After reviewing this weeks material and reflecting I believe that while culture heavily impacts your class socialization, you are never truly alone and can change your socioeconomic class. I hate to be the guy that always draws a comparison to my military experience but I very often witnessed individuals that came from a very poor classes become officers and completely change their socioeconomic class through increased income and exposure to the subsequent environment. Military officers are always treated with a very high amount of respect and given many courtesies from other personnel, given enough time I believe this can cause anyone to change their social class and adopt new mannerisms or preferences as compared to when they were in a different setting.
As most of the poor population in America exists in the largest populated counties(Krogstad, J,.2015) it is to be expected that most of these people likely have many shared experiences or environments which in turn creates a sense of empathy in those that raise themselves to a higher class. These people may sometimes feel guilty for not wanting to associate with old friends that remain in poverty or a lesser socioeconomic class from them, the common phrase ‘too good for this now?’ is used frequently in this situation. Perhaps it is the contrast of environments that creates a social wedge between classes, or the personal guilt of higher classes and envy of lower classes that forces what sometimes feels like segregation of the socioeconomic classes.
I do recognize that I have fallen victim to sticking to my class or feeling uncomfortable when going home and catching up with friends and family that are no longer in the same financial status or class as I. I have also been asked for help by these people, they thought that because I was doing well and could afford to have small luxuries and comforts that I would be and should be willing to help them out financially. This type of situation makes me very uncomfortable, aside from my immediate family I try not to loan money or assist anyone financially, I work hard to afford the comforts in my life and provide for my family, but sometimes I feel guilty knowing I have the ability to help a friend that is not as well of as me. This shared experiences or empathy is what makes me believe that we can move to different socioeconomic classes, they give us perspective and appreciation for what we have, especially when moving up in class. While you might still recognize the struggles faced by those in poverty, you know the hard work you put in is the reason you are have advanced in class.
Krogstad, J. (2015). How the geography of U.S. poverty has shifted since 1960. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/09/10/how-the-geography-of-u-s-poverty-has-shifted-since-1960/
Reply in 1 paragraph cite if needed
Social class is often more than how much money or possessions a person has. A person can change how they dress, what music they listen to, and what kind of car they drive, but it is more difficult for people to change their social status. With approximately 49% of the American population considered to be in the Middle Class, one of the best ways to improve one’s social status is through education and getting a college degree (Farrington, 2020). Getting a degree allows a person to get a more prestigious or better paying job that can facilitate their social mobility.
While watching the video People Like Us, I noticed that most of the people interviewed and discussed was from eastern parts of the US in places like Maryland, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Vermont. Other than the segment from Anderson High School in Austin, TX, the rest of the video represented areas east of the Mississippi. Growing up in Southern California as a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, I didn’t identify with any of the social norms that were on display. Despite growing up as a working-class family, I feel that we were not impacted by social class. Perhaps it was living in the West or growing up Asian, but to this day I don’t care what anyone thinks about my lifestyle unless they’re paying my bills. My position as a manager came from years of working hard and always trying to improve, not from a degree or because I knew the right person in the right place. I own a nice house because I saved my money and didn’t waste it trying to keep up with the Jones-es. I moved to a nice neighborhood in Northwest El Paso, not for the alleged status of living there but because it was close to work and convenient for stores and hiking. But the impression I was left with after watchingPeople Like Us was disbelief and disappointment that humanity has not evolved past the pettiness and self-absorption that allow social classes to continue to divide us.
Farrington, R. (2020, February 11). The Middle Class and How You Can Change Your Social Status. The College Investor. Retrieved from https://thecollegeinvestor.com/10976/middle-class-change-your-social-status/ (Links to
same as above. It will be two separate responses a paragraph long