Bob Seger – U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)

The trouble with songs satirizing the wealthy is the listing of their material possessions might still sound appealing and worth striving to acquire, even to those that won’t get to. But Bob Seger was referring, in 1974, to luxury vehicles and yachts and fine spirits, perhaps as a critique of capitalism and its inequality among classes in society.

Class analysis divides citizens into different layers. Its most known explanations come from Karl Marx (1818-1883), who wrote in The Communist Manifesto (1848) that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” The upper class (bourgeoisie) own the means of production and exploit the lower class (proletariats).

German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) maintained that people that have stuff we need, have power over us. He also identified Seger’s upper middle class as well-educated, high-earning professionals. A synonym may be “white collar” workers, which are not the super-rich 1%ers in the Occupy movement sense.

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