Class as a Relational Status

Class as a Relational Status

Class as a Relational Status

The income tier is influenced by four main variables: race or ethnicity, age, marital status, and education. In the first step, I filled out my metropolitan area and related location details as Michigan and the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan area. I then entered my household income before taxes as $64,000 and the number of people in my household as 4. Based on my household income and the number of people in my household, the results showed that I am in the middle-income tier, along with 52% of adults in the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metropolitan area. In the second step, I entered my education level (Bachelor’s degree and more), my age (18-29), race (white), and marital status as married. The calculated results indicate that for the American adult population fitting my education, ethnicity, marital status, and age, 11% were in the lower income, 63% in the middle income, and 26% in the upper income.

From this exercise and according to Haufman and Schoepflin (2009:5), it is clear that age, race, education, and marital status have a huge role to play in determining one’s income tier. I repeated the process with education level (less than high school), age (30 to 44), race (black), and marital status (not married) and the results were 70% lower income, 28% middle income, and 2% upper income for adults with the same levels of education, same race, marital status, and age. Haufman and Schoepflin (2009:4) highlight the same variables when comparing the state of Flint and Bloomfield Hills, both in Michigan and only 45 miles apart, noting how the household incomes differ significantly. The race and education levels of those living in these areas contribute to their state. The exercise also notes how social class becomes an important form of stratification (Haufman and Schoepflin, 2009:5). Capitalism means that the distribution of wealth is based on factors that give an advantage to others while some remain disadvantaged. For example, a higher education level from a white family with fewer members means more household income.

Why is it that white people have an advantage across all categories even in the lower-class levels?


Kaufman, P., & Schoepflin, T. (2009). Last but not least: The pedagogical insights of

“intellectual craftsmanship”. Teaching Sociology, 37(1), 20-30.

Posted in Uncategorized