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Social Class

Aristotle observed two millennia ago that populations tended to be divided into three groups: the very rich, the very poor, and those in between. For Karl Marx the principal social classes were the wage workers (the proletariat) and the capitalists (the bourgeoisie), with a middle group (the petty bourgeoisie) which was destined to be "proletarian zed." Adam Smith divided society into those who live on the rent of land, the wages of labor, and the profits of trade. Torstein Veblen divided society into the workers, who struggle for subsistence, and a leisure class so wealthy that its main concern is "conspicuous consumption" to show how rich they are. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 gave a description of lower-class life when he said in his inaugural address, January 20, 1937, see one third of the nation housed, and nourished." All these descriptions of soda class imply that money separates people into different groupings. will be shown, social class involves more than money.

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