Sociology: The Game of The Name

The Game of The Name

American society does not do nearly enough to improve the lot of the poor, but it puts its whole heart into sprucing up the nomenclature used to describe them. Now sociologist William Julius Wilson has suggested that the term underclass be replaced by, well, maybe, "ghetto poor."

Wilson believes the long-familiar term may need to be set aside "because it has become a code word for inner-city blacks ((and)) has enabled journalists to focus on unflattering behavior in the ghetto." Wilson, however, added that he was just advancing an idea, and would probably continue to use underclass in his own work.

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