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Assess the view that fragmentation of the middle class has occurred The middle class is the non-manual white-collar workers The British sociologist Anthony Giddeons describes this class as separate from the upper class because they own hardly any means of production They do however possess widely recognized skills mainly mental which they can sell to the highest bidder The fragmentation of the middle class is explained by sociologists as the division of members of the said class into groups based on market and work situation income job and lifestyle The sociologists Roberts et al 1977 discovered while conducting a study of a sample of 243 male white-collar workers that four images within the middle class exist These four images were very different views of the white-collar workers and their position in the middle class The first image known as middle-mass was held by 22 percent of the sample This 22 percent believed themselves between a small rich upper class and an improvised lower class They held the view that the middle class made up the bulk of the working force and made no distinction between manual and non-manual workers different lifestyles and images and ideological cleavages Most holding this view were in the middle-range of incomes for white-collar workers The next image was called the compressed middle-class image and held by 19 percent of the sample This 19 percent saw themselves squeezed between two groups the small upper class and an increasingly working class They felt threatened by both groups Persons falling into this category were usually small business people The third image only had 15 percent of the sample subscribing to it This image was named the finely graded ladder and contained four or more strata This image is assumed as typical middle class image and persons holding this view tended to be well educated with professional qualifications and received impressively high wages They had no sense of class loyalty and rejected
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