WHY share. Social class is usually regarded


WHY DOES CLASS MATTER?  Student ID: 4312902″Class is something beneathyour clothes, under your skin, in your reflexes, in your psyche, at the verycore of your being” (Annette Kuhn, 1995).

As rightly said by Annette Kuhnclass is something that is all around us and has been all around us since timesimmemorial. Class refers to a group of people sharing a similar status, powerand amount of wealth. People belonging to the same class have a very similarinfluence on the society and the people around them. Classes in the society aremostly unequal and people are divided on the amount of economic wealth thatthey possess. There have been occurrences of most exceptional inequalities,that range from extreme wealth to life ending poverty. Where the people withthe most wealth mostly belong to the upper classes and the ones that are notthat high on the economic ladder stand very low on the social ladder as well. Classhas various stigmas attached to it. For example, people that belong to a certainclass are expected to do certain jobs that are just meant for them which theother classes cannot do.

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 Classmatters because it helps everyone in knowing a lot about the society inrelation to the socio-economic status of the citizens and the kind ofhistorical background that the ones belonging to the same class share. Socialclass is usually regarded as being conceived as sets of positions rather thanindividuals who happen to fill them at any particular time. In order to studyor know something it is extremely important to have some basic knowledge about differentclasses and how they function because it gives a glimpse of history and how everythingevolved, became how it is now and, how it will be in the future. The functioningof the society is based on different classes and their economic status. “As peoplereconstruct their days, it’s clear that in every single decision they make,class is an essential feature.” (Piff, 2012) Social status andpower conflicts are at the heart of current societal conflicts present in theworld today.

Social status is the degree of prestige linked to a persons’societal position. Different classes have been struggling and have struggledsince a very long time now, in order to achieve an equal status and equalopportunities. There have been a lot of positive and negative changes in thesociety because of class struggles. Some societies in the world can beidentified that ascribe all its citizens to be of equal status, however mostsocieties prevalent today function in the realms of some sort of socialhierarchy, where some individuals are stronger, whilst some remain weaker.

Thisinequality usually seeps into the norms of society through various institutionsand structural components, that allows this dominant and submissive behaviourto exist. Often roles in other spheres of influence are also prescribed inaccordance to class differences and in reference to what different cultures anddifferent societies deem valuable. Inseveral instances, the inequality that is present in society is so grave, thatpeople go along with it without any awareness, however ever so often, instancesdo arise where the society discovered the horror of class differences andresists leading to social conflicts. A great example to explain this is “TheManifesto of The Communist Party” by Karl Marx. Karl Marx hoped that the distinctionbetween various classes could be reduced and communism would prevail in the future,where the bourgeois and the proletarians would have equal opportunities andrights to citizenship. He wished that the proletarians would rise up againstand overthrow the bourgeois and put an end to the modern capitalism for whichhe had even called for a workers’ revolution. However, to his despair therevolution occurred in countries such as China and Russia but notindustrialised countries such as the Britain and Germany where the intensitywas much more.

Ironically, the horrors of class struggle have been used overthe years to minimise and tapper conflict over the distribution of scarce goodsand services present in the society. Therefore, for a lot of goods and servicesthe only contestable strata remain the one that possess immense power, and theirpower is usually not challenged. The proletarians according to Marx didnot have much to lose anyway and had a lot to gain over the years to come. Eachcitizen and member of a society had different views on class and communism. Forinstance, the Utopian communists and socialists wanted to abolish classconflicts without abolishing the conditions for existence of different classes.

All of this has led to distinctions in the society which are there in this dayand age as well. Class can never be ignored because themere existence of some countries and the grounds for citizenship is based onthis. It is extremely difficult to abolish a system which has been come into beingsince ages.

The intensity with which classes came into being and became a partof the society is a major region behind why they still matter so much in thedifferent nations and across the world. In many places, class is not something whichis achieved by people, it is something you are born into. One needs to followthe unwritten rules and beliefs set up by others. People kept believing whatthey were told by the Priests, Kings, rich people and those that possessed alot of power in the society, who most of the times said things which would helpthem remain in power.

India being one of the biggest example, where commonsense knowledge and illiteracy created a major impact on all three classes, upper,middle and lower (termed as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras, rankedfrom upper to lower class). The country can be best understood with regards tocaste and class. The lower classes were mostly illiterate and lacked the meansof basic livelihood. They were denied rights to citizenship and treated withutmost disrespect and disregard. But their struggles led to many provisions andchanges which are now even recognised and support by the government of India. Everyoneat least on paper is treated equally, with a few special reservations for thelower classes, so that they get the treatment that they deserve, especiallywhen it comes to jobs and rights to education. This shows how differentsocieties function just on the bases of class and caste till date.

The inequalities created by class havehad profound impacts on the day to day working of the rich and the poor. Some inequalitiesare also based on gender and age. For instance, the women and children of lowerclasses were not treated differently than the men of the same classes, for themthe treatment was even worse. Therefore, it is important to know about classand its distinction, then and now. Class has led to many changes in thesociety, which are both negative and positive. It is extremely important tokeep class in mind to study about any society because it holds relevance inalmost all societies and situations.  There are a lot of differences betweenthe different classes which have led to a wide gap between them, the gap hasbecome so wide that it is difficult to bridge it.

It is possible with the rapidgrowth of intellectuals and basic education which is now accessible to manypeople. The process towards receiving an equal citizenship and status isongoing and requires a lot of patience. The thinking of the older and newgenerations is quite different from each other, which will make it easier forthe lower classes to achieve what they deserve. H.

R. Markus said that “Asthe world continues to shrink, it is more important than ever that weunderstand the subjective nature of such cultural dichotomies” (H.R.

Markus, 2014) Class allows us to understand and perceivethe dichotomies that exist in the society today. class surrounds the ideasand the values that we stem and grow in thereby affecting the all spheresof influence that we as human beings function such as interactions in thesocial, economical, and political institutions. It makes us realisedifferences in the society are not immutable however relevant andessential in the way that we function.  Word Count: 1387 References: ·            Anon. (2010).

Education, Economics and Enterprise: ‘What’s SocialClass got to do with it?’ Bristol: University of Bristol. ·            DeAngelis, T. (2015).

Class Differences. New York: AmericanPsychological Association.

apa.org/monitor/2015/02/class-differences.aspx>·            Fiske, S. &Markus, H. R.

(2012). Facing social class:How societal rank influences interaction. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.·            Jackopovich, D. (2014). The Concept of Class. Cambridge: SSRGPublications.

·            Kuhn, A. (1995). Family secrets: Acts of memory andimagination. London: Verso.·            Leathwood, C., & Archer, L. (2004). ‘Social Class andEducational Inequalities: the local and the global’.

Pedagogy, culture andSociety. United Kingdom: London Metropolitan University.

com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14681360400200186>·            Markus, H. R.,& Conner, A. C. (2014). Clash! How to Thrive in a Multicultural World. New York: Plume.

 ·            Marx, K., Engels, F., Moore, S., & McLellan, D. (1992). TheCommunist manifesto. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

·            Sayer, A. (2002). What are You Worth: Why is Class an EmbarrassingSubject? United Kingdom: Social Research Online, Vol 7, No 3.

uk/7/3/sayer.html>·            Wilkinson,Richard G. & Pickett, Kate. (2010) The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Betterfor Everyone, London: Penguin (pp. 31-45).

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