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Power and Social Control (Essay Sample)


Write a two page essay that discusses the relevance of the concept of class in America today. Your paper must address the following issues and cite the NY Times and the textbook for supporting evidence.


Read or listen to articles from all eleven days (in the NY Times link below) and focus on health, marriage, religion, education, immigration, status markers, new money, old money, hyper-rich, culture of the rich and overcoming poverty. These stories represent an inquiry into class as Americans encounter it: indistinct, ambiguous, the half-seen hand that upon closer examination holds some Americans down while giving others a boost.


The trends are broad and seemingly contradictory: they sometimes show a blurring of the landscape of class along with a simultaneous hardening of certain class lines. While there are more self-made millionaires and billionaires in the U.S. than ever before, at the same time upward mobility seems to have stagnated.  While it is easier for a few high achievers to scale the summits of wealth, for many others it has become harder to move up from one economic class to another. Americans are arguably more likely than they were 30 years ago to end up in the class into which they were born.


The overriding trend is that wealth is being redistributed upward in American society. Today, the wealthiest 20% of Americans own a much greater percentage of all wealth than the remaining 80%.


Address the following is your essay:

  1. Summarize the debate over a class-based versus classless society.
  2. Identify the four common criteria for gauging class.
  3. Are we an upwardly mobile population? Explain why or why not.
  4. What is intergenerational wealth? Why does America lag behind in intergenerational mobility?




Times New Roman 12 font

2 pages


6th September 2015
In a society, a class is normally defined as a group of individuals occupying the same position in an economic system. Societal class can be distinguished in two ways: a class-based and a class-less society. In America the thing of power and social control has and still for long it has been an issue of discussion in the book who does rule America? That's now in its 7th edition and in its new title the triumph of the corporate rich. This paper is focusing on the debate between the class based verses the class less, the criteria used for gauging a societal class, the mobility and the integrated wealth in America.
The criteria for gauging class focus in the mass production, the level of technology and the division of labor of the country. The indicators of class are education, wealth, culture and the occupation. This is evident by the existence of the boarding schools, colleges, social clubs, inheritance and mobility. The interactive graph of a person can make one realize which class he or she belongs to.
Education plays a big role in which the people of the same class will identify themselves by the same type of job, neighborhood, clothing, cars, their conversation topics, styles and the grammar and this role of education begins from preschool. Social clubs differ greatly. The women in the upper-class have distinct role unlike those in the lower class. According to Domhoff, the social class institution causes awareness resulting to pride and the feeling of justified privilege and superiority. The members of the class based society think they are better than the others (Domhoff, n.d.). The fact that they are based in the ownership of the stocks, bonds and real estate's shows that its members are corporate rich (p.75)
Marriage is associated by the same family structures for the rich and the poor alike. The marriage of the upper-class and the upper-middle class has been stabilizing so far. The steady generation shift in attitude towards marriage has gradually been swamping away the differences between the social classes that were used to be taken for granted earlier on. The family structures increasingly differ along the class lines. The affluent and the educated are likely to have their kids while they are married. They have fewer kids and later on, these kids take up their positions, thereby preserving their social status.
Health and class goes hand in hand, the upper middle class Americans live longer and in better health unlike the middle class. These gaps in health are widening on the dail...
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