The United States was founded on the principle of equal opportunity for all, and this ethos continues to inform the nation's collective identity. In reality, however, absolute equality is elusive. The gap between rich and poor has widened in recent decades, and the United States has the highest level of economic inequality of any developed country. Social class and other differences in status reverberate throughout American life, and prejudice based on another's perceived status persists among individuals and groups.
Customers everywhere describe their interactions with companies in a deeply personal way: We hate our banks, love our smartphones, and think the cable company is out to get us. What is actually going through our brains when we make these judgments? Customer loyalty expert Chris Malone and top social psychologist Susan Fiske have discovered that our perceptions arise from spontaneous judgments on warmth and competence, the same two factors that also determine our impressions of people.
"Hits the nail, right on the head!!! "
Many Americans, holding fast to the American Dream and the promise of equal opportunity, claim that social class doesn't matter. Yet the ways we talk and dress, our interactions with authority figures, the degree of trust we place in strangers, our religious beliefs, our achievements, our senses of morality and of ourselves all are marked by social class, a powerful factor affecting every domain of life.