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SOCY 122 (211)
Rob Beamish (190)
Lecture 6

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Queen's University
SOCY 122
Rob Beamish

SocialInequality Theory • Pos WWII political reason for sociologists to move away from Marx Class based theories • Marx believe the soviet union represented the future and not the West • Legal rational democratic societies developed marx’s two class model seemed irrelevant Webers identification of class, status, and party suggested that variables effected the • distribution of power and prestige • Class was exchanged with occupation • Measured where people fit according to occupation • Status, income, occupational prestige • As firms grew in size financial rewards were tied to locations of hierarchy in social levels Social Stratification • Davis and Moore argued that stratification as a universal phenomenon act as a sorting mechanism • Certain positions required certain talent and education • Late 60s Sociologists had few reasons to resist the functionalist frame work • Everyone was becoming middle class • Stratification theory focused on socioeconomic scales, allowed individuals to move easily through the system • Critique of functionalist theory: • Basic premises problems, the income structure of modern society is not so neatly arranged, the high salary don’t always have the most important job • Although all canadians have the right to education that formal equality does not translate into genuine opportunity, some are awarded greater opportunities than others, its not ability but advantage and connections • The apparent consensus on values in the post war period was an anomaly • Gender played virtually no role GenderInequality The Gender and Work •Period of significant change have been referred to as waves •First wave feminist: improve access for daughters to education and workforce, did not challenge female strength, their own class interests not all women •Second Wave: principle and rights that liberal democratic societies claimed to support, less restriction in the work place, physical capacities were not a barrier to careers, equal pay •Change over the last 40 years: • Single male earner is not as common because • Women are encouraged for post secondary • Women's movement opened up greater opportunities in the labour force 60s and 70s were long term inflation, prices raising higher than wages, leading to • dual income families • When male primary income earner are compared to women primary income earners women do not make as much There is still a gender gap • The Genders Earning Gap Looking at annual wages and salaries, women's earnings were 61% of males • • Annual wages for full year full time, women earned 68% of males • Hourly wage rate women earned about 80% of males • Two categories that create the wage gap: • Observable wage determining characteristics; education, part time vs full time, years of work experience, unionization, supervisor responsibility • Unexplained factors; forms of overt or covert discrimination; this declined in the 90s • The more the wage gap is determined by observable factors the closer we get to eliminating the gap • Because women are more geared toward working part time, or less technical education, or not a supervisor position, they are going to have a lower wage because of that not because they are women • Women working full time would be earning as much as their counterpart if the observable factors were the only ones affecting the wage • Marital status affected the wage gap • The smaller pay gap between men and women who had never been married was mainly because they had the same intentions • The problem is is that there are significant social barriers that keep women from
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