What are major differences between the impact that the upper class and the underclass has on a child?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that one of the most profound differences between the childhood of the upper class and the underclass is one of opportunity.  Greater opportunity to experience more elements that would enrich a childhood are going to be present in the upper class childhood experience than one in the underclass.  Whether this is material in the form of toys or other such items, or even in the sense of being able to experience other conditions in childhood, like travel, for example, the experience of the childhood in the upper class as opposed to the underclass is one where the latter has more doors closed and the former has more opened.  In addition, I would say that some of the basic elements of subsistence are more challenging in a childhood in the underclass than one in the upper class.  Health care and health issues are of vital importance to a childhood where there is not so much difficulty.  In a childhood of the underclass, greater difficulty to have access to quality health care is evident.  In a childhood of the upper class, this experience is not as difficult.  At the same time, the childhood of the underclass reveals realities to children that might be difficult to address.  Bearing witness to economic hardship and material challenge are notions that might not be developmentally appropriate for children and the emergence of childhood.  These are realities in the condition of the underclass, something not as present in the childhood of the upper class.