ListMoto - Middle Class

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The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class. The common measures of what constitutes middle class vary significantly among cultures. One of the narrowest definitions limits it to those in the middle fifth of the nation's income ladder. A wider characterization includes everyone but the poorest 20% and the wealthiest 20%.[1]


1 History and evolution of the term 2 Marxism

2.1 Social reproduction

3 Professional-managerial class 4 Recent global growth

4.1 Russia 4.2 China 4.3 India 4.4 Africa 4.5 Latin America

5 Middle-class shares by income and wealth 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

History and evolution of the term[edit] The term "middle class" is first attested in James Bradshaw's 1745 pamphlet Scheme to prevent running Irish Wools to France.[2][3] Another phrase used in Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe
was "the middling sort".[4][5] The term "middle class" has had several, sometimes contradictory, meanings. It was once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry of Europe.[by whom?] While the nobility owned the countryside, and the peasantry worked the countryside, a new bourgeoisie (literally "town-dwellers") arose around mercantile functions in the city. In France, the middle classes helped drive the French Revolution.[6] Another definition equated the middle class to the original meaning of capitalist: someone with so much capital that they could rival nobles. In fact, to be a capital-owning millionaire was the essential criterion of the middle class in the industrial revolution. The modern usage of the term "middle-class", however, dates to the 1913 UK Registrar-General's report, in which the statistician T.H.C. Stevenson identified the middle class as that falling between the upper-class and the working-class.[citation needed] Included as belonging to the middle-class are: professionals, managers, and senior civil servants. The chief defining characteristic of membership in the middle-class is possession of significant human capital. Within capitalism, "middle-class" initially referred to the bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie. However, with the impoverisation and proletarianisation of much of the petit bourgeois world, and the growth of finance capitalism, "middle class" came to refer to the combination of the labour aristocracy, the professionals, and the white collar workers. The size of the middle class depends on how it is defined, whether by education, wealth, environment of upbringing, social network, manners or values, etc. These are all related, but are far from deterministically dependent. The following factors are often ascribed in modern usage to a "middle class":[by whom?]

Achievement of tertiary education. Holding professional qualifications, including academics, lawyers, chartered engineers, politicians, and doctors, regardless of leisure or wealth. Belief in bourgeois values, such as high rates of house ownership, delayed gratification, and jobs which are perceived to be secure. Lifestyle. In the United Kingdom, social status has historically been linked less directly to wealth than in the United States,[7] and has also been judged by signifiers such as accent (Received Pronunciation and U and non-U English), manners, type of school attended (public school), occupation, and the class of a person's family, circle of friends and acquaintances.[8][9]

