HOME

TheInfoList




A social class is a set of concepts in the
social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of socio ...

social sciences
and
political theory Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political theory
centered on models of
social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as Object (philosophy), objects, ev ...
which occur in a class society, in which people are grouped into a set of
hierarchical A hierarchy (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) that are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy i ...
social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes. Membership in a social class can for example be dependent on education, wealth, occupation, income, and belonging to a particular subculture or social network. "Class" is a subject of analysis for
sociologists This is a list of sociologists. It is intended to cover those who have made substantive contributions to social theory and research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It i ...
,
political scientist Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of ...
s,
anthropologistsAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposab ...
and
social historians Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is Volition (psychology), voluntary/involuntary. Etymology The wo ...
. The term has a wide range of sometimes conflicting meanings, and there is no broad consensus on a definition of "class". Some people argue that due to
social mobility Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between Social stratification, social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to one's current social location ...
, class boundaries do not exist. In common parlance, the term "social class" is usually synonymous with "
socio-economic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
class", defined as "people having the same social, economic, cultural, political or educational status", e.g., "the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
"; "an emerging professional class". However, academics distinguish social class and
socioeconomic status Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic access to resources and social position in relation to others. When analyzing a family's ...
, using the former to refer to one's relatively stable sociocultural background and the latter to refer to one's current social and economic situation which is consequently more changeable over time. The precise measurements of what determines social class in society have varied over time.
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wis ...

Karl Marx
thought "class" was defined by one's relationship to the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
(their
relations of production Relations of production (german: Produktionsverhältnisse, links=no) is a concept frequently used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their theory of historical materialism and in '' Das Kapital''. It is first explicitly used in Marx's publi ...
). His understanding of classes in modern
capitalist society Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with ...

capitalist society
is that the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
work but do not own the means of production, and the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
, those who invest and live off the surplus generated by the proletariat's operation of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
, do not work at all. This contrasts with the view of the sociologist
Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
, who argued "class" is determined by economic position, in contrast to "
social status Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to hold. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour Honour ( British English) or honor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng ...
" or "''Stand''" which is determined by social prestige rather than simply just relations of production. The term "class" is etymologically derived from the Latin ''classis'', which was used by
census A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In ...

census
takers to categorize citizens by wealth in order to determine military service obligations. In the late 18th century, the term "class" began to replace classifications such as
estates Estate or The Estate may refer to: Law * Estate (law), a term in common law for a person's property, entitlements and obligations * Estates of the realm, a broad social category in the histories of certain countries. ** The Estates, representative ...
,
rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either "ranked ...
and
orders Orders is a surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either the start of ...
as the primary means of organizing society into hierarchical divisions. This corresponded to a general decrease in significance ascribed to hereditary characteristics and increase in the significance of wealth and
income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms.Smith's financial dictionary. Smith, Howard Irving. 190 ...
as indicators of position in the
social hierarchy Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as Object (philosophy), objects, ev ...
.


History


Ancient Egypt

The existence of a class system dates back to times of
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
, where the position of elite was also characterized by literacy. The wealthier people were at the top in the social order and common people and slaves being at the bottom. However, the class was not rigid; a man of humble origins could ascend to a high post. The ancient Egyptians viewed men and women, including people from all social classes, as essentially equal under the law, and even the lowliest
peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
was entitled to petition the
vizier A vizier (; ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ' (secretary), who was at first merely a ...
and his court for redress. Farmers made up the bulk of the population, but agricultural produce was owned directly by the state, temple, or
noble family Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the realm, estate of the realm that p ...
that owned the land. Farmers were also subject to a labor tax and were required to work on irrigation or construction projects in a
corvée Corvée () is a form of unpaid, forced labour Unfree labour, or forced labour, is any work relation, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, ...

corvée
system. Artists and craftsmen were of higher status than farmers, but they were also under state control, working in the shops attached to the temples and paid directly from the state treasury. Scribes and officials formed the upper class in ancient Egypt, known as the "white kilt class" in reference to the bleached linen garments that served as a mark of their rank. The upper class prominently displayed their social status in art and literature. Below the nobility were the priests, physicians, and engineers with specialized training in their field. It is unclear whether slavery as understood today existed in ancient Egypt; there is difference of opinions among authors. Although slaves were mostly used as indentured servants, they were able to buy and sell their servitude, work their way to freedom or nobility, and were usually treated by
doctors Doctor or The Doctor may refer to: Personal titles * Doctor (title), the holder of an accredited academic degree * A medical practitioner, including: ** Physician ** Surgeon *Other roles ** Doctor of the Church, a title given to those with g ...

doctors
in the workplace.


