Q1: Social scientists do not just dwell in their own neck of the woods but also examine the economic realities in other global locations.
Watch how the rich and the poor fare in Germany.
Next, address these questions. (1 point for own response)
- What does economic inequality mean to an average German, whether single, family or retired?
- What ideas or solutions can we borrow from the Germans to implement in our home communities? How do those ideas compare with what Mantsios (2003) and Shapiro (2003) discussed in their texts analyzing the economic divisions in the US?
- Examine your own situation. How does your family income compare to an average German household? What, if any, advantages have you had because of inheritance or other investment assets?
Q2: 5 points for answering 5 questions below
Use the chart below and record your answers to the following questions.
To the extent that you are comfortable doing so, you should discuss difficulties you encountered and brainstorm advantages and disadvantages of your social class or social class in general.
You do not have to disclose your personal information, but you can always talk about social class in general.
- List each parent’s highest level of education (e.g., some college), each parent’s occupation, and each parent’s annual pre-tax income.
- Given your answers to question 1, what is your social class and why?
- What questions arose that may have made it difficult to answer question 1?
- What advantages does your social class give you (and others like you) over those in lower social classes?
- What disadvantages does your social class give you (and others like you) compared with those in higher social classes?
Social Class in the US
Annual Individual Income
Four-year degree or more, usually from an Ivy League University
No financial need to work; may work for other reasons in any field (e.g., businessperson, entrepreneur, investor)
$2 million +
Socially exclusive; typically come from generations of wealth
Professional (e.g., doctor, lawyer, professor)
Have lots of autonomy at work, good work benefits (e.g., health insurance); income may be somewhat lower in some cases
Four-year college degree
Nonmanual job or management (e.g., accountant, computer programmer, pharmacist)
Have good work benefits and live comfortably
Two-year college degree or high school diploma
Lower paid nonmanual job (e.g., grade school teacher, data entry clerk)
May or may not have work benefits; less prestigious work
High school diploma, sometimes with technical training
Skilled manual labor job (e.g., plumber, electrician, paramedic)
May or may not have work benefits; may struggle to pay bills; income may be much higher in some cases
High school diploma or GED
Unskilled manual labor (e.g., child care worker, cashier)
No benefits; serious struggle to pay bills
Less than high school diploma
Unskilled manual labor (e.g., day laborer)
Come from generations of poverty and impoverished communities; may have long periods of unemployment