In the United States
United States
by the end of the twentieth century, more people identified themselves as middle-class than as lower or "working" class (with insignificant numbers identifying themselves as upper-class).[10] The Labour Party in the UK, which grew out of the organised labour movement and originally drew almost all of its support from the working-class, reinvented itself under Tony Blair
Tony Blair
in the 1990s as "New Labour", a party competing with the Conservative Party for the votes of the middle-class as well as the working-class; which were their traditional group of voters. By 2011, almost three-quarters of British people were also found to identify themselves as middle-class.[11] Marxism[edit] Main articles: Marxism
and Marxian class theory In Marxism, which defines social classes according to their relationship with the means of production, the "middle class" is said to be the class below the ruling class and above the proletariat in the Marxist social schema. Marxist writers have used the term in two distinct but related ways.[12] In the first sense it is used for the bourgeoisie, the urban merchant and professional class that stood between the aristocracy and the proletariat in the Marxist model. However, in modern developed countries, some Marxist writers specify the petite bourgeoisie – either owners of small property who may not employ wage labor or laboring managers – as the "middle class" between the ruling and working classes.[12] Marx himself regarded this version of the "middle class" simultaneously as exploited workers and supervisors of exploitation.[12] Pioneer 20th century American Marxist theoretician Louis C. Fraina (Lewis Corey) defined the middle class as "the class of independent small enterprisers, owners of productive property from which a livelihood is derived."[13] Included in this social category, from Fraina's perspective, were "propertied farmers" but not propertyless tenant farmers. Middle class also included salaried managerial and supervisory employees but not "the masses of propertyless, dependent salaried employees.[13] Fraina speculated that the entire category of salaried employees might be adequately described as a "new middle class" in economic terms, although this remained a social grouping in which "most of whose members are a new proletariat."[13] Social reproduction[edit] According to Christopher B. Doob, a sociology writer, the middle-class grooms each future generation to take over from the previous one. He states that, to do this the middle class have almost developed a system for turning children of the middle-class into successful citizens. Allegedly those who are categorized under the American middle-class give education great importance, and value success in education as one of the chief factors in establishing the middle-class life. Supposedly the parents place a strong emphasis on the significance of quality education and its effects on success later in life. He believes that the best way to understand education through the eyes of middle-class citizens would be through social reproduction as middle-class parents breed their own offspring to become successful members of the middle-class. Members of the middle-class consciously use their available sources of capital to prepare their children for the adult world.[14] The middle-class childhood is often characterized by an authoritative parenting approach with a combination of parental warmth, support and control. Parents set some rules establishing limits, but overall this approach creates a greater sense of trust, security, and self-confidence.[15] In addition to an often authoritative parenting style, middle-class parents provide their children with valuable sources of capital.[16] Parents of middle-class children make use of their social capital when it comes to their children's education as they seek out other parents and teachers for advice. Some parents even develop regular communication with their child's teachers, asking for regular reports on behavior and grades. When problems do occur, middle-class parents are quick to "enlist the help of professionals when they feel their children need such services."[17] The middle-class parents' involvement in their children's schooling underlines their recognition of its importance.[18] Professional-managerial class[edit] Further information: American middle class
American middle class
§ The Professional/Managerial middle class In 1977 Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich
and her then husband John defined a new Marxist class in United States
United States
as "salaried mental workers who do not own the means of production and whose major function in the social division of labor...(is)...the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations"; the Ehrenreichs named this group the "professional-managerial class".[19] This group of middle-class professionals are distinguished from other social classes by their training and education (typically business qualifications and university degrees),[20] with example occupations including academics and teachers, social workers, engineers, managers, nurses, and middle-level administrators.[21] The Ehrenreichs developed their definition from studies by André Gorz, Serge Mallet, and others, of a "new working class", which, despite education and a perception of themselves as being middle class, were part of the working class because they did not own the means of production, and were wage earners paid to produce a piece of capital.[22] The professional-managerial class seeks higher rank status and salary,[23] and tend to have incomes above the average for their country.[24] Compare the term "managerial caste".[25] Recent global growth[edit]

Phrase: Kelas menengah ngehe "Awful middle class" in Bahasa Indonesia

Don’t care how, I want it now! It is this conflict between thriftiness and a desire for status and prestige that often sees them derided as ngehe (awful). Middle class people often contribute to the very problems that they are so vocal about. Additionally, they are often insensitive to the needs of poor and marginalised, and are often reluctant to participate in community remediation activities. This hypocrisy and apparent lack of concern for social justice is what makes others brand them ngehe (awful).[26]