Elsewhere

In Ancient Greece when the clan system was declining. The classes replaced the clan society when it become too small to sustain the needs of increasing population.The division of labor is also essential for the growth of classes. Historically, social class and behavior were laid down in law. For example, permitted mode of dress in some times and places was strictly regulated, with sumptuous dressing only for the high ranks of society and
aristocracy Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Ar ...
, whereas
sumptuary law Sumptuary laws (from Latin language, Latin ''sūmptuāriae lēgēs'') are laws that try to regulate consumption. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inord ...
s stipulated the dress and jewelry appropriate for a person's social rank and
station Station may refer to: Agriculture * Station (Australian agriculture) In Australia, a station is a large landholding used for producing livestock Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generatio ...
. In Europe, these laws became increasingly commonplace during the Middle Ages. However, these laws were prone to change due to societal changes, and in many cases, these distinctions may either almost disappear, such as the distinction between a patrician and a plebeian being almost erased during the late
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
had a large influence over political ideals of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
because of his views of inequality and classes. Rousseau saw humans as "naturally pure and good," meaning that humans from birth were seen as innocent and any evilness was learned. He believed that social problems arise through the development of society and suppress the innate pureness of humankind. He also believed that
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property is property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract ...
is the main reason for social issues in society because private property creates inequality through the property's value. Even though his theory predicted if there were no private property then there would be wide spread equality, Rousseau accepted that there will always be social inequality because of how society is viewed and run. Later Enlightenment thinkers viewed inequality as valuable and crucial to society's development and prosperity. They also acknowledged that private property will ultimately cause inequality because specific resources that are privately owned can be stored and the owners profit off of the deficit of the resource. This can create competition between the classes that was seen as necessary by these thinkers. This also creates
stratification Stratification may refer to: In mathematics: * Stratification (mathematics), any consistent assignment of numbers to predicate symbols * Stratified sampling , Data stratification in statistics In earth sciences: * Stable and unstable stratificati ...
between the classes keeping a distinct difference between lower, poorer classes and the higher, wealthier classes. India ( ), Nepal, North Korea ( ), Sri Lanka ( ) and some
Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
maintain social classes today. In class societies, class conflict has tended to recur or is ongoing, depending on the sociological and anthropolitical perspective. Class societies have not always existed; there have been widely different types of class communities. For example, societies based on age rather than capital. During
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
, social relations were dismantled by force, which gave rise to societies based on the social categories of waged labor, private property, and capital.


Class society

Class society or class-based society is an organizing principle society in which ownership of property,
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
, and
wealth Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial asset A financial asset is a non-physical asset whose value is derived from a contractual claim, such as deposit (finance), bank deposits, bond (finance), bonds, and participations in companies' sh ...

wealth
is the determining factor of the distribution of power, in which those with more property and wealth are stratified higher in the society and those without access to the means of production and without wealth are stratified lower in the society. In a class society, at least implicitly, people are divided into distinct social strata, commonly referred to as social classes or
caste Caste is a form of social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization of its people into groups based on Socioeconomic status, socioeconomic factors like wealth, income, Race (human categorization), race, educati ...
s. The nature of class society is a matter of sociological research. Class societies exist all over the globe in both industrialized and developing nations. Class stratification is theorized to come directly from
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
. In terms of public opinion, nine out of ten people in a Swedish survey considered it correct that they are living in a class society.


Comparative sociological research

One may use
comparative method In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
s to study class societies, using, for example, comparison of
Gini coefficient In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption o ...

Gini coefficient
s, ''de facto'' educational opportunities, unemployment, and culture.


