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Class in America: Gregory Mantsios

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Essay title: Class in America: Gregory Mantsios

Class in America: Gregory Mantsios

In the article, “Class in America”, Gregory Mantsios (Myths and Realities 2000) shows us how what class a person is in affects his or hers life more than they think. This article is written sufficiently well however, it does have some weak spots. I will prove my thesis by examining his use of examples and showing factual data and statistics, but also show how this article could have been better.

Mantsios believes that people in the United States do not like to talk about classes, whether it is upper class, middle class, or lower class. He outlines four beliefs that are widely held about class in the United States, and then thoroughly refutes them with statistical evidence. He argues that the class that you are in effects your life whether you admit it to yourself or not (pp.331). He also argues that the class you are in effects how you succeed in school, relating to test scores and the level of schooling you achieve. It also affects your future it determines what job you will have which is directly affected by your schooling and the way you are brought up (pp.342). He has statistical evidence, data and examples to argue his point. Mantsios basically shows the reader why he believes that people do not like to talk about class in America, and give evidence that the class you are affects everything you do.

Mantsios has rhetorically strong points in his article about classes in America. He is rhetorically strong because he uses specific examples, statistics and data. He does a good job at supporting his point. For example, He uses data from Richard De Lone, a researcher who, “examined the test scores of over half a million students who took the College Board exams (SAT’s). His findings were consistent with earlier studies that showed a relationship between class and scores on the standardized tests; his conclusion: the higher the social status, the higher the probability that he or she will get higher grades.” (pp. 342) The chart ranged from family incomes of $100,000 to $10,000, you can see the direct correlation between income and the test scores. Students with family incomes of $100,000 scored at least an 1130, while students with family incomes of $10,000 scored at least an 871(pp. 342). The point is you can see that his statement is true surveys were taken fifteen years prior to the most recent one and it has not changed, the class you’re in effects how you succeed in school with test scores and achievement. If you are in a family who only makes $10,000 a year, you are most likely not going to succeed well in the classroom; whereas, if your family earns $100,000 a year you will most likely succeed in the classroom. This example and statistics are effective in that, its real, you can trace the facts back to the original source .The study was not done on 10 different people, it was over a wide range of half a million students, that being said it can it’s a perfect source to go off of. It shows you a direct correlation between the amounts of income that your family makes and how well you are going to do in the classroom. Not only does he show both ends of the spectrum, he supports it by explaining his statements.

Mantsios also supports his statement that the class you are in effects you in the classroom and your level of achievement, by using statistics from researcher William Sewell. Sewell “showed a positive correlation between class and overall educational achievement. In comparing the top quartile (25%) of his sample to the bottom quartile, he found that students from upper-class families were twice as likely to obtain training beyond high school and four times as likely to attain a postgraduate degree” (pp.342-343). Sewell concluded: “socioeconomic background…operates independently of academic ability at every stage in the process of educational attainment”( pp.342-343).

The point here is that again, if your parents make $100,000 a year, you are most likely to succeed far in life and go to college get your degree. However, if your family makes $10,000 a year, you most likely will not succeed very far and might not go to college. It all comes down to family income, which determines what social class you are in; you can see how it affects lives. Mantsios is convincing in that, he has hard facts, (meaning that his examples are real true, and taken from a scholarly source), true lifestyles and data to show the reader. He uses secondary sources which are legitimate and the reader can choose to research it for themselves. Mantsios back himself up by using more than one source to prove his theory about test scores and what class you are in. Whether you choose to believe him or not, the reality is the facts are there, written on the paper right in front of your eyes.

He also backs his theory by giving examples of “some typical lifestyles

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