In February 2009, The Economist
The Economist
announced that over half the world's population now belongs to the middle class, as a result of rapid growth in emerging countries. It characterized the middle class as having a reasonable amount of discretionary income, so that they do not live from hand to mouth as the poor do, and defined it as beginning at the point where people have roughly a third of their income left for discretionary spending after paying for basic food and shelter. This allows people to buy consumer goods, improve their health care, and provide for their children's education. Most of the emerging middle class consists of people who are middle-class by the standards of the developing world but not the rich one, since their money incomes do not match developed country levels, but the percentage of it which is discretionary does. By this definition, the number of middle-class people in Asia exceeded that in the West sometime around 2007 or 2008.[27] The Economist's article pointed out that in many emerging countries the middle class has not grown incrementally, but explosively. The rapid growth results from the fact that the majority of the people fall into the middle of a left-skewed bell-shaped curve, and when the peak of the population curve crosses the threshold into the middle class, the number of people in the middle class grows enormously. In addition, when the curve crosses the threshold, economic forces cause the bulge to become taller as incomes at that level grow faster than incomes in other ranges. The point at which the poor start entering the middle class by the millions is the time when poor countries get the maximum benefit from cheap labour through international trade, before they price themselves out of world markets for cheap goods. It is also a period of rapid urbanization, when subsistence farmers abandon marginal farms to work in factories, resulting in a several-fold increase in their economic productivity before their wages catch up to international levels. That stage was reached in China
some time between 1990 and 2005, when the middle class grew from 15% to 62% of the population, and is just being reached in India
now. The Economist
The Economist
predicted that surge across the poverty line should continue for a couple of decades and the global middle class will grow enormously between now and 2030. Based on the rapid growth, scholars expect the global middle class to be the driving force for sustainable development. This assumption, however, is contested.[28] As the American middle class
American middle class
is estimated at approximately 45% of the population,[29][30][31] The Economist's article would put the size of the American middle class
American middle class
below the world average. This difference is due to the extreme difference in definitions between The Economist's and many other models.[discuss] In 2010, a working paper by the OECD
estimated that 1.8 billion people were now members of the global middle class.[32] Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report 2014, released in October 2014, estimated that one billion adults belonged to the middle class, with wealth anywhere between the range of $10,000-$100,000.[33] According to a study carried out by the Pew Research Center, a combined 16% of the world’s population in 2011 were “upper-middle income” and “upper income.”[34] Russia[edit] In 2012, the middle class in Russia
was estimated as 15% of the whole population. Due to sustainable growth, the pre-crisis level was exceeded.[35] In 2015, research from the Russian Academy of Sciences estimated that around 15% of the Russian population are "firmly middle class," while around another 25% are "on the periphery."[36] China[edit] A study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) estimated that 19% of Chinese were middle class in 2003, including any household with assets worth between $18,000 and $36,000.[37] India[edit] According to a 2012 study by the German Development Institute, the middle class in India
constituted 8% of the population in 2012.[38] Africa[edit] According to a 2014 study by Standard Bank economist Simon Freemantle, a total of 15.3 million households in 11 surveyed African nations are middle-class. These include Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.[39] In South Africa, a report conducted by the Institute for Race Relations in 2015[40] estimated that between 10%-20% of South Africans are middle class, based on various criteria.[41] An earlier study estimated that in 2008 21.3% of South Africans were members of the middle class.[42] A study by EIU Canback indicates 90% of Africans fall below an income of $10 a day. The proportion of Africans in the $10-$20 middle class (excluding South Africa), rose from 4.4% to only 6.2% between 2004 and 2014. Over the same period, the proportion of “upper middle” income ($20-$50 a day) went from 1.4% to 2.3%.[43] According to a 2014 study by the German Development Institute, the middle class of Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
rose from 14 million to 31 million people between 1990 and 2010.[38] Latin America[edit] According to a study by the World Bank, the number of Latin Americans who are middle class rose from 103m to 152m between 2003 and 2009.[44] Middle-class shares by income and wealth[edit] The American middle class
American middle class
is smaller than middle classes across Western Europe, but its income is higher, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. and 11 European nations.[45] The median disposable (after-tax) income of middle-class households in the U.S. was $60,884 in 2010. With the exception of Luxembourg – a virtual city-state where the median income was $71,799 – the disposable incomes of middle-class households in the other 10 Western European countries in the study trailed well behind the American middle class.[45] The numbers below reflect the middle, upper, and lower share of all adults by country by net wealth (not income). Unlike that of the upper class, wealth of the middle and lowest quintile consists substantially of non-financial assets, specifically home equity. Factors which explain differences in home equity include housing prices and home ownership rates. According to the OECD, the vast majority of financial assets in every country analysed is found in the top of the wealth distribution.[46][47]

Rank No.
















































Country/Territory Middle class (%) Upper class*1 (%) Lower class*2 (%)

