Social Stratification, Tue,Thurs, 2-3
I am answering question one
According to Kerbo and others, there are
strict requirements for social, political
and educational conduct that a family must meet in order to become and remain part of
the official upper class. Specify and define
requirements of upper class status and
State why they are important to obtaining and maintaining upper class status.
Indicate how nonconformity to the “rules” of the upper class lifestyle can result in loss of
upper class status.
The requirements for upper class status is very hard to achieve, this is in part to keep the exclusivity and
the secrecy of the upper class from the masses. By keeping the powerful few a secret, the upper class can
influence and set forth national and transnational policies unknownling for the majority of Americans.
One requirement for the upper class is the need for the upper class to be descended from successful
people, quote E. Digby Baltzell (1958:7) “The upper class concept refers to a group of families, whose
members are descendants of successful individuals of one,two,three or more generations”
The upper class thus must be people who are not only rich, but people who tend to be born and bought up
rich, being influenced by upper class culture and way of life will maintain a firm group solidarity as “they
will be bought up as friends, are intermarried and keep the distinctive lifestyle within themselves that set
them part of the rest of the population”, (E. Digby Baltzell)
This requirement is further enforced when one observes the way the upper class achieves the class
consciousness and group unity that helps unite roughly one million Americans scattered across the nation.
The importance of the upper class is the way one behaves and who one knows, these connections and
behaviors are learned not as much as one would learn science or history, but rather be bought up in the
culture of exclusive schools, country clubs, and parties. “Underlying the American upper class is a set of
social institutions which are its backbone- private schools, elite summer resorts, charitable and cultural
organizations, and such recreational activities as foxhunts, polo matches, and yachting.” (Domhoff)