30+ Examples of Middle-to-Upper Class Privileges

Over 100K Shares

Following is a list of middle-to-upper class privileges.  If you are a member of the middle class or upper class economic groups (or, in some cases, perceived to be) listed below are benefits that may be granted to you based on your group membership — benefits not granted to folks in the lower classes.

The goal of the list is to help folks who have access to these privileges be more cognizant of their privilege, encouraging better understanding of class-based difference in our society.

  1. Politicians pay attention to your class, and fight for your vote in election seasons.
  2. You can advocate for your class to politicians and not have to worry about being seen as looking for a handout.
  3. You can readily find accurate (or non-caricatured) examples of members your class depicted in films, television, and other media.
  4. New products are designed and marketed with your social class in mind.
  5. If you see something advertised that you really want, you will buy it.
  6. You can swear (or commit a crime) without people attributing it to the low morals of your class.
  7. If you find yourself in a legally perilous situation, you can hire an attorney to ensure your case is heard justly.
  8. You can talk with your mouth full and not have people attribute this to the uncivilized nature of your social class.
  9. You can attend a “fancy” dinner without apprehension of doing something wrong or embarrassing the hosts.
  10. You understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy food, and can choose to eat healthy food if you wish.
  11. You can walk around your neighborhood at night without legitimate concern for your safety.
  12. In the case of medical emergency, you won’t have to decide against visiting a doctor or the hospital due to economic reasons.
  13. You have visited a doctor for a “check-up.”
  14. Your eyesight, smile, and general health aren’t inhibited by your income.
  15. If you become sick, you can seek medical care immediately and not just “hope it goes away.”
  16. If you choose to wear hand-me-down or second-hand clothing, this won’t be attributed to your social class, and may actually be considered stylish.
  17. You can update your wardrobe with new clothes to match current styles and trends.
  18. As a kid, you were able to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities (field trips, clubs, etc.) with school friends.
  19. As a kid, your friends’ parents allowed your friends to play and sleep over at your house.
  20. You don’t have to worry that teachers or employers will treat you poorly or have negative expectations of you because of your class.
  21. The schools you went to as a kid had updated textbooks, computers, and a solid faculty.
  22. Growing up, college was an expectation of you (whether you chose to go or not), not a lofty dream.
  23. Your decision to go or not to go to college wasn’t based entirely on financial determinants.
  24. People aren’t surprised if they realize you are intelligent, hard-working, or honest.
  25. An annual raise in pay at your job is measured in dollars, not cents.
  26. You’ve likely never looked into a paycheck advance business (e.g., “Check Into Cash”), and have definitely never used one.
  27. You are never asked to speak for all members of your class.
  28. Whenever you’ve moved out of your home it has been voluntary, and you had another home to move into.
  29. It’s your choice to own a reliable car or to choose other means of transportation.
  30. Regardless of the season, you can count on being able to fall asleep in a room with a comfortable temperature.
  31. When you flip a light switch in your house, you don’t have to wonder if the light will come on (or if your utilities have been terminated).
  32. People don’t assume you’ve made an active choice to be in your social class, but instead assume you’re working to improve it.
  33. The “dream” of a house, a healthy family, and a solid career isn’t a dream at all, but simply a plan.
  34. People do not assume based on the dialect you grew up speaking that you are unintelligent or lazy.
  35. When you choose to use variants of language (e.g., slang terms) people chalk them up to plasticity in the language (rather than assuming your particular dialectical variants deserve redicule and punishment).
  36. [leave a reply below with another example!]


Add Your Voice

About the Author

Sam Killermann Self Portrait

Hi! I'm Sam Killermann. I'm the author of A Guide to Gender: The Social Justice Advocate's Handbook, and I was featured in Katie Couric's NatGeo documentary "Gender Revolution". I created It's Pronounced Metrosexual in 2011. I write everything here and doodle the doodles myself. Bonus: everything I create is uncopyrighted and freely accessible — I even coded (& open-sourced) this site itself, my gift to you. Read More →

All of my work is directly supported by patronage, so if you appreciate what I'm doing you can pay me to keep doing it. I bet you'll also dig these other things I made: