The issue of social class stratification has been evidenced in America since time in memorial. There has always been a division among people starting with the rich, middle class and then the poor. This is mainly based on the income that one gets. It determines which class one belongs to. More over the issue of racial discrimination has also influenced the existence of classes like that of the poor. This is because some people, due to their color, are not treated equally like the others; they do not receive recognition and thus are left to struggle in order to survive. However the situation has changed and people regardless of their race or color are being treated equally as well as being recognized (Peter & Caroline 45). One’s determination and hard work is what determines which class they will belong to. Others are successful-the rich- while others are not-the poor- and lastly others are just not that successful and also not that unfortunate-the middle class.
Jean Anyon is a well renowned writer who in her book, Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, says that the different social classes exist according to the type of school which children attend. She argues that children who attend private schools are at a better position of becoming successful than those who attend public schools (Anyon 78). Private schools mainly train children on how to become doctors, lawyers while public schools only offer vocational training. This therefore states the class to which each of these two types of children will belong to in the future. To her it is not solely about income but the school to which a child attends.
There is also another Mike Rose whose experiences led him to the position that he wants to be average. This is from his book, Lives on the Boundary, found in a chapter titled , I Just Wanna Be Average. It is mainly about the challenges of underprepared students and how this influences their social status in the future (Mike 34). Rose himself was one of such students as he was the child of Italian immigrants who was not served well by the so called society. This was in terms of being prepared academically thus acquiring knowledge to enable him live a better life in the future. The treatment which he got was not what others from wealthy families got. On the other hand he did not want to become like those who challenged him. Because of this he just wanted to remain neutral that is neither poor nor rich just middle class.
The beliefs and actions of a person or a group of people may be affected by stereotypical images of class. If the individual or group of people belongs to that group of people whose stereotypical images are shown, then their actions will be negative towards those images. More over their beliefs would not be as strong as they were before (Peter & Caroline 56). It really has effects on the way people interact or rather associate with other people from other social classes. The most people affected by this are those who belong to the group from which the images were taken. They say a lot about the social ranking of people in the society as one does not expect to find images especially those of highly esteemed people in the society.
As long as the society is divided into classes, some factors will be affected. These are; the distribution of resources, academic goals, social and personal expectations. The rich will most definitely get to enjoy nearly all the resources available as they have the means of utilizing them. The middle class people cannot utilize them fully but at least they are somewhat capable and lastly the poor who can barely afford to access the resources. On the issue of academic goals, children from well up families have a greater optimism than those from middle class and the poor. They have a clear picture of their future followed by the middle class and lastly the poor always being at the bottom. This is determined by the kind of schools which their children attend. There are those who attend private schools and those who attend public schools. Private schools are known to be better than public schools as they train children to become intellectuals in the society. Since not all can afford to take their children to private schools the issue of classes thus erupts. Socially and personally the rich people in the society are expected to assist a lot in the growth of the society. This is because they have the means to make it happen.
It is quite unfortunate that there will always be social ranking in the society. People will never be equal as there will those who will not be as successful as others and those that will barely be successful. Becoming average would only be achieved if people mostly from the high social ranking agree to help out their friends from the other ranks and thus become united.
Anyon J. “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work”
Mike Rose “I Just Wanna Be Average”
Peter W. and Caroline H. Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools (1987)