Recent research has explored the psychology of social classes, finding that the material conditions in which individuals grow up have lasting effects on their social and personal identities, including social behaviour. Those who have lower socioeconomic status are less likely to define themselves in terms of their socioeconomic status, are more likely to have an interdependent self-concept, and are less likely to have a sense of personal control.
What are the 3 types of social classes?
In the U.S., a person’s occupation is an important indicator of class. But this classification is of little use if no one in the household is employed. So, sociologists sometimes use a household’s last known occupation as a class indicator. In addition, these classification schemes must be updated as occupations change in importance to society.
In a study on subjective social class, participants were asked to compare themselves to people at the top or bottom of a status hierarchy ladder. People from lower social classes were found to be more generous and compassionate than those from higher social classes. The higher-class participants, in contrast, were more likely to behave unethically, such as lying in a negotiation or cheating to win a prize.
Theories of social class emerged in the 19th century, when political philosophers began to explore the concept of class. During this time, new social groups arose that were separate from one another. Marx noted that the ruling class monopolized material production and ideas, consolidating its power over society in a particular political system.