The Relationship between Social Class, Parent`s attitude, and Punishment

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TheRelationship between Social Class, Parent`s attitude, and Punishment

TheRelationship between Social Class, Parent`s attitude, and Punishment

Social class refers to the state where the society is dividedregarding the social and economic class. The classes can further bedefined in the form of hierarchies where parents are grouped in theform of esteem and prestige that are achieved through economicsuccess and the accumulation of wealth (Kraus &amp Keltner, 2013).Different parents belong to various social classes depending on theeconomic classes they ascribe. The economic class is measuredregarding the financial status that they have that translates intoincome. Social class can be recognized in categories such as upper,middle and lower levels. Parents in an upper class have a relativelyhigh income while those in the middle class have a fair amount ofincome, and those from a lower social class may have little income(Kraus &amp Keltner, 2013).

Attitude refers to the perception that someone has over a particularattribute, something or someone. Parental attitude can be describedas the perception that they have particular qualities. For purposesof this discussion, parental attitude will be expressed regardingtheir perception towards punishment. Punishment is an act perpetratedby parents aimed at making someone face consequences for theiractions which in most cases is bad behavior.

The question of the relationship between social class and parentalattitude on punishment remains to be of significance. An analysis ofthe same should be preceded by an understanding of the individualdefinition of the idea of social class and parental attitude. Thetopic helps elaborate what impact social class and the position thatparents have on how they would be punishing their children. Everyparent will exercise a particular form of punishment based on theirsocial class and attitude that they have the concept. Those who seepunishment as a way of inflicting good behavior will have a positiveattitude towards it as a way of encouraging the same.

The variation in the punishment behavior among different parents isgreatly dependent upon their social class and the attitude that theyhave over punitive action against the children (Erlanger, 1974). Theforms of punishment that exist are physical and psychological andrestrictive measures. Parents employ the form of punishment they deemfit depending on their social class. For example, parents who comefrom an upper social class tend to employ more restrictive measureswhen they are punishing the children. It could be restricting themfrom going out with friends or keeping them grounded at home. Suchparents have the belief that the measure would be helpful when itcomes to discouraging them from committing the mistake that they did.However, for the middle class, psychological form of punishment worksbest for them (Erlanger, 1974). It is seen as the most appropriateway of discouraging the children from committing the same mistake.The psychological form of punishment could include measures such asinforming them of what may befall them if they did repeat the samemistake. For those in the lower social class, physical punishmentworks best as a way of discouraging adverse behavior. Such form ofpunishment has however been discouraged by authorities because of theeffects that it has on children. Infliction of physical pain couldhave further detrimental effects.


Erlanger, H. S.(1974). Social class and corporal punishment in childrearing: Areassessment.

Americansociological review, 68-85.

Kraus, M. W., &ampKeltner, D. (2013). Social class rank, essentialism, and punitivejudgment.

Journal ofpersonality and social psychology, 105(2), 247.