Unformatted text preview: tween race and class is well documented and widely known. Ironically,
the fact that the two are so tightly intertwined can actually make it more difﬁcult to
discern the independent effect of race on poverty, and more difﬁcult to determine which
strategies for change are most appropriate. Race is a label and a judgment about who you are that is based on the physical
characteristics you were born with. Class, on the other hand, is mostly a function of
income, wealth, education, and social manners. As such, class barriers are much more
permeable; individuals can move from one class status to another through effort and luck.
Nineteenth century European immigrants to the U.S. provided classic examples of class
mobility. In contrast, race cannot be transcended completely in America. And when race
coincides with lower class status, it compounds the barriers to easy class mobility.
Politically, there’s no question that class is a lot more appealing as a mobilizing idea for
liberal reformers. But focusing on class may not address the unique features of race that
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14