CHAPTER 11 – SOCIAL INEQUALITY: STRATIFICATION
Relatively fixed, hierarchal arrangements in society by which groups have
different access to resources, power, and perceived social worth.
Is the longterm existence of significant differences in access to goods and
services among social groups.
Class and Social Stratification
Main term used to talk about social inequality is class.
Video: “Class Dismissed: how TV Frames the Working Class” (2005)
How is class presented in Canadianmade sitcoms?
Is a discussion of class even relevant in Canada?
How is class experienced?
• Economic class
o Income and accumulated wealth
• Political class
o The power to influence the public and political
• Cultural class
o Education, taste, lifestyle known as cultural
Functionalist and Conflict Theories on Stratification
o Differentiation is essential for a cohesive society. Class Strucuture
o Those who work hardest and succeed have greater life chances. Life
o Motivates people to fill positions that are need for the survival of the
o Different groups struggle over resources and compete for social
advantage. Class Structure
o The most vital jobs in society are usually the least rewarded. Life
o Results when those with the most resources exploit others. Inequality
1. Class as Relational a. Marx – class is relational in that it reflects one’s relation to the mean of
i. Capitalists and working class
ii. Class struggle
2. Marx: class has organic identity: a shared sense of common membership and
a. Class Consciousness
i. An awareness of what is in the best interests of one’s class
b. False Consciousness
i. The belief that something is on one’s best intersts when in fact it is
1. Marx believed that workers had false consciousness
a. Organized religion as an example