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Social stratification


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Rather overly long ppt on social stratification, power elite, poverty and class.

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Social stratification

  1. 1. 08-16-2015 1 What does the term mean to you?
  2. 2. It is when there is an unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. The outcome becomes predictable. 2
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  4. 4. Have you heard of the Skull and Bones club? Think about that and the following slides. 4
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  8. 8. It is the club. The big guys. Bankers. Political leaders. The whole gamut. You are not invited. 8 This is the previous Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernake. He is invited.
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  10. 10. This theory views poverty as a chronic, self- perpetuating pattern that occurs because of the different values of the poor. This is a way of justifying poverty in the US. 10
  11. 11. This is the situation in which people slip into poverty for a limited time after major adverse events, such as illness or divorce. 11
  12. 12. This suggests that changes in the nature of industry from manufacturing to service- sector employment produces vulnerability among some workers. 12
  13. 13. This refers to people exhibiting persistent poverty. 13
  14. 14. What class are you in? 14
  15. 15. Where do your choices begin? And why are they the way they are. Think of it as “The Lottery of Birth” 15 (Hughes and Kroehler, 2005)
  16. 16. What is your “Social Mobility”? (Defined as the process in which individuals or groups move from one level to another in a stratification system.) 16 (Hughes and Kroehler, 2005)
  17. 17. 17 1. Vertical Mobility 2. Horizontal Mobility 3. Intergenerational Mobility (from one generation to the next) 4. Intragenerational Mobility (change over time)
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  20. 20.  The rankings apply to social categories of people who share a common characteristic without necessarily interacting or identifying with each other. (Women vs. men; wealthy from poor.)  People’s life experiences and opportunities depend heavily on how their social category is ranked. (Being male or female, or black or white.)  The ranks of different social categories tend to change very slowly over time. (Thinks of women’s gains and black’s gains—they have been slow.)  Do you agree? 20
  21. 21. There are two primary types of social systems according to Hughes and Kroehler. Open systems and Closed systems 21 NOTE: This has now become nearly useless.
  22. 22. Systems in which people have a great deal of trouble changing their social status we call closed systems. A closed class system is supported by stratification that is based primarily on ascribed status. There is little social mobility. 22
  23. 23. 23 Brahmin (priests) The elites Kshatriyas (warriors) public service, law Vaishyas (traders) business Shudras (workmen) semi- skilled labor Panchama (untouchables)
  24. 24. Systems in which people have a relatively easy time changing their status are called open systems. The United States is a fairly good example of an open system. 24
  25. 25. 25 Who decides what is fair? Who actually accomplishes anything by themselves? The idea is not the reality
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  27. 27. Hughes and Kroehler note that we identify social classes three ways: The Objective method The self-placement method The reputational method 27
  28. 28. 1. Class is a statistical category: Assignment is based upon income, occupation or education. 2. These are measurable attributes. 3. Consider “occupational prestige” scores. 28
  29. 29. Physician 82 College Professor 78 Attorney 76 Dentist 74 Clergy 70 Nurse 62 Plumber 41 Mechanic 37 Taxi Driver 22 Garbage Collector 17 Janitor 16 Shoeshine 9 29
  30. 30. 1. Class is viewed as a social category in which people group themselves with others they perceive as sharing certain attributes in common. 2. Class lines may or may not conform to what social scientists think are logical lines of cleavage. 3. But the class with which people identify may be one that is aspired to, rather than one which is actually participated in. 30
