Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Social stratification and divisionssept12 intake


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Social stratification and divisionssept12 intake

  1. 1. Social stratification and divisions WEEK 12 January 2014 v=dOOTKA0aGI0
  2. 2. Ask your partner • What does stratification mean? • Where do social divisions come from? • Who benefits from divisions? • How do social divisions persist in societies?
  3. 3. Today • Relationship to last week (Poverty and Welfare) • Approaches to stratification: – Theories of class – Measuring class • Contemporary patterns of inequality: – Class and gender – The values of both within a broader framework • Studying social mobility: – The dynamic aspect of class mobility
  4. 4. Systems of Stratification Social stratification describes inequalities that exist between individuals and groups in societies All systems of social stratification share the following characteristics: 1. The rankings apply to social categories of people who share a common characteristic without necessarily interacting or identifying with each other 2. People’s life experiences and opportunities depend heavily on how their social category is ranked 3. The ranks of different social categories tend to change very slowly over time
  5. 5. Four Basic Systems of Stratification • Slavery: certain people are owned as property by others – Bales (2000) ‘Expendable People: Modern Slavery in the age of globalization’. Slavery still exists in the forms of: forced labour and debt bondage ; prostitution; servile marriage • Caste: Closed system in which social status is given for life – Sharma (1999) Development and Democracy in India – Apartheid • Estates: Feudal estates were strata with differing rights and obligations towards each other. Localised in Europe • Class: Large-scale groupings who share common economic resources; these in turn shape their possible lifestyles
  6. 6. South Africa: from apartheid to class stratification • Apartheid was made law in 1948. Black people : – Denied national citizenship and denied land ownership – Performed menial, low-paid jobs • White people defended apartheid: – Black people threaten white cultural traditions and they are inferior • Political resistance grew: – 1980s limited political rights to mixed race people; 1990 Nelson Mandela released; 1994 first national election; Truth and Reconciliation Commission 1995 • Today: – 1/3 black South Africans unemployed and no running water – Seekings and Natrass 2006: a shift from race to class
  7. 7. What’s different about class? • More fluid? Social boundaries breakdown due to immigration, urbanisation (Lipset & Bendix 1967) • Achieved rather than ascribed in part • Dependent on economic differentials • More impersonal What is common is that your position to a large degree determines your life chances and degree of material comfort…
  8. 8. Life expectancy df p6
  9. 9. Cigarette smoking df p22
  10. 10. How can you measure class? • Complex concept to ‘operationalize’: usually through occupational structure • People’s ‘slots’ within the occupational division of labour to a large degree determine their life chances and degree of material comfort • Schemes can be descriptive hierarchies or more theoretically grounded, e.g. relational as in the Goldthorpe scheme
  11. 11. Goldthorpe’s class scheme • Is class simply your job? If you change job, does your class change? • Goldthorpe tries to look for relational class schemes • Neo-Weberian (market situation; work situation)? (we’ll come back to this) • Evaluated jobs based on in their market/work situations + CASMIN project (Comparative Analysis of Social Mobility in Industrial Societies) - 8 classes
  12. 12. Simplified Goldthorpe classes Service Class Professionals and managers; administrators and officials Service relationship Intermediate Class Routine clerical, sales and service; the self-employed Mixed employment relationships Working Class Supervisors of manual workers; skilled and unskilled manual workers Labour contracts
  13. 13. Share Of The Wealth 1% of population owns 21% of wealth
  14. 14. Criticisms of Goldthorpe’s classes • Occupational class schemes are difficult to apply to economically inactive: – Children – Students – Pensioners – Unemployed • Unable to reflect property ownership and wealth • Westergaard (1995: 127) We cannot exclude the rich: ‘It is the intense concentration of power and privilege in so few hands that makes these people top. Their socio-structural weight overall, immensely disproportionate to their small numbers, makes the society they top a class society, whatever may be the pattern of divisions beneath them’
  15. 15. The Death of Class (Pakulski & Waters 1996) • Status- based consumption is now the main form of stratification in modern societies, rather than class • Status conventionalism: – Inequalities are the result of status/ prestige – Property ownership is now less restricted – Where inequality remains, it is failure of group not to achieve a high status, not class position (position in a division of labour) – Explained as being a result of globalization; new international division of labour, importance of family as site of class reproduction is less important.
