Monday, May 16, 2005

Class in America

The NYT is doing a series on class in America. I hope bloggers link to this. We need to discuss the role of class in society. Americans like to think class distinctions are either not a big deal or don't exist. Just not true:

But class is still a powerful force in American life. Over the past three decades, it has come to play a greater, not lesser, role in important ways. At a time when education matters more than ever, success in school remains linked tightly to class. At a time when the country is increasingly integrated racially, the rich are isolating themselves more and more. At a time of extraordinary advances in medicine, class differences in health and lifespan are wide and appear to be widening.

And new research on mobility, the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows there is far less of it than economists once thought and less than most people believe.


Americans are arguably more likely than they were 30 years ago to end up in the class into which they were born.

Yet from the same article......

A recent New York Times poll on class found that 40 percent of Americans believed that the chance of moving up from one class to another had risen over the last 30 years, a period in which the new research shows that it has not.

I'm curious to read the rest of the series.

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