Occupations, not income or wealth data, shape the common coin for historical studies of social mobility and stratification (Van Leeuwen & Maas, 2010). Finding a means of tackling, sociologically, the problem of mobility or laboring to progress from one social level to the other, varies from culture to culture. Despite what we have learned from sitcoms and dramas, rising from poverty to wealth, coined the American Dream, is limited to a select few members in the United States. If you are born into poverty, the chance of downward mobility is almost certain while people who overcome the odds are the exception, not the rule (Crossman, 2018). A theorist working in the functionalist perspective might point out that this system is designed to reward hard work, which encourages people to strive for excellence in pursuit of reward. A theorist working in the conflict perspective might counter with the thought that hard work does not guarantee success even in a meritocracy (Keirns, & Strayer, 2015).
The Manifesto of the Communist Party discuss the plight of the modern working class;
the proletarians. Marx argues that the worker is commodified and seen as part of the machinery; a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital (Marx & Engels, 2017). When we face challenges in life, they should be confronted but to resolve challenges in life, reform in needed. Class is a capitalistic structure that gives give the elite the power to exploit society. Marx argues that as this structure exists, there will be a ruling class and an exploited class. Conversely, because the proletariat are the majority in society, Marx projects that one day they will ban together in revolution and destroy the entire system of class exploitation (Marx & Engels, 2017).
The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported that if you live in the state of Colorado, you would have to make $18.99 an hour or $33,497 annually to afford to live in a one-bedroom apartment. The Gap report estimates 26 affordable and available rental units per 100 households for extremely low-income families in Colorado. Ehrenreich stated that, “it’s not hard to get my coworkers talking about their living situations, because housing, in almost every case, is the principal source of disruption in their lives (p.20).” The idea that poor people don’t have savings to pay upfront the obligatory two-month deposits for a nicer apartment, so they usually end up paying higher rents or even living in motels which, in the long run, costs them much more.