Friday, February 17, 2012

Social Economic Status

Social Economic Status (SES) is the status of a person based on how much money a person makes. We all have been hearing about the economy for the past couple of years. So, I figured it would be a good idea to talk a little about how it will affect our characters. People generally fall within three groups lower, middle and upper. Within each of those three groups there are three groups, lower middle, and upper.

There have been many studies conducted on how SES affects a person. Many studies have even shown that lower SES status affects a person more than race, gender or anything else. Those people coming from lower SES status will generally do worse in school (e.g. learn language slower, lower math skills etc.) They will also suffer more from psychological problems and health issues. There are many other issues related to low SES.

When we are creating our characters it is important to understand the SES that they come from. We need to make the characters more believable and realistic by showing the hardships that they needed to go through in order to become our heroes. This does not mean that they can't break the mold it just gives us an opportunity to explain why they broke the mold.


  1. true def plays into decisioning...and in the attitude....

  2. I'm not a writer and this never occurred to me but it's so nice to learn of these things.

  3. I'd never even considered the possibility of the effect this may have on our characters! Great food for thought for the weekend - thanks Josh!

  4. Something I haven't considered either. That's why I love your blog so much!

  5. I am reminded of a character in The Help. Celia is a white women who grew up at the bottom of the SES totem pole. It is interesting to see how she acts with the help and how others interact with her. Another great post. Thanks.

  6. Chekov loved to explore the mindset of the upper and middle class characters. I find it interesting that if a person's SES changes drastically quickly, they often do not change their lifestyle straight away, it takes adjusting. A lot of classic literature talks about men who are of a high station but have no money and so they can marry a woman who's status is not upper class, but has money. Great post.


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