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Thread: Doing a project for Sociology

  1. #1
    Senior Member SEGASAL's Avatar
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    I need to know what everyone considers to be Upper Class and Middle class to be?

    This is for a presentation I am doing next week...any help is appreicated

    Susan

  2. #2
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I would say Middle Class - you have enough money to cover your basic needs, a decent car and home, and some financial security (money in bank)
    Upper Class - you have more than what you need, extra discretionary income that you can spend on luxuries or a very nice home or car, etc.

  3. #3
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I really don't know, never thought about it, although whatever I am, with the rising prices of everything, I can feel myself sliding down lower, LOL. Maybe add something about how all the increases are affecting the financial class of people. RE: no jobs, rising prices, no raises, etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member yonnikka's Avatar
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    Upper Middle Class-- start with defining the Lifestyle Choices, How about 1) have a Lawyer on Retainer; 2) Hire other people to do their accounting and taxes, lawn care and cooking; 3) own more than one home.

    They think about Tax Deductions when they plan to improve their home. Middle Class is thankful to be out of Poverty; but worried about sinking back in...

    Upper class misses the Concorde wistfully.

  5. #5
    PamB8s's Avatar
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    I agree with ptquilts.

    Upper Class is the x large home. Several Cars. Able to do whatever you want, when ever you want. Children receiving new cars when they come of age. Dinner out regularly. Money for college.

    Middle Class is having what you need, comfortable living. Able to pay your bills on time. Small savings, maybe a 401K waiting on you at retirement. Hoping their children get schlorships.

    Lower Class is barely making it week to week. If an illness falls upon the family or loss of job they would struggle. Usually can not affod insurance. Usually rents instead of purchasing a home. Would have to depend on government assistance for college.

    Poverty Level is government assistance, low income, rents in lower rent districts. Struggles to make ends meet. As sad as it is college is usually out of the question. Children have been raised with struggles so it is hard for them to know anything else.

    Hope you get all the information you need.

    Blessings for a wonderful day.



    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts
    I would say Middle Class - you have enough money to cover your basic needs, a decent car and home, and some financial security (money in bank)
    Upper Class - you have more than what you need, extra discretionary income that you can spend on luxuries or a very nice home or car, etc.

  6. #6
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    Upper class...probably no idea what a budget is. Do not pay their own bills..has an accountant to do that. Buy what they want when they see it. Travel at a whim. More than one car in the family. Post college educated.

    Middle class...knows exactly how much money comes in and goes out every month. Budgets for everything. Possiblly college educated. Rarely masters degree

    Just a couple more ideas for you presentation....godd luck keep us posted..interesting topic.

  7. #7
    Super Member Sheila_H's Avatar
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    Middle Class to me is people that have regular jobs, mortgage for a house, car and maybe a little bit of savings to do things like vacation, travel, etc.

    Upper Class are people that own homes larger than what they need, cars, boats, extravagant gifts and spending on luxury vacations. Large social circles of others that are in the same class as themselves, probably big corporate tax breaks, someone that needs a team of lawyers and accountants.

  8. #8
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    I think the term "class" is relative. Dependent on the area in which you live. If you live in a small town/city, you may be considered "upper" class just because you may have more than others in same town. Middle class would be those who work for the upper class in that area. If the upper class from the small area moved to a larger town/city they may be considered middle class due to differences in what they can afford in new area. People tend to put themselves in a particular category for social reasons. When growing up, I always thought my family was "poor". As time went by, I discovered my family was one of the wealthier families in the area. My parents just didn't talk about what they had. Just worked and taught their children how to work. In my opinion, class terms are not "PC". You may not be considered in the upper class, but you are the one everyone turns to if they want something done. To me, that makes you upper or rich class. You support your fellow man(woman)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jamiestitcher62's Avatar
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    Middle class to me is anyone not receiving food stamps or welfare and actually has a decent job (and worries about getting laid off),a house, rented or otherwise, a couple of cars and an occasional vacation and not necessarily any money in the bank for emergencies, especially in the last 3 years or so.

    Upper class is what it always has been, anyone who has a really nice house or mcmansion(regardless of whether certain political groups think it's too big for them or not, it's their money). Probably owns a business of some sort and is quite comfortable financially. Vacations don't mean anything necessarily, because there are upper class people out there that don't take vacations and they are probably able to send their kids to college without having to fill out student loan applications.

    Just my opinion.

  10. #10
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    An upper class person might spend on one outfit what a middle class family would spend for the year.

    Upper class has help come in daily if not live on site where as middle class might have help occasionally and many times the help is a teenager trying to make a few dollars.

    Upper class earns enough interest which could support at least one middle class family to live comfortably on while a middle class does earn interest but the interest(and accounts) would not support the family for long if laid off.

    Upper class usually owns a successful large business where as middle class works for someone else or is building a business.

  11. #11
    Super Member Quiltbeagle's Avatar
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    Upper class to me are people who have a big house and all bills paid with no problems, nice newer cars, kids with university educations paid for (who all got their new cars while in high school), can afford medical insurance but don't necessarily NEED it. And a hefty retirement checks waiting for them.

    We used to be Middle Class, but looking at the previous posts we've slid down a level. We own our home but live week to week. I have to be very creative in trying to feed 4 of us with the grocery prices going higher and higher, we've had no medical insurance for years because we can't afford it, own one car, and no cell phones. We get no government assistance at all.

  12. #12
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    Upper Class- People who do not need to worry about money or paying bills. Can go on vacations/ buy clothes without thinking/ extra money.

