Social Stratification in America

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Social stratification in American Society is not clearly defined or determined; nevertheless social scientist has developed a socio -economic stratification of the American society. Americans believe in a three class society: rich, poor and middle class and most Americans consider themselves as middle class. In reality the American society is more diverse and incongruent and there is an extensive difference among people. The basic determinants that make social class are wealth, education, income and occupation. Some sociologists have divided the American society in six distinct categories including: rich or the upper class, upper middle class, lower middle class, lower class and poor and under class.

It is believed that the people who belong to the same social class share the similar social positions, similar ways of thinking and life styles; others oppose this idea and believe that we can not generalize characteristic of the people to one another. Social class creates a hierarchy and identity for the people of each class.

One of the indications of the social class in America is income in terms of either individual or household and is one of the most important indicators of social class. Those families who have two income earners are in a better position. Per capita income which means the amount of money allocated to each individual member is also anther important determinant in social stratification. It can be said the families who have fewer members are in a better position.

Another indication in social stratification is education which has a relation with the occupation and income. Higher education itself needs money and paying tuition, so it is clear that most of the time the families who are better off can afford a better education for their children: they can pay for better schools and private schools, colleges and universities. As the result there is an interrelation between money and education.

One of the most prominent features of social class is culture: people of the same social class tend to have similar ways of behavior; though this behavior and culture is not some thing fix and changes with social mobility: people who move upward or downward in their social stratification will acquire the behavior of that social group. But there is diversity inside the same social group as well. One of the important terms in American culture and literature is the concept of "Class Ascendancy": based on this concept each successive generation will have a higher standard of living than its predecessors. Another important characteristic of American social class is achieved status rather than described statues; it means that regardless of his or her original statues, one can become rich and successful and climb the social ladder. But in reality this idealistic view can not be completely true: many people of color are still suffering the racial prejudices and as a result they can not have the proper education and a good occupation which is perhaps the most important class component. These people have lower income and the cycle will continue to the later generations. Despite the existing injustice and inequalities, America is considered land of opportunity, the land which its streets are paved with gold. Thought this belief is exaggerated, Americans have improved their economic situation with their hard working and persistence.

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Source by Zeinab Ghasemi Tari

What Made Native American Peoples Vulnerable to Conquest by European Adventurers?

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What made Native American peoples vulnerable to conquest by European adventurers?

There were several traits which made the Native American's vulnerable to conquest by European adventurers. First, the people themselves were ill equipped to deal with the European invaders. Their numbers were quickly reduced as a result of famine, forced labor, epidemics involving contact with European diseases and wars.

They were unaccustomed to the economic, political and military aspects associated with the Europeans. They lacked the organization and political unity to resist the conquering people. The various tribes were frequently in conflict with one and other as they went about their daily lives competing with each other for land and food. As an example over the years the Aztecs accumulated many enemies especially within their own tribe. This conflict resulted from competition for territorial rights, acquisition of wealth and the practice of using their captive enemies as religious sacrifices. Cort├ęs exploited this trait by forming alliances with the opposing tribes. In contrast to the Aztecs lack of unity the Spanish explorers were a highly unified society.

The Native Americans possessed the necessary skills to work with copper but failed to develop those needed to smelt iron thus they lacked sufficient technology to wage war upon the invaders. When the Europeans arrived in the New World they were welcomed by the Native Americans. The Indians regarded their visitors as wonderful warriors with their dress, beards, and their ships but more so for the technology they brought with them. The native population was amazed at this technology such as their steel knives and swords, the arquebus which is a sort of muzzle loader, the cannon, copper and brass kettles, mirrors, hawk bells and earrings which were used as trading goods, along with other items which were unusual to their way of life. This was rightfully so since the natives lacked the ability to create these amazing inventions used by the Europeans. Unfortunately the European visitors used their weapons of war inflicting great amounts of damage to the natives.

It did not take long before serious problems began to develop. Upon the arrival of the Europeans there were 7 million Native Americans in North America. Most lived in hunter-gather or agricultural types of communities. The largest problem encountered by the Native Americans was their lack of immunity toward European diseases. This lack of immunity in these communities towards the European diseases took their toll among the Indian tribes. Smallpox was a common threat frequently contracted by the Indians from the European people.

The Native Americans soon began to dislike the Europeans and their beliefs. They often viewed the white man as despicable and stingy with their wealth. This was something that the Indians had not previously encountered. In their social order things were freely shared. The explorers were deemed to be insatiable in their desire for furs and hides. They particularly disliked the European's intolerance for their religious beliefs, eating habits, sexual and marital arrangements and other aspects of their customs.

The Native Americans were used to being in tune with the spirit of nature but to the Europeans nature was an obstacle in their path. They viewed the gifts of nature as an endless supply of resources such as the forest having an abundance of timber, a beaver colony possessing unlimited pelts and the buffalo with many robes. To the explorers even the Native American's were deemed a resource ripe for religious conversion or as a means of free labor.

Copyright @ 2015

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Source by Joseph Parish

The Best Loved Poems of The American People – By Hazel Felleman

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This Book of Poetry was printed in 1936. Bear with me as I describe what our country was like at that time. It was in the middle of the last great depression, and so a very bad economic time. However it was purchased and read by many folks for the same reasons that I have read it many times. Tom Brokaw called it "The Greatest Generation".

The book was dedicated to Adolph S. Ochs publisher of the New York Times, who died in 1935. Ochs was a lover of poetry who began his career as a newsboy in Tennessee. While we now can "Google" information about most anything, at that time the radio and newspaper were our main source of information for those that could afford them.

Felleman worked for the Times, in the Question and Answer section of the Book Review area. She had received more requests for information about Poems, than any other items that showed her which ones were the public's favorites. The Times was the "Google" for those times and requests were mailed in from all over the nation. As Edward Frank Allen states in the introduction this book was edited by the American People. His introduction is well enough written and interesting that it will merit you reading it.

In that wise let me quote a few sentences from the introduction. I think what he says in 1936 is still fitting for today's society. Allen stated: "Today poetry is an absolute necessity. The world needs it for it's vitalizing strength. Poetry has nearly everything that music can give-melody, rhythm, sentiment-but it has this advantage: it can come closer to the heart. It satisfies a hunger for beauty that is a part of nearly every normal person's make-up.

The book is organized quite well. Reading Poetry is a personal thing and we like different types or even individual poems in different categories. Therefore the book is divided into 12 sections based on the subject of the poems. From Love and Friendship to Various Themes. Humor, patriotism, poems that tell a story and more. The first poem is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the last by Robert Browning. You will find an index listed by Authors, First Lines, and Titles. The 670 pages are well set up for easy access to all content by all readers. It is a very good book for all people of a wide range of age .. It has Poems by many famous Poets and others less known. Felleman includes some poems by Unkown Poets, whose poems were well liked but the authorship was not known.

You will find, as Hazel Felleman relates, all the poems are not necessarily her favorites but they were included because they were the favorites of the American People. A few of my favorites are not in this book but many are there.

I "Googled" and found that it is still in print and is available both new and used at most Book Stores. I find prices from 25 cents to 17.00. Quite a bargain for the bookshelf and your pleasure.

Turn off the TV, toss the Newspaper, find your quiet nook and enjoy. I am sure you will enjoy it.

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Source by Alex Kamas