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SOCIAL CLASS CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Occupation

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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
LESSON24
SOCIAL CLASS
CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
Understanding:
 Social Class
 Measurement of Social Class
Social Class
The concept of Social Class is used to assign individuals or families to a social class category. Social Class may best
be e thought of as a continuum ­ a range of social positions on which each member of society can be placed.
Researchers prefer to divide the continuum into small number of specific social classes or strata.
Division of members of a society into a hierarchy of distinct status classes, is such that members of each class have
relatively the same status and members of other classes have either more or less
Social class is treated as a personal phenomenon one that reflects an individual's sense of belonging or
identification with others. This feeling of social group membership is referred to as Class Consciousness.
The Measurement of Social Class
How would one measure the social class? There is no general agreement amongst the researchers as to how should
they measure social class. To a great extent researchers are uncertain about the underlying dimensions of social
class structure. Systematic approach to measuring the social class fall into following broad categories
1. Subjective Measures
2.  Reputation Measures
3.  Objective Measures
1. Subjective Measures
Individuals are asked to estimate their own social class positions. Typical to this approach is the following
question:
Which one of the following four categories best describe your class?
Lower class
Lower Middleclass
Upper Middleclass
Upper class
Do not know/refuse to answer
Subjective Measures tend to produce overabundance of people who classify themselves as middleclass
understating the "fringe people" who could be classified as either lower or upper
Class Consciousness
Social class is treated as a personal phenomenon, one that reflects an individual's sense of belonging or
identification with others. This feeling of social group membership is referred to as Class consciousness.
Life of the Nation Survey
Every year in Japan a life of the nation survey is conducted. Citizens place themselves in any one of the categories
including:
Upper
Upper Middle
Middle Middle
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
Lower Middle
Lower Class
Results of the survey have been as below
Late 1950's ­ 70% (in any middle class)
 1960-today ­ 90% (in any middle class)
Issues
Subjective Measures tend to produce overabundance of people who classify themselves as middleclass. There is
difficulty in understanding the "fringe people" who could be classified as either lower or upper
2. Reputational Measures
Reputational measures require selected community informants to make initial judgments concerning the social
class memberships of others within the community. The final task of assigning community members to social
class positions belongs to the trained researcher.
Sociologists use the RA to obtain better understanding on the specific class structure of the communities.
Consumer Researchers are concerned with measurement of social class to understand markets and consumption
behavior better not social structure. Reputation approach proved to be impractical
3. Objective Measures
Objective measures consist of selected demographic or socioeconomic variables concerning the individual(s) under
study. These variables are measured through questionnaires that ask respondents several factual questions about
themselves.
Variables of Objective Measures
Variables of Objective Measures may include:
Occupation
Education
Income
1. Occupation
Occupation is the best documented measure of social class. Importance of occupation as a social class indicator is
dramatized by the frequency with which people ask they meet the first time what do you do for a living?
Marketers think in terms of specific occupations when defining their target markets e.g. accountants are our best
customers; we target our 7 days Northern Areas of Pakistan trips to executives and professionals.
The likelihood that a particular occupation would be receptive to certain products or services provides the basis
for an occupational Screener questionnaire for FGD's
Self Employed
There is a world wide increasing trend toward self employment amongst business and professional people.
Business executives and professionals who are self employed or entrepreneurs are likely to be wealthier than their
counterparts. The link between self employment and higher income is consistent with the trend of increasing
number of graduates working for themselves rather t n going to work for big business
2. Education
The level of a person's formal education is a commonly accepted approximation of social class standing. The more
education one has, the more likely it is that
a.  The person is well paid
b. Has an admired or respected position
3. Income
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Consumer Psychology (PSY - 514)
VU
Family income is another socioeconomic variable frequently used to approximate social class standing. Researchers
favoring income as a measure of social class use either amount or source of income.
