Social class refers to the most common form of stratification in a modern society

Social class refers to the most common form of stratification in a modern society. Depending on what social class an individual is in, it can make a huge difference in their lives. Differences in social class such as education, health & healthcare, lack of resources and many more, can lead to social issues among people. Social class is also mainly controlled by economic power, education and prestige level of one’s identity. As for my personal experience, I grew up in a lower middle-class family whereby both my parents are managers. Both my parents have made many sacrifices, leading to their social positions to be achieved through both their efforts. However, when I am invited to my family-friends gatherings who belong to an upper class, the differences does not go unnoticed. Firstly, they have a number of maids in their house to do their chores, housework and clean up after them. When I first observed this, I was rather shocked as I was brought up in a way whereby we had to clean up after ourselves. Secondly, they become more aloof as when people move higher up in the society, it is only natural for them to mingle around and socialise with people of the same class. It did not have a huge impact on me as it is only normal for people to move on when such situations take place. As for the people around me, it did not affect nor change them as after a few tries to contact/meet them, you come to a realisation that they moved on with their new lifestyles.
There are a number of theories that pulls together a reason on the different way social class is being examined. One of them being Karl Marx under the conflict theory. According to Marx, his definition of a social class is, “based on ownership of private property & means of production.” He determined that people are unequally divided in terms of either lower, middle, or upper class. Marx also pointed out the increasing gap between a large group of lower-class people, known as the proletariat, and a small but powerful group of upper-class people, known as the bourgeoisie. It is where the powerful and elites establish inequalities among the different groups to promote their own interests. Relating back to my experience, it can be seen where my family-friend who is from an upper- class and they have the means to produce money, becoming richer. This can especially be seen in Singapore’s education system, where students are being streamed into Special, Express or normal streams in secondary schools. As a result of her being able to afford being in a better primary school, she felt more determined to do better as her recognition would be known. This would then result her into accomplishing better, and hence climbing up the social ladder, being streamed into more well-known schools. However, other students who cannot afford being in such well-known school, they may feel demoralised as their efforts are neglected. This would cause them to feel dejected and be streamed into less renown schools. This therefore shows how those who are able to produce more money, are easily able to climb up the social class. Consequently, this would create unequal opportunities as those who are in power and a widening social gap between the rich and poor.
In my opinion, what I have learnt from this assignment is whether I am able to reflect on my everyday life and social environment and make use of sociological concepts and theories. What I have learnt about sociology is how it is important that we view our own society as an outsider would instead of our own perspective and make use of the three theoretical perspectives in providing us a deeper understanding of social problems. When learning about theories, it is crucial that it is based on proper findings and research, and the examining of a human’s behaviour should be done through multiple perspectives.


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