Upper class

upper-classhigh societyuppersocietyupper classesposhpolite societyupper crusthigh classhigh-class
The upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the wealthiest members of society, and wield the greatest political power.wikipedia
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Social class

classsocial classesclasses
The upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the wealthiest members of society, and wield the greatest political power.
A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes.

Social stratification

social hierarchystratificationstratified
The term is often used in conjunction with terms like upper-middle class, middle class, and working class as part of a model of social stratification.
In modern Western societies, social stratification is typically defined in terms of three social classes: (i) the upper class, (ii) the middle class, and (iii) the lower class; in turn, each class can be subdivided into strata, e.g. the upper-stratum, the middle-stratum, and the lower stratum.

Middle class

middle-classmiddlemiddle classes
The term is often used in conjunction with terms like upper-middle class, middle class, and working class as part of a model of social stratification.
The modern usage of the term "middle-class", however, dates to the 1913 UK Registrar-General's report, in which the statistician T.H.C. Stevenson identified the middle class as those falling between the upper-class and the working-class.

Nouveau riche

nouveau-richenouveaux richesnew money
Because the upper classes of a society may no longer rule the society in which they are living, they are often referred to as the old upper classes and they are often culturally distinct from the newly rich middle classes that tend to dominate public life in modern social democracies.
Sociologically, nouveau riche refers to the person who previously had belonged to a lower social class and economic stratum (rank) within that class; and that the new money, which constitutes his or her wealth, allowed upward social mobility and provided the means for conspicuous consumption, the buying of goods and services that signal membership in an upper class.

Nobility

noblemannoblenobles
Upper-class landowners in Europe were often also members of the titled nobility, though not necessarily: the prevalence of titles of nobility varied widely from country to country.
Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not necessarily hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address.

Aristocracy (class)

aristocrataristocraticaristocrats
In England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, the "upper class" traditionally comprised the landed gentry and the aristocracy of noble families with hereditary titles.
In many states, the aristocracy included the upper class of people (aristocrats) with hereditary rank and titles.

Landed gentry

landownergentrylanded
In England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, the "upper class" traditionally comprised the landed gentry and the aristocracy of noble families with hereditary titles.
The designation "landed gentry" originally referred exclusively to members of the upper class who were landlords and also commoners in the British sense – that is, they did not hold peerages – but usage became more fluid over time.

Upper middle class

upper-middle classupper-middle-classupper middle-class
The term is often used in conjunction with terms like upper-middle class, middle class, and working class as part of a model of social stratification.

United States

AmericanU.S.USA
In the United States, the upper class, as distinguished from the rich, is often considered to consist of those families that have for many generations enjoyed top social status based on their leadership in society.
The top 1 percent of income-earners accounted for 52 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2015, where income is defined as market income excluding government transfers.

International Debutante Ball

The International Debutante Ball
The International Debutante Ball is an invitation-only, formal debutante ball, to officially present well-connected young ladies of distinction from upper-class families to high society.

Old money

wealthy and affluent American familieswealthiest and most affluent American familiesfamily money
Old money (French: vieux riche) is "the inherited wealth of established upper-class families (i.e. gentry, patriciate)" or "a person, family, or lineage possessing inherited wealth".

High society (social class)

high societysocietysociety women
From a global perspective, see upper class.

Debutante

débutantedebutdebutantes
A cotillion or débutante ball in the United States is a formal presentation of young ladies, débutantes, to "polite society", typically hosted by a charity or society.

Plutocracy

plutocraticplutocratplutocrats
In 1998, Bob Herbert of The New York Times referred to modern American plutocrats as "The Donor Class" (list of top donors) and defined the class, for the first time, as "a tiny group – just one-quarter of 1 percent of the population – and it is not representative of the rest of the nation. But its money buys plenty of access".

Economic inequality

income inequalityinequalitywealth gap
The upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the wealthiest members of society, and wield the greatest political power.

Power (social and political)

powerpolitical powerpowers
The upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the wealthiest members of society, and wield the greatest political power.

Aristocracy

aristocraticaristocrataristocrats
Prior to the 20th century, the emphasis was on aristocracy, which emphasized generations of inherited noble status, not just recent wealth.

Working class

working-classlower classworkers
The term is often used in conjunction with terms like upper-middle class, middle class, and working class as part of a model of social stratification.

Real estate

real-estateluxury real estateland
Historically in some cultures, members of an upper class often did not have to work for a living, as they were supported by earned or inherited investments (often real estate), although members of the upper class may have had less actual money than merchants.

Ecclesiastical polity

churchchurcheschurch polity
Much of the population that composed the upper class consisted of aristocrats, ruling families, titled people, and religious hierarchs.

Pre-industrial society

pre-industrialpre-industrial societiespre-modern societies
Political power was often in the hands of the landowners in many pre-industrial societies despite there being no legal barriers to land ownership for other social classes.

Szlachta

szlachcicnoblePolish nobility
Some upper classes were almost entirely untitled, for example, the Szlachta of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

Polish-Lithuanian CommonwealthPolandPolish
Some upper classes were almost entirely untitled, for example, the Szlachta of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.