What is middle class?

1. How would you define class? What is middle class? Draw explicitly upon two course materials to explore what is happening to class in the US today. Write two fully developed paragraphs.

2. Here is a hypothetical situation. Amy is a 25 year old store clerk in your home town in the US or a city in the US that you are interested in. Amy became pregnant in high school. Her family was not a stable one. Her mother, who she rarely sees, is an alcoholic. She has been estranged from her father since he learned of her pregnancy. Amy is now 25 and her daughter three. She is a woman of strength and integrity. Though young and often anxious, she works hard to be the best parent she can be. She works hard at her job, but would love to go back to school. Her income is very tight. She exchanges childcare with her best friend. If her friend isn’t available, it is rarely worthwhile for Amy to pick up a shift as the income would be minimal. Despite her requests, she is not full time. She works 30 hours a week for minimum wage. Unfortunately, it is a constant struggle to make ends meet. She is sliding into heavy debt for her income (she currently owes $3,500 on her credit card).

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Write a response in which you include the following:

A budget for Amy. Realistically, how much will Amy pay in rent for an apartment (she cannot live with relatives or friends). What other expenses does she have? Can she make it on her income?

Is Amy below the federal poverty line? What supports are available to Amy? What is life like for Amy and families like her? Using census data, look to see if there are many other families in the area in a similar situation. How might Amy improve her future?

To research Amy’s situation, you might want to use the following link:


To answer the questions, you will want to determine the difference between Poverty Guidelines and the Poverty Line. Most importantly, learn which is used to determine aid.




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