a single mother has just divorced her abusive middle-class.
Her previous life had been comfortable; she now lives with her two children,.
working as a waitress while spending what little free time she has going to night school on.
top of the responsibilities of attending to her home and family. She finally ends up.
graduating with good grades, yet can still not find a job that pays higher than her job at the.
restaurant, so she takes on a second job as a grocery checkout person, still barely able to.
make ends meet for her family. .
This woman has undoubtedly worked very hard to return her life back to the.
middle-class state it was before her divorce. She is just one of the many that has learned.
the hard way that class is not easy at all to move up in this place we fondly call the "land.
of opportunity." The United States is the most highly stratified society of the industrialized.
world. Class distinctions are present in virtually every aspect of our lives. Class determines.
the place a person will work, the amount or quality of their education, and the health of.
the people we love. However it seems as though nearly everyone living in this nation has.
illusions about living in the capitalist "land of opportunity", where any average Joe can.
make his million if he works hard enough. The reality of this situation is that the US is not.
as "open" as many people would like to think it is, meaning that social mobility, or the.
movement between classes, is not nearly as easy as we may believe. This is caused by the.
many social issues that we have read about, such as gender, race, and economic class,.
serving as barriers that block a persons path upward through the classes. Despite our own.
personal efforts, mobility through the classes is mainly based on a persons status, and.
overcoming the "labels", such as the ones discussed in Herbert Gans" book The War.
Against the Poor, that go with a persons status makes mobility extremely hard if not.