Separate educational system is important evidence for the distinctiveness of the
mentality and lifestyle that exists within the upper class because schools play a large
role in transmitting the class structure to their students.
Boarding schools are in many ways the kind of highly effective socializing agent that
sociologist Erving Goffman calls “total institutions,” isolating their members from
the outside world and providing them with a set of routine and traditions that
encompass most of their waking hours.
Although finance, business, and law are the most typical occupations of upper-class
males, there is no absence of physicians, architects, museum officials, and other
From kindergarten through college, schooling is very different for members of the
upper class and it teaches them to be distinctive in many ways.
Private social clubs are a major point of orientation in the lives of upper-class adults.
“The club serves to place the adult members of society and their families within the
Money is not the primary barrier in gaining membership to a club; each club has a
very rigorous screening process before accepting new members.
People of the upper class often belong to clubs in several cities, creating a nationwide
pattern of overlapping memberships. These overlaps provide evidence for social
cohesion within the upper class.
The overlap of this club network with corporate boards of directors provides evidence
for the intertwining of the upper class and corporate community.
A majority of the top twenty-five corporations in every major sector of the economy
have directors in at least one of these clubs, and several had many more.
The main sociological function of social clubs is stated by sociologist Thomas Powell:
oThe clubs are a repository of the values held by the upper-level prestige
groups in the community and are a means by which theses values are
transferred to the business environment. The clubs are places in which the
beliefs, problems, and values of the industrial organization are discussed and