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Class discrimination, also known as classism, is prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class. 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 or vice versa.
Class structures existed in a simplified form in pre-agricultural societies, but became much 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 or upper 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 replaced "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.
Chiefly American terms associated with personal or attitudinal classism include "white trash", "redneck", "little men" or "little people", "trailer trash", "the unwashed masses", "the great unwashed", "moochers", "oiks",[dubious ] "proles" and "bludgers." In earlier historical periods, classist terms and phrases such as "Hoi polloi" or "plebs", which are derogatory towards the working classes, were more commonly used than they are today.
There also exists a degree of classism against those of higher economic privilege, referring to such people with derogatory terms such as "bourgy" (corruption of bourgeoisie), "fat cats", "toffs", "porky", "preppie", or "yuppie." These terms may also be used self-referentially by high class individuals to jokingly describe their origins or lifestyle.
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 low income people are displayed in the media as dirty, lack of education and manners, homeless. Elites are usually displayed as snobby, rude, high education and rich. 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. "Teenagers who grew up in poverty reported higher levels of discrimination, and the poorer the teens were, the more they experienced discrimination." Class discrimination in the media is a current thing that has been happening from the beginning times of media and is still happening today. Class discrimination even be found in films made for kids, which exposes class discrimination at a young influential age.
The European Convention on Human Rights contains protections against social class discrimination. 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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