Answer: How do race and social class play an important role in marriage and family life?
Chapter 4 Families and Social
The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change 3e
Donald J. Trump Jr.
and family positioning
• Categories in which people share
a common set of circumstances
• Two perspectives: continuum or
Theories of Social Class
• Division of labor – or the social
process of determining who does
what work and for what reward.
• Some jobs as more important
• Motivation is needed.
• Inequality as a result of economic
• Exploitation as the process by
which the labor of some produces
wealth that is controlled by
• Social class as a continuum
• Inequality found between classes
Which theory is this?
Which theory is this?
• The access to resources a person
has through relationships and
connections within a social
• The importance of family.
• Difference between benefits by
the wealthier or poor.
Generations of Wealth and
• Small slice of the American upper
• Group of connected families
• High salaries and professional
• Endogamous marriages.
• Selective friendship connections.
Generations of Working Poverty
• Lower paying employments.
• Low instances of college
• Very little social mobility.
• The capitalistic and corporate
Social Class Structure
managerial class (AKA 1%) but
• GSS 2019 reported 3.5% self-
identification as “upper class”
• The middle class are able to meet
basic needs including health care,
education, and own homes.
• The working class tend to lack higher
education or training that the middle
class possess. Less stability.
• The lower class don’t tend to have
higher education or skilled jobs.
While only 8% self identify as such,
number is believed to be larger
(poverty rate at 11.8% in 2018).
What could be happening
resulting in these selfidentification and
We must examine the
relative difference between
people with more money
and the people with less
We must understand how
the overall level of
inequality in society
changes over time.
• Is a measure of inequality in
The Gini Index
which 0 represents complete
equality and 1 represents
• We currently have 0.45 in the U.S.
• Is this high/low?
• Germany = 0.32
• France = 0.33
• Mexico = 0.48
• Brazil = 0.52
• At the bottom: keeping the poor from improving their lot. Among the lowest
earners there have been changes in public policy and family structure that have
kept their families from rising.
• In the middle: divergent fortunes. In the middle-income ranges, some trends
have pulled families down while others have lifted families up, resulting in
greater degree of inequality.
• At the top: the new superrich. New pattern of very high incomes spurred by
government policies that include the deregulation of finance industry, reduced
taxes on certain kinds of income earned by the very rich, and relaxed restrictions
on corporate lobbying for those policies.
What is poverty?
Who is poor?
What can and should we do about this problem?
2021 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Calculator
• The federal government uses
income categories to set tax rates,
so that rich families usually pay
higher taxes rates than poor
• The rules are complicated and
there are a lot of exemptions.
• The official poverty line – the
level of income below which the
federal government defines a
family or individual as poor.
• 1) The price of food has risen more slowly than the price of housing and
medical care, so living on food budget times three is no longer adequate.
• 2) The calculation doesn’t include important government benefits that
some low-income families get, especially medical assistance and tax
• 3) It doesn’t take into account the different cost of living in different
“For those who did not rise to the moral challenge of
caring for the poor, Jesus instead promised ‘eternal fire’”
Matters of poverty
• Poverty is concentrated by
• Single parent households
• Same-sex couple families
(especially lesbian couples)
• Single parents with children are
much more likely to be poor than
married couples with children.
• Housing insecurity is common
• 1/3 of homeless people are families
• “even though 12% of people are in
poverty now, approximately 60% of
people will experience at least one
year of their loves with incomes in
the bottom one fifth of the
• 1 in 7 Americans don’t have income
necessary to support their basic
• Most children follow the social
class footsteps of their parents,
yet not always the case.
• 1 out of 4 Americans say there is
a lot of opportunity for “the
average person” in our society to
get ahead (p.142)
The Digital Divide
• Children of parents with high
school diploma spend 21 minutes
more per day watching TV than
those of parents who graduated
• Children of parents with high
school diploma spend 73 minutes
more per day engaged in media
• College bribe scandal
• Education important to separate
• Children in higher SES families
are 4x more likely to complete a
4-year college degree than their
lower income counterparts (60%
• Parents of middle and upper SES
are more likely to understand
how to work with and get what
they want from professionals in
their children’s schools.
Will this trend continue resulting in more and more money
concentrated in fewer and fewer hands?
And what does this mean for families who aren’t in this very
“This concentration of wealth may be harmful to the
economy if the richest people don’t spend their money in
ways that benefit regular workers and their families.” (p.
Purchase answer to see full