Effect on the population

Societies with large class differences have a greater proportion of people who suffer from
mental health Mental health is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community", accor ...

mental health
issues such as anxiety and depression symptoms. A series of scientific studies have demonstrated this relationship. Statistics support this assertion and results are found in life expectancy and overall health; for example, in the case of high differences in life expectancy between two Stockholm suburbs. The differences between life expectancy of the poor and less-well-educated inhabitants who live in proximity to the station , and the highly educated and more affluent inhabitants living near
Danderyd Danderyd Municipality (''Danderyds kommun''; ) is a municipalities of Sweden, municipality north of Stockholm in Stockholm County in east central Sweden. It is one of the smallest municipalities of Sweden, but the most affluent. Its seat is locate ...
differ by 18 years. Similar data about New York is also available for life expectancy, average income per capita, income distribution, median income mobility for people who grew up poor, share with a bachelor's degree or higher. In class societies, the lower classes systematically receive lower-quality education and care. There are more explicit effects where those within the higher class actively demonize parts of the lower-class population.


Theoretical models

Definitions of social classes reflect a number of sociological perspectives, informed by
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
,
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a bran ...

economics
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
and
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
. The major perspectives historically have been
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
and
structural functionalism Structural functionalism, or simply functionalism, is "a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system A complex system is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act accord ...
. The common stratum model of class divides society into a simple hierarchy of
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
,
middle class The middle class is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an an ...
and
upper class Upper class in modern societies is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or g ...
. Within academia, two broad schools of definitions emerge: those aligned with 20th-century sociological stratum models of
class society Class society or class-based society is an organizing principle society in which ownership of property, means of production, and wealth is the determining factor of the distribution of power, in which those with more property and wealth are strat ...
and those aligned with the 19th-century
historical materialist Historical materialism is a methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices res ...
economic models of the
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
s and
anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its top ...

anarchist
s. Another distinction can be drawn between analytical concepts of social class, such as the Marxist and Weberian traditions, as well as the more empirical traditions such as
socioeconomic status Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic access to resources and social position in relation to others. When analyzing a family's ...
approach, which notes the correlation of income, education and wealth with social outcomes without necessarily implying a particular theory of social structure.


Marxist

For Marx, class is a combination of objective and subjective factors. Objectively, a class shares a common
relationship Relationship most often refers to: * Interpersonal relationship The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degre ...
to the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
. The class society itself is understood as the aggregated phenomenon to the "interlinked movement", which generates the quasi-objective concept of capital. Subjectively, the members will necessarily have some perception ("
class consciousness In political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associ ...
") of their similarity and common interest. Class consciousness is not simply an awareness of one's own class interest but is also a set of shared views regarding how society should be organized legally, culturally, socially and politically. These class relations are reproduced through time. In
Marxist theory Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality ...
, the class structure of the capitalist mode of production is characterized by the conflict between two main classes: the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
, the capitalists who own the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
and the much larger
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
(or "working class") who must sell their own labour power (
wage labour Wage labour (also wage labor in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Curren ...

wage labour
). This is the fundamental economic structure of work and property, a state of inequality that is normalized and reproduced through cultural ideology. For Marxists, every person in the process of production has separate social relationships and issues. Along with this, every person is placed into different groups that have similar interests and values that can differ drastically from group to group. Class is special in that does not relate to specifically to a singular person, but to a specific role. Marxists explain the history of "civilized" societies in terms of a war of classes between those who control production and those who produce the goods or services in society. In the Marxist view of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
, this is a conflict between capitalists (
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
) and wage-workers (the proletariat). For Marxists, class antagonism is rooted in the situation that control over social production necessarily entails control over the class which produces goods—in capitalism this is the
exploitation Exploitation may refer to: *Exploitation of natural resources *Exploitation of labour *Exploitation fiction *Exploitation film *Exploitation (film), ''Exploitation'' (film), a 2012 film *Sexual slavery and other forms of slavery *Oppression See al ...
of workers by the bourgeoisie. Furthermore, "in countries where modern civilisation has become fully developed, a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed". "An industrial army of workmen, under the command of a capitalist, requires, like a real army, officers (managers) and sergeants (foremen, over-lookers) who, while the work is being done, command in the name of the capitalist". Marx makes the argument that, as the bourgeoisie reach a point of wealth accumulation, they hold enough power as the dominant class to shape political institutions and society according to their own interests. Marx then goes on to claim that the non-elite class, owing to their large numbers, have the power to overthrow the elite and create an equal society. In ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
'', Marx himself argued that it was the goal of the proletariat itself to displace the capitalist system with
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
, changing the social relationships underpinning the class system and then developing into a future
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communist
society in which: "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all". This would mark the beginning of a
classless society The term classless society refers to a society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural ...
in which human needs rather than profit would be motive for production. In a society with democratic control and
production for use Production for use is a phrase referring to the principle of economic organization and production taken as a defining criterion for a Socialism, socialist economy. It is held in contrast to production for profit. This criterion is used to distinguis ...
, there would be no class, no state and no need for financial and banking institutions and money. These theorists have taken this binary class system and expanded it to include contradictory class locations, the idea that a person can be employed in many different class locations that fall between the two classes of proletariat and bourgeoisie.
Erik Olin Wright Erik Olin Wright (February 9, 1947 – January 23, 2019) was an American Analytical Marxism, analytical Marxist sociology, sociologist and educator, specializing in social stratification and in egalitarian alternative futures to capitalism. He w ...

