CLASS SYSTEM

MEANING
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social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions (or stratification) between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. by wealth, power, or prestige; by ability, education, or occupation; even by where they live. the term "social class" originally referred to groups of people holding similar roles in the economic processes of production and exchange, such as landowner or tenant, employer or employee. such positions correspond to different levels of status, prestige, and access to political power, but social class eventually took on a more generic meaning and came to refer to all aspects of a person's rank in the social hierarchy.

PROGRESS OF CLASS SYSTEM

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in India when the caste was becoming weaker due to the influence of such factors as industrialization, urbanization, increase in the means of transportation, popularity of English education, political and social awakening, democratic government and laws abolishing untouchability, etc. then such new organizations as labour unions on the basis of occupation, post, capacity were being estd. due to an increase in the desire for money caused by the influence of western education, the sense of superiority is now based on wealth and social power rather then on caste.

THOUGHTS
Max Weber, Marx's view was too simple - he agreed that different classes exist, but he thought that "Status" or "Social Status Prestige" was the key factor in deciding which group Prestige each one of us belongs to. So, where we live, our manner of speech, our schooling, our leisure habits, these, and many other factors, decide our social class - he called these different aspects of the way we behave our "Life-Style". Life-Style

THOUGHTS…
Karl Marx, social class is determined by the ownership (or non-ownership) of the "means of economic production" - i.e. those groups production who own factories, farms, coal mines, raw materials etc., become a coherent group looking after their own interests. They live in similar surroundings, send their children to similar schools, and form a coherent "class" - he called them "capitalists" i.e. those who own the capital means of capitalists production. Those who work for these capitalists are called "proletariat" (an old German word meaning "worker"). proletariat So for Marx, private ownership of economic resources is the key factor.

Anthropologist Harold A. Gould..
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three-level system of stratification is taking shape across rural India.  He calls the three levels Forward Classes (higher castes), Backward Classes (middle and lower castes), and Harijans (very low castes).

CHARACTERISTICS

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The membership, status, standard of life, etc. are based on objectives facts. There is open stratification in class, meaning that a person can change his class. The member of a class are class conscious. Class system does not hinder democracy. An individual has comparatively greater freedom in a class. There is comparatively less social distance in class.

DETERMINATION OF CLASS
IN SOCIETIES WHERE CLASSES EXIST, ONE'S CLASS IS DETERMINED LARGELY BY:
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personal or household per capita income or wealth / net worth, including the ownership of land, property, means of production, etc. occupation education and qualifications family background position and power political status

Social class may be ascribed at birth, as with royalty or nobility. More commonly, however, a person's position at birth is modified by his or her achievements, typically through education, occupation, or income

The advantages of education as an indicator of social status include simplicity and universality: educational level can be recorded for all adults, whether working or not, and it is less likely than occupation or income to be influenced by health.

Income or wealth are also frequently used as indicators of social class, and hold the advantage of sensitivity to variations in a person's status over time. Higher social status is associated with attitudes, such as positive self-esteem or a sense of being in control of one's life.

DISTINGUISHING CLASS…
The most commonly used system for measuring social class is the Registrar General's classification. The Registrar classification General's system groups all jobs into five different categories, these are:Class IIncluding lawyers, architects and doctors Class IIIncluding shopkeepers, farmers and teachers Class IIIi) non-manual, including shop assistants and clerical workers in offices ii) manual, including electricians and miners Class IVIncluding bus conductors and farm workers Class VIncluding laborers on building sites

Those in poverty had the same attitudes on work and family as those in other classes, this being backed up with surveys expressing that the poor/working class/lower class feel almost shame about their position in society.

There is still an upper-class which seems to isolate itself from other classes. They kept their activities (marriage, education, peer groups) as a closed system.

A new super class, which consisted of elite professionals and managers, which held high salaries and share ownership has emerged over the time.

Class is bound to exist in any complex society as not all occupations are equal and that households do form pattern of interaction that give rise to social classes.