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Social Barriers People Experience in the United States

Social Class Division

The information about the modern social class division was interesting to analyze since I have never thought it was that drastic in today’s society. People may look or act similarly but belong to different groups regarding their financial resources. Some may also consider their position embarrassing to reveal or discuss, even if their acquaintances and colleagues do not show any negative attitude. Social class may affect people’s ability to receive education, live in a comfortable and safe neighborhood, or search for a particular job. Realizing that social class division exists and creates barriers for many American people led me to analyze my behavior regarding people I could offend by saying insensitive comments.

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The definition of social class is not clear, and placing someone in a particular category may be challenging. Historically, the borders have been blurry, and people of different cultures and origins would adjust them for convenience (Bird and Newport para. 1). However, the four characteristics that humans analyze when defining a social status are income, wealth, education, and occupation (Bird and Newport para. 2). The possession of whatever is considered prestigious and desirable in a particular country would move its citizens closer to the upper class.

Race and Ethnicity

People do not choose their race or ethnicity but may experience positive or negative effects of their genetic background in different aspects of life. For example, being a minority in the U.S. may create an uncomfortable situation at work or school despite the active propaganda of racial and ethnic equality through the education system and mass media. Different cultural heritage causes people to have diverse historical values, which is beneficial for a developed society. However, due to the natural human desire to interact with similar people in daily life, minorities may feel excluded and unprotected in a diverse environment.

Different ethnicity and race mixed in one society may create some communication difficulties. However, suppose all people choose to understand and support each other, learn about diverse values, and apply new knowledge in their daily lives. This situation could lead to forming a strong and intelligent community (Neamtu 227). Instead of the differences being perceived as a barrier dividing people into distinct groups, they could become catalysts in cultural and technological development.

Gender and Age

There are numerous stereotypes about gender and age that have a harmful effect on U.S. citizens. Women or elderly specialists may be denied a job, men could feel intimidated when attending a design class, and a young doctor or engineer can be regarded as unqualified. While it is challenging for modern society to be objective and ignore the traditions of making conclusions based on gender and age, current laws protect citizens from such discrimination. Unfortunately, the regulations cannot be applied and controlled for every person, but the overall trend raises awareness of judging people based on their skills and abilities.

Discrimination does not stop at difficulty finding a job and social group mistreatment. In some cases, it may lead to significant health problems for an individual (Potter et al. 266). Supporting discrimination contributes to the physical and emotional harm of society members and should be prevented in every case possible. While changing the habits of millions of people is a long and complicated process, each citizen could try exercising fair treatment daily to eventually reshape the U.S. perception of different social classes, races, genders, and ages.


I was not aware of the social barriers people experience in the U.S. today through class, gender, age, and other types of discrimination. While the topic is popular, it is not always presented realistically and seems shallow when discussed on social media. The new knowledge will not affect my future career choice, although I will pay more attention to how I communicate with people to avoid uncomfortable situations to the best of my abilities and knowledge.

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Bird, Robert, and Frank Newport. “What Determines How Americans Perceive Their Social Class?” Gallup, 2017. Web.

Neamtu, Bogdana. “In Search of a Better Understanding of Cultural Diversity in European Public Administration Research and Practice, with a Focus on Religion and Language.” European Perspectives for Public Administration: The Way Forward, edited by Geert Bouckaert and Werner Jann, Leuven University Press, 2020, pp. 225-246. JSTOR. Web.

Potter, Lindsey et al. “The Intersections of Race, Gender, Age, and Socioeconomic Status: Implications for Reporting Discrimination and Attributions to Discrimination.” Stigma and Health, vol. 4, no. 3, 2019, pp. 264-281.

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