In his article “Class in America: Myths and Realities,” Gregory Mantsios explores the ways in which social class affects American society. He argues that the myth of America as a classless society perpetuates inequality and prevents people from working together to improve their economic situation.
Mantsios begins by discussing the concept of social class. He explains that sociologists generally use three criteria to measure social class: income, occupation, and education. He points out that while these criteria are helpful in some ways, they also have their limitations. For example, income alone does not take into account factors like job security or benefits.
Mantsios then goes on to discuss the different classes within American society. He argues that the working class is the most important class, because they are the ones who do the majority of the work in America. He points out that the working class is often invisible, because they are not typically featured in the media or represented in government.
Mantsios then argues that the myth of America as a classless society perpetuates inequality. He explains that this myth leads people to believe that anyone can become rich if they just work hard enough. This belief prevents people from seeing the reality of social class, which is that some people are born into wealth and others are not.
G.Mantsios, in “Class in America: Myths and Realities,” offers a few hypotheses regarding the development of contemporary society in the United States. First author argues that despite this, individuals rarely or never discuss the existence of social classes in the United States.
Mantsios is writing about common myths about social class in America and he is trying to dispel them.
One of the most important points that author is making is that in the U.S. people are brought up to think that anyone can make it if they just work hard enough. This Horatio Alger myth as Mantsios calls it, is one of the most damaging because it masks the reality of inequality in America. It also means that people who don’t succeed blame themselves rather than looking at the structural barriers that might be holding them back.
Mantsios also looks at how education perpetuates class divisions in America. He argues that while education is supposed to be the great leveler, in reality it often reinforces existing class divisions. Those from wealthy backgrounds are more likely to have access to better schools and resources, which gives them a leg up when it comes to getting into college and getting good jobs.
The second part of the essays is proof that those who are born into prosperous families have a better start in life, get more educated, want more for themselves, and receive greater chances than those who are raised in poor families. According to him, belonging to the lower class does not guarantee success, and this is especially true for minorities.
The minorities’ social status is even more difficult to improve. Gregory Mantsios tries to find the way how the situation can be improved and what should be done to make things fairer.
He also claims that most of Americans have a false consciousness about class and they do not realize that the class system exists. They think that America is a middle-class country where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. The author challenges this belief and provides evidence that there are big differences between classes in America and there is no mobility between them. Social class does not only affect the income but also the way of life, education, health and occupation.
The rich people have much better conditions and opportunities than the poor ones. They can afford better education, live in safer neighborhoods and have better health. They also have a lot of connections and this gives them an advantage in getting a good job.
The poor people, on the contrary, have to struggle to get a decent education, they live in bad conditions and their health is usually worse. They also have fewer chances to find a good job.
All these differences between classes create big inequalities in society and make it difficult for the people from lower classes to improve their social status.
Social class is a big factor that affects people’s life and opportunities. It is important to be aware of it and try to change the situation to make America a fairer place for everyone.
The third section is a synthesis of the first two. The author states his viewpoint that capitalism, as he terms it “a system based on private rather than public ownership and control of commercial enterprises, and on the class division between those who own and control and those who do not,” has oppressed poor people and minorities. These companies are governed by the need to generate a profit for the owners rather than to meet common requirements under capitalism.
The author also states that “In America, those who have the most money and power make the decisions that affect all of us. They own and control our major corporations, they hold key positions in government, they make and interpret our laws, they determine what values will be reflected in our mass media.” (Mantsios, 1998:7).
In other words, Mantsios claims that rich people exploit poor ones by their power and position in the society. The working class is struggling to make its life better while being oppressed by the upper class.
Without statistics, I would believe the writer that social strata do exist, and that moving socially up is not simple. It makes sense that parents assist their children in any way they can to ensure that their kids have a better start in life than others who don’t have money.
The author Gregory Mantsios firstly states what he believes to be the myths about class in America, which are that 1) America is a land of opportunity where anyone can make it if they just work hard enough, 2) public schools provide equal educational opportunities for all children, and 3) all Americans have an equal chance to succeed. He then debunks these myths with statistics and real-life examples.
Mantsios begins by discussing the myth of America as a land of opportunity. He points out that while it is true that anyone can technically make it in America if they work hard enough, the reality is that not everyone has an equal chance of success. This is because social class plays a significant role in determining one’s opportunities in life. Those from wealthier families have more resources and connections that give them a leg up, while those from lower-class backgrounds often lack the same advantages.
He goes on to discuss the second myth, that public schools provide equal educational opportunities for all children. Again, he points out that while this may be technically true, the reality is that children from wealthier families often attend better schools with more resources, while those from lower-class backgrounds are more likely to attend underfunded schools with fewer resources. This leads to disparities in education and ultimately contributes to the cycle of poverty.
Finally, Mantsios discusses the myth that all Americans have an equal chance to succeed. He points out that this is simply not true, as social class plays a significant role in one’s opportunities and ability to succeed in life. Those from wealthier families have more resources and connections, while those from lower-class backgrounds often lack the same advantages. This ultimately leads to disparities in outcomes and further reinforces the cycle of poverty.
In conclusion, Mantsios argues that the myths about class in America are just that – myths. Social class is a significant factor in determining one’s opportunities and ability to succeed in life, and unequal access to resources perpetuates the cycle of poverty. He urges readers to acknowledge the realities of social class in America and work towards creating a more equal society for all.