Social Standings Essay

Submitted By bemartial
Words: 1701
Pages: 7

Our Social Statues Through the Generations Since the very beginning of civilization, humans have been segregated and placed into a system of hierarchy based on your social class. Society has changed drastically from what it was at the beginning of time, but the concept of social-class still remains in today’s world. Today our society has seemed to divide itself into three classes, an upper class, middle class, and lower class. Through the more recent generations, dating back to when my grandparents entered the workforce and began working their way up the social ladder, society in the U.S. has been going through a major change. This nation has been deindustrializing and headed towards a service economy. More people are working for service based companies and less people are working in unions. Yet this country continues to widen the inequality between the classes. The system in place seems to favor those at the top, while those more towards the bottom have struggled. The rich have gotten richer while the poor just got poorer, and the middle class has seem to diminish; decreasing in size year after year. When my grandparents first started to work the United States was currently more in an industrial economy. The majority of jobs at this time were labor involved. For example my grandfather started out as a farmer and eventually co founded a produce business. According to the New York Times “Where do you Fit in” exercise his occupation was in the 54th percentile for today’s standards, yet his income today is in the 98th percentile and his overall class rating is in the 86rd percentile. Your education today often can determine how much you are capable of making; usually the more education resulted in higher paying jobs. In his day it wasn’t as common to receive a college degree as it is today. He received some college experience but never graduated. Back in this time the country did not have as much of inequality problem, like it does today. There were more jobs available to the poor because there were more labor jobs available. Just getting the opportunity was enough for my grandfather to start from little and obtain wealth, now his wealth and income are in the top 3 percent of U.S. citizens. Today it is much harder to get a solid start with out at least a college degree. My family was lucky that my grandfather was able to succeed the way he did because that has helped pave the way for future generations. My father was then able to get a full college education and is currently a chief executive in his advertising company. My father is currently in the 99th percentile for wealth and income and is in the top 10 percent for overall social class. My grandfather was able to gain similar income and wealth but receiving less education, this is because the service-based economy creates a larger demand for college graduates while an industrial/labor economy helped create more jobs for the lower-middle classes. The social class of my family when my grandfather first started working was the middle-class. We were fortunate enough at the time to get headed in a good direction. Now my family would be considered upper class and in the top 2 percent financially. So to my family the widening in inequality has helped, because we have received more education with each generation. Meritocracy is the idea that someone is hired based on merit, meaning his or her credentials, education level, etc. Although it may seem unfair to higher someone based on meritocracy instead of personable skills. The problem is though that there is more college educated people today than ever before, so if you do not compete with others on merit you will not even get the opportunity. If I want to continue in the footsteps of my parents and grandparents I will most likely need to receive a masters degree. That is what I plan on doing because the work force is slim and so competitive at the moment due to so many qualified workers. There has also been a decline in