 Australia 66.1 14.2 19.7

 Singapore 62.3 16.0 21.7

 Belgium 62.1 12.3 25.6

 Italy 59.7 8.6 31.7

 Japan 59.5 9.1 31.4

 Taiwan 59.4 15.2 25.4

 United Kingdom 57.4 12.2 30.4

 Norway 56.4 12.2 31.4

 United Arab Emirates 56.4 7.8 35.8

 Spain 55.8 3.8 40.4

 Netherlands 54.1 7.4 38.5

 Ireland 50.3 7.4 42.3

 New Zealand 50.3 21.9 27.8

 France 49.2 12.5 38.3

 Canada 47.8 10.5 41.7

 Greece 47.2 2.8 50.0

 Finland 45.6 4.4 50.0

 Portugal 44.6 2.7 52.7

 Korea 44.6 2.9 52.5

  Switzerland 44.5 14.0 41.5

 Hong Kong 44.4 5.1 50.5

 Austria 44.0 7.9 48.1

 Israel 42.5 3.7 53.8

 Germany 42.4 7.6 50.0

 Denmark 39.5 10.5 50.0

 Sweden 39.4 11.5 49.1

 United States 37.7 12.3 50.0

 Saudi Arabia 33.1 2.1 64.8

 Czech Republic 26.5 1.6 71.9

 Chile 22.3 1.5 76.2

 Poland 19.3 1.0 79.7

 Mexico 17.1 1.0 81.9

 Malaysia 16.7 1.2 82.1

 Colombia 15.3 0.9 83.8

 South Africa 13.7 1.1 85.2

 China 10.7 0.6 88.7

 Peru 10.3 0.8 88.9

 Turkey 9.9 0.8 89.3

 Brazil 8.1 0.6 91.3

 Egypt 5.0 0.4 94.6

 Philippines 4.8 0.4 94.8

 Indonesia 4.4 0.6 95.0

 Russia 4.1 0.5 95.4

 Argentina 4.0 0.3 95.7

 Thailand 3.7 0.3 96.0

 India 3.0 0.2 96.8

^ *1: ( Middle class and above) - (Middle class) ^ *2: 100 - ( Middle class and above) See also[edit]

Lower middle class Upper middle class American middle class African-American middle class British class system Occupational prestige Social environment Disenchantment Rational-legal authority Normalization (sociology) Iron cage Habitus (sociology) Cultural determinism One-third hypothesis' Middle-class squeeze Dominant culture Cultural hegemony Cultural imperialism The Media Elite


Bourgeoisie Classlessness The Lonely Crowd Status paradox of migration Illustrado Producerism Xiaozi Middle Class Millionaire Essex man Little Englander Worcester woman Deep England


^ http://money.cnn.com/infographic/economy/what-is-middle-class-anyway/index.html ^ "Home : Oxford English Dictionary". oed.com.  ^ James Bradshaw (1745). A scheme to prevent the running of Irish wools to France: and Irish woollen goods to foreign countries. By prohibiting the importation of Spanish wools into Ireland, ... Humbly offered to the consideration of Parliament. By a Merchant of London. printed for J. Smith, and G. Faulkner. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 18 May 2012.  ^ Hunt, Margaret R. (1996). The Middling Sort Commerce, Gender, and the Family in England, 1680-1780. University California Press.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ "To be one of "the middling sort" in urban England in the late seventeenth or eighteenth century was to live a life tied, one way or another, to the world of commerce.". ^ Georges Lefebvre, La Révolution Française, 1951 1957 ^ "Who is the Middle Class?". PBS. 25 June 2004. Retrieved 19 April 2011.  ^ "Survey on Class". Ipsos MORI. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2011.  ^ "Perceptions of Social Class (trends)". Ipsos MORI. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2011.  ^ "Room for Debate: Who Should Be the Judge of Middle Class?". The New York Times. 23 December 2010.  ^ "Why is 'chav' still controversial?". 3 June 2011 – via www.bbc.co.uk.  ^ a b c Communist League Britain, Marxism
and Class: Some definitions. undated. http://www.mltranslations.org/Britain/Marxclass.htm at §The 'Middle Class' ^ a b c Lewis Corey, "American Class Relations," Marxist Quarterly, vol. 1 no. 2 (Jan.-Mar. 1937), pg. 141. ^ Doob, Christopher B. (2013). "The Badly Besieged Middle Class". Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society. New Jersey: Pearson. pp. 157–167.  ^ Demo, David H.; Martha J. Cox (2000). "Families with Young Children: A Review off Research in the 1990s". Journal of Marriage and the Family. 62 (November): 876–95. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2000.00876.x.  ^ Doob, Christopher B. (2013). "The Badly Besieged Middle Class". Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society. New Jersey: Pearson. pp. 157–67.  ^ Lareau, Annette (2002). "Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families". American Sociological Review. 67 (October): 747–76. doi:10.2307/3088916.  ^ Madland, David; Nick Bunker. "The Middle Class is the Key to a Better Educated Nation". Center for American Progress Action Fund. Retrieved 11 August 2012.  ^ Stewart Clegg, Paul Boreham, Geoff Dow; Class, politics, and the economy. Routledge. 1986. ISBN 978-0-7102-0452-3. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ Philip Green, Retrieving democracy: in search of civic equality Rowman & Littlefield. books.google.com. 1985. ISBN 0-8476-7405-3. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ Hidden Technocrats: The New Class and New Capitalism. Transaction Publishers. 1991. ISBN 1-56000-787-7. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ Between labor and capital - Google Books. books.google.com. 1979. ISBN 978-0-89608-037-9. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ The general theory of ... - Google Books. books.google.com. 1998. ISBN 978-0-521-59006-8. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ Gail Paradise Kelly, Sheila Slaughter; Women's higher education in comparative perspective. Springer. 1990. ISBN 0-7923-0800-X. Retrieved 4 October 2009.  ^ Kay, Geoffrey (1975). Development and underdevelopment: a Marxist analysis. Macmillan. p. 194. ISBN 0-333-15402-9. Retrieved 1 January 2011. [...] the new managerial caste [...] as a force in capitalist society [...]  ^ http://jakarta.coconuts.co/2016/07/01/dont-care-how-i-want-it-now-who-are-kelas-menengah-ngehe-awful-middle-class Coconuts Jakarta 1 July 2016 ^ Parker, John (12 February 2009). " Special
report: Burgeoning bourgeoisie". The Economist
The Economist
(published 13 February 2009). Retrieved 13 December 2009.  ^ "It is doubtful, whether middle classes in developing countries are driving progress". D+C.  ^ Gilbert, D. (2002) The American Class Structure: In An Age of Growing Inequality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; Thompson, W. & Hickey, J. (2005). ^ Society in Focus. Boston, MA: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon; Beeghley, L. (2004). ^ The Structure of Social Stratification in the United States. Boston, MA: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon. ^ "Page not found". oecd.org.  ^ "China's middle class 10 times larger than that in India". The Times of India.  ^ "World Population by Income". Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. 8 July 2015.  ^ "Rosgosstrakh Strategic Research Centre" (PDF).  ^ "Russian middle class slowly stirred to action by economic crisis". Yahoo News UK. 10 April 2015.  ^ "China's middle class growing fast". BBC News.  ^ a b https://www.die-gdi.de/uploads/media/DP_35.2014.pdf ^ "Making sense of Africa's middle class". howwemadeitinafrica.com.  ^ "How South Africa's middle class makes use of technology - htxt.africa". htxt.africa.  ^ "Black middle class has expanded quickly but may now slow – new IRR report". irr.org.za.  ^ "SA middle class getting poorer".  ^ "Few and far between". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 31 October 2015.  ^ "Latin America's middle class". The Economist.  ^ a b "Through an American lens, Western Europe's middle classes appear smaller". 5 June 2017.  ^ Global Wealth Databook. 2015. p. 32.  ^ https://www.oecd.org/std/household-wealth-inequality-across-OECD-countries-OECDSB21.pdf

