definition of social class

The social class is a form of social stratification in which a group of individuals share a characteristic or situation that associates them socioeconomically, that is, their social position, the purchasing power they have, the position they hold within a certain organization, behavior, ideological representation, or affinity either in customs or interests.

Form of social stratification in which the members of each class share socioeconomic situations, ideas, affinities, customs, among others

The belonging or not of an individual to a certain social class in the so-called class system will be determined almost exclusively by economic criteria, contrary to what happens in those cases of stratification based on castes or estates, in which the criteria of membership do not have to do in principle with the economic situation of each individual, but are associated with a hereditary issue, that is, you are part of the nobility because you descend from a noble family.

Difference with the caste system: in these there is no possibility of social mobility and in the class system there is

The main difference between the division of classes, an event generated after the Industrial Revolution, and the division into estates, a characteristic system of Feudalism and the Old Regime, is that in the latter case there is no possibility of social mobility, that is, who belongs the lower class will never be able to access the nobility, something that can happen in the social class system, a person born into a lower class can study, progress in life and reach the upper class.

The individuals that make up a certain social class, middle class, upper class or lower class, they present common interests, or failing that, a maximum social strategy in which their political power and social welfare have to do.

Who make up the classes

We must say that generally the middle class is made up of professionals, merchants and independent workers; The upper class is made up of business owners or owners of the means of production, as the philosopher Karl Marx who addressed the issue liked to say, executives of organizations, political leaders, successful professionals and artists of great prestige; and the lower class is made up of domestic employees, workers, the unemployed and those who work in the informal sector.

Each class, as we mentioned, has its own customs and way of life, however, there are people who may belong to a class because, for example, they managed to achieve a great purchasing power that allowed them to buy luxury goods but in practice they continue to display their own customs. of its original middle class.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned conditions that determine that this or that belong to one class or another will be determined by birth and family inheritance.

Although there are cases of mobility from one class to another, for example, from the lower class to the middle class, within this type of stratification, something that, for example, almost does not happen in a stratification by estates, mostly those children of the lower classes. favored, such as the low, throughout their lives continue to be part of it and transfer it to their children.

Meanwhile, the set of all social classes plus their relationships make up a class system, which is the typical one found in modern industrial societies. And as we mentioned above, it is this type of society that shows greater social mobility than other stratification systems, that is, there are chances that for some merit or for any other factor someone will move up, or failing that, move down the class. social, as we already indicated.

Mobility does not neutralize the prevailing social inequality in underdeveloped countries

However, such a situation does not neutralize the Social inequality existing in many of these societies, especially in those underdeveloped countries.

The prevailing corruption in the state and politics, entrenched in the highest spheres of power, a deficient redistribution of wealth, are some of the causes that generate in many current societies there is social inequality, a huge gap between the most advanced classes. The well-off and the low, even in many communities the famous middle class, as a result of bad government management, have lost the power and presence that they knew how to display in the last century, losing space and falling to a lower middle class, or directly to the lower class, costing them a lot to regain their social position.