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Social ClassIn what ways do media and communication reflect their contextual time and space in society? With reference to sociology literature, examine in detail one area of your choice that was covered during the course. Refer to Maltese context with references to studies and examples.History maybe last century or past years leading up to now.TimelineBasic overview of current social classesStereotypes of people in eachSocial class representation (tv, media, news, culture)Case study: vegetarianism in middle-class, malta and othersSocial class realThe purpose of this essay is to discuss classes in a social setting, how they affect the people’s way of life and the way media and communications reflect it. From my observations, I can see that the media places people in a social class according to their lifestyle or income. From this research I would also like to delve further into some area of lifestyles that may have a class attribute such as food and spending habits.Oxford Dictionary defines social class as “a division of a society based on social and economic status.” Other factors that may indicate social class are culture, politics and education. The most basic social class hierarchy is that of working class, middle class and upper class but according to Barry Jones (2001), the classes are also subdivided into lower middle class and upper middle class.Barry Jones (2001) explained social class analysis relies heavily on the Marxist and Weberian Approaches. The Marxist approach formulated by Karl Marx defines social classes by “the structures of political and economic power” of a certain group of people in a society. In the the Marxist approach, a working class individual is still considered working class even when he is earnings more than an individual in middle class. This is due to the social circumstances provided. The Weberian approach by Max Weber, is based by the differentiation of social classes on “common socioeconomic indicators” within a particular group. Max Weber put more importance on the life chances, opportunities and options provided to each person while also keeping the labour market in mind. The life chances include the number possession of land and type of education received. As it can be noted, both theories hold the economic aspect as central to class division but it is not all that is in common. The connections between two class locations is also shared by the two theories. Another common belief is that social class depends on a let on a particular person’s own mission of acquiring material resources. (Barry Jones, 2001, p.161)As previously mentioned, the main social classes are that of lower class, middle class and upper class. Class differentiation has been noticed throughout our history and is still present today. The three traditional classes are majorly accepted but can differ by country or culture. The working class or lower class is made up of wage-earners but is also driven by other conditions by which an individual is considered to belong to the working class or not. According to Barry Jones (2001), one’s ideological views, working class formulation and working class consciousness all have a role in categorizing an individual. The analysis driven by the Marxist theory insists on the importance of the working class as a political force. Marxists believe that the working class has the political force to “displace the capitalist relations of production and bring about a socialist society”. (Barry Jones, 2001, p.168) On the other hand, the Weberian approach, states that those in the working class did not have the opportunities to have higher paying jobs due to their low levels of property possession and education. The middle class is the most class subject to one’s theories and ideologies. It is also split into three, being lower middle class, middle class and upper middle class. There are 4 approaches when it comes to middle class: marxist, maximalist, minimalist and weberian. Individuals having supervisory and professional occupations are seen as middle class by the maximalist approach, even though they still are wage-earners. On the other hand, the minimalist approach insists that both productive and non-productive labour are abused and therefore, the middle class is not accounted for. The Marxists see the middle class as those falling “between the capitalist ruling class and the working class”. (Barry Jones, 2001, p.164) For the Weberian approach, middle class depends on the national median incomes and the group individuals who were given the same options in life in other to arrive to their current occupation.The upper class is made up of the top percentage of the wealthiest people. According to Flemmen (2012, p.1040), “the upper class is understood as consisting of various owner capitalists, as well as the top strata of employed executives, managers and business professionals.” In Marxist social hierarchy (2017) the Marxist approach states that the upper class were capitalists the ones who were rich, possessed land and businesses. They were able to change the lives of thoses who were in a lower class to them, i.e. the middle and lower classes. In the UK, the upper class are considered those who were born in it such as the royalty and aristocracy while in the USA those in the upper class are individuals who are super rich. Bibliography:Barry Jones, R.J. (Ed.). (2001). Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy (Vols. 1). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.Flemmen, M. (2012). The Structure of the Upper Class: A Social Space Approach. Sociology, 46(6), 1039-1058.Marxist social hierarchy. Hierarchy Structure. (2017, Dec 2). Retrieved from https://www.hierarchystructure.com/marxist-social-hierarchy/

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