Social class

A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper and lower classes. "Class" is a subject of analysis for sociologists, political scientists and social historians. However, there is not a consensus on a definition of "class" and the term has a wide range of sometimes conflicting meanings; some people argue. In common parlance, the term "social class" is synonymous with "socio-economic class", defined as "people having the same social, cultural, political or educational status", e.g. "the working class". However, academics distinguish social class and socioeconomic status, with the former referring to one's stable sociocultural background and the latter referring to one's current social and economic situation and being more changeable over time; the precise measurements of what determines social class in society have varied over time.

Karl Marx thought. His simple understanding of classes in modern capitalist society is the proletariat, those who work but do not own the means of production; this contrasts with the view of the sociologist Max Weber, who argued "class" is determined by economic position, in contrast to "social status" or "Stand", determined by social prestige rather than just relations of production. The term "class" is etymologically derived from the Latin classis, used by census takers to categorize citizens by wealth in order to determine military service obligations. In the late 18th century, the term "class" began to replace classifications such as estates and orders as the primary means of organizing society into hierarchical divisions; this corresponded to a general decrease in significance ascribed to hereditary characteristics and increase in the significance of wealth and income as indicators of position in the social hierarchy. Social class and behavior were laid down in law. For example, permitted mode of dress in some times and places was regulated, with sumptuous dressing only for the high ranks of society and aristocracy, whereas sumptuary laws stipulated the dress and jewelry appropriate for a person's social rank and station.

In Europe, these laws became commonplace during the Middle Ages. However, these laws were prone to change due to societal changes, in many cases, these distinctions may either disappear, such as the distinction between a patrician and a plebeian being erased during the late Roman Republic. Jean-Jacques Rousseau had a large influence over political ideals of the French Revolution because of his views of inequality and classes. Rousseau saw humans as "naturally pure and good," meaning that humans from birth were seen as innocent and any evilness was learned, he believed that social problems arise through the development of society and suppressing the innate pureness of humankind. He believed that private property is the main reason for social issues in society because private property creates inequality through the property's value. Though his theory predicted if there were no private property there would be wide spread equality, Rousseau accepted that there will always be social inequality because of how society is viewed and run.

Enlightenment thinkers viewed inequality as valuable and crucial to society's development and prosperity. They acknowledged that private property will cause inequality because specific resources that are owned can be stored and the owners profit off of the deficit of the resource; this can create competition between the classes, seen as necessary by these thinkers. This creates stratification between the classes keeping a distinct difference between lower, poorer classes and the higher, wealthier classes. Definitions of social classes reflect a number of sociological perspectives, informed by anthropology, economics and sociology; the major perspectives have been Marxism and structural functionalism. The common stratum model of class divides society into a simple hierarchy of working class, middle class and upper class. Within academia, two broad schools of definitions emerge: those aligned with 20th-century sociological stratum models of class society and those aligned with the 19th-century historical materialist economic models of the Marxists and anarchists.

Another distinction can be drawn between analytical concepts of social class, such as the Marxist and Weberian traditions, as well as the more empirical traditions such as socioeconomic status approach, which notes the correlation of income and wealth with social outcomes without implying a particular theory of social structure. For Marx, class is a combination of subjective factors. Objectively, a class shares a common relationship to the means of production. Subjectively, the members will have some perception of their similarity and common interest. Class consciousness is not an awareness of one's own class interest but is a set of shared views regarding how society should be organized culturally and politically; these class relations are reproduced through time. In Marxist theory, the class structure of the capitalist mode of production is characterized by the conflict between two main classes: the bourgeoisie, the capital

Reed Gershwind

Reed Gershwind is a former US deaf swimmer who represented the United States at the Deaflympics and in other deaf championships. He holds the record for winning the most number of medals for United States at the Deaflympics with 30, he is ranked second among most number of medals earned by a Deaflympic athlete in history behind Terence Parkin's haul of 33. He is the most decorated US Deaflympic athlete. Gershwind was born deaf, he attended the Lexington School for the Deaf before switching to California School for the Deaf. His parents noticed eye-hand coordination and passion for winning, they encouraged him to engage in recreational sports. Gershwind decided to target them as professional sports. At age 10 he shifted to water polo, he made his debut at the Deaflympics in 1981, was successful in the Games, finishing with 7 medals. Gershwind continued as a successful athlete in the Deaflympics winning a total of 13 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze medals. Gershwind won 27 medals for 3 medals for water polo.

