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Lecture 4

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McGill University
Social Work
SWRK 423
Suzanne Gray

Non-Economic Dimensions of Inequality Power: -bullying is one form of power in action -Weber defined power as the ability of individuals or groups to get their own way, even in the face of resistance from others -power is not an all-or-nothing attribute but a social relationship, the exercise of which may cause less-powerful people to become more powerful -authority rests on moral consent, legitimate institutionalized power -most people agree w/ these rules not out of fear of sanctions but b/c they agree that they are sensible, legitimate practices -the use of power is often invisible (powerful people often do not have to do anything to get their way b/c people understand that it is futile to resist) -the use of force is a sign of relative weakness Prestige and taste: -members of status groups signal their rank by means of material and symbolic culture -ex. Tastes in food, fashion, music, literature etc. -Pierre Bourdieu: -showed different social groups preferred Bach’s and Gershwin’s musical works -well-educated professionals, high-school teachers, professors, and artists preferred Bach -less-educated clerks, secretaries, and junior commercial and administrative executives preferred Gershwin Why?  b/c during their education they acquire specific cultural tastes associated w/ their social position which help distinguish them from people of other social positions -not just education that makes some cultural objects less accessible than other but purely financial considerations also enter the picture Social Mobility -The Appreticeship of Duddy Kravitz shows upward mobility -social mobility refers to the dynamics of the system of inequality and the movement up and down the stratification system -change has been measured by using one of two benchmarks: -your first position in the hierarchy and your parents position in the hierarchy -intragenerational mobility is comparing your first job to your current job -intergenerational mobility compares the occupation of parents to their children’s current occupation -in open or fluid societies, there is greater quality of access to all positions in the hierarchy of inequality , both low and high -rise or fall to a position that reflects your capabilities -in closed or rigid societies, your social origins have major consequences for where you are located in the hierarchy of inequality -recently, society has become more open -social origin does not completely determine your fate -equality of opportunity: -functional theory and human capita
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