Aspects of Social Class Mobility in lower class – Sociology Essay

Aspects of Social Class Mobility in lower class – Sociology Essay
The term “class” and “class social mobility” came into wide use in early 19th century, replacing term of rank or order as hierarchical groups in society after the industrial and political revolutions of last 18th century.

Social mobility refers to a change in social position over time. This may involve a change in job or occupational, social class or status, educational level, income level, or wealth. Today, the boundaries between classes are loosened and people in various classes have been able to do what they want to enjoy, even buy luxuries. Consequently it may be difficult to distinguish people’s status in terms of the things they have, clothes they wear, a color of their skin (Scott. J & Leonhardt. D, 2005). However, it is still true that our society is affected significantly through the influence of the class. Some believe that it is easy to raise their class through large scale mobility and it loose class structure rendering a culture more uniform. On the other hand, some argue that they experience difficulties of mobility to move up to upper class under inequality.

According to the New York Times’ survey (2005), 66% of Americans think that rising living standards in America have generated significant changes in the class system compared to their parents’ generation. A general diminution of class differences has resulted from higher standards of living, greater social mobility, and more opportunities. Today, the ranks of the elite and upper class are opening more and many people are taking up its position based on their effort and good education. In fact, the New York Times’ survey (2005) on ‘income by education’ shows clear tendency that higher education brings much more income than lower education level. For example, Bill Clinton spent poor childhood in a small town with his stepfather who was a gambler and an alcoholic. However he was a great student in school and do his best. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford in England. After attending Oxford, Clinton obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School and finally became a president of the U.S.A.

So, most people commonly believe that good education and hard work are more important than wealthy background, which let them raise economic status and move to up to upper class (Scott. J & Leonhardt. D, 2005). Some believe that they have equal opportunity as people who wealthy backgrounds because they have various opportunities to get scholarships and loan when they are eager about better education. Liebau(2005) notes that race, gender, religion, and even sexual preference, are not the stumbling blocks that they might have been just 50 years ago. People belonging to various groups believe that the American dream works.

On the other hand, some people believe that it is still difficult to achieve mobility by overcoming a poor background. On Liebau’ article(2005), she reported, “Americans have limited social mobility and limited prospects because of income inequalities. Because income inequality is greater, there is a wider disparity between what rich and poor parents can invest in their children”(para5). Therefore, the lower class, which consists of about 20% of the population, are under a lack of wealth, power, and educational opportunities, compared to the higher class. Lower class people are arguing that, generally, they are poorly funded for college education by the government; less provided with Internet service, and that they suffer from low literacy and lack other employment skills, and so on. They are complaining about the rising cost of Medical insurance and education tuition which have resulted in paying more money to George W. Bush government and interrupt their economical mobility. Also, sometimes those who attempt to rise or maintain a high position are kept back by invisible factors, such as racism, gender issues, and unequal opportunities and most of these people think it is still working significantly though all social class.


Recently, inequality seems to be increasing between highly educated and poorly educated people and most American sense that they live within an extremely complicated system of social classes. People tend to think that social class is either equal or unequal with focusing on a narrow aspect of the phenomenon. Therefore, they may have various aspects and complains about these complicated social classes. Nevertheless, they still believe that the class system has changed, since extensive welfare and greater social mobility have resulted from changes in society structure. Because society cannot be a perfect well organized system, equality and inequality take place anytime anywhere. Therefore, American dream would be achieved when people are really eager for a faith of mobility with hard work and good education.

[108.01 class] Why do international students come to America?
They also believe American dream is working….

Reference:

Fussell, P. (1992). A touchy subject. Class: A Guide Through The American Status System.
Retrieved January 29, 2006, from http://www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus/resources/essays6.html

Liebau, P. C (2005). Class in america. Carol Platt Liebau.
Retrieved January 29, 2006, from http://carollienbau.blogspot.com/2005/05/class-in-america.html

Scoot, J., & Leonhardt, D. (2005, November 29). Does class still matter?. New Youk Times, 10-13.

Social Structure of the United State. (2006, January 15). Wikipedia.
Retrieved January 29, 2006, from http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/Social_structure_of _the_United_States

Tse, A., & Werschkul, B. (2005). How class work. New York Times. Retrieved February 5,2006,
from http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/national/20050515_CLASS_GRAPHIC/index_01.html