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Class in America

The issue of class is a thorny one as it pertains to perception, intervention, and ultimately, redistribution of wealth. Class labels can and do inform individuals of their status in society, and in this way the classifications "poor" or "rich" can do as much to confer an identity upon an individual as can other labels such as "African American" or "woman". In this, it is valid to suggest that class labels can discourage or encourage individuals depending upon how they perceive class and the opportunities associated with them. For this, class labels can be regarded as dangerous, as they can stimulate defeatist or elitist attitudes that may in turn exacerbate economic disparities. And yet, it is precisely our ability to differentiate between classes that can allow us to adopt social policies that benefit those that need the most economic help├╣if we do not take pains to qualify our definitions of class, how can we legislate to help the poorest among us?

Much evidence suggests that perceptions play a significant role in determining peoples' outlook regarding opportunity and in defining their views regarding social policy (Ludwig, 1999). When the poor believe that social mobility is possible, and that they live in a society in which poverty is not a permanent condition, so these poor are less likely to be overly concerned about social inequality between the "haves" and the "have-nots" (Daily Policy Digest, 2002). By this, it is intended to mean that citizens will not always view the role of government as one that must be concerned with leveling the economic playing field; believing opportunities to be the critical component of social justice, if individuals perceive ample opportunity, they will be less likely to rely upon the state to intervene on their behalf. Conversely, where people perceive that they are not only poor, but also unable to better their economic situation because of lack of opportunity, they will be more like...

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Class in America. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 09:48, May 21, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1703719.html