Erik Olin Wright
stated that class definitions are more diverse and elaborate through identifying with multiple classes, having familial ties with people in different a class, or having a temporary leadership role.


Weberian

Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist regarded as among the most important theorists of the development of Modernity, modern ...

Max Weber
formulated a
three-component theory of stratification The three-component theory of stratification, More widely known as Weberian stratification or the three class system, was developed by German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociol ...
that saw social class as emerging from an interplay between "class", "status" and "power". Weber believed that class position was determined by a person's relationship to the means of production, while status or "Stand" emerged from estimations of honor or prestige. Weber views class as a group of people who have common goals and opportunities that are available to them. This means that what separates each class from each other is their value in the marketplace through their own goods and services. This creates a divide between the classes through the assets that they have such as property and expertise. Weber derived many of his key concepts on social stratification by examining the social structure of many countries. He noted that contrary to Marx's theories, stratification was based on more than simply ownership of
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
. Weber pointed out that some members of the aristocracy lack economic wealth yet might nevertheless have political power. Likewise in Europe, many wealthy Jewish families lacked prestige and honor because they were considered members of a "pariah group". * Class: A person's economic position in a society. Weber differs from Marx in that he does not see this as the supreme factor in stratification. Weber noted how managers of corporations or industries control firms they do not own. * Status: A person's prestige, social honour or popularity in a society. Weber noted that political power was not rooted in capital value solely, but also in one's status. Poets and saints, for example, can possess immense influence on society with often little economic worth. * Power: A person's ability to get their way despite the resistance of others. For example, individuals in state jobs, such as an employee of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Conce ...

Federal Bureau of Investigation
, or a member of the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
, may hold little property or status, but they still hold immense power.


Bourdieu

For
Bourdieu Pierre Bourdieu (; 1 August 1930 – 23 January 2002) was a French sociologist, anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, so ...

Bourdieu
, the place in the
social strata Social stratification refers to a society's categorization of its people into groups based on Socioeconomic status, socioeconomic factors like wealth, income, Race (human categorization), race, education, ethnicity, gender, Job, occupation, social ...
for any person is vaguer than the equivalent in Weberian sociology. Bourdieu introduced an array of concepts of what he refers to as types of capital. These types were economic capital, in the form assets convertible to
money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a ...

money
and secured as
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property is property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract ...
. This type of capital is separated from the other types of culturally constituted types of capital, which Bourdieu introduces, which are: personal cultural capital (formal education, knowledge); objective cultural capital (books, art); and institutionalized cultural capital (honours and titles).


Great British Class Survey

On 2 April 2013, the results of a survey conducted by BBC Lab UK developed in collaboration with academic experts and slated to be published in the journal ''
Sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
'' were published online. The results released were based on a survey of 160,000 residents of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
most of whom lived in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
and described themselves as "
white White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse reflection, reflect and scattering, scatter all the visible spectrum, visible wa ...
". Class was defined and measured according to the amount and kind of economic, cultural and social resources reported.
Economic capital __NOTOC__ In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money ...

Economic capital
was defined as
income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms.Smith's financial dictionary. Smith, Howard Irving. 190 ...
and
assets In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as ...
;
cultural capital In the field of sociology, cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech, style of dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a Social stratification, stratified society. Cultural capital functio ...
as amount and type of cultural interests and activities; and
social capital Social capital is "the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively". It involves the effective functioning of social group In the social sciences, a social ...
as the quantity and
social status Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to hold. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour Honour ( British English) or honor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng ...
of their
friends ''Friends'' is an American television sitcom A sitcom, clipping Clipping may refer to: Words * Clipping (morphology) In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

friends
,
family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politic ...

family
and personal and business contacts. This theoretical framework was developed by
Pierre Bourdieu Pierre Bourdieu (; 1 August 1930 – 23 January 2002) was a French sociologist, anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, so ...
who first published his theory of social distinction in 1979.


