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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce underclass (audio)

Dictionary definition of underclass

A social group or stratum within a society that occupies a position of relative disadvantage or marginalization.
"The underclass is often marginalized and excluded from mainstream society."

Detailed meaning of underclass

The underclass is typically characterized by a combination of economic, social, and educational hardships that hinder their upward mobility and integration into mainstream society. Members of the underclass often experience poverty, unemployment, limited access to quality education, and inadequate social support systems. They may face systemic barriers and discrimination that perpetuate their disadvantaged status. The underclass can include individuals or communities living in impoverished neighborhoods or those facing chronic social exclusion. This term is used to highlight the structural inequalities and persistent disadvantages experienced by this particular group within the broader social fabric. Societal interventions and policies are often directed towards addressing the challenges faced by the underclass and promoting social inclusion, equity, and upward mobility.

Example sentences containing underclass

1. The government implemented programs to uplift the underclass and reduce poverty.
2. The underclass struggles with limited access to healthcare and education.
3. Members of the underclass often face stigmatization and discrimination.
4. The underclass is disproportionately affected by unemployment and economic instability.
5. Efforts are being made to provide job training and employment opportunities for the underclass.
6. Educational initiatives aim to break the cycle of poverty within the underclass.

History and etymology of underclass

The noun 'underclass' is formed by combining the prefix 'under-' with the word 'class.' The prefix 'under-' is used to indicate a position of lower status or disadvantage. 'Class' has its origins in the Latin word 'classis,' which originally referred to a division of the Roman people based on wealth and social status. Over time, 'class' came to represent social groups or strata within a society. Therefore, 'underclass' refers to a social group or stratum within a society that occupies a position of relative disadvantage or marginalization, often characterized by poverty, limited access to resources, and reduced social opportunities. Its etymology is rooted in the historical development of 'class' and the addition of the prefix 'under-' to convey a lower or disadvantaged status within society.

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Further usage examples of underclass

1. The underclass is more susceptible to experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.
2. Social welfare programs provide assistance to the most vulnerable individuals in the underclass.
3. The underclass often lacks the resources and support systems needed to escape poverty.
4. Many advocacy groups focus on addressing the needs and rights of the underclass.
5. The underclass faces significant challenges in accessing affordable and nutritious food.
6. Generational poverty is a common characteristic within the underclass.
7. Inequality and income disparity contribute to the perpetuation of the underclass.
8. Public housing initiatives aim to provide safe and affordable housing options for the underclass.
9. The underclass often experiences limited political representation and influence.
10. The underclass is more susceptible to involvement in crime and illegal activities.
11. Policies targeting the underclass should address both economic and social factors.
12. Breaking the cycle of poverty requires addressing the systemic issues that affect the underclass.
13. Community organizations play a crucial role in providing support and resources to the underclass.
14. The underclass often struggles to access basic healthcare services.
15. Education can be a pathway out of the underclass for many individuals.
16. Policies should address the economic disparities faced by the underclass.
17. The underclass faces systemic barriers to employment opportunities.
18. Poverty is a defining characteristic of the underclass in many societies.
19. Social programs aim to alleviate the hardships of the underclass.
20. Housing affordability remains a pressing issue for the urban underclass.
21. Generational poverty can perpetuate the underclass in certain communities.
22. Discrimination exacerbates the challenges of the underclass.
23. Initiatives to empower the underclass are essential for social progress.
24. Research sheds light on the experiences of the underclass in modern society.



disadvantaged, elite, upper-class, privileged


Boundaries and Limits, Obstacles and Hardships, Community and Society, Division and Separation, Social Status and Hierarchy

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