What Does “Classiness” Really Mean?

classy, race, gender, class, maxim of domination
“Classy” Couple (Retrieved from Pinterest)

A play on words that explores the intersectionality between race, gender, and class.

By: J. from Feminist JAMMS

What do people envision when considering the concept of “classiness?” Perhaps they associate this trait with a particular style of dress, hair, demeanor, or personality. Maybe people go a step further, associating class with something more introspective such as: behavior or morality. Truthfully, there is no single correct interpretation of what characteristics emulate “class,” as this term cannot be defined without weighing the intersecting categories of race and gender.

            By acknowledging how these aspects intersect, people avoid making misjudgments that often arise from comparative thinking, language of difference, and additive terms that treat race and gender as separate entities. Conversely, race and gender work together to shape class. This can be seen through class measures such as: socioeconomic status, occupational status, and cultural capital, each highlighting blatant disparities formed by racial and gender differences. In other words, every individual’s class is extremely complex, molded by a unique relationship between race and gender that functions to diversify people from one another. This perspective is consistent with the matrix of domination model, which deems social structure—class—as multiple interlocking levels of dominance that stem from society’s configuration of race and gender. Furthermore, this model of thinking encourages people to become aware of how their race and gender interact with their class, further urging them to view social structures from an increasingly inclusive perspective. So while “classiness” may lack a concrete definition, people can begin to interpret its meaning by inspecting the intersectionality between race, gender, and everything in between.

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