In developed nations across the world, the lower middle class is a sub-division of the greater middle class. Universally the term refers to the group of middle class households or individuals who have not attained the status of the upper middle class associated with the higher realms of the middle class, hence the name.
1 United States
2 See also 3 References
Main article: American middle class
In American society, the middle class may be divided into two or three
sub-groups. When divided into two parts, the lower middle class, also
sometimes simply referred to as "middle class", consists of roughly
one third of households, roughly twice as large as the upper middle or
managerial class. Common occupation fields are semi-professionals,
such as lower-level managers, small business owners and skilled
craftsmen. These individuals commonly have some college education or
Academic class models
Dennis Gilbert, 2002 William Thompson & Joseph Hickey, 2005 Leonard Beeghley, 2004
Class Typical characteristics Class Typical characteristics Class Typical characteristics
Capitalist class (1%)
Top-level executives, high-rung politicians, heirs. Ivy League
Upper middle class (15%) Highly-educated (often with graduate degrees), most commonly salaried, professionals and middle management with large work autonomy. Upper middle class (15%) Highly-educated (often with graduate degrees) professionals & managers with household incomes varying from the high 5-figure range to commonly above $100,000. The rich (5%) Households with net worth of $1 million or more; largely in the form of home equity. Generally have college degrees.
Middle class (plurality/ majority?; ca. 46%) College-educated workers with considerably higher-than-average incomes and compensation; a man making $57,000 and a woman making $40,000 may be typical.
Lower middle class (30%) Semi-professionals and craftsmen with a roughly average standard of living. Most have some college education and are white-collar. Lower middle class (32%) Semi-professionals and craftsmen with some work autonomy; household incomes commonly range from $35,000 to $75,000. Typically, some college education.
Lower class (ca. 14–20%) Those who occupy poorly-paid positions or rely on government transfers. Some high school education.
References: Gilbert, D. (2002) The American Class Structure: In An Age of Growing Inequality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, ISBN 0534541100. (see also Gilbert Model); Thompson, W. & Hickey, J. (2005). Society in Focus. Boston, MA: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon; Beeghley, L. (2004). The Structure of Social Stratification in the United States. Boston, MA: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon. 1 The upper middle class may also be referred to as "Professional class" Ehrenreich, B. (1989). The Inner Life of the Middle Class. NY, NY: Harper-Collins.
Usage in popular culture
The lower-middle class is frequently portrayed in television and film.
Notable examples include Malcolm in the Middle, 2point4 children, The
Middle class Underclass Upper class Upper middle class Working class
^ "New York Times". The New York Times. 15 May 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Brooks, David (17 November 2008). "New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Decca Aitkenhead (19 October 2007). "Class rules". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Andy Beckett (24 July 2010). "Is the British middle class an endangered species?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Johnson, Reed (31 May 2009). "Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ "Wall Street Journal". The Wall Street Journal. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (26 March 2010). "Wall Street Journal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Connors, Will (18 January 2011). "Wall Street Journal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 November 2011. ^ Gilbert 2008. ^ Thompson & Hickey 2004. ^ Beeghley, L. (2004). The Structure of Social Stratification in the United States. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Pearson.
Bailey, Peter (1999). "White Collars, Gray Lives? The Lower Middle Class Revisited". Journal of British Studies. 38 (3). doi:10.1086/386195. JSTOR 176057. Felski, Rita (2000). "Nothing to Declare: Identity, Shame, and the Lower Middle Class". PMLA. 115 (1): 34–45. JSTOR 463229. Gilbert, Dennis L. (2008). The American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. ISBN 978-1-412-95414-3. Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich (1969) . "Manifesto of the Communist Party". Marx/Engels Selected Works, Volume I (pp. 98–137). Moscow: Progress Publishers. Mayer, Arno J. (1975). "The Lower Middle Class as Historical Problem". The Journal of Modern History. 47 (3): 409–436. doi:10.1086/241338. JSTOR 1876000. Thompson, William E.; Hickey, Joseph V. (2004). Society in Focus (5th ed.). London: Pearson. ISBN 978-0-205-41365-2. Wiener, Jonathan M. (1976). "Marxism and the Lower Middle Class: A Response to Arno Mayer". The Journal of Modern History. 48 (4): 666–671. doi:10.1086/241489. JSTOR 1880197.
v t e
Social class Status
Gilbert model Marxian Mudsill theory New class Spoon class theory Weberian (three-component)
Caste Chattering classes Class conflict Class discrimination Classicide Classless society Euthenics Nouveau riche / Parvenu Poverty Ranked society Snobbery Social exclusion Social mobility Social position Social stigma Subaltern
Administrative detainee Alien
illegal immigrant refugee
dual or multiple native-born naturalized second-class
Convicted Migrant worker Political prisoner Stateless
Blue Gold Green Grey Pink White
Bohemians Robber baron Russian oligarch Business magnate Overclass Superclass
Lower middle class Upper middle class Bourgeoisie Petite bourgeoisie
Working poor Proletariat Lumpenproletariat
Harii Kshatriya Yadav Nair Cossacks Hashashin Knight Vanniyar Samurai Cuāuh Ocēlōtl Spartiate
Commoner Outcast Outlaw Peasant / Serf Slave Untouchable
Bourgeoisie Elite Gentry Global elite Nobility Old money
Aristocracy Hanseaten Patrician Royal family
Clergy Knowledge worker
By country or region
Lower Middle (Mexican-American, Black) Upper Under
Household Inequality Personal Poverty
Standard of living
Educational attainment Homelessness Home ownership Wealth
Other countries or regions
Africa Cambodia China Colombia Ecuador France Haiti India Iran Italy New Zealand Romania Sri Lanka Tibet United Kingdom
Ancient Greece Ancient Rome Aztec Ottoman Empire Soviet Union Pre-industrial East Asia Pre-industrial Europe