issues, but also in some cases they are deprived of jobs altogether. Certain jobs are only offered to those of certain skin color, such as higher positions are held for European Americans, and janitorial jobs are for African Americans. These conditions in turn lead to the way individuals perform at work. It also affects their views of each other as well as those considered to be "above" or "below" them. So, racial discrimination happens at the work level, as well as, the dividing of social classes.

Racial discrimination dominated over social classes creating an unfair way to divide people. "In all areas of life, Americans were persuaded that the major races - black, Indian, Asian, and white - could not and should not live or work together and certainly not as equals." (Smedley 221) All other races were homogenized, regardless of education, skills, language, religion, income, or place of origin, into one simple category. Class...

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