Class in America: An Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-3 by Robert E. Weir

By Robert E. Weir

In the USA, social classification ranks with gender, race, and ethnicity in choosing the values, actions, political habit, and lifestyles probabilities of members. such a lot students agree at the value of sophistication, even if they typically disagree on what it really is and the way it affects americans. This A-Z encyclopedia, the 1st to target classification within the usa, surveys the breadth of sophistication strata all through our historical past, for top university scholars to most of the people. type is illuminated in 525 essay entries on major humans, phrases, theories, courses, associations, eras, ethnic teams, areas, and lots more and plenty more.

This beneficial set is an authoritative, interesting resource for in-demand details on key elements of our tradition and society and is helping researchers to slim down a huge subject. category is published from angles that frequently intersect: via heritage, with entries akin to Founding Fathers, the economic Revolution, Westward growth; via economics, with entries resembling Bubble, Robber Barons, Chicago tuition of Economics, Lottery, salary Slaves, fiscal equivalent chance Act, inventory marketplace, Inheritance Taxes, Wal-Mart, Welfare; via social symptoms similar to Conspicuous intake, the Hamptons, WASP, Homelessness, Social hiking; via politics with entries corresponding to Anarchism, Braceros, historical past starting place, Communist occasion, Kennedy family members; and during tradition via entries resembling state track, the good Gatsby, tv, and Studs Terkel. type is additionally approached from ethnic, sexual, non secular, academic, and nearby angles. certain positive aspects contain an creation, timeline, prompt studying in line with access, cross-references, reader's consultant to issues, and thorough index. pattern entries: Immigration, schooling, hard work move, Pink-Collar employees, AFL-CIO, moves, nice melancholy, Jacob Riis, Literature, the Rockefellers, Slavery, tune, Academia, family members, Suburbia, McMansions, Taxation, Segregation, Racism, Ivy League, Robber Barons, Philanthropists, Socialites, faith, Welfare, the yankee Dream, Millionaires, equivalent chance, Founding Fathers, salary Slaves, commercial Revolution, Capitalism, Economics, Appalachia, Horse Racing, Gender, Communist occasion, kingdom golf equipment, faith, American Indians, Conspicuous intake, Studs Terkel, movie, Class-Consciousness, paintings Ethic, Media, tv, Puritans, Homelessness, prestige Symbols, Assimilation/Melting Pot, artwork, Westward growth, Poverty, the good Gatsby, inventory marketplace, operating terrible, Gated groups, the Hamptons, Social mountain climbing, Crime, Lottery, Elitism, WASP, American Dream, Noam Chomsky, Fortune Magazine

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Even more problematic is the fact that many American families sustain material lifestyles consistent with middle-class status by assuming consumer credit debt. Do such examples and trends muddy the definition of the middle class to such a degree that it is meaningless as a social category? Category dilemmas such as these have led many scholars to conclude that objective measures of class—wealth, power, and prestige—must take into account subjective and reputational factors that locate social class, at least to some extent, in the eyes of the beholder.

Under capitalism, people are taught to believe that hard work always pays off and that one can achieve almost anything regardless of socioeconomic background or family name. Some think that this is a myth and that the lower classes exist to permit the upper classes to have what they have. They believe that this idea of achievement serves as a false hope for the lower classes so that they will not complain about their position in society. If a few actually “make it” through individual efforts, this only serves to reinforce the myth of social mobility through achievement.

With family history lurking in the background, Adams presented himself as a man adrift and one whose “education” left him ill-prepared for modern life. ★ 11 12 ★ ADDAMS, JANE The Adams family is certainly one of America’s most distinguished clans, but decades of public service notwithstanding, many of its offspring struggled to reconcile wealth, noblesse oblige, and democracy. In many ways, the Adamses illustrate the limits of top-down leadership patterns. Suggested Reading Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 2003; David McCullough, John Adams, 2002; Paul Nagel, John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life, 1999.

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