Class in America

Essay by ericabeeUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2009

download word file, 9 pages 5.0

Since the beginning of our country's history, we have been divided about something. Be it slavery, race, wars; there has always been two or more sides that Americans align themselves with. Fifty years ago race was a very controversial issue. Plessy vs. Ferguson lead to Brown vs. the Board of Education and it was decided that separate but equal was not exactly equal as they had originally thought. Since then our society had evolved and a new issue has arose: social class. In the New York Times article Class in America: Shadowy Lines That Still Divide, Janny Scott and David Leonhardt sum up the complexity of social class as: "Class is rank, it is tribe, it is culture and taste. It is attitudes and assumptions, a source of identity, a system of exclusion. To some, it is just money. It is an accident of birth that can influence the outcome of a life.

Some Americans barely notice it; others feel its weight in powerful ways." Social class has seemed to be America's dirty little secret. "America worries that it is becoming a class society. With reason for a people who pride themselves on ignoring social class, Americans are suddenly remarkably interested in it" ("Minding"). Americans would like to think that we don't discriminate against our own, especially after the Civil Rights Movement; but the truth is our country is still segregated, it is just not over skin color. It's over money, and how much you have. Education and poverty all correlate to your social class and how you are perceived as an individual. An individual is first judged by their car and how big their house it. No one sees skin color or ethnicity anymore; its square footage and miles per gallon.

The issue of race has played a large...