What is social stratification?• Work in pairs and provide a definition
Stratification describes the way in which differentgroups of people are placed within society The status of people is often determined by how society is stratified - the basis of which can include; Wealth and income - This is the most common basis of stratification Social class Ethnicity Gender Political status Religion (e.g. the caste system in India)
The stratification of society is also based upon either an open, or closed system.• OPEN • ClosedStatus is achieved through Status is ascribed, rather thanmerit, and effort. This is achieved. Ascribed status cansometimes known as a be based upon severalmeritocracy. The UK is a factors, such as familyrelatively open background (e.g. the feudalsociety, although system consists of landownersdisadvantaged groups within and serfs). Political factorssociety face a glass ceiling. may also play a role (e.g. societies organised on the basis of communism), as can ethnicity (e.g. the former apartheid regime in South Africa) and religion.
Structure of inequality The power of the elite within society is based upon: Income WealthA network of social connections
The power of the elite within society is basedupon;IncomeWealthA network of social connections – sometimes known as the ‘old boys network’
Work in pairs and find the connection between these words/phrases.• poverty – least powerful – few opportunities• neither rich nor poor – people – middle-class
• In contrast the least powerful within society have few opportunities to escape from poverty. There are different explanations for this. For example the New Right sociologist Charles Murray argued that the poorest members of society had become too reliant upon welfare benefits. This had led to a gradual loss in the ability of the poor to adopt values that would take them out of poverty; such as self-reliance and personal initiative. Most people within society are neither rich nor poor. They form part of the middle-class –which is the most numerical social class within society.
Factors that determine life chancesSocial class Gender Ethnicity, Schooling
Work in pairs and find the connection between these words/phrases.Life chances exist• glass ceiling• work• discrimination
Life chances exist• For example ethnic minorities often face a glass ceiling at work due to discrimination upon racial grounds; which can be either overt (or obvious), or covert (in other words, hidden). Women also face the same problem.
“underclass”• term associated with the work of John Rex and Robert Moore. Members of the underclass form norms and values that often differ to the rest of society. They are caught in a poverty trap (or cycle) from which they find very difficult to escape from. This is despite changes to the welfare and benefits system designed to get welfare claimants into work.
Social stratification (sociology)• classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions.• It is a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy . (hierarchy/`haɪə.rɑ:ki/)
Four basic principles• Social stratification is based on four basic principles: 1. Social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences; 2. Social stratification carries over from generation to generation; 3. Social stratification is universal but variable; 4. Social stratification involves not just inequality but beliefs as well.
Organization of Modern Western societies• In modern Western societies, stratification is broadly organized into three main layers: upper class, middle class lower class Each of these classes can be further subdivided into smaller classes e.g occupational
Karl Marx• The philosopher, social scientist, historian and revolutionary, Karl Marx, is without a doubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the Nineteenth Century. Although he was largely ignored by scholars in his own lifetime, his social, economic and political ideas gained rapid acceptance in the socialist movement after his death in 1883.
• He said: "The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates…"
Compare these two quotes:• ‘Teach a man how to fish and he eats for a lifetime‘• "Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity."
Our resident language expert, Professor David Crystal, explains how Marxs influence spread...• This is a quotation about a quotation. In several cultures there are proverbs which continue, after teach a man how to fish, with something like and he eats for a lifetime. Marx knows this, and he assumes we know it too. So he sets out to turn our expectations upside down.• The two part structure sets up the expectation: sell a man... vs teach a man.... And because there is a contrast, we expect the two parts to be balanced. We expect the bouncy rhythm of the first two clauses to be matched by a similarly bouncy rhythm in the next two.• But we dont get it. A clause of five syllables (he eats for a day) is followed by one of fourteen syllables: you ruin a wonderful business opportunity. The extra weight of this clause hammers the point home.• Its a nice joke - but its more than just a joke. The cliched business jargon adds an ironic note to the whole utterance.• http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/movingwords/quotefeature/marx.shtml
• The capitalist mode of production consists of two main economic parts: the Substructure the Superstructure.