Three-level economic class model

Today, concepts of social class often assume three general economic categories: a very wealthy and powerful upper class that owns and controls the means of production; a middle class of professional workers,
small business Small businesses are privately owned corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and pu ...
owners and low-level managers; and a lower class, who rely on low-paying jobs for their livelihood and experience poverty.


Upper class

The upper class is the social class composed of those who are economic inequality, rich, well-born, powerful, or a combination of those. They usually wield the greatest political power. In some countries, wealth alone is sufficient to allow entry into the upper class. In others, only people who are born or marry into certain aristocratic bloodlines are considered members of the upper class and those who gain great wealth through commercial activity are looked down upon by the aristocracy as ''nouveau riche''. In the United Kingdom, for example, the upper classes are the aristocracy and royalty, with wealth playing a less important role in class status. Many aristocratic peerages or titles have seats attached to them, with the holder of the title (e.g. Earl of Bristol) and his family being the custodians of the house, but not the owners. Many of these require high expenditures, so wealth is typically needed. Many aristocratic peerages and their homes are parts of estates, owned and run by the title holder with moneys generated by the land, rents or other sources of wealth. However, in the United States where there is no aristocracy or royalty, the upper class status belongs to the extremely wealthy, the so-called "super-rich", though there is some tendency even in the United States for those with old family wealth to look down on those who have earned their money in business, the struggle between nouveau riche, new money and old money. The upper class is generally contained within the richest one or two percent of the population. Members of the upper class are often born into it and are distinguished by immense wealth which is passed from generation to generation in the form of estates. Based on some new social and political theories upper class consists of the most wealthy decile group in society which holds nearly 87% of the whole society's wealth.


Middle class

See also: Middle-class squeeze The middle class is the most contested of the three categories, the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the lower and upper classes. One example of the contest of this term is that in the United States "middle class" is applied very broadly and includes people who would elsewhere be considered
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
. Middle-class workers are sometimes called "white-collar workers". Theorists such as Ralf Dahrendorf have noted the tendency toward an enlarged middle class in modern Western societies, particularly in relation to the necessity of an educated work force in technological economies. Perspectives concerning globalization and neocolonialism, such as dependency theory, suggest this is due to the shift of low-level labour to developing nations and the Third World. Middle class is the group of people with typical-everyday jobs that pay significantly more than the Poverty threshold, poverty line. Examples of these types of jobs are factory workers, salesperson, teacher, cooks and nurses. There is a new trend by some scholars which assumes that the size of the middle class in every society is the same. For example, in paradox of interest theory, middle class are those who are in 6th-9th decile groups which hold nearly 12% of the whole society's wealth.


Lower class

Lower class (occasionally described as working class) are those employed in low-paying wage jobs with very little economic security. The term "lower class" also refers to persons with low income. The working class is sometimes separated into those who are employed but lacking financial security (the "working poor") and an underclass—those who are long-term unemployment, unemployed and/or homelessness, homeless, especially those receiving welfare from the state (polity), state. The latter is today considered analogous to the Marxist term "lumpenproletariat". However, during the time of Marx's writing the lumpenproletariat referred to those in dire poverty; such as the homeless. Members of the working class are sometimes called blue-collar workers.


Consequences of class position

A person's socioeconomic class has wide-ranging effects. It can impact the schools they are able to attend, their health, the jobs open to them, when they exit the labour market, whom they may marry and their treatment by police and the courts. Angus Deaton and Anne Case have analyzed the mortality rates related to the group of white, middle-aged Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 and its relation to class. There has been a growing number of suicides and deaths by substance abuse in this particular group of middle-class Americans. This group also has been recorded to have an increase in reports of chronic pain and poor general health. Deaton and Case came to the conclusion from these observations that because of the constant stress that these white, middle aged Americans feel fighting poverty and wavering between the middle and lower classes, these strains have taken a toll on these people and affected their whole bodies. Social classifications can also determine the sporting activities that such classes take part in. It is suggested that those of an upper social class are more likely to take part in sporting activities, whereas those of a lower social background are less likely to participate in sport. However, upper-class people tend to not take part in certain sports that have been commonly known to be linked with the lower class.


