Social Class And Its Division: Is It Really That Simple?

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Social Class and Its Division: Is it Really That Simple?
Paul Fussell, Thomas Gorman, Lars Eighner, and the authors of “Having Less, Giving More: The Influence of Social Class on Prosocial Behavior” all contest the popular notion that the division of social class is simple and based on economic status. Not only do the authors suggest their own theories as to what separates each social class from the next, but the authors all seem to have the same general idea that the social class system is more complex than previously suggested. Some even take a step further and suggest that members may have more in common with those on opposite ends of the spectrum than with those in the class directly below or above themselves. For example, Fussell establishes the idea that social class is not as simple as the three basic classes of high, middle, and low based on the financial assets of each member.
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Gorman also suggests that the gap between the two classes may result from “hurdles and roadblocks” that only working-class individuals face, citing traditional gender role socialization, childhood environment, and current societal trends as sources for possible roadblocks (Gorman 702).
Much like Fussell further breaking down the social classes, Eighner further breaks down the different stages of dumpster diving, which range from disgust all the way to acceptance. Eighner claims that the scavengers travel up the ladder from being disgusted and ashamed to keeping every item found in the dumpsters, and eventually to carefully and deliberately collecting what is necessary and beneficial for basic needs (Eighner 7). In this way, Eighner supports the idea that social classes are more complex than originally

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