• Classes -> peoples relationship to the means of productions in two basic ways: they own productive property labour for others
• The base comprehends the relations of production — employer-employee work conditions, the technical division of labour , and property relations — into which people enter to produce the necessities and amenities of life
Capitalism System• the ruling classes own the means of production, which essentially includes the working class itself as they only have their own labour power(´wage labour´) to offer in order to survive.• These relations fundamentally determine the ideas and philosophies of a society, constituting the superstructure.
Max Weber• Arguably the foremost social theorist of the twentieth century, Max Weber is also known as a principal architect of modern social science along with Karl Marx and Emil Durkheim. Webers wide-ranging contributions gave critical impetus to the birth of new academic disciplines such as sociology and public administration as well as to the significant reorientation in law, economics, political science, and religious studies.• His methodological writings were instrumental in establishing the self-identity of modern social science as a distinct field of inquiry; he is still claimed as the source of inspiration by empirical positivists and their hermeneutic detractors alike. More substantively, Webers two most celebrated contributions were the “rationalization thesis,” a grand meta-historical analysis of the dominance of the west in modern times, and the “Protestant Ethic thesis,” a non-Marxist genealogy of modern capitalism. Together, these two theses helped launch his reputation as one of the founding theorists of modernity. In addition, his avid interest and participation in politics led to a unique strand of political realism comparable to that of Machiavelli and Hobbes. As such, Max Webers influence was far-reaching across the vast array of disciplinary, methodological, ideological and philosophical reflections that are still our own and increasingly more so.
• Max Weber was strongly influenced by Marxs ideas, but rejected the possibility of effective communism, arguing that it would require an even greater level of detrimental social control and bureaucratization than capitalist society.• Weber criticized the dialectical presumption of proletariat revolt, believing it to be unlikely. Instead, he developed the three-component theory of stratification and the concept of life chances. Weber supposed there were more class divisions than Marx suggested.
• He emphasized the difference between class, status, and power, and treated these as separate but related sources of power, each with different effects on social action.
Four main classes (Working at half a century later than Marx, Weber claimed there to be in fact four main classes )• the upper class,• the white collar workers,• The petite bourgeoisie,• and the manual working class.
few general concepts (work in pairs and analyse what each concept is about and after that share your information with your classmates )• Power• Domination• Communal & Societal Action
Power• POWER -> ability of an actor (or actors) to realize his or her will in a social action, even against the will of other actors. Power relates to the ability to command resources in a particular domain.• Economic power, then, is the ability to control material resources: to direct production, to monopolize accumulation, to dictate consumption.• Societal power includes economic power, social power, legal or political power, and so forth. Although the control of these domains of resources usually go together, they represent different mechanisms of power, and are conceptually distinct.
Domination• Domination is the exercise of authority .• Possession of power in a sphere results in dominance. Weber articulated three ideal types of domination: charisma, tradition and rational-legal.
Communal & Societal Action• A communal action is oriented on the basis of a shared belief of affiliation. In other words, actors believe that they somehow belong together in some way. Their action stems from, and is co- ordinated by this sentiment. In contrast, societal action is oriented to a rational adjustment of interests. The motivation is not a sense of shared purpose, but rather, a recognition of shared interests.societal/sə´saɪətəl/
Work in groups and summarise the key concepts and share your findings with the rest of the class .• Class• Status• Party
Class• three aspects of class: (i) a specific causal component of actors life chances (ii) which rests exclusively on economic interests and wealth, (iii) is represented under conditions of labour and commodity markets.
• The possession of property defines the main class difference, according to Weber
Status• status groups normally are communities (class groups do not constitute communities, according to Weber)• Status is defined as the likelihood that life chances are determined by social honour, or, prestige. Status groups are linked by a common style of life, and the attendant social restrictions.
Party• Class and status interests interact in the realm of the legal order, the arena of politics. Political power is, obviously, often based on class and status interests. Parties are the organizations of power.
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