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Concept: Working class


Social class stereotypes support inequality through various routes: ambivalent content, early appearance in children, achievement consequences, institutionalization in education, appearance in cross-class social encounters, and prevalence in the most unequal societies. Class-stereotype content is ambivalent, describing lower-SES people both negatively (less competent, less human, more objectified), and sometimes positively, perhaps warmer than upper-SES people. Children acquire the wealth aspects of class stereotypes early, which become more nuanced with development. In school, class stereotypes advantage higher-SES students, and educational contexts institutionalize social-class distinctions. Beyond school, well-intentioned face-to-face encounters ironically draw on stereotypes to reinforce the alleged competence of higher-status people and sometimes the alleged warmth of lower-status people. Countries with more inequality show more of these ambivalent stereotypes of both lower-SES and higher-SES people. At a variety of levels and life stages, social-class stereotypes reinforce inequality, but constructive contact can undermine them; future efforts need to address high-status privilege and to query more heterogeneous samples.

Concepts: Education, Sociology, Competence, Inequality, Social class, Working class, Institutionalisation, Relations of production


Global climate change will increase the frequency of hot temperatures, impairing health and productivity for millions of working people and raising labor costs. In mainland China, high-temperature subsidies (HTSs) are allocated to employees for each working day in extremely hot environments, but the potential heat-related increase in labor cost has not been evaluated so far. Here, we estimate the potential HTS cost in current and future climates under different scenarios of socioeconomic development and radiative forcing (Representative Concentration Pathway), taking uncertainties from the climate model structure and bias correction into account. On average, the total HTS in China is estimated at 38.6 billion yuan/y (US $6.22 billion/y) over the 1979-2005 period, which is equivalent to 0.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Assuming that the HTS standards (per employee per hot day) remain unchanged throughout the 21st century, the total HTS may reach 250 billion yuan/y in the 2030s and 1,000 billion yuan/y in 2100. We further show that, without specific adaptation, the increased HTS cost is mainly determined by population growth until the 2030s and climate change after the mid-21st century because of increasingly frequent hot weather. Accounting for the likely possibility that HTS standards follow the wages, the share of GDP devoted to HTS could become as high as 3% at the end of 21st century.

Concepts: Climate, Weather, Climate change, Employment, 21st century, Solar variation, Wage, Working class


Recognizing the health effects of nonhealth policies, scholars and others seeking to improve Americans' health have advocated the implementation of a culture of health-which would call attention to and prioritize health as a key outcome of policy making across all levels of government and in the private sector. Adopting this “health-in-all-policies” lens, policy makers are paying increasing attention to health impacts as they debate policies in areas such as urban planning, housing, and transportation. Yet the health impacts of economic policies that shape the distribution of income and wealth are often overlooked. Pooling data from all fifty states for the period 1990-2010, we provide a broad portrait of how economic policies affect health. Overall, we found better health outcomes in states that enacted higher tax credits for the poor or higher minimum wage laws and in states without a right-to-work law that limits union power. Notably, these policies focus on increasing the incomes of low-income and working-class families, instead of on shaping the resources available to wealthier individuals. Incorporating these findings into a health-in-all-policies agenda will require leadership from the health sector, including a willingness to step into core and polarizing debates about redistribution.

Concepts: Economics, Policy, Implementation, Political science, Minimum wage, Wealth, Economic policy, Working class


As programs continue to expand access to family planning information, services, and products, it is critical that these efforts be undertaken with an equity lens, ensuring that regardless of socioeconomic status, all women and couples can use the method that meets their needs. This study explores the relationship between household wealth and the use of long-acting and permanent methods (LAPMs) versus short-acting methods of contraception among modern method users, using multivariate analyses based on Demographic Health Survey data from 30 developing countries conducted between 2006 and 2013. Overall, and controlling for relevant individual and household characteristics including age, number of living children, education, and urban/rural residence, we found that wealthier women were more likely than poorer women to use LAPMs instead of short-acting methods: 20 of the 30 countries showed a positive and statistically significant association between wealth and LAPM use. For 10 of those countries, however, LAPM use was significantly higher only for the top (1 or 2) wealthiest quintiles. Eight countries showed no broad pattern of association, while in 2 countries-Bangladesh and India-poorer women were more likely to use LAPMs than wealthier women. The positive association between wealth and LAPM use was found most consistently in the Latin American and the Caribbean countries in our sample. These findings can help program implementers respond better to women’s needs for modern contraception, especially in reaching women from lower- and middle-income households.

