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Social Stratification In America

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“Whether it is big or small, the size of a poor man’s yard incessantly reminds him that he is poor.” ―Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Webster’s Dictionary defines stratification as “the state of being divided.” In the United States, our society is just that, divided. Within itself, our country has four primary social classes: the rich, the middle class, the poor, and our nation’s homeless population. In this paper, I will explore how each class meets their needs for shelter, food, clothing, education, and healthcare and the effect this pursuit has on their quality of life.
The first, those in the upper class, make up one percent of the population. In stark contrast to their small numbers, the rich hold one-third of the nation’s wealth. The upper class consists of those with wealth and those with income. Wealth may be inherited, known as “old money”, attained through income or suddenly through other means, like fame, referred to as “new money”, or one may have wealth and income. Many upper-class families have been situated in their position for many years as social class tends to persist through generations. This wealth, as with many other aspects of life, is mostly handled by a third party. Families tend to hire assistants, financial advisors, and realtors to maintain the order of their schedules, money, and property. They may also employ domestic help,
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Many of our nation’s wealthy participate in politics and philanthropic pursuits. Contributions of money to political campaigns gains influence for the contributor. Some in the upper class may also run for political office to further their influence and connections, which in turn can be used to increase wealth. On the other hand, philanthropy is not used to gain influence, but rather to obtain prestige and respectability. This prestige further concretes ones social status amongst others within one 's social
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