Social Classes | Sociology | Chegg Tutors



hi I'm Jamie and I work for Chad tutors today I want to talk to you about a concept in sociology that we know as social class now we hear this thrown around a lot but there's a very specific meaning in when we study it formally social class commonly is a group of people of similar status commonly sharing comparable levels of power and wealth now there are some concepts that we think we know and everyday but we want to think more thoroughly through them so I want to clear up some things first social class is not income level especially with the growth of movements like Occupy Wall Street we're used to hearing about now in America the 1% the top 1% of of earners who own much more of the wealth in the United States this is not quite what we're talking about when we talk about social class for example 87% of Americans say they are middle-class so we're trained in this country not to think too much about class and really to think more that everyone is average so class does look at wealth differences but it also looks with lots of other things we want to think about class more like what class might have looked like in your history class when you talked about ancient Egypt we think about class in terms of groups of people in society who have similar functions maybe it's jobs maybe it's family roles or roles in the community if similar functions and they have similar status there people think similarly of them and they tend to interact with each other more they tend also to be kind of ranked so there's someone or a group of people who have higher status they're thought of more highly maybe they have more power and there's groups of people normally but many more people who have lower status so if we take a look at this pyramid and imagine that it is an ancient Egyptian pyramid we see that slaves are at the bottom of the pyramid they would have been a social class that are the biggest group of the biggest number of people in ancient Egypt but they're at the bottom of the pyramid they don't have any status at all they don't even have it have their freedom but they do perform a similar function they do a lot of the labor the hard labor and they have a similar status you might go up the ladder and as you go up the ladder a lot of things will change education level will change people like scribes and above would be literate whereas many people would not levels of power and influence in the government in everyday society and how you could bribe and influence people are going to change as well but you'll notice also that as you go up the pyramid the level of power and Status increases but the size decreases all the way up to the Pharaoh who is one person and one person only so really this is more the way you want to think about social class even say if you're in the US where we don't think about class so much we still do have these differences in social status and not only an income level but also in jobs that we do and what people think of those jobs but we don't want to strictly think about class in terms of income level and we also don't want to believe that we live in a society that no longer has classes going back to our definition we still certainly have people of similar status to share comparable levels of power and wealth more later and thanks for watching




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