Men, classes and Lifestyles

Upper Middle class:

This class consists of moderately successful professional men and women, such as doctors, lawyers, and professors; owners of medium sized businesses; and organization men at the managerial level. It also includes younger men and women who are expected to reach those occupational status levels within a few years. Most members are college educated; hence this group is sometimes referred to as the brains and eyes of our society.

The motivation of this group is toward achieving success in their careers, reaching a higher income level and achieving social advancement for themselves and their children. They strive to cultivate charm and polish and handle a broad range of civic and / or cultural interest. They play bridge and Scrabble; go to palsy museums symphonies and art galleries and are members of golf clubs, yacht clubs, and college clubs. Their possessions are usually new and their reference group is upper class.

Middle Americans:

This group accounts for seven out of ten Americans and represent a large segment of the American mainstream. Here, the middle class and working class are worth separate attention by marketers because there are significant differences in values and lifestyles between these groups even though there is considerable overlap in incomes levels.

Middle class:

This class is at the top of the common man or average man level. It is composed of non-managerial workers, small business owners and highly paid blue collars. These lower echelon white collar workers and small business owners are at the bottom of the white collar status ladder their blue collar counterparts.

The key motivations for this group are respectability and striving. Men and women want to be judged respectable in their personal behavior by their fellow citizens; that is they desire to live in well maintained homes which are neatly furnished and are located in neighborhoods that are on the right side of the tracks. They strive to do a good job at their work. Home is their focus and much time and effort spent in it, especially keeping it clean and tidy.

This group is recognized as one in which people want to do the right thing and buy what’s popular. They are concerned with fashion and follow the recommendations of experts in the media. With increasing incomes they spent more money on worthwhile experiences for their kids pushed the towards a college education, and shopped at more expensive for clothing. Their reference orientation toward upper Americans distinguishes the form the working class. They are big supporters of dinner theater; are lifting themselves up by enrolling in universities and community colleges are eating out, more dressing more casually and enjoying vacations. Possessions and pride have given way somewhat to activities and pleasure.

Working Class:

These are poor but honest and family folks. The largest of all classes, it is composed of skilled and semi-skilled workers and small business trade people. Contrary to what may be expected, many of these class members make very good money they simply don’t use it to become respectable the way the middle class does. Working class people are oriented toward living well and enjoying life from day to day rather than saving for the future or being concerned about what the middle classes think of them. They want to be modern to keep up with the times rather the Joneses.

The working class family’s world view is one of great anxiety. They value the preset, the known and the personal, while avoiding the competitive the impersonal and the uncertain. They indulge rather than invest. They are preoccupied with stable human relationships in their everyday lives. Moreover, because they see themselves is being quite restricted in their ability to rise in social status, those with whom they identify are largely chosen from their own class. The working class women tends to be part of a tightly knit social group composed primarily of female kin. Thus, more than in any other class the working class family generally looks horizontally for its norms in standards rather than up to the next class.