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"Set of people occupying the same social position and sharing a community of destiny and interest, without necessarily being aware of it" - Online Dictionary of Economic Alternatives [1]

The concept of class was widely spread by Karl Marx, who identified different places occupied by groups in capitalist production. The classes he identified were: the working class, and the capitalists (owners of the means of production).

This vision is broader for Paulo Freire, Brazilian pedagogue and philosopher. For him, social classes are social groups identified according to their position in the general process of oppression. There are classes that oppress and classes that are oppressed. This vision makes visible the struggles of women, trans people, queer people, racialized people, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, etc. 

In Memo on the new ecological class, Bruno Latour identifies the struggle of the ecological class. The ecological class is that which defends the preservation of the conditions of habitability of the Earth. This class delineation includes a wide range of social groups that were not united under the prism of economic class. 

Middle class

In sociology, middle class "designates the social groups whose way of life (and standard of living) serve as a reference for all the other social groups. - Online Dictionary of Economic Alternatives [2]

From the perspective of economic inequality research, middle class is measured by an individual's income, job type, and culture (the elements associated with the middle class lifestyle). [3]

The middle class according to economic analysis is defined as the following:

To set the thresholds for the middle class, we calculate the amounts corresponding to 75% and 200% of the median income. In Quebec in 2017, for example, the median income was $39,500, and allows us to place the income of the middle class between $29,625 (75%) and $79,000 (200%). [4]

The middle class according to culture can be defined as the following [5] :

In 2021, these can be elements present in the lives of individuals or constitute aspirations of the middle class:

  • Own a home.
  • Have funds for retirement.    
  • Are able to take one trip per year.
  • Own a car for each adult.

Finally, the notion of classism is essential to complete this definition, because it highlights the exploitation of the middle and wealthy class over the most precarious classes.


Social classes - Notion of SES | SES.WEBCLASS

Pedagogy of the oppressed - Paulo Freire

Memo on the new ecological class - Bruno Latour and NikolaJ Schultz

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