Reflection Essay on Classism

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Socio-economic and political stratification is a common thing among highly diverse societies. It leads to the emergence of social, economic classes and discrimination, especially of the people believed to belong to lower economic strata or minority races. For instance, social class systems are frequently based on the prejudiced perception of people as being either inferior or superior consequently exposing them to violence, intimidation, inequality and ignorance.

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Social classification results from multiple sets of racial presumptions that lead to the exclusion of particular communities from important socio-economic spheres. Poverty manifests in various ways including an individuals neighborhood and educational attainments (Carter, Sellers & Squires, 2002). The poor standards of living compounded by the lack of compassion which is an essential ingredient in the fight against poverty and destitution exacerbate the challenges leading to malnutrition, reduced enrolments among low-income families and a vicious cycle of poverty stricken communities (Reay, David & Ball, 2005). Without the access to education, children from ordinary families cannot attain well-paying jobs thus find themselves entrapped in the murky situations of deprivation and scarcity (Carter, 2003). Intuitively, lack of education further socially and economically disenfranchises people.

Ethnic disenfranchisement from the mainstream social and economic systems leads to reduced graduation rates among the inferior races. These communities are often primary targets for undeterred violence and discrimination (Carter, Sellers & Squires, 2002). Their unfavorable economic conditions engender a victim mindset in them hence lowering their academic aspirations and inclining them towards crime, drug abuse, and delinquency (Sidanius & Pratto, 2001). Even within the same race, there are various socio-economic dynamics. For instance, gender has been for a long time inclined to favor men.

The fact that gender is a social construct implies that the society needs to embrace a more balanced view of gender. As Haugen (2015) notes, the women are predominantly the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence thus increasing their vulnerability to social problems (Verloo, 2006). Most societies perceive women as an inferior gender thus excluding them from making appropriate decisions such as pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines. The result of this gender discrimination is that they are unable to get well-paying jobs thus making a cycle of poverty.


Carter, P. L. (2003). Black" cultural capital, status positioning, and schooling conflicts for low-income African American youth. Social Problems, 50(1), 136-155.Carter, P., Sellers, S. L., & Squires, C. (2002). Reflections on race/ethnicity, class and gender-inclusive research. African American Research Perspectives, 8(1), 111-124.

Gary Haugen (March 2015)

Reay, D., David, M. E., & Ball, S. J. (2005). Degrees of choice: Class, race, gender and higher education. Trentham Books.Sidanius, J., & Pratto, F. (2001). Social dominance: An intergroup theory of social hierarchy and oppression. Cambridge University Press.Verloo, M. (2006). Multiple inequalities, intersectionality, and the European Union. European Journal of Women's Studies, 13(3), 211-228.

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