Concepts: Family, Poverty, Household income in the United States, Income quintiles, Wealth, Capital accumulation, Working class


Are the rich more unethical than the poor? To answer this question, the current research introduces a key conceptual distinction between selfish and unethical behavior. Based on this distinction, the current article offers 2 novel findings that illuminate the relationship between social class and unethical behavior. First, the effects of social class on unethical behavior are not invariant; rather, the effects of social class are moderated by whether unethical behavior benefits the self or others. Replicating past work, social class positively predicted unethical behavior; however, this relationship was only observed when that behavior was self-beneficial. When unethical behavior was performed to benefit others, social class negatively predicted unethical behavior; lower class individuals were more likely than upper class individuals to engage in unethical behavior. Overall, social class predicts people’s tendency to behave selfishly, rather than predicting unethical behavior per se. Second, individuals' sense of power drove the effects of social class on unethical behavior. Evidence for this relationship was provided in three forms. First, income, but not education level, predicted unethical behavior. Second, feelings of power mediated the effect of social class on unethical behavior, but feelings of status did not. Third, two distinct manipulations of power produced the same moderation by self-versus-other beneficiary as was found with social class. The current theoretical framework and data both synthesize and help to explain a range of findings in the social class and power literatures. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, All rights reserved, Middle class, Social class, Marxism, Working class, Social classes


We analyse how mental health and socioeconomic inequalities in the Spanish population aged 16-64 years have changed between 2006-2007 and 2011-2012. We observed an increase in the prevalence of poor mental health among men (prevalence ratio = 1.15, 95% CI 1.04-1.26], especially among those aged 35-54 years, those with primary and secondary education, those from semi-qualified social classes and among breadwinners. None of these associations remained after adjusting for working status. The relative index of inequality by social class increased for men from 1.02 to 1.08 (P = 0.001). We observed a slight decrease in the prevalence of poor mental health among women (prevalence ratio = 0.92, 95% CI 0.87-0.98), without any significant change in health inequality.

Concepts: Sociology, Secondary education, Primary education, Gymnasium, Social class, Social status, Working class, Relations of production


Disrupting women’s employment is a strategy that abusive partners could use to prevent women from maintaining economic independence and stability. Yet, few studies have investigated disruptions in employment among victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in low-income and middle-income countries. Moreover, even fewer have sought to identify which female victims of IPV are most vulnerable to such disruptions.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Child abuse, Cross-sectional data, Chicago, Working class


Three studies conducted among fifth and sixth graders examined how school contexts disrupt the achievement of working-class students by staging unfair comparison with their advantaged middle-class peers. In regular classrooms, differences in performance among students are usually showcased in a way that does not acknowledge the advantage (i.e., higher cultural capital) experienced by middle-class students, whose upbringing affords them more familiarity with the academic culture than their working-class peers have. Results of Study 1 revealed that rendering differences in performance visible in the classroom by having students raise their hands was enough to undermine the achievement of working-class students. In Studies 2 and 3, we manipulated students' familiarity with an arbitrary standard as a proxy for social class. Our results suggest that classroom settings that make differences in performance visible undermine the achievement of the students who are less familiar with academic culture. In Study 3, we showed that being aware of the advantage in familiarity with a task restores the performance of the students who have less familiarity with the task.

Concepts: Sociology, Cultural studies, Middle class, Social class, Classroom, Working class, Social classes, Bourgeoisie


Wealth differences between individuals are ubiquitous in modern society, and often serve as the basis for biased social evaluations among adults. The present research probed whether children use cues that are commonly associated with wealth differences in society to guide their consideration of others. In Study 1, 4-5-year-old participants from diverse racial backgrounds expressed preferences for children who were paired with high-wealth cues; White children in Study 1 also matched high-wealth stimuli with White faces. Study 2 conceptually replicated the preference effect from Study 1, and showed that young children (4-6 years) also use material wealth indicators to guide their inferences about people’s relative standing in other domains (i.e., competence and popularity). Study 3 revealed that children (5-9 years) use a broad range of wealth cues to guide their evaluations of, and actions toward, unfamiliar people. Further, biased responses were not attenuated among children whose families were lower in socioeconomic status. Often overlooked by those who study children’s attitudes and stereotypes, social class markers appear to influence evaluations, inferences, and behavior early in development.

Concepts: Present, Poverty, Sociology, Revealed preference, Social status, Wealth, Social stratification, Working class


Recent evidence suggests that perceptions of social class rank influence a variety of social cognitive tendencies, from patterns of causal attribution to moral judgment. In the present studies we tested the hypotheses that upper-class rank individuals would be more likely to endorse essentialist lay theories of social class categories (i.e., that social class is founded in genetically based, biological differences) than would lower-class rank individuals and that these beliefs would decrease support for restorative justice-which seeks to rehabilitate offenders, rather than punish unlawful action. Across studies, higher social class rank was associated with increased essentialism of social class categories (Studies 1, 2, and 4) and decreased support for restorative justice (Study 4). Moreover, manipulated essentialist beliefs decreased preferences for restorative justice (Study 3), and the association between social class rank and class-based essentialist theories was explained by the tendency to endorse beliefs in a just world (Study 2). Implications for how class-based essentialist beliefs potentially constrain social opportunity and mobility are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Sociology, All rights reserved, Justice, Social class, Essentialism, Working class, Relations of production, Class consciousness