Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on conceptualizing and classifying class. Currently, there is an increase in the desire for people to group themselves into social es accordingto various factors. Due to the increased use of class as a social reference in the current world, there are increased levels of confusion of the young people on the definition of class. According to the article, the young people have a big misconception on what exactly class means and where they exactly lie with their class status. The article points out that at a young age, the youth classify themselves as of high class, although this notion keeps changing as time goes by. As they keep growing older, they accept the reality of their social class and thus slowly try to fit in to their normal class (Goodman et al. 81).
While trying to evaluate the effects of class on the youth, Goodman et al. (81) conducted a study among the youth on the determinants of social class among the people. According to the youth, the family wealth and income was a great determinant of the social class among the youth. Most of the interviewed teenagers believed that income levels of their parents are very important in determining the social class identity among them in the society. While trying to find out the difference between the upper middle class and the working class, the youth does not believe that there is the existence of a significant gap between these two classes.
Additionally, the study wanted to identify the effects of the level of education on determining the class status among the youth. As a result, youth and adolescents from the upper class believe that the levels of education of their parents highly determine their social class placement. Even the people that the parents associate with have been found to have effects on the social class by the teenagers. Some associate the wealthy, rich and educated people with high class while the less educated and less wealthy have been associated with low class. This is a notion by the young people in the American society Goodman et al. 82).
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In general, the various determinants of social class among the young people is the increased significance of family wealth in grading class and social status, occupations of their parents, beliefs and attitudes of their parents, the lifestyle of the family or friends to the family. These are the major determinants of class to the youth. However, as they grow up, this notion changes as they have their own responsibilities and seek their own wealth.
Comparing the information in this article with the professor’s class notes, there are a number of similarities and differences too in their contents and arguments. Both agree that there has been an increase in the significance of class among the people in the society. The increase in the power of capital or wealth is a determinant of class in both cases. Although the decrease in capital has been stressed by the class notes as a factor determining class among the people, the article does not prove so. The two however agree on the fact that two main sources of class include capital and labor of the people, who could either be anybody or parents. However, in the definition of the working class, while the teenage perspective of class does not differentiate between the working class and the upper class, professor’s notes differentiate. According to the notes, the upper class control the means of production and the control the resources as well as capital. The working class on its part nave No control over economic surplus or means of production and thus the biggest.
The professor’s perspective is the best way of defining the class difference among the people. By clearly setting the requirements for both classes and the characteristics of people falling both in the low class, the working middle class and the high class, this forms the best understanding of class. Although the teenagers’ perspective could be put into consideration, it lacks factual data or even the required logic of measuring class among the people. It takes into consideration a few factors that are linked with class but does not give specific details but a couple of attributes. Therefore, in comparing the two perspectives, I would settle for the professor’s perspective to define class.
Goodman, Elizabeth, Amick Benjamin C., Rezendes Maureen O., Sol Levine, Jerome Kagan, William Rogers, H And Alvin Tarlov, R. Adolescents’ Understanding Of Social Class: A Comparison Of White Upper Middle Class And Working Class Youth. Journal of Adolescent Health 27 (2000): 80–83. Print. https://sph.uth.edu/course/occupational_envhealth/bamick/home/Adolescents%20Understanding%20of%20Social%20Class.