Social Class Application #2 – Social Class and Lifestyle
As we learned, by measuring the social class structure of the US, each social class has a different lifestyle. Weber extended Marx theory of social class by adding to class, the concepts of status and party. This assignment will help you contextualize Webers theory by analyzing how location determines lifestyle by allocating class, stats and party.
You are to analyze two social classes by their lifestyles. To do this, you will pick two neighborhoods, one rich and one middle class or poor. Create a list that compares the two neighborhoods. You must include average income and Average Home value plus 2 other variables (2 of these are up to you.) You may NOT use my 2 choices (Farmers Markets or Restaurants).
Once you have collected the data and placed them in your list, write up your results in a discussion about the lifestyles of these two classed from the data analysis you conducted.
Data are found on www.Google.com () and Google maps and any other reputable website be sure to cite where you found your information.
You may not use the zip codes in my example.
Neighborhoods: Middle class 91401 Valley Glen and Rich 90077 Bel Air Beverly Hills.
Average Income: $ 80,244; $ 210,833
Number of Farmers markets: 1; 0 (There are 7 south of Bel Air but none within Bel Air)
Restaurants: 23 within the zip code; 13 including Wolfgang Pucks (all 5-star)
Average Home value (Zillow): $813,367; $2,944,729
The middle class neighborhood Valley Glen about a third average income of those in the upper class neighborhood of Bel Air, $80,244 compared to $210,833. Farmers Markets are a place for consumers to purchase high-end specialty produce which is often organic, and non-GMOs. Valley Glen has access to only one, whereas Bel Air has access to 7 though none are in the Bel Air neighborhood. The Bel Air neighborhood is exclusive and does not allow merchants access to sell goods in their neighborhood. Restaurants are available in both neighborhoods, but they differ in quality. In Valley Glen the majority of restaurants are fast-food. The restaurants in Bel Air are 5-star and exclusive, with famous Michelin star chefs like Wolfgang Puck. Finally, the home values differ greatly between these two neighborhoods. The average home value in Valley Glen is $813,367 compared to $2,944,729. Opening Google maps and viewing these neighborhoods, the homes differ greatly. The homes in Valley Glen are generally 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and are laid out on a grid with high density. Compared to Bel Air homes which are often very large, with some having additional homes for staff, almost all homes have pools, basketball or tennis courts and there are large gardens and trees between the homes for privacy.
These two social classes live very different lifestyles with the upper class having more access to good nutritional food, exposure to fewer people from outside the neighborhood, more privacy, larger exclusive homes and much higher incomes. As we learned in class, this group probably has high incomes from the family investments which earn income higher than working for a wage.