Perhaps, most people in the world believe that United States is the place to access greener pastures. Therefore there are many immigrants to america.The immigrants get into United States through illegal and legal means so as to access the opportunities believed to exist, (The Great Migration, 2002). In most cases the concept of social class is linked to social identity, ecomomic role and political affiliation, (Devine, 1997). Status consistency puts into consideration the plurality of status in society. Each member of the society is ranked in different hierarchies. Individuals are claimed to have consistent status if the status he has are in equal levels. Poverty is deficiency of basic needs such as clothing, food, education and health care, (Kendell, 2007).Arguably Social mobility refers to a way in which individual undergo changes in their social status. It is observed by many to be a measure of equality of opportunities in human life. In America too social mobility of most of African Americans are influenced and determined by parents, own talent, luck and motivation. The paper will focuses on social class, poverty and social mobility especially the African Americans society.
Debatably, poverty is one of the greatest problems in the world, especially the third world countries. The big issue is to clearly understand who a poor person is? Furthermore it is important to understand its causes so as to find a valid solution. Poverty is deficiency of basic needs such as clothing, food, education and health care, (Brady, 2003). Additionally in the contemporary world it is viewed as a lifestyle and state of mind of an individual. In most cases it determines the worthiness of life. There is variance in the levels of poverty in different countries. In America 12% of its population are blacks, approximately a quarter of this are poor. Despite the mentality that people have in America, poverty has been there. However natural occurrence such has hurricane Katrina has made Americans to discuss about the issue of poverty, (Brady, 2003).
In United States the rate of death of African Americans is alarming in addition some of the factors that affect the economy and welfare of the blacks include unemployment, incarceration and low number of college graduates, (Kendell,2007). Poverty arises due to violation of rights of individuals as well as social injustices. Poverty puts one into a state of not able to claim his rights. In America the black Americans faced injustices long ago; these factors have led to the continuity of poverty. This includes slavery and discrimination.
The youth and energetic men who could be productive die in the streets most of its cause is homicide. Hence most of the productive generation die early leaving no impact in the economy .Additionally, HIV has caused lots of deaths among the young men in America and other parts of the world especially the African Americans.
Drugs in the streets have increased tremendously. Therefore most of the youth either sell the drugs or are the big consumers of the drugs. At this point it becomes clear how it is difficult for the youth to bring changes at all. They become addicts hence theirs is only to look for means of getting it. Most smokers die of lung cancer due to smoking.Gangster control the streets and ghettos hence most of them end up in prison. In most poor regions, people spend more of their money on food; therefore the demand increases and prices too increase. This will reduce the purchasing power. Hence the cost of living will automatically rise, making the poor less able to access basic needs, (Brady, 2003). The vicious cycle of poverty is another cause of poverty. Most of the African Americans have a history on poverty from the past. Therefore it makes it difficult for the young generation to change their class .Poverty will form a continuous chain.Discrimination in the past made it hard for African Americans to get opportunities in the government. Illiteracy, high cost of education and high competitions leads to reduction of opportunities to gain wealth.
Social class entails the cultural and economic arrangements of different individuals in society. The class system is an important tool used by political scientists, social historians, sociologists and anthropologists in analyzing human beings way of life, (Devine, 1997). In sociology the issue of social class is discussed by use of social stratification. In most cases it is in tree levels: lower class, middle class and upper class. As an African American I believed I belonged to the middle class in the American society. The upper class are individual who are powerful in the society they are viewed by many to be the elite group. In the world there are some societies with no class concepts at all. In this communities all people are equal, hence no competition to achieving a higher level of social class.
In the theory of Marxist, class is divided in to two groups. The owners of production and those who only use labor services for survival. The concept of class has led to distinctive features of lifestyle in society. For example the so called the powerful class use grooming, costumes, language codes and manners that are so unique to others,(Kendell, 2007 ).In the contemporary society the concept of class is well established. Social class can be determined when one is born or through struggle in lifetime. It can be achieved or ascribed. Most of African Americans have achieved status. They acquire it through skill, merit, actions and abilities.