Social privilege


Education

A person's social class has a significant impact on their educational opportunities. Not only are upper-class parents able to send their children to exclusive schools that are perceived to be better, but in many places, state-supported schools for children of the upper class are of a much higher quality than those the state provides for children of the lower classes. This lack of good schools is one factor that perpetuates the class divide across generations. In the UK, the educational consequences of class position have been discussed by scholars inspired by the cultural studies framework of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, CCCS and/or, especially regarding working-class girls, feminist theory. On working-class boys, Paul Willis' 1977 book ''Learning to Labour, Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs'' is seen within the Cultural studies#British Cultural Studies, British Cultural Studies field as a classic discussion of their antipathy to the acquisition of knowledge. Beverley Skeggs described ''Learning to Labour'' as a study on the "irony" of "how the process of cultural and economic reproduction is made possible by 'the lads' ' celebration of the hard, macho world of work."


Health and nutrition

A person's social class has a significant impact on their physical health, their ability to receive adequate medical care and nutrition and their life expectancy. Lower-class people experience a wide array of health problems as a result of their economic status. They are unable to use health care as often and when they do it is of lower quality, even though they generally tend to experience a much higher rate of health issues. Lower-class families have higher rates of infant mortality, cancer, cardiovascular disease and disabling physical injuries. Additionally, poor people tend to work in much more hazardous conditions, yet generally have much less (if any) health insurance provided for them, as compared to middle- and upper-class workers.


Employment

The conditions at a person's job vary greatly depending on class. Those in the upper-middle class and middle class enjoy greater freedoms in their occupations. They are usually more respected, enjoy more diversity and are able to exhibit some authority. Those in lower classes tend to feel more alienated and have lower work satisfaction overall. The physical conditions of the workplace differ greatly between classes. While middle-class workers may "suffer alienating conditions" or "lack of job satisfaction", blue-collar workers are more apt to suffer alienating, often routine, work with obvious physical health hazards, injury and even death. In the UK, a 2015 government study by the Social Mobility Commission suggested the existence of a "glass floor" in British society preventing those who are less able, but who come from wealthier backgrounds, from slipping down the social ladder. The report proposed a 35% greater likelihood of less able, better-off children becoming high earners than bright poor children.


Class conflict

Class conflict, frequently referred to as "class warfare" or "class struggle", is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomics, socioeconomic interests and desires between people of different classes. For Marx, the history of
class society Class society or class-based society is an organizing principle society in which ownership of property, means of production, and wealth is the determining factor of the distribution of power, in which those with more property and wealth are strat ...
was a history of class conflict. He pointed to the successful rise of the bourgeoisie and the necessity of revolutionary violence—a heightened form of class conflict—in securing the bourgeois rights that supported the capitalist economy. Marx believed that the exploitation and poverty inherent in capitalism were a pre-existing form of class conflict. Marx believed that wage labourers would need to revolt to bring about a Wealth redistribution, more equitable distribution of wealth and political power.


Classless society

A "classless" society is one in which no one is born into a social class. Distinctions of
wealth Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial asset A financial asset is a non-physical asset whose value is derived from a contractual claim, such as deposit (finance), bank deposits, bond (finance), bonds, and participations in companies' sh ...

wealth
,
income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms.Smith's financial dictionary. Smith, Howard Irving. 190 ...
, education, culture or social network might arise and would only be determined by individual experience and achievement in such a society. Since these distinctions are difficult to avoid, advocates of a classless society (such as anarchists and communists) propose various means to achieve and maintain it and attach varying degrees of importance to it as an end in their overall programs/philosophy.


Relationship between ethnicity and class

Race (classification of human beings), Race and other large-scale groupings can also influence class standing. The association of particular ethnic groups with class statuses is common in many societies, and is linked with race as well. Class and ethnicity can impact a persons, or communities, Socioeconomic standing, which in turn influences everything including job availability and the quality of available health and education.https://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/minorities As a result of conquest or internal ethnic differentiation, a ruling class is often ethnically homogenous and particular races or ethnic groups in some societies are legally or customarily restricted to occupying particular class positions. Which ethnicities are considered as belonging to high or low classes varies from society to society. In modern societies, strict legal links between ethnicity and class have been drawn, such as the caste system in Africa, apartheid, the position of the Burakumin in Japanese society and the casta system in Latin America.


