September 25, 2012.
Issues of Inequality
1. We rank people based on a number of features
• These are used to sort people
• Examples: appearance (we rank people based on how they look, if they have a job, looking for wedding
bands). Rank people socially. How much money they make.
• Someone who is a high school drop out has a lower social status compared to someone who has a BA.
Education and income level - Social status.
• Dominant groups define what is important
• Children whose parents immigrate to Canada, even though their children are born in Canada they may
experience the same type of inequality that their parents faced.
• Social stratification: patterns of inequality.
• Race, religion, ethnicity, gender.
• Stratification is a way to describe the social ladder - what are the various ways we can describe
2. The face of inequality
• “New” indicators of stratification
• Grades can be bought from some private schools. Students like these are beating out students that do try.
Can beat someone who legitimately went through high school.
• Youth unemployment is high, but we are also seeing a lot more older people who are unemployed, and
are also unemployed for a long time.
• Stratification occurs based on various factors.
• Massive inequality between the rich and the poor. Major CEO’s earn more in a week than the average
person makes in a year.
• Income. Education, career (truck driver is not a bad job, but they have less social status than say a
Dentist), ethnic status, gender, regionalism (regional inequality).
• Someone who is lower on the stratification system has lower power, lower education, lower prestige.
• FORM - Family. Occupation. Recreation. Money (not necessarily talking directly about money, but
showing off things that money may have gotten them).
3. Problems with Inequa