Social class refers to the ranking of social groups within the society based on their wealth, education level and occupation among other factors. The resultant feature of such subdivisions in a society is that of disparities, a feature that is common in every human society. Social class influences several aspects of an individual’s life including health, values and politics among other facets. This essay uses the factors of health, values and politics to discuss the difference social class makes in the lives of people within our society.
The health of an individual is determined by several factors that relate to a person’s social class, for example, a person of higher social status is less likely to contract environmental related illnesses such as typhoid since they live in clean spacious environments unlike the lower class counterparts who live in dirty crowded environments. According to Gabrenya (2003, p. 14), “higher social class people are healthier and live longer” as compared to the low class people. Therefore, an individual’s social class has a major influence on their wellbeing, their ability to obtain adequate medical attention and sustenance, as well as their life expectancy.
Politics is another factor that is greatly impacted by social class. People of higher social status tend to have more political influence than those of lower social class. They also participate more in political activities such as, vying for elective posts, donating money to politicians and even voting. This is attributed to their wealth and education among other factors which, the lower class people do not possess (Krauss, 2015).
Values are also influenced by social class. An individual learns class values mainly through their social interactions with other people at school, home and workplace. A good example, is the attitude towards education which may differ between people of different classes. Therefore, the values of a person are molded by their social setting (Gabrenya, 2003). In a nutshell, social class creates perceptions of inequalities in a society hence influencing health, political participation and sociocultural values.
Gabrenya, W. K. (2003). Culture and Social Class. Melbourne: Florida Institute of Technology.
Krauss, M. W. (2015). The Inequality of Politics: Social Class Rank and Political Participation. Berkeley: University of Carlifornia.