Classes in New York City

The Impact of Social Class on Urban Dwellers

The busiest city in the US is New York City, which takes pleasure in being the hub of most important activities as well as commercial transactions even though it is not the country's administrative center. Like any other city, this one has a diverse populace that may be grouped into different social classes based on their level of income. The top class, middle class, and lower class are the three distinctly different levels. The vast bulk of city residents can still be categorized as belonging to the middle class. The essay shall analyze how the differences in the class affected the lives of urban dwellers with the particular focus remaining on the middle class and the lifestyle that exists in this group during such period.

The Middle Class and Their Influence

The middle class, as a social group, exists between the upper and working classes and they include professional and business workers together with their families. The group tends to have more income that can be dedicated for consumption and they own some property. The population, considering the classes, further bases on race with the African-American community being the majority group in the sect compared to their White counterparts (Whitney, 108). Moreover, gender issues tend to form a significant part of discussions when engaging in the debate about the social classes and the overall structure of the urban populace. The amount of property owned by an individual as well as the total amount of disposable income contribute significantly to class discussion, and these two will play a prominent role in the subsequent discussion on the impact it had on the urban public during such early stages.

African-Americans in the Working Class

The African-American community mostly belongs to the working class. Additionally, it is important to note that, to an extent, the group contributes significantly to the growth of the cities based on their active engagement in economic and social areas of domestic and personal service, manufacturing and mechanical pursuits (Haynes, 110). Though the community plays a crucial role in the growth of cities, there exist some discriminatory tendencies. However, some organizations fight to ensure that they became part of the urban community through addressing such social shortcomings. One such group is the Urban League which struggled to bridge the gap between the African-American and the White communities.

The Plight of Women in Settlements

Apart from the African-American community being disadvantaged in the early stages of urban development, the other group that was considerably disadvantaged is the women who lived in settlements (Camilla, 525). Such settlements consisted of individuals who were destitute and belong to the lowest cadre of social stratification. The majority of the occupancy within settlements were women compared to men highlighting their plight as an economically disadvantaged group. The progressive era shows other forms of classification apart from social classes and the other kinds of classification based on marital status, age, sexuality and mental status (Kennedy, 27). Racial discrimination played out through categorization of the whites as superior compared to the African-Americans and non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants who remained clustered as degenerates.


The progressive era brought widespread change in the United States especially in the fields of activism and politics. The era aimed at solving problems generated by urbanization, immigration, occupation, industrialization and corruption in government. All these aspects remain responsible for the resultant social classification and other forms of societal classification. The era helped change the lives of African-American communities as well as women and other groups considered as marginalized.

Works Cited

Camilla, Stivers. "Settlement Women and Bureau Men: Constructing a Usable Past for Public Administration". Public Administration Review, Vol. 55, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1995), pp. 522-529

Haynes, George, D. "Conditions among Negroes in the Cities". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 49, The Negro's Progress in Fifty Years (Sep., 1913), pp. 105-199.

Kennedy, Angie. Eugenics, "Degenerate Girls," and Social Workers During the Progressive Era. Journal of Women and Social Work Vol., 23 Number 1 February 2008, pp. 22-37

Whitney M. Young, Jr. "The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science", Vol. 357, The Negro Protest (Jan., 1965), pp. 102-107

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price