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Socioeconomic Status

  • By: Tonya N. Davis
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Socioeconomic status (SES), a multidimensional social standing relevant to one's society, is comprised of interrelated factors, including income, wealth, occupation, education, political attitude, political power, tastes, cliques, prestige, and material comfort. The levels of socioeconomic status are on a continuum with unclear divisions. The five most common levels are upper class, upper-middle class, lower-middle class, working class, and lower class. Upper-class individuals tend to have very high incomes, prestigious occupations, and high levels of education (e.g., professional or graduate degrees). Upper-middle-class individuals tend to have high incomes, professional occupations, and college degrees. Lower-middle-class individuals usually have modest incomes, semiprofessional occupations, and little or no college education. Working-class individuals have low incomes, tend to work in skilled labor occupations, and some have not completed their high ...

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