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Critical Thinking: American Class Perspectives

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Critical Thinking: American Class Perspectives
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Critical Thinking: American Class Perspectives
Real life experiences of people do not usually fit into the very boundaries created by academic disciplines. Similarly, the economic, political, social and psychological domains are intertwined with one another and are quite mutually dependent. The social class system of the United States is also a part of very same stratum that covers the domains of sexuality, gender and color. The very same system limits and most of the times, restricts the people; however, allowing others.
Color has proved to be a demarcating factor in the course of history of the United States. The development of social injustice among the African American community is one of the most eloquent outlooks. However, it can be considered from women as well as color perspectives too. The core reason behind it is that during the 1970s and 1980s, the black women have gone through different perspectives of American class and gender segregation. Patricia Hill Collins (1990) has pointed out the very interlocking dependence of oppression that has created today’s theme of Black feminists.
Also, from the very beginning of the American history, the classes and its segregation has become quite common. Also, the very formation of a capitalistic society along with a wide gap between the labors and other elite working class has enhanced during the last few decades. Among them, the most vulnerable class includes the African American, Afro-Latinos and other minorities.

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Nevertheless, the women in general are also a part of this societal segregation within the United States society (Horne, 1997). Based on the grounds of Black feminists experiences, they quite commonly criticize white women; more specifically, belonging to middle class. The entire evolution of the feminist scholarship cannot be discussed as part of this discussion; however, it is necessary to pinpoint that the development and emergence of feminist studies, the need for feminism has encompassed entirely all women. However, much of the movements in the development of women movement are based on the very experiences of white women. Hence, women of color along with their white allies have been trying for creation of new work that can nullify the unitary analysis of the word “woman” as a broad category. However, the inclusion of women of color in feminist domains quite commonly require the very understanding of the overlapping and more specifically, overlapping strata that can encompass the whole experience of white women and women of color (Andersen, 2006).
This capricious nature of American class and its perspective have also strong influence on people who are a part of non-traditional sexual community. A major difference between the sexual orientation expression and the social class is basically the different access towards economic resources. Also, the historical lack of accepting gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexual lifestyle is quite common in some cultures residing within the United States. However, there are occasion in which they cannot freely express their sexuality. There are locations that provide them much more freedom for being gay. However, such migration towards a free state for them requires resources that are not that readily available for the working class gays and lesbians (Escoffier, 1998). Also, the rate of acceptance is quite commonly prevalent within the suburban and urban settings; more specifically, those areas having high income and/or education (Bowman, 2004). Surely, there has been severe reduction in these “gay ghettos” because of the demographical changes in the social and cultural strata of each and every state with the US. The ever-increasing trend of this protected group has been gaining importance within different metropolitan areas and some unique resort based communities; some of which includes, Palm Springs and Provincetown. A most vital aspect of these locations includes the very acceptance of diversity and is quite commonly preferred by LGBT citizens. However, due to developed class system in the United States, the cost of living in those areas is quite higher as compared to other residential blocks. Hence, it also seriously impacts the ability of the LGBT citizens to these locations together with their ability to afford both cost of living and housing (Barrett and Pollack, 2005).
On the grounds of social class, the United States is in the middle of the sizable redistribution of the wealth comprising of income and health only in the hand of the chosen few. Similarly, a massive decline in the middle class is going to face a sharp decline in their share of wealth and income (Krugman, 2002). Wealth can be considered the most significant component for class differentiation as part of income inequality. Consider an example of comparing the middle class families for each and every dollar owned by the White Americans, Black Americans own fifteen cents. The cumulating wealth over the period of time has been turned into what Oliver and Shapiro (1995) has said “sedimentation of racial inequality”. Hence, within the very boundaries of class groups, the racial group experiences are considered quite divergent. Nevertheless, there has been tremendous growth with the Black middle class and has quite a stronger hold of the very class status because the racial segregation has become quite more exposed within the current era provided that the offender is a White American (Pattillo-McCoy, 2004). However, few class groups have faced an income growth in the recent years. Among them, men’s wages are surely at the top; however, they are declining or flat. On the other hand, women in top 25% of the income group have faced highest growth during time span of last two decades. Among the most vibrant source of growth of income are the ever-increasing hours that the people are quite commonly working. Hispanic and Black families tend to work more hours as compared to the white families. However, the greatest increase within the working hours is common among the women of all races (Mishel, Bernstein and Allegretto, 2005). Considering poverty, it had declined after 1993; however, it is emerging itself again. The first victims of it are women specifically of color along with their children (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor and Smith, 2008; Andersen, 2006).
All in all, American social class makes the United States among some of the most diversified countries. However, the difference in class, gender and sexual orientation makes the country having different issues on societal scales. Nevertheless, the social structure of the country is changing at the quite fast rate because of the ever-growing gap between different classes. However, the rubric of race, gender, class and sexual orientation should have to be analyzing altogether so as to enhance the working understanding of the problem at hand. The developing situation of poverty and inflation are also causing significant pressure on different classes; more specifically, middle and lower class American citizens thereby leading in reduction in their wealth and capital.

Andersen, M. L. (2006). Race, gender, and class stereotypes: New perspectives on ideology and inequality. Norteamérica, Revista Académica del CISAN-UNAM, 1(01).
Barrett, D. C., & Pollack, L. M. (2005). Whose gay community? Social class, sexual self‐expression, and gay community involvement. The Sociological Quarterly, 46(3), 437-456.
Bowman, K. H. (2004). “Attitudes about Homosexuality and Gay Marriage: AEI Studies in Public Opinion.” American Enterprise Institute.
Carmen, D. W., Proctor, B. D., & Smith, J. C. (2008). Current Population Reports, P60-235, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007.
Collins, P. H. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, power and the politics of empowerment.
Escoffier, J. (1998). American Homo: Community and Perversity. Univ of California Press.Horne, G. (1997). The Political Economy of the Black Urban Future.Globalization and Survival in the Black Diaspora: The New Urban Challenge, 247.
Krugman, P. (2002). “For Richer: How the Permissive Capitalism of the Boom Destroyed American Equality,” The New York Times Magazine, October 20, 2002.
Mishel, L., Bernstein, J. And Allegretto, S. (2005) The State of Working America 2004/2005, Washington, D.C., Economic Policy Institute.
Pattillo-McCoy, M. (2004). Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class. Race, class, and gender: An anthology, 158-165.

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