Social class is a set of theories and concepts pertaining to sociology and focused around model of social stratification which arranges the people in a hierarchy of social categories. From the past time, there have been variety of factors that determine the socio economic class segregation in the society but, as the meaning of society changes, so is the definition of this aspect have changed.
Some of the determinants of social class are occupation, wealth, education, net worth and other such issues. But as the gap between the incomes have reduced regardless of the job position, this determinant combining occupation with the income level is seeming to be less logical in contemporary times. The education of a person is definitely a focal point of concern but with inclusion of various exceptions of students from lower strata of society based on caste, creed, color who are performing exceptionally brilliant in educational field have made this factor too obsolete.
The new determinants of social class have risen above petty issues of caste, income or economic conditions. Now people are segregated into class dependent upon the attitude, level of confidence, social status, social grace, mannerism and ethical charm. Social class nowadays have been much concentrated based over some laws from the side of government giving different tags, responsibilities, benefits and advantages as per the class of the society. Behaviors and ideas also determine the social class of a person these days. The 3P’s which are Power, Property and Prestige also determine the social stratification and the basis for such social class segregation.
Gilbert model gave basic means to create effective social stratification based over income, education and occupation. The six social classes so developed were capitalist class, upper middle class, middle class, working class, working poor class and underclass.
Class, status and power however have been different terms showcasing different meanings where class closely relates with the economic position of the person in the society, status refers to the prestige and social honor in the society and power is the ability to get the ways in their favor done despite the resistance faced by others.
The social class of a person can be determined by the way of dressing, way of communicating, manners of social presentation. These factors would be able to draw a first view about the social class of a person however, dwelling deeper into his personal life pertaining economic conditions and lifestyle, more knowledge can be gained about his social class and the first view might be changed accordingly. The type of job and the way of control and command determines the social class of a person. If we want to know the social class in which we fall in, we have to go further for the procedure of segregating the society on various basis and then differentiate our existence based over such class.
Every sociological idea and theory can connect to the social classification of class in our society and hence can be analyzed carefully for development of the study.
1. Becker, H. S. (1974). Photography and sociology.Studies in the anthropology of visual communication, 1(1), 3-26.
2. Connidis, I. A., & McMullin, J. A. (2002). Ambivalence, family ties, and doing sociology.Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(3), 594-601.
3. Giddens, A. (1993).New rules of sociological method: A positive critique of interpretative sociologies. Stanford University Press.
4. Miettinen, R. (2000). The concept of experiential learning and John Dewey's theory of reflective thought and action.International Journal of Lifelong Education, 19(1), 54-72.
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