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Lecture 7

LECTURE 7.docx

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John Mitterer

Week 7: Class, inequality and poverty Outline I/ Wrap up on global lecture II/ Defining class III/ Inequality in Canada IV/ Contributors to inequality V/ Effects of class differences VI/ Cultural capital VII/ Cultural capital in action I/ Wrap up on global lecture  Overall  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 peoples’ 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) o Easier to report on income (poor, rich, moderate) o Relation to means of production, relational o Proletariat, petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie o Bourgeoisie--> boss o Petty--> not paid for worker o Proletariat--> paid for work o Skills, education resources--> always asked about education o Class composite--> its not enough to look at income, relations, education, etc. but it has to be everything as a whole  Class as occupation, with a focus on income  Relation to means of production o Relational o Proletariat, petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie  Skills, educational resources  Class composite III/ Inequality in Canada A) Myth of classlessness--> idea that class not relevant o Everyone thinks they are middle class B) The growing gap o Since 1980 top earnings up by 16.4%, lowest falling by 20.6% o Net worth of those with income over $75 000 up 15.2% since 1999 o Net worth of those with income $20 000 - $29 000 down 21.2% since 1999 C) Poverty in Canada 1) Some stats: o About 1 in 10 children in poverty (2008, after-tax income) o Children and youth 38% of food bank users but only 20% of the population o Average debt of each Canadian: $41 740 2) The deficit model--> a way of thinking about poverty as something that is wrong with someone that is poor, problem within themselves, family, and community. The problem is in the people themselves and will hinder their education and ability 3) Challenging the deficit model: sometimes brings advantages (resilience), new ideas about the hierarchy, instead of blaming individuals, helping them One in Six (Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario) IV/ Contributors to inequality A) Individual level: o Un/employment--> 1/3 children that are in poverty have parents that work full time o Wealth (or not!)--> Regular payments to pay off debt or extra money to fall back on o Education/skills o
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