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lec 7!.doc

Child and Youth Studies
Course Code
Rebecca Raby

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March 1 & 2
Week 7: Class, inequality and poverty
I/ Wrap up on global lecture
-Global movement of people
-Movement of young people
-Movement of people bridging worlds
Main points
There are various overlapping but distinct definitions of class
Class-based inequality is a feature of our society and has a significant impact on young
people’s lives.
Cultural capital suggests hidden forms of class inequality.
II/ Defining class
Differences in wealth: “money and valuable goods a person or family controls minus
outstanding debt” (Macionis 259)
Class as occupation, with a focus on income
Relation to means of production
- proletariat, petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie
Skills, educational resources
Class composite
III/ Inequality in Canada
A) Myth of classlessness: belief that there are no classes or all middle class
- idea that class not relevant
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B) The growing gap
Since 1980 top earnings up by 16.4%, lowest falling by 20.6%
Net worth of those with income over $75 000 up 15.2% since 1999
Net worth of those with income $20 000 - $29 000 down 21.2% since 1999
- middle class has been shrinking downwards
C) Poverty in Canada
1) Some stats:
About 1 in 10 children in poverty (2008, after-tax income)
Children and youth 38% of foodbank users but only 20% of the population
Average debt of each Canadian: $41 740
2) The deficit model: some people ignore the poverty because they believe they can
only bring negative things … meanwhile others believe we need to help them to give
them the chance
3) Challenging the deficit model: need to understand that people in poverty can bring
advantages, it creates hierarchy which people strive to be at the top of
One in Six (Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario)
IV/ Contributors to inequality
A) Individual level
- un/employment
- wealth (or not!): payments for debt or do you have money to fall back on
- education/skills, life challenges will be effected depending on class
- timing of parenthood, people who have children young have a tougher money
situation, being poor is one of the reasons young parenting occurs
- family formation, linked to a woman putting a career on hold to have a child
-dis/ability, addiction, effects terms of status. Being poorer can increase likelihood of
having a disability.
B) Community/national level
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