week 09 (the middle & working classes)

week 09 (the middle & working classes) - Click to edit...

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Unformatted text preview: Click to edit Master subtitle style SOCIOLOGY 3683: WEALTH, POWER, & PRESTIGE The middle & working classes The Middle Class: Description • The diversity of the middle class – occupational prestige, income, and education/skill levels all range widely – occupations range from doctor, lawyer, architect, engineer to… – teacher, office worker, sales person – need to distinguish between upper middle class and lower middle class The Middle Class: Description Common characteristics of middle class • Non-manual labor: “white collar” work • Working with ideas • Educational minimum is above national average • Middle class jobs found at middle levels of occupational hierarchy (in terms of income, status, and authority) The Working Class: Description Common characteristics of working class • Manual labor: “blue collar” work • Working with machines • Typical employment: factory worker, truck driver, plumber, welder • Working class jobs found at lower levels of occupational hierarchy (in terms of income, status, and authority) The Working Class: Description • Diversity within the working class – skilled working class versus unskilled working class – skilled jobs require more training and provide better rewards (material and psychological) – unskilled working class jobs located at the bottom of the occupational structure Middle Class versus Working Class • Working class jobs: – are more physically demanding and dangerous – provide less income and job security – require less skill and formal schooling • However, there is considerable overlap with the middle class – office worker versus electrician Middle Class Trends: Old to New The “Old” Middle Class • The petty bourgeoisie: self-employed owners • Family farms and small businesses – “mom and pop” shops • The old middle class – enjoyed freedom from bosses – owned the means of their production • Marked an era of rugged individualism and free competition Middle Class Trends: Old to New Decline of the “Old” Middle Class • The emergence of giant chain stores and agricultural corporations • Wealth, ownership, and production is now concentrated into fewer hands • Production is now large-scale and technically complex Middle Class Trends: Old to New Rise of the “New” Middle Class • From entrepreneurs to managers • Managers, supervisors, and clerical staff now needed to organize mass production process Return of the “Old” Middle Class?...
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week 09 (the middle & working classes) - Click to edit...

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