Life in the contemporary U.S. has become deeply rooted in social anxieties. I think most of us will say that money contributes to a lot of the anxiety we experience as individuals as well as a society. Most necessities in life cost money. Unfortunately, not all people can comfortably afford even the basic most necessities to survive. Outside of one’s basic needs there is many other issues stemming from money that cause anxiety. A measure of social class that is based on income, occupation, and education defines one’s socioeconomic status. (cite) leaving them vulnerable to discrimination (Cite) and to be stereotyped (cite). Karl Marx, an influential sociologist, suggest in his materialist conception of reality that that economics start with an individual and that social change (cite) relates to money.
Considering money is absolutely required for the survival of humans, it absolutely is a major trigger for anxiety in all areas of life. Food, clothing, shelter, and even healthcare is necessary to survive. As a mother, a student and a proletariat, I experience this anxiety each day. I study here in the Community College of Rhode Island just about 20 hours a week to earn a degree in Nursing, but you can also find me employed 50 + hours just to provide the very basic needs listed above for my one-year old daughter. With each biweekly paycheck, deducted is 281 dollars to pay for health insurance, totaling 562$ a month. Just half of my rent payment. In my opinion, the cost of living compared to the income myself and many other individuals within the working class earn remains unethical and quite unrealistic. I fear every day that until I get my degree secured, at any given moment I could not be able to provide the essentials for my daughter. That feeling of anxiety is extremely uneasy.
Now I will be talking about the influential sociologist and philosopher, Karl Marx. Marx traces his study all the way back to feudalism in the 18th century. During this time society was separated by law into two social classes called the nobility and the peasants. Today, our social classes are separated into two social classes. The proleterate are also known as the working class, and do not own or control means of production. The bourgeoise’s or, the capitalist, own means of productions and the materials produced. Usually the proleterate don’t have access to the means of production and this means they only have one way to receive and income and that is to provide labor. If they don’t provide labor, then they will not make any money. As we know, it’s very hard to afford the necessities of survival without money so most likely if they did not be able to afford to live. This leads to exploitation, and therefore people will work for such low wages. Marx agrees that they are only being paid enough to survive, if that. Marx also argued that proleterate are being paid less of the worth of what they produce. While the proleterate labor and help produce materials, the profit from surplus is controlled by the bourgeoise and they can divide it how they want. These social constraints (cite ) lead to massive inequality between the two classes.