I come from two very different cultures Russian and American. Moving to the United States at age fourteen, I could recognize the differences in classes and gender in both of the cultures. But there is one fact, you can’t tell class difference by appearance.
In reality class always matters and it shapes our interests in life. We all come from different background and ethnicity. I believe that class is shaped mainly by income and occupation. However, many people think if a person is wealthy, therefore, he belongs in the upper class. But there are other factors that define class and it is more than just how much money you have. It can be the network of people that surrounds, traditions, and academic status that can also define class. Many of it has to do in which family you have been born and network that creates it. All of my family members have been born and raised in Russia; they completed universities, got jobs, and had enough income to support a family. “Each of us is born into a family with a particular class identity and class history—sometimes it is a mixed or hybrid identity—but almost always it is part of a network of other relationships—to other families in a community, to work and jobs, and to institutions” (Zandy 112).
In Russian standards it is possible for everyone to achieve a higher education without ending up with a lot of loans to the government because most of education is free. For that reason, many people in Russia have bachelor or masters degree. As I came to the United States, I have realized that education here is a luxury and not many people can afford it. I even had friends at school that decided to go to army so that eventually they can pursue their dream in education. However, unfortunately, there is barely any middle class in Russia but instead has more of lower paying jobs. It creates highly educated people with income that can’t even support a family of three members. Therefore, class in Russia is very different when their income is very low but they have good positions and went to the best institutions. Higher standard living in the United States of the same middle class was obvious. My family still had the same income once we have moved to America but there where more possibilities.
In Russia the church also defines class, through out many years it has emerged from Soviet Union era when Orthodox Church was dominant and had a strong partnership with the government. However, people in Russia are still under strong influence of Orthodox Church and have less choice of their religion. People are less open and acceptable to other religions. As I was growing up in the 1990’s it became more balanced partnership in...