In the documentary, “People like Us: Social Class in America,” the truth about American equality based on social class is challenged. Two opposing sides of social analysts observe the social classes through varying lenses. One side states that the social class gap is determined by birth and will always remain. In other words, it is not possible for someone born in one social class to move up to another without extremely rare resources, money and great knowledge about the upper classes. The contrary position states that through social observation and using a few tricks, people can move up the social ladder; for example, by marrying someone from the upper class and interbreeding the two classes.
The film studies social attitudes and perceptions of people from different social classes, examining the causes behind the great gap. Firstly, people who are born in the upper classes or the elite rate the world and other people through the price of their lifestyle, seeing true quality as being measured by how expensive something is. For instance, if someone drives a Volvo, he or she is not considered to be in the wealthy social circle, and moreover, someone who does not have great taste. The wealthy are characterized by the main trait that their attitude towards others is that if other people do not have the same taste as them; they are automatically banned from their social group.
As for the middle class people, their attitude mostly involves settling with what they have and accepting a wider variety of social groups. Both groups are critical of each other and the lower classes. Furthermore, things such as home decoration, supplies, owning historic family homes, the accessories one wears, and the schools their children attend reflect people’s perceptions about their own class and the ones around them. For instance, plastic covered couches categorize lower middle class homes, whereas spacious bedrooms decorated with wooden classical style furniture show off the elite lifestyle and wealth.