  16. 16. Theories of Social Class I Karl Marx • A group of people who stand in a common relationship to the means of production • Two main groups: those who own capital and those who own only their labour (proletariat) • Exploitative relationship: ‘surplus value’ – Comparison to agrarian societies (inevitably poor) • Ongoing process leading to ‘pauperization’ of those at the bottom
  17. 17. Theories of Social Class II Max Weber 1864-1920 • Still based on conflicts over power and resources, but more multi-dimensional • Class is accompanied by status and party • Market position is a crucial concept • Life chances depend not just on the means of production but on skills & qualifications
  18. 18. Theories of Social Class II - Weber (1864-1920) • Three dimensions of inequality: – Class: • Market position (type of job) – Status (honour or prestige) • Lifestyles • Shared sense of identity • Varies independently of class – Party (a basis of power) • A group working together towards a common goal • Could be based on religion (Protestants/Catholics) • Marx: inequality could be eliminated by abolishing private ownership of productive property. • Weber doubted this: the significance of power based on organisational position would only increase (relate this to uprisings in Eastern Europe/ former SU countries)
  19. 19. Weber and the source of power Traditional • Emerges out of the position of clan chief- we accept the position of leader/king precisely because they are leader. Legal Rational • Modern states –we accept the legal and power structure because it is bureaucratic and effective Charismatic • Radical leader who by virtue of their own ability acquire followers and can create new religions or states.
  20. 20. Theories of Social Class III – Erik Olin Wright: 3 Dimensions of Control • Olin Wright tries uses aspects of both Weber and Marx • Three dimensions of control over economic resources: – Control over investments or money capital – Control over the physical means of production (land, factories, offices) – Control over labour power (85%-90% of population) • Relationship to authority • Skills or expertise • Obviously, capitalist classes have control over all three, whereas the lower class have none • Contradictory class positions – Have some influence over some production aspects, but not others – E.g. white collar workers have to sell labour power to their employers (wage labour), but compared to labourers have much more control over the work setting – Share features with both the capitalists and the manual workers
  21. 21. Critical thinking • How then, do societies persist without redistributing their resources more equally? • How is it possible that people believe that we should be privileged or poor because of the accident of birth? • Think about your country: what are the social stratifications that exist there?
  22. 22. Why does stratification exist? Theoretical approaches • Stratification exists in all societies • Which theoretical strand you believe will affect your policies: – Functionalist theories – Conflict theories
  23. 23. Functionalist • Davis and Moore (1945) – Benefits – Division of jobs: responsibility, skill – The more the functional importance, the more rewards a society will attach to a position – By unequal distribution, motivation is given to work better, harder, longer – If society was egalitarian, productive efficiency would be reduced: meritocracy
  24. 24. Critical Perspectives • Davis and Moore don’t explain why stratification varies • Don’t express what reward should be attached to an occupation • The Davis-Moore thesis exaggerates social stratification’s role in developing talent • Social inequality promotes conflict, and revolution • Tumin (1953) Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis
  25. 25. Marxist/ Neo-Marxist Capitalist society reproduces the class structure in each new generation because: • The capitalists make profit • Opportunity and wealth are passed down from generation to generation • The legal systems defends this through inheritance laws • Exclusive schools bring the children of elite together: encouraging them to form social ties that benefit them throughout life
  26. 26. Criticism of Marxist theory • Denies central tenet of Davis – Moore thesis – Motivating people requires some form of unequal rewards. – Separating rewards from performance is one of the reasons why the Soviet Union was so unproductive • Clark (1991) defends Marx; humanity is social rather than selfish. Individual monetary rewards are not the only way to motivate people