  31. 31. 1. Individuals (respondents) are asked to classify others. 2. This views class as a social group—one with shared feelings of oneness with stable patterns of interaction. 3. Consider social solidarity. 4. Useful for studying small groups and communities. 31
  32. 32. 1. Education 2. Occupation 3. Political power or position 4. Prestige 5. Economic status 32
  33. 33. ”We encounter Mrs. Jones. She works as a salesperson in a department store, is an owner of a piece of land inherited from her farmer father, is married to a machinist, has a son who is studying to be an accountant, and is white and Catholic. We hesitate on how to classify her…to classify is to homogenize.” ~Adam Przeworski (Capitalism and Social Democracy, 1985, p. 94) in Google Books
  34. 34. How political action flows from class interests: Alexander Hamilton observed: the rich seek social stability to preserve their advantage, but the poor work for social change that would bring them a larger share of the world’s rewards. (from Gilbert, 2008) 34
  35. 35. A position within a group or society. A status is within a class structure so is different from class itself. 35
  36. 36. While Marx wrote extensively about class, Max Weber studied stratification from a different perspective. One of status. 36
  37. 37. His special contributions were: 1 To introduce a conceptual clarity that were often lacking in the work of Marx. 2 To highlight the subjective aspects of stratification, as expressed in everyday interactions. (from Gilbert, 2008) 37
  38. 38. When one measure of status is inconsistent with another. A Ph.D. driving a cab Adjunct teachers as being of low wealth 38
  39. 39. Class situation or membership …is defined by the individual’s strength in economic markets to the extent that they determine individual life chances (as originally proposed by Max Weber). (from Gilbert, 2008) 39
  40. 40. By this is meant the fundamental aspects of an individual’s future possibilities that are shaped by class membership. (from Gilbert, 2008) What do you think your life chances are? What does the future hold for you based upon your class membership? 40
  41. 41. The propertyless can be differentiated by the occupational skills that they bring to the marketplace: The life chances of an unskilled worker have vastly different from those of a well-trained engineer. This differs from Marx’s simplified differentiation of workers and owners. It is much more diverse than that implied by Marx. (from Gilbert, 2008) 41
  42. 42. It is a probabilistic concept-that is, the probability of where you were born and born to. It looks at likely it is, given certain factors, that an individual's life will turn out a certain way. 42
  43. 43. This is NOT about what one might achieve through effort, but rather what the likelihood that such effort will ever occur, or if it does, the odds on its success being realized. 43
  44. 44. The term Economic Mobility is useful here, if not exactly the same as Life Chances. It is still the idea of improving one’s social status (SES). For the US, it is not looking very good. 44
  45. 45. Social Class, then, becomes a group of people who share the same economically shaped life chances. Status…is ranking by social prestige. The members of a class may have little sense of shared identity [while] members of a status group generally think of themselves as a social community. (from Gilbert, 2008) 45
  46. 46. “With some over-simplification, one might thus say that ‘classes’ are stratified according to their relations to the production and acquisition of goods; whereas ‘status groups’ are stratified according to the principles of their consumption of goods as represented by special ‘styles of life.’” (quote from Gilbert, 2008) 46
  47. 47. Income refers to the amount of new money people receive within a given time interval. Wealth has to do with what people own at a particular point in time. 47
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  65. 65. 65 Country Best off 10th Poorest 10th Inequality Index Sweden 152% 56% 2.7 Netherlands 175 62 2.9 Norway 162 55 2.9 Switzerland 185 54 3.4 France 193 55 3.5 United Kingdom 194 51 3.8 Canada 184 46 4.0 Italy 198 49 4.1 United States 206 35 5.9 DEFINITION of 'Gini Index' A measurement of the income distribution of a country's residents. This number, which ranges between 0 and 1 and is based on residents' net income, helps define the gap between the rich and the poor, with 0 representing perfect equality and 1 representing perfect inequality (Investopedia Dictionary)
  66. 66. 66 Credit Pearson Publishing 2014 from something or other.
