Soc. 101 rw ch. 8


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Soc. 101 rw ch. 8

  1. 1. Chapter 8
  2. 2. Outline Social Stratification and Inequality Slavery, Caste system and Social Class Social Classes Categories Theories of Social Class Socioeconomic Status and Life Chances Social Mobility Is there a culture of poverty?
  3. 3. Social Stratification and Social Inequality Social Stratification-division of society into groups arranged in a social hierarchy  Higher level groups will enjoy better access to rewards and resources and lower levels will have worse access  Leads to social inequality (unequal distribution of wealth, power, prestige) 1. Characteristic of society 2. Persists over generations 3. Different societies have different ways of ranking 4. Stratification maintained through widely shared beliefs
  4. 4. Systems of Stratification Slavery, Caste system, Social Class Slavery-most extreme form of social stratification- based on legal ownership of people-provide labor  No rights-bought and sold like commodities  Became enslaved through owing a debt, warfare, committing a crime, or being captured and kidnapped  Illegal all over the world now but still continues in India, South Asia, West Africa  Child slavery, serfdom, human trafficking, sex slaves
  5. 5. Caste System Caste system-form of social stratification in which status is determined by one’s family history and background and can’t be changed  Must marry within group-caste ranking passed to kids  India-reflection of Hindu religion-Brahman, ksatriya, chhetri, vaisya, sudra, untouchables  South Africa-Apartheid-system of segregation and racial groups that was legal in South Africa 1948-91
  6. 6. Social Class Categories Social class-system of stratification based on access to resources such as wealth, property, power and prestige [also referred to as socioeconomic status(SES)]  Practiced primarily in capitalist countries Upper class-largely self-sustaining, wealthiest people in a class system; in U.S., comprise about 1% of the population and possess most of the wealth; $250,000+ Upper-middle class-mostly professionals and managers who enjoy considerable financial stability; about 14% of U.S. population
  7. 7. Social Class Middle-class-comprised of mostly white-collar workers with a broad range of incomes; 30% of U.S. population; $55,000-$88,000  White collar-workers and skilled laborers in technical and lower management jobs Working class-(lower-middle class)-mostly blue- collar or service industry workers who are less likely to have a college degree; 30% of population; $23,000- $54,000  Blue collar-workers who perform manual labor
  8. 8. Social Class Working poor-poorly educated workers who work full time but remain below the poverty line; comprise about 20% of U.S. population  Many are high school dropouts; get unskilled, temporary and seasonal jobs Underclass-poorest Americans who are chronically unemployed and may depend on public or private assistance; 5% of U.S. population  Earn less than $7,500 a year; substandard housing or are homeless Status inconsistency-situation where there are different elements of an individual’s SES
  9. 9. Theories of Social Class Karl Marx-theory came out during Industrial Revolution in 19th century Europe when class was emerging out of the collapsing feudal system  *Argued that economic relationships were quickly becoming the only social relationships what mattered  New social inequality was b/w bourgeoisie and proletariat Max Weber-believed class position came out of a combination of wealth, power, and prestige (pg. 203)  Prestige-social honor people are given because of their membership in well-regarded social groups  Can affect how people are perceived: doctor vs. janitor
  10. 10. Theories of Social Class Pierre Bordieu-studied social reproduction-tendency of social classes to remain relatively stable as social class status is passed down from one generation to the next  Cultural capital-the tastes, habits expectations, skills, knowledge, and other cultural dispositions that help us gain advantages in society  Can shape others’ perceptions of us Erving Goffman-we read identity by interpreting behavior of others  Our clothing, speech, cars, what we do on vacation are all part of our presentation of self
  11. 11. Socioeconomic Status & Life Chances Belonging to a certain class brings with it either certain privileges or hardships that members will endure Education- $78,200 (advanced); $49,900 (bachelor’s); $30,800 (high school) and $21,600 (non-graduates)  Schools don’t always meet needs of all students Work – Lower class people have more problems with jobs – unemployment, underemployment  Loss of “Blue Collar” jobs  Two income households  Widening income gap between those at the top and bottom of the scale
  12. 12. SES and Life Chances Criminal Justice – people of low SES are more likely to have experience with the criminal justice system – more likely to be arrested, sentenced, and even the victims Family – higher social class – older when they get married and less children Health – poor least likely to be get adequate nutrition, shelter, clothing, healthcare-more prone to illness- shorter life spans We can’t take for granted the advantages and disadvantages individuals deal with
  13. 13. Social Mobility Social Mobility-movement of individuals or groups within the hierarchal system of social classes Closed system-system with very little opportunity to move from one class to another (caste system) Open system-system with ample opportunities to move from one class to another (U.S.) Intergenerational mobility-movement between social classes that occurs from one generation to the next Intragenerational mobility-movement that occurs between classes over the course of an individual’s lifetime
  14. 14. Social Mobility Horizontal Mobility-the occupational movement of individuals or groups within a social class Vertical Mobility-the movement between different class statuses, often called either upward mobility or downward mobility Structural Mobility-changes in the social status of large numbers of people due to structural changes in society
  15. 15. Defining Poverty Relative Deprivation-comparative measure of poverty based on the standard of living in a particular society Absolute Deprivation- and objective measure of poverty; defined by inability to meet minimal standards for food, shelter, clothing, or healthcare
  16. 16. Culture of Poverty Culture of Poverty – attitudes that develop among poor that lead the poor to accept their fate and not attempt to change their place in society  Controversial because it blames victims of poverty Just World Hypothesis – see world as predictable & fair – thus the poor “deserve” what they get  Melvin Lerner Meritocracy-system in which rewards are distributed based on merit
  17. 17. Invisibility of Poverty Residential Segregation- geographic separation of the poor from the rest of the population Disenfranchisement- poor are less likely to vote Hide the homeless – get them out of sight About 2.5 mil. people will experience homelessness at least once during a given year