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Classism is prejudice and/or discrimination on the basis of social class. It includes individual attitudes and behaviors, systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes.[1]


Accusations of classism

Charges that a person, act or institution is classist often provokes argument.There is frequently intense disagreement between the parties over background facts, such as whether modern industrialized societies are economically stratified into discernible classes (and if so, how much); or if this arrangement leads to classism. There is also often disagreement over matters of understanding, such as whether negative treatment is due to prejudice against members of certain classes, or whether it is a rational reaction to "personal" traits of the person being so treated.

People who generally tend to find charges of classism against 'lower' classes to be unfounded or unreasonably harsh often characterise the perceived prejudice as expressive of classist class envy. Those who argue classism is especially pervasive or fundamental to the society that they live in often identify classism as the expression of systematic economic exploitation by the 'higher' classes, and may connect it with an explicit notion of class warfare — but it is important to note that any particular accusation of classism does not, as such, presuppose any such claim, just as people may agree on examples of overt racism, while disagreeing intensely over how widespread or deep-seated racist attitudes are in their society.

See also

Further reading

  • A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Hill, Marcia, and Esther Rothblum. Classism and Feminist Therapy : Counting Costs. New York: Haworth Press, 1996.
  • Gans, Herbert. The War Against the Poor, 1996
  • Homan, Jacqueline S. Classism For Dimwits. Pennsylvania: Elf Books, 2007,2009
  • Packard, Vance. Status Seekers. 1959
  • Beegle, Donna M. See Poverty - Be the Difference. 2001

External links


  1. ^ Kadi, Joanna (1996). Thinking Class. U.S.: South End Press. ISBN 0-89608-548-1.  


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