Perceptions of Social Class


Famous sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva made a completely different dispute as regards the future of race in the United States as compared to the argument forwarded by his counterpart sociologist George Yancey (Fitzgerald, 2014). Eduardo’s argument was called the Latin Americanization thesis. His thesis debated that the United States is changing from a binary white/non –white racial structure to a triracial stratification system related to that found in numerous Latin American and Caribbean nations (Fitzgerald, 2014). In this triracial stratification system the whites are at the top of the racial hierarchy; a group of intermediary set of honorary whites in the middle and a group of nonwhite at the bottom, instead of a binary system where the whites are the top and the nonwhites are at the bottom (Fitzgerald, 2014).

Impact of a tri-racial system on perceptions of race and ethnicity

In the United States, racial stratification has functioned alongside bi-racial lines that is, white non-white for centuries. A quick analysis of history reveals that the bi-racial order has characteristically been attached on the blacks and whites experience (Feagin, 2000). Those on the non-white divide have been known to share related experiences in terms of colonization, repression, mistreatment, and ethnicization. However, the post-civil rights age has welcomed changes particularly how racial stratification appears to function (Bonilla-Silva, 2004). For example, currently the Asian Americans are about to match the socioeconomic status of whites. Interestingly, in areas such as educational achievement they have exceeded them. Additionally, in select colleges across the United States, the Asian Americans constitute 3-10 times their national percentage (Bonilla-Silva, 2004).


Impact of race, power, and wealth on people’s perceptions of social class

Research conducted into the backgrounds of views about poverty has largely established that individuals of higher social class for instance, those with high salaries, whites, and mainly the elder people approve nonconformist explanations (Hunt, 2004). On the other hand, those on the lower standing or lower social class have been found to favor structuralist explanations (Hunt, 2004). For example, research conducted on race has revealed that African Americans are largely equal to or to some extent less individualistic than their white counterparts. Additionally, they are more probable to view structural factors as the main contributors to the being of social classes (Hunt, 2004).

The impact of race, power, and wealth on people’s perceptions of social class has the greatest impact on people’s perceptions of social class because to date, race remains to be the focus of societal life to define opportunities and also form social relations.


Bonilla-Silva, E (2004), we are all Americans: the Latin Americanization of racial stratification in the USA. Retrieved on 23rd March 2016 from

Feagin, J. R. (2000), Racist America: Roots, current realities, and future reparations. London and New York: Routledge.

Fitzgerald, K.J (2014), Recognizing Race and Ethnicity: Power, Privilege, and Inequality. Westview Press, Colorado, United States.

Hunt, M.O (2004), Race/Ethnicity and Beliefs about Wealth and Poverty. Retrieved on 23rd March 2016 from




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