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Lower and Upper Classes Views on Labor Essay

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Updated: Apr 2nd, 2020

The lower and upper classes in the society are characterized by different levels of achievements. People in the upper classes have achieved significant financial independence while those in the lower classes have little gains in terms of economic stability (Veblen 41). Thus, the two categories of people have distinct views about labor. Persons in the lower classes believe that they can only be productive through engaging in some forms of production, which have attributes of struggle.

Such people contend that there is no meaningful economic gain without struggle. This is evident in communities that adopt agriculture as the main source of their income. The lower classes do not have options to labor. Working is their accepted way of life. Thus, they work towards producing better results so that they would have better lives (Veblen 42).

It is demonstrated that those who value productive labor also appreciate the principles of emulation and acquisition. In order to acquire property, they aim at exhibiting high levels of diligence and parsimony. One demerit of this view of labor is that lower classes may work tirelessly without producing results that would enable them improve their status (Veblen 44).

On the other hand, upper classes do not believe that people should be involved in labor that is characterized by any form of struggle. Although such people also have the features of the emulative process, they have modified patterns of acquisition. The views of the upper classes with regard to labor are consistent with the characteristics of the barbarian stage of culture (Veblen 45). Such perceptions are geared toward looking down upon those who depend on productive labor to survive.

In fact, persons in the upper classes assert that the lower classes get involved in labor as a sign of weakness and subjection. The views have been in the society for quite some time. They have not been abolished because social differentiation has made people in the upper and lower classes have distinct perceptions with regard to labor (Veblen 48).

How different people improve their status in society

Status is a social vertical scale that defines individuals based on relative ranks. The ranks could be assigned to persons on the premises of honor and prestige, among other attributes (Veblen 50). The primary goal of improving status is to have better satisfaction in the context of social assessments. Different people improve their status through the adoption of various approaches. Modern societies rank their members based on occupations.

Persons in particular occupations rank higher those in other occupations. Thus, people aim at improving their status through engaging in occupations that they feel would make them be regarded higher on the social vertical scale (Veblen 50). A significant number of individuals study so that they can work in their best areas of occupations. In fact, improved academic training has been positively correlated with better ranks in the community.

Religion is also used utilized by persons so that they could improve their status (Veblen 54). This is based on the fact that some religious are regarded better than others. In fact, members of a religious group aim at climbing the social vertical scale by being actively involved in matters with regard to their religious affiliations (Veblen 57).

Another way through which individuals improve their status is through being members of certain ethnic groups. Thus, it would be expected that some ethnic groups are recognized as being better than others in particular contexts. Social satisfaction that is achieved through social ranking is best in people who are members of ethnic groups that are highly regarded.

Works Cited

Veblen, Thorstein. The theory of the leisure class. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. 2000. Print.

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