Categories

Social classes may be described differently for each region of the country, but most observers would agree upon three general classes: upper, middle, and lower. Because of the broad nature of these categories, the three main classes are often split into six, more descriptive categories: upper-upper, lower-upper, upper-middle, lower-middle, upper-lower, and lower-lower. The additional classes help to discriminate who falls into which class, but there is still some ambiguity. The way in which each class is defined depends on the perspective one takes. Someone in upper-upper class may label upper-middle class people differently than someone in the lower-middle class would label them. Although definitions may differ, a generality in American class structure is the criteria required to gain the acceptance of a particular class. The process begins with money, which influences behavior and material goods, which in turn influences participation with the group, which finally leads to acceptance by the social class. This last aspect of acceptance is needed for an individual or family to "belong" to a certain social class.

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