  27. 27. Ideology • Societies teach people to think stratification is ‘fair’ or ‘natural’ Plato (427-347 BC) • Marx: capitalist law defines the right to own property as a bedrock of society. Therefore, inheritance laws... • The capitalists control the ideas as well as the means of production • Aristotle (384-322BC) defends slavery under ancient Greeks: some people with little intelligence deserve to be ruled by ‘betters’ • Agrarian societies in the Middle Ages Do you remember Dennis?! Religion, ‘natural’ order
  28. 28. Ideologies and gender stratification • Harry Enfield - Women know your place • Historical notions of a ‘woman’s place’ today seem far from natural and are losing power • However: – contemporary class system still subjects women to caste-like expectations that they perform traditional tasks out of altruism while men get financially rewarded – Perpetuation: • Advertisements featuring gender stereotyping
  29. 29. Functionalism Paradigm vs Conflict Paradigm (Stinchcombe: 1963:808) • Stratification keeps society working. • Linking of rewards to important social positions benefits society as a whole • Matching of talents to appropriate positions • Useful and inevitable • Values and beliefs are widely shared • Supported by beliefs; stable over time • Stratification is result of social conflict • Differences in resources serve some, harm others • Much talent won’t be used at all • Useful to some; not inevitable • Values and beliefs are ideological • Reflect interests of part of society; unstable over time
  30. 30. Where is the Revolution? • Why hasn’t there been a Marxist revolution of the proletariat? • Dahrendorf (1959) Several complimentary reasons – Fragmentation of capitalist class – White-collar work and rise in living standards – More extensive worker organisation – More extensive legal protections
  31. 31. 5 responses to Marx • Wealth remains highly concentrated and inequalities have increased • Global system of capitalism • Work remains degrading and dehumanising • Labour activity has been weakened • Law still favours the rich Miliband,1969; Edwards, 1979; Giddens ,1982; Domhoff, 1983; Stephens, 1986; Boswell and Dixon, 1993; Hout et al, 1993)
  32. 32. • Historically, technological advances have been associated with more pronounced social stratification (Lenski and Lenski 1995) • However, this is reversed slightly in advanced industrial societies...
  33. 33. Two challenges to class analysis • Lifestyle – Arguments about ‘the cultural turn’ (signification; Burberry) – Symbols and markers based on consumption – Bourdieu: forms of capital (Cultural capital; social capital) – Forum homework: listening based on new class divisions which use cultural capital • Gender and Stratification – Female class once driven by husbands and fathers – Critiques: • women’s work can influence household’s economic position • Cross-class households • Woman could be dominant earner
  34. 34. Social Mobility • Fair amount of upward and downward mobility, and concerned with both – Intra-generational mobility (individuals’ own careers) – Inter-generational mobility (children vs. parents) • Absolute mobility is moving from one class to another – real experience for someone! • Relative mobility (sometimes ‘fluidity’) looks at comparative chances for individuals in each class of making it to a particular destination…
  35. 35. Class (Still) Matters • Ongoing argument about access to various desirable goods: educational achievement, university admission, etc. • Meritocracy: ability + effort = achievement (Saunders – ‘unequal but fair’) • Class membership continues to correlate with inequalities of life expectancy, health outcomes and lifetime income
  36. 36. INSTITUTES OF SOCIAL DIVISIONS PROCESSES OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION EXPERIENCES OF INEQUALITIES Class: economic/social/cultural / symbolic capital Opening/closing spaces Increasing/decreasing choices empowerment/ disempowerment Lack Degradation Defilement Deprivations Invisibility Gender Ethnicity Sexuality Marginalisation Ghettoisation Violence and terrorism Enslavement Aloneness Fear Low self-worth Brutalisation Age Health and Disability Global culture/ nation Domination Dehumanisation Humiliation Shame Lack of respect Insecurity
  37. 37. Independent study • Cornell reading • Prepare for seminar – see handout on Moodle page • Forum homework (Academic Engagement 5%; revision)