Social stratification is a characteristic of society; it persists over generations, and it is maintained through beliefs that are widely shared by members of society. In a stratified society, groups at the top of the hierarchy have greater access to goods and services in a society than members of groups at the bottom.
The estate system is a politically based system of stratification characterized by limited social mobility that is best exemplified in the social organization of feudal Europe and the pre–Civil War American South.The caste system is a system of stratification based on hereditary notions of religious and theological purity and generally offers no prospects for social mobility. The varna system in India is the most common example of a caste system today.The class system is an economically based system of stratification characterized by somewhat loose social mobility and categories based on roles in the production process rather than individual characteristics.
What Is Stratification? Stratification refers to systematic inequalities between groups of people that arise as intended or unintended consequences of social processes and relationships. 2
Social Stratification A relatively fixed, hierarchical arrangement in society by which groups have different access to resources, power, and perceived social worth. In a sports organization: ◦ Owners control the resources of the teams. ◦ Players earn high salaries, yet do not control the team resources. ◦ Sponsors provide the resources. ◦ Fans provide revenue.
Diverse Sources ofStratification Race, class, and gender are overlapping systems of stratification. Class position is manifested differently, depending on race and gender. Example: A Black middle-class man who is stopped by police when driving through a White middle-class neighborhood may feel his racial status is his most outstanding characteristic, but his race, class, and gender always influence his life chances.
Forms of Stratification The class system is The caste system is an economicallyThe estate system is a system of based system of a politically based stratification based stratification with system of on hereditary somewhat loose stratification notions of religious social mobility based characterized by and theological on roles in the limited social purity and generally production process mobility. offers no prospects rather than individual for social mobility. characteristics. 5
Social Mobility The estate tax in the United States is related to the issue of stratification because it goes to the heart of questions about how to promote business growth, how wealth should be distributed, how to encourage meritocracy, and how to build a more equitable society. 10
Functional and Conflict Theories ofStratification Inequality Motivates people to fill Functionalism positions that are needed for the survival of the whole. Results when those with the Conflict Theory most resources exploit others.
Functional and Conflict Theories ofStratification Class Structure Differentiation is essential Functionalism for a cohesive society. Different groups struggle over resources and Conflict Theory compete for social advantage.
Functional and Conflict Theories ofStratification Life chances Those who work hardest Functionalism and succeed have greater life chances. The most vital jobs in Conflict Theory society are usually the least rewarded.
Social Stratification Why Is There Inequality? The Class Structure of the United States Diverse Sources of Stratification Poverty
How Is America Stratified Today? The income gap between high-income and low-income individuals has increased dramatically over the last 30 years. One out of two people are living in or heading to poverty in the United States 15
Inequality in the UnitedStates Nearly 1 in 6 children in the U.S. live poverty: ◦ 30% of African American children ◦ 29% of Hispanic children ◦ 12% of Asian American children ◦ 9.4% of White non-Hispanic children
Inequality in the UnitedStates 15% of the U.S. population has no health insurance. The average cost of a day’s stay in the hospital is $1, 217—two weeks’ pay for the average worker
Inequality in the UnitedStates 1% of the U.S. population controls 38% of the total wealth in the nation. The bottom 20% owe more than they own. CEOs of major companies earn an average of $13.1 million dollars per year. Workers earning the minimum wage make $10,712 per year, if they work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks per year and hold only one job.
Social Class in the U.S. Upper class Upper-middle class Middle class Lower-middle class Lower class
Wealth and Income Wealth is the monetary value of everything one owns, minus debt. ◦ It is calculated by adding all financial assets and subtracting all debts. Income is the amount of money brought into a household from various sources during a given period.
Distribution of Wealth andIncome The wealthiest 1% own 38% of all net worth; the bottom 80% control only 17%. The top 1% also owns almost half of all stock; the bottom 80% own only 4% of total stock holdings.
Defining Social Mobility Social mobility is a person’s movement over time from one class to another. Social mobility can be up or down, although the American dream emphasizes upward movement. Mobility can also be either intergenerational, occurring between generations; or intragenerational, occurring within a generation.
Social Mobility Mobility is a collective effort that involves kin and sometimes community. Upward Mobility ◦ People who are upwardly mobile are often expected to distance themselves from their origins. Downward Mobility ◦ As income distribution is becoming more skewed toward the top, many in the middle class are experiencing mobility downward.
Globalization and SweatshopsSupporting the Brands You Love: Two Views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2sW2wt3nLU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a_D-azUogg
Who are the Poor? In 2002, there were 34.6 million poor people in the U.S. The poor: ◦ 31% of Native Americans ◦ 24% of African Americans ◦ 22% of Hispanics ◦ 10% of Asians and Pacific Islanders ◦ 10% of Whites U.S. Poverty Rate Climbed To 15.1 Percent in 2011, Total Number Hit All-Time Record TotalPopulation - 312,000,000 – 47,000,00 in poverty
How do we compare to theworld.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpKbO6O3O3M
Who are the Homeless? A 2001 survey of 27 cities found that the homeless population is: ◦ 50% African American ◦ 35% White ◦ 12% Hispanic ◦ 2% Native American ◦ 1% Asian
Who are the Homeless? Battered women Elderly Disabled Mentally Ill (20-25%) Veterans AIDS victims
What do you think are theReasons for Homelessness? Unemployment and/or eviction Reductions in federal support for affordable housing Eroding work opportunities Inadequate housing for low- income people
What do you think are theReasons for Homelessness Reductions in public assistance Inadequate health care Domestic violence Addictionhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-naXAOUslMhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICx3AfSlc-w&feature=related
Explanations of Poverty Culture of poverty - poverty is a way of life that is transferred from generation to generation. Structural causes of poverty - poverty is caused by economic and social transformations taking place in the U.S.
Arguments Against―The Culture of Poverty‖ Fewer than 5% of the poor are chronically poor. 41% of the able-bodied poor work. The pattern of ―welfare cycling‖ is promoted by wages too low to support a family.