SOCIOL 2RR3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Margaret Archer, Food Cart, Arab Spring

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14 Oct 2015
Sept 18
SOC 2RR3- Social Problems and Power
Social Inequality
Social structure, social relations characterized by power
Different access to occupation and goods
Distribution of wealth
Difficult to measure use patterns of social relations
Anti-Establishment protests in USA- Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street:
Both see government as the problem
Both believe democracy is corrupt
No center of command in these groups
TP older demographic, OWS younger demographic
TP mostly white, OWS more diverse
TP supported by higher income/ ed. People, OWS all over the spectrum
TP more rural small town midwest (republican), OWS more urban
TP no arrests, OWS arrests police treated them differently
Approaches to Social Problems
Individuals are rational and free to make choices
Social problems are private issues and have individual solutions
Individuals face different constraints and range of choices
Social problems are public issues and require collective solutions
Explaining Inequality
Stratification Theories:
Society is sorted hierarchically based on utility of social roles
Inequality is natural and reflects what society values
Focuses on individual motivations, talents, skills
- Focuses on consensus (consensus is achieved through coercion)- ignore power relations
- Conflict is minimized
- Certain rewards aren't given properly- people working in daycares make nothing while
NHL players make millions
- Poor people aren't given resources to reach potential
Conflict Theories:
Inequality is rooted in economic production
Power unequally distributed and has social basis- men greater power than women, old
over young
Conflict is inherent in social relations- rather than consensus- between different races,
between men and women, between workers and bosses
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