He was a part of the US water polo team that won the gold medal in 1993. He served as both a swimmer and a water polo player at the Deaflympics on five occasions from 1981-1997, he was inducted into the US Hall of Fame. He works as the Swimming Technical Director for the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, he has assisted, co-ordinated, overseen every major international swimming Championship, including the Deaflympics. As of 2019, he serves as the Director of Budget and Finance in the Office of the Provost at Gallaudet University


Brändöskär and Uddskär are two islands in the northwest of the Swedish sector of the Bay of Bothnia, in the Luleå archipelago, joined by an isthmus. In the past there was a large summer fishing village around the bay between the two islands. Many of the buildings remain, are now used for recreational purposes. Brändöskär is located in the outer part of the Luleå archipelago, about 20 kilometres east of Lövskär on the mainland. Brändöskär is joined to the island of Uddskär by an isthmus; the cottages and boathouses of a fishing village were built around the bay between Brändöskär and Uddskär when the two islands were separate. The island was named after the fishing village of Brändön on the mainland. Brändöskär may be reached in summer by tour boats from Luleå. In the winter it is accessible on ice skates or snowmobile. There is a beautiful fishing village on Brändöskär in a sheltered inlet with a public dock, with log fishing huts that have survived from the past; the old chapel, the Brändö-Uddskärs kapell, was built in 1774 by the fishermen of the outer Luleå archipelago.

There is a turf maze on the island. A cottage may be rented in the village. In August 2013 it was reported that new municipal rental cottages were to be built in the fall, ready for the next summer. There would be a service building with three new cottages. One old cottage would be rehabilitated; the wall sections and other material were being barged to the harbor, lifted to the construction site by helicopter to avoid any damage to the land. The islands are windswept, but have a wild beauty; the severe climate of the outer archipelago gives Brändöskär an unusually barren environment. The terrain consists of rocky outcrops, weathered moraine and sand. Most outcrops show the effects of glaciation in creating striations. Haparanda-monzoniten is a common type of rock on the two islands, with large black and white crystals. Vegetation on Brändöskär includes lichen, moss and low, windblown trees; this is similar to that of mountain terrain. However, plants such as lily of the valley, orchids may be found in sheltered locations.

Rare plants include torplås and nordlåsbräken. The vegetation on Uddskär is richer and denser, with large forested areas of pine, spruce and aspen, with small and large mires; the Brändöskär municipal nature reserve was founded in 2005, covering 212 hectares between the chapel and the southern tip of the island. It includes Haraskär, Hällgrund island and the Persögrund peninsula; the reserve is an important site for birds, is off limits between 1 May and 31 July. At other times hiking and hunting are allowed, as are picking berries and mushrooms and making fires on designated sites; when the fishing village was built, Brändöskär and Uddskär were two separate islands. The main part of the original village was on Uddskär, it is said that Queen Christina donated Brändöskär to Norrbrändö, but no records of this transaction have survived. Although now used only for recreation, many of the cottages are still owned by families from Brändön. In 1820 about thirty boats were based at Brändöskär / Uddskär, the largest fishing village in the Luleå Archipelago.

The main catch was herring, caught in nets and sold in wooden barrels in Luleå, Haparanda and Oulu. Whitefish, salmon, pike and ide were caught, but consumed locally. A harbor master enforced the law. No fishing was allowed between 6 pm on Saturday and 6 pm on Sunday, when the fishermen observed a day of rest; the artist Erik Marklund worked on Brändöskär. He worked in oils or pencil drawing, portraying the life of the island and the archipelago. In 1957 he built a statue of Jesus on Hällgrund, off shore from the island, it is still standing today, is visible from a distance in clear weather. Marklund made the altar in the chapel; the altarpiece depicts a rich haul of fish from the surrounding waters. Notes Citations Sources