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Determining Social Clas1

Determining Social Clas1 - subjective point of view...

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Determining Social Class: Socioeconomic Status (SES) What is Socioeconomic Status (SES)? Farley (2005:32) notes that nearly all societies tend to group themselves by socioeconomic status. SES is a concept which is rather complex. The average citizen may tend to group people according to simple criteria like income or wealth. SES is a more robust concept. Socioeconomic status (SES) calls attention the complex nature of social class. It is determined by an array of social and economic indicators. It is also subject to interpretation form various perspectives. 1. Objective Measures There are objective measures of social class. Henslin (1999:253) suggests that researches can assign people to various social classes based objective criteria involving wealth, power, and prestige. Some objective indicators can include occupation, educational level, number of dependents, type of residence, infant mortality, and life expectancy rates. 2. Subjective Measures There are also subjective measures. Typically, determining class from a
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Unformatted text preview: subjective point of view involves asking someone how they perceive their class position. 3. Reputational Measures Finally, class can be determined using the reputational method (Henslin, 1999:253). People identify an individual's social class based on their expert knowledge of their individual's circumstances. The reputational method is limited to smaller communities, where people are familiar with one another's reputation. People at each class level see class differently. They, therefore, carry around different personal pictures of society's classes. People see finer divisions at their own class level, but tend to lump together people who occupy other class levels. For example, People at the top see several divisions of people at the top while they see one large monolithic group of people at the bottom. On the other hand, people at the bottom see several distinctions of poor people, but only one group at the top -- the rich (Henslin, 1999:253)....
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