final paper

final paper - Jasmine McElroy 05-04-11 @0265197 Composition...

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Jasmine McElroy 05-04-11 @0265197 Composition for Honors II Dr. Shinn Can Relations Between Social Classes Become Classier? In many world history classes in the United States, American students are taught about the constant tensions between social classes of people in other countries. In contrast, these classes promote the United States as a land of equality. However, the United States has classes as well. For example, “upper class”, “middle class”, and “lower class” are terms used often in the United States to describe the socioeconomic classes people fit into. The classes defined using those terms are widely known and accepted by most Americans, but other classes and rifts between them exist. Another term that is very commonly used is “working class”. This term refers to the “social or economic class composed of… persons working for wages, especially in manual labor” (Dictionary.com). The term “working class” often has a more negative connotation than a positive one, which is most likely due to the fact that it normally means people that do manual labor. Therefore, due to the “working class” being often perceived as lower in status than many others, it is interesting to investigate which supposedly higher class or classes of people the “working class” has issues with. One such “class” of people includes college educated individuals. In this paper, “working class” will refer to wage earning “blue collar” employees and “college educated class” will refer to college students who have a more likely opportunity to use their higher learning to make a lucrative living. I recognize that students could fall into the “working class” since they work during the school year and/or work summer jobs sometimes; however, for the purposes of this paper, we will treat the two classes as two separate entities because research shows that “there is an assumption that working-class students
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will aspire to becoming more like their middle-class counterparts in regards to behaviour, attitudes, dress, language and lifestyle through university education”; therefore, “working class students” count as part of the “college educated class” (Pearce 5). For some reason, the term “college educated” has a much more positive connotation than “working class”. Researchers, McLaren and Farahmandpur, observed that “the issue of class has been ‘overlooked’ as a consequence of the turn to identity politics in contemporary social and economic analysis” (Pearce 5). Therefore, what are the effects of the perceived social class difference between “working class” and “college educated” people? And what can be to repair the rift between the two classes, if anything? There are numerous ways one can approach the answers to these questions. The unique experiences and knowledge base of each individual differs, which would affect how the situation in question is interpreted. Two of the perspectives I find the most intriguing to address the research questions from are that of psychology and
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final paper - Jasmine McElroy 05-04-11 @0265197 Composition...

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