Difference between wealth and income is however, always drawn
Wealth not income is the primary driver to financial freedom. Wealth not income is a function of savings, to
achieve wealth one has to improve one's net worth not just one's income. Wealth deals with the creation of
resources and money deals with more with the consumption. For wealth one needs to network and build personal
alliances for getting the right information. On needs to find way to minimize expenses to increase the ability to
create wealth
Issues
Not all consumer researchers agree that it is an appropriate index of social class. A blue collar electrician and a
white collar administrative assistant may both earn the same amount of money. However, because of the social
class difference both will spend their money differently. So it is the difference in values that is important
discriminat in class not the income. Substantiating importance of consumer's personal values rather than the
amount of income, is the observation that affluence may be more a function of attitude and behavior than of
income level.
4. Other Variables
Other variables may include:
 Quality of Neighborhood
 The price value of residence
 Possessions have been used by sociologists
Two Categories of Objective Measures
Two Categories of Objective Measures include:
1) Single Variable Indexes
2) Composite Variable Indexes
1. Single Variable Indexes
Single Variable Index uses just one variable to evaluate social class membership e.g. occupation, education or
income
2. Composite Variables
Composite variables systematically combine a number of socioeconomic factors to form one overall measure of
social class standing. Such indexes may better reflect the complexity of social class than single index variable.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Consumer Behavior
  2. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Consumer research
  3. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Marketing Mix, Product, Price
  4. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Customer Value, Perceived Value
  5. VALUE AND RETENTION FOCUSED MARKETING AND CONSUMER DECISION MAKING PROCESS
  6. CONSUMER RESEARCH:Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research
  7. MAJOR STEPS IN CONSUMER RESEARCH PROCESS:Design of Primary research
  8. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS
  9. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES:ATTITUDE SCALES
  10. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS
  11. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MEASUREMENT, SAMPLING, AND DATA ANALYSIS AND REPORTING
  12. MARKET SEGMENTATION AND ITS BASES:Geographical Segmentation
  13. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: DEMOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION PSYCHOGRAPHIC SEGMENTATION
  14. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: SOCIOCULTURAL SEGMENTATION USE RELATED SEGMENTATION USAGE SITUATION SEGMENTATION
  15. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: BENEFIT SEGMENTATION:Intrinsic Cues
  16. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: HYBRID SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES
  17. MARKET SEGMENTATION IMPLEMENTING SEGMENTATION STRATEGIES ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES CULTURE
  18. HOW CULTURE IS LEARNT ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Formal Learning
  19. CULTURE AND ITS MEASUREMENT ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  20. MEASUREMENT OF CULTURE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Consumer Fieldwork
  21. SUBCULTURE CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  22. AGE AND GENDER SUBCULTURE CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
  23. BASES FOR SEGMENTATION: BENEFIT SEGMENTATION:Market Segmentation
  24. SOCIAL CLASS CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Occupation
  25. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Affluent Consumer
  26. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Membership Group
  27. CONSUMER SOCIAL CLASSES CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES:Shopping Groups
  28. UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY CHAPTER 5: INDIVIDUAL DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
  29. CONSUMER PERSONALITY, TRAIT THEORY AND SELF IMAGES
  30. CONSUMER MOTIVATION:Needs, Goals, Generic Goals
  31. UNDERSTANDING LEARNING:Intentional and Incidental Learning, Implications for Marketers
  32. INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING, INFORMATION PROCESSING AND MEMORY
  33. ATTITUDES:Characteristics of Attitudes, Attitudes have consistency
  34. ATTITUDE FORMATION AND CHANGE:How attitudes are learned?
  35. ATTITUDE CHANGE STRATEGIES:Resolving two conflicting attitudes
  36. INTRODUCTION TO CONSUMER DECISION MAKING:Decision Complexity
  37. Problem Recognition, Search and Evaluation and Decision and Purchase
  38. Decision and Purchase:Consumer Decision Rules, Output, Relationship Marketing
  39. Decisions Related to Post Purchase:Product Set up and Use
  40. Marketing Implications of Decisions Related to Post Purchase:Understanding
  41. Post Purchase Evaluation:Determinants of Satisfaction, Consumer Complaint Behavior
  42. Post Purchase Dissonance:Dissonance Reduction, Marketing Implications
  43. Consumerism:Roots of Consumerism, The Nature of Consumerism
  44. Consumerism Issues and Responses:Environmental Concerns, Consumer Privacy
  45. Review Consumer Psychology Course:Consumer Research, Consumerism