Study Guide Exam 2
The classes in the middle and their characteristics
or the “new class” is made up of those who hold the key decision-making
positions in various institutions including doctors, lawyers, engineers, and more.
middle class emphasizes good education. There are two sub-groups that are the professionals and
managers, which have interchangeable skills, they occupy the same living standards and belong
to the same social circles. They are white-collar works doing mental jobs, make independent
decisions, and require a college degree which presents them with substantial economic
advantages. Politically they are liberal on issues like abortion and civil rights but generally
conservative on economic issues of taxation and wages. They are more politically active than any
is the most difficult to define because it has so many disparate elements.
They consist of small business owners, paraprofessionals, low-end managers, secretaries, clerks,
and government bureaucrats. The range of income is broad depending on the occupation, but in
general their wealth is low. Dependent on jobs for income and do not have many assets outside of
their home. They exercise little power in their jobs and respond to managers. Most have high
school education and some with college degree but is not required for many jobs. They are
politically active to some degree, usually just by voting.
is best classified by blue-collar work, or physical labor. Consist of
tradespeople like craft workers, plumbers, carpenters, and work for an hourly wage. Also consists
of factory workers. The education is limited, and some may have more than enough money to
keep their home and car while others may be on the border of poverty. Part of urban
communities, mainly consisting of single-family homes or mobile homes. Vacations don’t happen
often and if so, it may be an excursion in a recreational vehicle. They are conservative on social
political issues yet liberal on economic issues, or opposite of the upper-middle class. Also, very
little political action is taken.
Industrialization and the changing class structure
The predominance of farmers and farm laborers as part of the workforce soon fell as the society
moved toward industrialization. By the end of the 19
century it was clear, and automation drove
many farm workers from their land where labor was no longer needed. Machines could better do
jobs, and factories were now paying better than any farm job.
By 1920s in America the white-collar jobs in the service sector began to grow and contributed to
the large emergence of the middle-class.
No longer were there small family owned businesses and
production became more complex. Smaller firms were unable to compete with large corporations.
Starting in the 1960s, service workers become numerically dominant and industrial workers