In chapter 10: “Stratification and Social Class,” social stratification is defined as the “hierarchal ranking of different social class groups based on the groups wealth, prestige, and power.” which has four different distinctions are made when examining the social classes in this chapter. Upper class individuals (higher up/ income people) make up to 3 % of the total population and often pick and chose, and entertain friendships within their own class. The middle class makes up about 45 % of society and is considered very diverse. The working class or lower middle class makes up about one third or less of society and tend to be set back in cases of unemployment or health issues. The lower class makes up to 20% of the population, which usually means they do not have health insurance and rely on government assistance insurance agencies which is up to 13%.
According to the text as referenced above in this chapter, those living within cities are not better off than say those living in major metropolitan areas. This means that those living in metropolitan areas are more financially stable versus those living in cities are more financially stable then those living outside of metropolitan areas who have to commute and or look harder for better paying jobs.
Though most immigrants struggle when first arriving in the U.S, the author points out that “the presence of immigrants [does not] translate into poor neighborhoods .” From the readings it seems that the immigrants are able to settle and get well paying middle class jobs to support themselves and their families. Which for many native born American’s is a struggle.
The different types of urban neighborhoods include: upper class, middle-class, working class, mixed income neighborhoods, and low-income neighborhoods. Upper-class neighborhoods are usually considered the most desirable and wanted areas and are separated from the rest of the city’s population, they tend to create barriers around them selves. With things such as gated communities and HOH systems. Middle-class neighborhoods are usually scarce within cities but if they are present the price is not low and affordable, in recent years and due to gentrification, new middle-class homes are available. Working class neighborhoods often are categorized by the ethnic or racial group that occupies the space, and often have shops or other businesses based on the culture they reside in. For example think of little Italy or china town in New York. when you look at mixed income neighborhoods, they are produced due to the gentrification or public assistance interventions and are very common within cities and metropolitan areas.
Due to urban renewal and gentrification projects, many people who were suffering and on the verge of poverty were then pushed into homelessness. For example, in some cases, with the rise of newer or remodeled buildings, the area’s value increases causing lower-income housing rent to increase as well. Due to the rent increase of lower income housing, many people are unable to afford and are ineligible to these home. Also, due to the destruction of single room motels, many people who struggled to afford staying in those rooms are now homeless as well.
Many of the working class families in the suburbs increased, especially after the world war with the up roar of the owner built homes. With the lack of opportunity, researchers have suggested many people are accomplishing their goals in farther out areas and moving where property taxes are less expensive. For example Fairfax county versus Culpeper county. Many people want to live in areas such as Fairfax because of the great school systems and communities. The biggest issue is the taxes in that area! It is one of the most expensive places to live in Virginia. Suburban cosmopolitan centers are highly nourished in “rich cultures” and usually have university areas associated with them. People who occupy these areas are what I myself call the artsy-fartsy types. They love to go to the art museums, have cocktail parties every weekend, they have that bohemian chic vibe.
The three types of African American suburbs are: invasion and succession, spillover type communities, and mobile suburbanization. Invasion succession is known for minorities moving into a neighborhood, white residents move out of these neighborhoods. Because again they are forming barriers between themselves and the “unwanted”. Spillover communities are because of outgrowing black ghetto neighborhoods, that are typically on the outside of town. Mobile suburbanization is known as individuals owning their own homes (Mortgages) which has also formed community like areas. Which give areas things like the HOH or a community garden to make the community seem more involved and stable.