Current research utilized interviewing methodology to determine social status (class, gender and race) of two persons. Our main thesis goes as follows: social status has a crucial effect on personal attitudes and is essentially influenced by contemporary cultural and class diversity in society. Each component of social status has its own weight in defining the nature of social interactions of a given individual.
Before we proceed with the analysis of interview data, let us offer a definition: social status in a society may be defined as the totality of social qualities and features, determining relations between individuals and groups, as well as their worldviews, ideological orientations and behavioral patterns. The questions of the interview were designed in accordance with basic sociological methodology, which requires questions’ analytical efficiency, wide thematic and personal scope, cognitive value and clarity (Crano & Brewer, 2002). The interviewed Ann (40 years old) and Peter (33 years old) were asked the following open-ended questions:1. What is your level of income and are you satisfied with it? 2.
What are your basic interests and circle of communication? 3. What future prospects do you see for yourself? 4. How does your gender affect your relations in the family, friends or at work? 5. Do you feel discriminated because of it? 5. How does your race affect your job and carrier opportunities? 6.
Did you come across any discrimination because of it? The received answers provide essential rationale for our argumentation. Ann is a low-income person with the circle of communication limited by her neighborhood friends, who also lack funds for living.She belongs to black race and states that her race and gender considerably affect her life and carrier opportunities and is pessimistic about them. Peter is a high-income man, belonging to black race with a wide circle of communication, business, cultural and personal ties. He states that his race does not affect his life and carrier opportunities by any means.
Hence, our thesis on social status can be easily proven by using analysis as a sociological method (Crano and Brewer, 2002). It is obvious that class and other components of social status are interconnected and mutually reinforcing.Low class status of a person, as in the Ann’s case, significantly affects her perceptions about her life and carrier opportunities, resulting in a phenomenon of social anomy and pessimism. Besides this, it is evident that race and gender identities, particularly black and female identity are significantly influenced by class identity. As in the Ann’s case, her low level of income results in essential discrimination on the basis of race and gender at the workplace and on the gender basis – in family, and this discrimination tells upon her carrier and income opportunities (Hazou, 1990).
In contrast, as far as Peter is concerned, his high level of income makes him pay less attention to his race identity, because he suffers less discrimination, which may be interpreted as race discrimination. His communication circle is quite wide, including business, professional and social ties and he has optimistic carrier and income priorities. Therefore, there is no denying the importance of the fact, that all components of social status affect personal and social viewpoints and behavioral orientations of people and constitute their social capital (Lin, 2001).Our findings shed the light on the implications of class, gender and culture diversity in society and help understand, how the components of culture and learned.
Class, gender and cultural diversity do not imply equality. Gender and race equality are premised on distribution of class privileges and opportunities. If a given society is class polarized, the income division is likely to affect divisions between gender and race taken universally. It means that socially deprived people would statistically tend to belong to one race, as in the case with black people in the USA during the first half of the 20th century.The conclusion may be drawn, that to create a truly multicultural society, one has to secure class, gender and race equality, paying specific attention to each identity in this list. Unless it is done, cultural education may lead to quite opposite to its original goals, that is, social alienation and pessimism.
To top it all, our analysis of interviewed data showed that class, gender and race statuses are mutually reinforcing, affect people’s worldviews and cultural diversity in the entire society.