Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Class status - its all relative

Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. They are all around us. We know who grew up wealthy and we also know where we measure up. As I've studied and thought about social class, I've realized that we often like to think of ourselves as a little bit better off than we are - which makes sense, however, I decided to try my best to objectively look at the family I grew up in to truly look at which class we belong. When I was younger, we were probably upper/lower class. Both my parents were in graduate school and working at least one job each. My parents struggled quite a bit financially, but in all honesty, I had no idea. We always had a place to live, food to eat and toys to play with. When I was in the six grade, my dad got a job with a decent salary, so we had to move to a very tiny town. While our income did increase substantially, our socioeconomic status stayed about the same, because we increased our family size from four to nine.

Having explained all of that, I think it is extremely important to note that I have never felt like I was in the lower class. My parents did a wonderful job of really stretching their money and doing everything they could to make sure all of our needs were met. Therefore, I believe that socioeconomic status and social class are all about attitude. If you have a positive attitude about your own place in society, your life will be much less stressful and a lot happier. Similarly, it is so important not to look down on others because of their status - or to become judgmental or envious of those in higher classes. We all have trials and difficulties no matter how much money we have or what size house we live in. The important thing is that we all live our lives in a productive fashion and don't blame our problems on our backgrounds or our social status.

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