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Michigan Radio reporters will present a series of stories this month about social class and how it impacts our daily lives; from the way we plan our cities and neighborhoods; to the type of education our children receive.We'll look at class interactions on the dance floor and in the court room, and we’ll ask whether upward mobility is a myth or reality. That and more in our series The Culture of Class.How does socioeconomic class affect you? How do you think it affects life in Michigan? Share your thoughts with us

How does an economist define 'class'?

US_county_household_median_income_2008_0.jpg
United States Census Bureau
/
Wikipedia
Median household income by county in the United States in 2008.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-993738.mp3

The issue of class has been in the news a lot lately. From the “Occupy Wall Street Movement” which has snowballed across the country, to “class warfare” accusations coming out of Washington, D.C.

We’ve also heard recent reports that show the nation’s middle class is shrinking while the top earners’ salaries have skyrocketed.

Over the next week and a half, Michigan Radio will explore this idea of “social class” and how it impacts our lives.

What it means to be middle class can be tricky to define, but what’s clear is there’s been a significant class shift in the U.S.

We asked Charley Ballard, professor of economics at Michigan State University, the following question.

From an economist standpoint - how do you define class?

Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio’s first Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.
Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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