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Class discrimination, also known as classism, is prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class which still occurs in societies around the world today. It includes individual attitudes, behaviors, systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper class at the expense of the lower class.
Socioeconomic, racial/ethnic and gender inequalities in academic achievement have been widely reported in the United States, but how these three axes of inequality intersect to determine academic and non-academic outcomes among school-aged children is not well understood.
Class structures existed in a simplified form in pre-agricultural societies, but it has evolved into a more complex and established following the establishment of permanent agriculture-based civilizations with a food surplus. Classism started to be practiced around the 18th century.
Institutional versus personal classism
The term classism can refer to personal prejudice against lower classes as well as to institutional classism, just as the term racism can refer either strictly to personal prejudice or to institutional racism. The former has been defined as "the ways in which conscious or unconscious classism is manifest in the various institutions of our society".
The term "interpersonal" is sometimes used in place of "personal" as in "institutional classism (versus) interpersonal classism" and terms such as "attitude" or "attitudinal" may replace "interpersonal" as contrasting with institutional classism as in the Association of Magazine Media's definition of classism as "any attitude or institutional practice which subordinates people due to income, occupation, education and/or their economic condition".
Classism is also sometimes broken down into more than two categories as in "personal, institutional and cultural" classism. It is common knowledge in sociolinguistics that metasocial language abounds in lower registers, thus the slang for various classes or racial castes.
Class discrimination can be seen in many different forms of media such as television shows, films and social media. Class discrimination in the media displays the knowledge of what people feel and think about classicism. When seeing class discrimination in films and television shows, people are influenced and believe that is how things are in real life, for whatever class is being displayed. Media is a big influence on the world today, with that something such as classism is can be seen in many different lights. Usually, the lower income people are displayed in the media as dirty, lack of education and manners and homeless. From both sides of that being displayed in the media, people are able to take what they see, whether that be true or not and believe what they want to believe. People can use the media to learn more about different social classes or use the media, such as social media to influence others on what they believe. In some cases, people who are in a social class that is portrayed in a bad way by the media can be effected in school and social life as "[t]eenagers who grew up in poverty reported higher levels of discrimination, and the poorer the teens were, the more they experienced discrimination".
The European Convention on Human Rights contains protections against social class discrimination, but only a few signatory states have signed and ratified these protections. Those that have signed and ratified this have implemented domestic laws against favela discrimination because of social class (in the same way that race discrimination, sex discrimination or age discrimination have been legislated against).
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