Further reading[edit]

Balzer, Harley D., ed. Russia's Missing Middle Class: The Professions in Russian History (ME Sharpe, 1996). Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Esther Duflo (December 2007). What is middle class about the middle classes around the world? (PDF). Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics. p. 50.  Blackbourn, David, and Richard J. Evans, eds. The German Bourgeoisie: Essays on the Social History of the German Middle Class from the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century (1991). Cashell, Brian W. Who Are the "Middle Class"?, CRS Report for the Congress, 20 March 2007 Fry, Richard; Kochhar, Rakesh (11 May 2016). "Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 18 February 2018.  Jones, Larry Eugene. "'The Dying Middle': Weimar Germany
and the Fragmentation of Bourgeois
Politics." Central European History 5.1 (1972): 23-54. Kocka, Jürgen. "The Middle Classes in Europe," Journal of Modern History 67#4 (1995): 783-806. doi.org/10.1086/245228. online Kocka, Jürgen, and J. Allan Mitchell, eds. Bourgeois
Society in 19th Century Europe
(1992) Lebovics, Herman. Social Conservatism and the Middle Class in Germany, 1914-1933 (Princeton UP, 2015). López, A. Ricardo, and Barbara Weinstein, eds. The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History (Duke University Press, 2012) 446 pp. scholarly essays McKibbin, Ross. Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 (2000) pp 44-105. Mills, C. Wright, White Collar: The American Middle Classes (1951). Pilbeam, Pamela. The Middle Classes in Europe, 1789-1914: France, Germany, Italy, and Russia
(1990) Wells, Jonathan Daniel. "The Southern Middle Class," Journal of Southern History, Volume: 75#3 2009. pp 651+.

External links[edit]

Beazley reaches out to 'middle Australia' NOW on PBS: Middle Class Insecurity Are politicians listening to middle-class families on the edge of economic collapse? Contains estimates on the size of the middle class in various countries Contains estimates on the size of the middle class in Latin America and other countries Contains Contains estimates on the size of the middle class in Africa, based on various definitions

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