    Middle Class- Makes just enough to pay all the bills with a little left over each month. Maybe enough to go out to eat at a middle class place.

  13. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    OK. my dad rents out houses. When they are screened for renting, MOST of those people have more money than we do. They drive better cars than we do. They eat more convenience food than we do - plenty of evidence when they move out... They dress much better than we do. They have large screen tvs. They have so much debt that they CAN'T buy a house. We own more than one house, we have no debt, we eat home cooked meals, no tv, we make less than $20,000 a year. Our cars are not made in this century. I think it is all relative. It is a matter of how well you manage what you have.

  14. #14
    Super Member mhunt1717's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the difference in the classes is cultural, and includes economic decison-making, education, and how one spends free time.

  15. #15
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    There's a difference between upper class and upper income (same with middle class and middle income). Just because someone makes millions of dollars, they aren't necessarily upper class.

    To me upper class is a "status." Think of names like Vanderbilt or Rockefeller - I generally think of them as upper class. They have a long history of family money. If the newspaper still had society pages, they would be the ones whose pictures are in them.

  16. #16
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    i think it is all relitive to were you live i though my family was lower class but from what some off you are saying( having a college education and owning a home) how we live puts us in the middle class. but in the area we live we are lower class. it all comes down to demagrphics.

  17. #17
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Studied this once... hmmm what was it about food... upper class: the presentation of the food is most important (it has to look good); middle class: the food has to taste good...

    I've always remembered this... (I think I've remembered this...)

  18. #18
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    I was taught that class is based on values:
    -- Upper class valued family lineage/ancestry most
    -- Middle class valued striving for more money, things, better quality of life. (Upper class generally already had the money, because they were descended from royalty and old money.)
    -- Lower class valued living for that day, which means both that they're so poor that daily survival takes up a lot of their time and that they do things without considering long-term consequences, such as having parties when their paychecks come instead of paying their bills.

    The media today talks about class as being almost completely equivalent to money, but I think education plays into it, too.

    My definitions:

    Upper class - has money or their ancestors did, values their lineage (royalty, aristocracy, nobility, and in the US, founding settlers and old money families), values privacy (not fame).

    Middle class - values money, education, achievement. Achievement may be academic, business, military, entertainment. Recognition and fame are all good.

    The thing is, IMO there is such a difference between the upper middle class and the lower middle class that I'd call them two different classes. Both work for a living, but the upper middles want the educational bona fides, the degrees and certificates. Lower middles train for jobs but don't otherwise value higher education. They value enjoying life in their community more.

    By the way, find today's (or maybe yesterday's) Wall Street Journal. It has an article at the bottom of the front page on how French aristocrats have formed a sort of support group/union to help each other with money issues and finding an identity in today's world. I found the article quite amusing, but it really shows the upper class value of family/lineage still exists.

  19. #19
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    As a Sociology instructor, I applaud your efforts. :-)

  20. #20
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Ive always thought of us as lower middle class. DH &i both have Masters degrees and are educators. DHs 6 children from 1st marriage all collEge educated but no Masters. Our 1st son almost through with his. He's an engineer already makes more than either of us ever has. 2nd son no college-poor life choices. We own home but have mortgage. Husband retired from education but must still work. We have insurance because of Medicare for him & my job. No real savings but I have a small retirement and he receives small pension. 2 cars 1 with a car payment. We are a few weeks away from real financial trouble if anything major happens. I haven't had a raise in 3 years, but thank God every day for my job.

  21. #21
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    Upper class - being able to pay for the kids college
    Middle class - helping the kids through college
    Poor - couldn't go to college, had to support my Mother, myself and my younger sister.
    Took me 20 years to finish but I did go to college. 4 out of my five children went to college.
    The one that wouldn't go to college always has a job and works very well. The most educated one has been out of work for over a year?
    In today's world no one went to jail or a rehab, all are self-supporing, good citizens.
    And I have enough money to buy fabric when I want or need. I am retired. What more could I want? ( I own my home.)
    edit to add: The only time your name is in the paper is when you are born and when you die. As per my Mother.

  22. #22
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    With all this input, you should do a great job on your presentation. This board is so helpful, even when it's not a "quilting" question.

  23. #23
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I look at from a point of view not of what a person spends (on home, toys, vacations) but on what a person EARNS. I always bear in mind that just because someone LIVES in a McMansion, doesn't mean they can AFFORD to live there, and all those toys may not be paid for either. Our housing/mortgage crises has proven that. I saw it coming more than a decade ago when I noticed builders advertising "starter homes" with 2000+ SF.

    So I base it on income, and it's a sliding scale dependent on the cost of living in your area.

  24. #24
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I love the food description :) :) :)
    Doesn't it have something to do with where the money comes from, too?
    Upper class - inherited
    Middle class - earned
    I'm curious to know if people believe they can actually move upward from one class to another.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ellen's Avatar
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    My dad used to tell us kids:
    The RICH are the uppercrust held together with a little dough.

    I've noticed that the people at the top of the totum pole have a lot and want more, more, more. They can't get enough.
    The middle class are pretty much satisfied with a home, food, family and a steady job. Isn't that the American Dream?
    As far as the poor goes, it's different today than it was years ago. Today, the poor can be quite arrogant if their Gov't check comes late or gets cut. Years ago, we made do or did without. I didn't know until I was in my teens that we were poor....I had a roof over my head and food in my belly. I really related to "A Painted HOuse" by Grishom, life was really like that.

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