Sociology Index

Social Class

Books On Social Class

The term social class is used in many ways in sociology. Social class implies a group of individuals sharing a common situation within a social structure. In land based economies, class structures are based on individual's relationship to the ownership and control of land.

Social class may refer to groups of individuals with a shared characteristic relevant in some socio-economic status measurement like individuals earning a particular sum in a year. Social class then has a statistical meaning rather than being defined by social relationships. Social class is used in discussing social structure and sociologists rely on the concept of status in which individuals within a class can be seen as having quite differentiated social situations.

A social class is a group of people that have similar social status.

Karl Marx distinguished four classes in capitalist societies:

a bourgeoisie class who own and control the means of production,

a petite Bourgeoisie of small business and professionals,

a proletariat of wage workers and

a lumpenproletariat of people in poverty and social disorganization.

Class consciousness is associated with the development of a ‘class-for-itself’ where individuals within the class unite to pursue their shared interests.

The concept assumes that there is an objective ‘class interest’ of which its members are unaware.

When divisions between social classes become obvious it is difficult for individuals to change their social class because income, wealth, education, status is shaped by their class location.

It is commonly linked to such distinctions as that between finance-based capital and industrial-based capital. This is a useful concept in avoiding the simplistic view that the ‘corporate class’ is a necessarily unified group.

A class of individuals conscious of sharing a common social situation and who unite to pursue common interests.

A social class composed of individuals who objectively share class membership.

Social Class - Abstracts

Social Classes in Classical and Marxist Political Economy. - John Milios - Abstract - The notion social class attains a theoretical content in the works of the classical political economists.

Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism - Matthias Doepke, Fabrizio Zilibotti, Journal of the European Economic Association. - Abstract: Standard theories of wealth inequality cannot explain why the aristocrats failed to be the main protagonists and beneficiaries of industrialization.

Relationship of Gender, Self-Esteem, Social Class, and Racial Identity to Depression in Blacks - Maria B. Munford, Journal of Black Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 2, 157-174 (1994)

Lifestyle and Social Class - Mark Tomlinson
ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition, Devonshire House, University of Manchester
European Sociological Review 19:97-111 (2003)
Abstract. Traditional notions such as social class and gender are still highly relevant to a discussion of lifestyle and consumer behaviour.

Globalisation, Youth Expectations and Social Class: The Case of Sri Lanka
Angela W. Little, Ricardo Sabat�s, International Journal of Educational Development.

Migration and Endogamy According to Social Class: France, 1803–1986
Jean-Pierre P�lissier , Daniel� R�baudo , Marco H.D. van Leeuwen and Ineke Maas
International Review of Social History (2005), 50:219-246 Cambridge University Press.

The Cultures of Social Class and Religious Educational Practice
Katherine Turpin - Religious Education, Volume 104, Issue 3 May 2009 , pages 315 - 331

Ethnic and social class factors in residential segregation: some implications for dispersal
T R Lee - Environment and Planning.

How Social Class Differences Affect Students' Experience of University
Journal of Further and Higher Education, Volume 28, Number 4, 2004.
Abstract: Experiences reported by students from different social class backgrounds who have recently graduated from university.

Social class differences in social support among older adults
N Krause and E Borawski-Clark, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, School of Public Health. - The Gerontologist, Vol 35.

The influence of social class background on childhood sport involvement.
Hasbrook, C. A.

Embodying social class - The link between poverty, income inequality and health
Stephen M. Rose, Stephanie Hatzenbuehler, School of Social Work at the University of New England
International Social Work, Vol. 52, No. 4, 459-471 (2009)

The relationship between social class and childrearing behaviors: parents' perspective taking and value orientations
Dekovic, Maja, Gerris, Jan R.M., Janssens, Jan M.A.M.
National Council of Family Relations, Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Social Class Influences on Black American Ideological Beliefs from 1980 to 2003 (Poster)
Destin, Mesmin. and Griffin, Tiffany.

Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK
Massimiliano Bratti, Universit� degli Studi di Milano - DEAS; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Reducing Racial And Social-Class Inequalities In Health: The Need For A New Approach
S. Leonard Syme - Health Affairs, 27, no. 2 (2008): 456-459.

Inequalities in health related to social class in women: What is the effect of the measure used
BORRELL, Carme; ROHLFS, Izabella; ARTAZCOZ, Luc�a and MUNTANER, Carles.
Gaceta Sanitaria, Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, suppl.2, pp. 75-82.

Social class in childhood and general health in adulthood: questionnaire study of contribution of psychological attributes
Hans Bosma, senior researcher, H Dike van de Mheen, senior researcher, Johan P Mackenbach, professor.
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Department of Public Health.

Social Class and Ageing Bodies: Understanding Physical Activity in Later Life
Alex Dumasa and Suzanne Labergeb - Social Theory Health (2005).