  67. 67. This is all to say that in highly egalitarian societies, the percentages of aggregate income for each economic layer should be fairly close to each other. 67
  68. 68. We have a system that is based upon capital, not productivity. Capital is dominated by an elite few. This might be called “late capitalism.” 68
  69. 69. “…in the simplest societies, or those which are technologically most primitive, the goods and services available [are] distributed wholly, or largely on the basis of need, [whereas] with technological advance, an increasing proportion of the goods and services available to a society [are] distributed on the basis of power.” (Lenski, 1966 in Gelles and Levine 1999: 275) 69
  70. 70. Let’s take a theoretical view of why there is such a wide disparity of wealth in this and other countries. 70
  71. 71. According to the functionalist view, social stratification is a structural feature of all societies. 71
  72. 72. 1 Society must make certain that its positions are filled. 2 Some positions are more important than others. 3 The more important positions must be filled by the more qualified people. 4 To fill the greater positions we must offer a greater reward. (Davis and Moore in Henslin, 2011) 72
  73. 73. But, isn’t the garbage collector a very important part of society? And if the functionalist perspective is true, then society would be a true meritocracy—but the best predictor of who goes to a prestigious college is wealth, not merit. And if stratification is so functional, it should benefit everyone. (Henslin, 2011) 73
  74. 74. CONFLICT THEORY 74
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  76. 76. This theory holds that social stratification exists because it benefits some members of society while at the expense of others. Consider the banks and mortgage crisis who benefitted and who lost? Consider Oil and Gas companies– who benefits from increased gasoline prices? 76
  77. 77. The concept of “Surplus Value” The notion of “False Consciousness” 77
  78. 78. The difference between the value that workers create (determined by the labor- time invested in a commodity that they produce) and the value that they receive (as determined by the subsistence level of their wages). (Hughes and Kroehler, 2005) 78
  79. 79. The belief in the values and ideals which do not best serve one’s own interests. I.e. the worker’s belief in a strong work ethic which does not benefit the worker, but does benefit the owners of the means of production. (ibid) 79
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  81. 81.  Forbes magazine in an article in 2012 states:  It’s a common belief in America that all people have the same opportunity for success as the top 1 percent. Most people consider success to be a by-product of hard work, and hard work is something that Americans are extremely familiar with. In fact, Americans have increased productivity by 80 percent since 1979; unfortunately, their income hasn’t risen accordingly, if at all. ( the-one-percent/) 81
  82. 82. Dual Labor Market This is what we most likely perceive intuitively. A dual labor market is one in which one tier gets a higher wage than the other tier. Have you had a job that had a wage that was significantly lower than that of another group of workers in the same organization? This relates to race, class, gender, age, disability, etc. 82
  83. 83. Dual Labor Market CORE and PERPHIRY A dual labor market has the primary, or core, sector of the economy offering “good jobs’ and the secondary, or periphery, sector offering “bad jobs” with poor pay and poor working conditions. 83
  84. 84. Global Core and Periphery In a geopolitical sense (global nations and corporations) “core” means a nation that utilizes the resources of “peripheral” nations. The core benefits from the peripheral’s natural resources. While this still happens (think Apple and “rare earths” in China, we need to include the use of cheap labor as a means of supporting the core state’s more comfortable lifestyle. So it goes. 84
  85. 85. 85 Capitalists (The Bourgeoisie) Own and control means of production Achieve wealth through capital Workers (The Proletariat) Work for wages Vulnerable to displacement by machines and cheap labor
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  90. 90.  RTKM 90
  91. 91. 91 Corporate rich, executive branch, military leaders Interest group leaders, legislators, local opinion leaders Unorganized, exploited masses
  92. 92. 92 Social Upper Class Corporate Community Policy Formation Organizations The Power Elite Based upon Mills’ “elite” model
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  95. 95. 1 Super class: Owners and employers. Investments or ownership. Incomes at six to seven figure level. 2 Credentialed Class (Managers): Med- and upper-level managers and CEOs of corporations and public organizations. 3 Professionals: Credentialed skill (college and professional degrees). High social capital. Income from $75K to upper six figure. 95 Privileged class (20%)
  96. 96. 1 Comfort class: Nurses, teachers, civil servants. Income from $35K to $50K 2 Contingent class: Work for wages in clerical and sales, personal services and transportation. Often college graduates. Income under $30K. 3 Self-employed: Usually with no employees. Family workers. Low incomes and high rate of failure. 4 Excluded class: In and out of labor market in a variety of unskilled, temporary jobs. 96 New Working Class (80%)
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  98. 98. From this To this
  99. 99. From this To this