Economic Class & Status

Although many theories vary, there is usually a similar three-tier outline of what class, status, and power mean. As it is referred, the “three-stratum model” is made up of a lower, middle, and upper class where the main differences between individuals is the kind of work they do for a living and how much they earn from it. A person’s class rank is usually linked with other very important issues such as one’s education, employment, and health and nutrition. If an individual happens to thrive in those categories they usually land in the middle (divided into upper and lower middle class) or upper class tier and if they happen to be struggling then they often land in the lower class tier. It makes sense if you think about it; when people are well educated and healthy they have the tools and ability to go on with their lives and worry about things like their employment and status. These distributions of wealth and class are very biased and greatly affect a country’s dynamics because it creates uneven competition between classes and can result in class conflict or struggle.


According to G. William Domhoff, a professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, and his research in “Wealth, Income and Power” it can be seen that between 2004 and 2007 34.45% of America’s wealth was received by the top 1 percent of people. That shows how a very small minority of the population can hold a third of the monetary value of a country-that’s over half of what was shared by the rest of the population, 99 percent of people, 65.55% of America’s wealth.

The television show How I Met Your Mother does a very good job in not representing the upper class tier within the main characters because it is such a small percentage of the population. However, they only portray middle class New York citizens-leaving out a huge chunk of people who make up the lower class or lower middle class to be unidentified. You can tell that the cast is made up of upper middle class individuals because they do not worry about money on a daily or check-to-check basis. It is seen that Lily and Marshall struggle to pay for their wedding and honeymoon, but only because that is an extra cost of life and usually means thousands of dollars out-of-pocket at once. Barney is the wealthiest of all five friends, but he is not a millionaire or boastful person about his money, he actually never talks about his income or job.
Alex Rosay – Suit Up

A very clear example of the show taking poverty and lower class problems into account is in Season 1, Episode 9, “Belly Full of Turkey” when Barney, Ted, and Robin go help at a homeless shelter and for Thanksgiving. This is also a great episode because it gives the characters a new sense of involvement and shows that they care about other things and people, in this episode they are given a sense of humanity and citizenship. It is nice to see this side of the cast because usually they are involved in personal affairs.

Just as mentioned in Racial and Ethnic Disparities the reason for this character portrayal in HIMYM is probably to attract one of the largest possible audiences. In America that seems to be the expanding middle class, who can own television sets and have time to watch it on a regular basis. The lower class of the U.S. is a very large group of people, but they seem to be less important to the producers, since they may be the least likely to watch. What category do you fall into? Do you agree and think it is fair? The television/production system seems to operate in the same way as the system of the U.S. does- worrying about profits and gains and in this case viewers.

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