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SOC 101 (300)

Chapter 7 Lecture: Social Inequality

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

1 Chapter 7: Social Inequality • Poverty in Canada: • 882,188 Canadians use food banks every month. Which is strange because food is abundant and nobody should be passed over 1.WhatisSocialStratification SocialStratification: • • Society’s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes • SocialClass • Based on both birth and achievements • SocialStatus • position within the class structure • PrinciplesofSocialStratification • Meritocracy • ~you can be anything you wanna be, achieve anything you wish • Relatively stable (some social mobility, it’s not as common as you would think) • Varies in how it presents itself (income v. prestige ) • ~image of class and status is complex: depends on where you live..... • Fair and just - sociologists say that the system of climbing up the latter is quite the opposite of fair and just SocialInequality Inequality exists when certain attributes affect a person’s access to socially valued • resources Supported by dominant ideology rather than individual capability • • Classism • Worth is determined by social and economic status • BlamingtheVictim • Working harder will alleviate poverty • ~helps us rationalize why some people are in poverty and why we are not • BlamingtheSystem • Systematic discrimination RankingIndividuals Social systems rank people in two ways • • closed systems and open systems ClosedSystem:based on ascribed status ~ born into social class and that is where you • are, who you marry and where you stay. You cannot get out of it very little room for social mobility • 2 • Caste systems determine what people can wear, what jobs they can perform and who they can marry • Membership hereditary • eg, India and Japan • OpenSystem:based on achieved status ~ every kid goes to school, we all have a chance to the same • Result of one’s own merit within the class structure • Income, occupational prestige and education -In theory, Canadian society would depict a country that encompasses an open system ... people say Canada is, but we are not really • Are all Canadians capable of changing their social status? - No ComponentsofInequality • Property: important indicator of where one fits into class structure • Incomeis defined as the money one receives annually • Wealthis defined as one’s net accumulated assets OccupationalPrestige:the social value of an occupation • • ~highest positions: specialists (doctors) ~changes overtime • 2.SocialApproachestoStratification • Functionalism • ~they say that we need poor people because they create opportunities for jobs • Davis-Moore thesis (1945) • Social inequality serves important social function: instills desire to fill certain social positions, and instills the desire to complete duties and obligations • Reward must be high to attract most capable and skilled •~if you want the best people to do the most important jobs, pay, motivate and reward them so they will achieve •~what is the problem with social inequality? where would we be with out it? we need everybody! It serves an important purpose in society. • Criticisms • Social status is often hereditary • Substantial discrimination in most societies • Market forces ~~economy is an influence • Extreme fluctuations in the economy • ConflictTheory 3 • ~educational systems do nothing more than institutionalize existing class ... •
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