In America there are many consequences of social class. The inequalities in all sectors of life are widely spread. The consumption of goods and services is most consequences that are visible. The issue of variation in consumption is caused by inequalities in income. The people in the lower class can’t access expensive and luxurious lifestyle. The individuals in the middle class too can afford some but not has much as those in the upper class. Despite the fact that income is not a general factor when it comes to issue of class, research shows that that in upper class have high income as compared to individuals in lower classes, (Devine, 1997).
The only thing that people enjoy being members of the middle class in America is the freedom in they get from their occupations. Mostly they ate respected, exhibit authority and enjoy diverse aspects of life. The lower classes are mostly alienated. The conditions at work place vary greatly between different classes. Being in the middle class it is all about job routine .Working is not free from injuries, death and other health hazard issues, (Kendell, 2007). In addition class system has clear impacts on the lifestyles of people. The lifestyle of individuals includes preference general lifestyle of living and taste. The lifestyle has great impact in the attainment of education which in later life has an impact of the class attainment. Children from different classes are raised differently.People in the upper class will probably raised their kids to attain the upper class. It is easy for one to move downward in the social class and stratification but not from moving up the class.
Status consistency puts into consideration the plurality of status in society. All members have ranking different hierarchies. Individual are claimed to have consistent status if the status he has are in equal level, (Lareau,.et al,. 2008). Conversely, when status of an individual is different level of horizon they are experiencing inconsistency of status.Indivudual have [powers to determine the consistency of their status.
In the U.S there are different models used by sociologist to describe class. Weberian and Marxian approaches have been used to develop the models. According to Weber there are some elements which affect class structure, this include occupation of the head of the family, education and the income of the family, (Euchar, 1989). Marxian put many emphases on ownership and production .The classes included the capitalists, they owned property and power. The second is the managerial class who has control on the workers and means of production. Small-business individuals are the craftsmen and owners of small-businesses which have very low return. In most cases they do their own activities. Finally the working class, in this category there are skilled and unskilled workers.
Arguably, Social mobility refers to a way in which individual undergo changes in their social status. It is observed by many to be a measure of equality of opportunities in human life. In America too social mobility of most of African Americans are influenced and determined by parents, own talent, luck and motivation. These factors determine if an individual gets a chance to move upwards or move downwards, (Kendell, 2007). The changes expected are mostly related to the position in society that concern social hierarchy. In the United States mobility policy is affected by education, public transport and other welfare factors. In order to understand upward mobility of African American we should use inter-sectionalist concept. The context of education is what most of the African American has put their efforts when hoping for an upward mobility. Education too is a tool used by African American to assimilate with the whites and the American society, (Tischler, 2007). Most of the blacks in America have invested in education but at the end of the day there is still a wide gap in the income between them and the whites.
According to me upward mobility among the blacks in American is an individual efforts and potential. But for many years lots of interest in the social mobilized is focused on whether America is still a good place to secure an opportunity. In America the children of the black Americans always struggle to move upwards to a better position in the social structure, mostly higher than the position of their parents. Research shows that there has been an upward mobility if African American men due to their hard work, (Kendell, 2007).What is not clear is whether the trend will continue for a long time. Many blacks in the ghettoes have invested in education; this can be a speculative factor of the future of the blacks in America when it comes to social mobility. In most cases sociologists put much emphasis on intergenerational mobility. This is because it is much easier to recognize changes that occur across generations. In America where people are divided in color it makes it difficult to change from one social class to another. This implies that social mobilit5y is at its minimal. The factors that cause changes in such society include skills, abilities, education, wealth and use of merits.
In the United States there is high level discrimination of blacks by the whites. This discrimination occurs in different sectors of American economy, (Tischler,.et al,. 2007). Market segmentations and discriminations makes difficult for African Americans to experience upward mobility. Despite the efforts ion education the returns of labor that the educated were to receive is reduced. Therefore in America the African Americans face lots of challenges in the struggle for upward mobility.
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