Social Class

In all but the simplest societies, there are distinctions among individuals and communities by status, expectations, and power. Social class is among the most fundamental and pervasive of such distinctions. Access to necessary and valued resources varies with social class and defines power. Class position is associated with the differential distribution of a society’s political and economic influence and determines access to all essential resources.

Much can be learned by examining social class and class dynamics in the United States, the richest nation in the world and among the most unequal in terms of income and wealth. Here we focus on the United States with the understanding that social classes and interclass relations are marked by similarities and differences across countries. In the United States, ...

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