See also

* Class stratification * Caste * Drift hypothesis * Elite theory * Elitism * Four occupations * Health equity * Hostile architecture * Inca society * Korean ruling class * Mass society * National Statistics Socio-economic Classification * Passing (sociology) * Post-industrial society * Ranked society * Raznochintsy * Psychology of social class * Social stratification * Welfare state


Notes


References


Bibliography


Ojämlikhetens dimensioner
- Marie Evertsson & Charlotta Magnusson (red.) (In Swedish) * Om konsten att lyfta sig själv i håret och behålla barnet i badvattnet : kritiska synpunkter på samhällsvetenskapens vetenskapsteori - Israel, Joachim (In Swedish)
The inner level : how more equal societies reduce stress, restore sanity and improve everyone's well-being
- Richard G. Wilkinson, Richard G Wilkinson; Kate Pickett *


Further reading

* Archer, Louise et al. ''Higher Education and Social Class: Issues of Exclusion and Inclusion'' (RoutledgeFalmer, 2003) () * Stanley Aronowitz, Aronowitz, Stanley
''How Class Works: Power and Social Movement''
Yale University Press, 2003. * * Beckert, Sven, and Julia B. Rosenbaum, eds. ''The American Bourgeoisie: Distinction and Identity in the Nineteenth Century'' (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 284 pages; Scholarly studies on the habits, manners, networks, institutions, and public roles of the American middle class with a focus on cities in the North. * Benschop, Albert
''Classes – Transformational Class Analysis''
(Amsterdam: Spinhuis; 1993/2012). * Bertaux, Daniel & Thomson, Paul; ''Pathways to Social Class: A Qualitative Approach to Social Mobility'' (Clarendon Press, 1997) * Bisson, Thomas N.; ''Cultures of Power: Lordship, Status, and Process in Twelfth-Century Europe'' (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995) * * Blau, Peter & Duncan Otis D.; ''The American Occupational Structure'' (1967) classic study of structure and mobility * Brady, David "Rethinking the Sociological Measurement of Poverty" ''Social Forces'' Vol. 81 No.3, (March 2003), pp. 715–51 (abstrac
online
in Project Muse). * Broom, Leonard & Jones, F. Lancaster; ''Opportunity and Attainment in Australia'' (1977) * Cohen, Lizabeth; ''Consumer's Republic'', (Knopf, 2003) (). (Historical analysis of the working out of class in the United States). * Connell, R.W and Irving, T.H., 1992. Class Structure in Australian History: Poverty and Progress. Longman Cheshire. * (Good study of Marx's concept.) * Dargin, Justi

