Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
According to the nonprofit resource center Class Action, classism can be defined as the systematic assignment of characteristics of worth and ability based on social class and the systematic oppression of subordinated groups (people without endowed or acquired economic power, social influence, and privilege) by the dominant groups (those who have access to control of the necessary resources by which other people make their living). It includes individual attitudes and behaviors, systems of policies and practices that benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes, the rationale that supports these systems and this unequal valuing, and the culture that perpetuates them. Before going on to develop this definition of classism , it is necessary to also define which classes are subordinate to which others. Many scholars, whether they are sociologists, economists, or psychologists, begin their attempts to define class structure by acknowledging that there is no conclusive ...