Asia Times (2007) (good study of contemporary class formation in Russia, post communism) * Day, Gary; ''Class'', (Routledge, 2001) () * G. William Domhoff, Domhoff, G. William, ''Who Rules America? Power, Politics, and Social Change'', Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall, 1967.
Prof. Domhoff's companion site to the book
at the University of California, Santa Cruz) * Eichar, Douglas M.; ''Occupation and Class Consciousness in America'' (Greenwood Press, 1989) * Fantasia, Rick; Levine, Rhonda F.; McNall, Scott G., eds.; ''Bringing Class Back in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives'' (Westview Press, 1991) * Featherman, David L. & Hauser Robert M.; ''Opportunity and Change'' (1978). * Takis Fotopoulos, Fotopoulos, Takis
Class Divisions Today: The Inclusive Democracy approach
''Democracy & Nature'', Vol. 6, No. 2, (July 2000) * Paul Fussell, Fussell, Paul; ''Class (a painfully accurate guide through the American status system)'', (1983) () * Anthony Giddens, Giddens, Anthony; ''The Class Structure of the Advanced Societies'', (London: Hutchinson, 1981). * Anthony Giddens, Giddens, Anthony & Mackenzie, Gavin (Eds.), ''Social Class and the Division of Labour. Essays in Honour of Ilya Neustadt'' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982). * Goldthorpe, John H. & Erikson Robert; ''The Constant Flux: A Study of Class Mobility in Industrial Society'' (1992) * Grusky, David B. ed.; ''Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective'' (2001) scholarly articles * Hazelrigg, Lawrence E. & Lopreato, Joseph; ''Class, Conflict, and Mobility: Theories and Studies of Class Structure'' (1972). * Hymowitz, Kay; ''Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age'' (2006) * Kaeble, Helmut; ''Social Mobility in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Europe and America in Comparative Perspective'' (1985) * Jakopovich, Daniel
''The Concept of Class''
''Cambridge Studies in Social Research'', No. 14, Social Science Research Group, University of Cambridge, 2014 * Jens Hoff, "The Concept of Class and Public Employees". ''Acta Sociologica'', vol. 28, no. 3, July 1985, pp. 207–26. * Mahalingam, Ramaswami; "Essentialism, Culture, and Power: Representations of Social Class" ''Journal of Social Issues'', Vol. 59, (2003), pp. 733+ on India * Mahony, Pat & Zmroczek, Christine; ''Class Matters: 'Working-Class' Women's Perspectives on Social Class'' (Taylor & Francis, 1997) * Manza, Jeff & Brooks, Clem; ''Social Cleavages and Political Change: Voter Alignments and U.S. Party Coalitions'' (Oxford University Press, 1999). * Manza, Jeff; "Political Sociological Models of the U.S. New Deal" ''Annual Review of Sociology'', (2000) pp. 297+ * * Marmot, Michael; ''The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity'' (2004) * Marx, Karl & Engels, Frederick; ''The Communist Manifesto'', (1848). (The key statement of class conflict as the driver of historical change). * Merriman, John M.; ''Consciousness and Class Experience in Nineteenth-Century Europe'' (Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1979) * Ostrander, Susan A.; ''Women of the Upper Class'' (Temple University Press, 1984). * Owensby, Brian P.; ''Intimate Ironies: Modernity and the Making of Middle-Class Lives in Brazil'' (Stanford University, 1999). * Pakulski, Jan & Waters, Malcolm; ''The Death of Class'' (Sage, 1996). (rejection of the relevance of class for modern societies) * Payne, Geoff; ''The Social Mobility of Women: Beyond Male Mobility Models'' (1990) * Savage, Mike; ''Class Analysis and Social Transformation'' (London: Open University Press, 2000). * Stahl, Garth; "Identity, Neoliberalism and Aspiration: Educating White Working-Class Boys" (London, Routledge, 2015). * Sennett, Richard & Cobb, Jonathan; ''The Hidden Injuries of Class'', (Vintage, 1972) (classic study of the subjective experience of class). * Siegelbaum, Lewis H. & Suny, Ronald; eds.; ''Making Workers Soviet: Power, Class, and Identity.'' (Cornell University Press, 1994). Russia 1870–1940 * Wlkowitz, Daniel J.; ''Working with Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity'' (University of North Carolina Press, 1999). * Weber, Max. "Class, Status and Party", in e.g. Gerth, Hans and C. Wright Mills, ''From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology'', (Oxford University Press, 1958). (Weber's key statement of the multiple nature of stratification). * Weinburg, Mark
"The Social Analysis of Three Early 19th century French liberals: Say, Comte, and Dunoyer"
''Journal of Libertarian Studies'', Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 45–63, (1978). * Ellen Meiksins Wood, Wood, Ellen Meiksins; ''The Retreat from Class: A New 'True' Socialism'', (Schocken Books, 1986) () and (Verso Classics, January 1999) reprint with new introduction (). * Ellen Meiksins Wood, Wood, Ellen Meiksins
"Labor, the State, and Class Struggle"
''Monthly Review'', Vol. 49, No. 3, (1997). * Wouters, Cas.; "The Integration of Social Classes". ''Journal of Social History''. Volume 29, Issue 1, (1995). pp 107+. (on social manners) * Wright, Erik Olin; ''The Debate on Classes'' (Verso, 1990). (neo-Marxist) * Wright, Erik Olin; ''Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis'' (Cambridge University Press, 1997) * Wright, Erik Olin ed. ''Approaches to Class Analysis'' (2005). (scholarly articles) * Zmroczek, Christine & Mahony, Pat (Eds.), ''Women and Social Class: International Feminist Perspectives.'' (London: UCL Press 1999)
The lower your social class, the ‘wiser’ you are, suggests new study
''Science (journal), Science''. 20 December 2017.


External links

* * Domhoff, G. William, '
The Class Domination Theory of Power
'', University of California, Santa Cruz

''New York Times'', 2005. {{Authority control Social classes, Anthropology Social divisions Social stratification Sociological terminology