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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 Notes Complete notes from Lecture 6 + continued notes from chapter 8 of "Exploring Sociology"!!!

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Barry Mc Clinchey

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SOC 101 001: Lecture 6
Social Inequality (continued)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Functionalism: social class and hierocracy allow society to work
- Social class is functional (it works & is necessary)
- Davis-Moore thesis (1945): Social inequality serves important social function
- Hard work and ability
- Social status is often hereditary: (families have ranks)
- Substantial discrimination: not okay, because it implies all sorts of discrimination based on
occupation, gender, race, ethnic background
- How do you change your social status? Functionalists believe that there is inequality;
however, social class can be changed by working hard
- Market forces:
- Social inequality in the extreme (people living in mansions vs. people living under bridges)
Conflict Theory: social class is complex and hereditary. Hard time changing social class
- Social classes are a manifestation of completion between the haves and the have-nots
- Argue that we’re in conflict with one another for scarce resources
- Karl Marx: two classes owners of means of production and those who sell their labour
(economic means of production: bourgeoisie and proletariat)
- Max Weber: (counter to Marx’s arguments)
o Critiqued Marx’s sole focus on economic production
o Social class is multidimensional
o Class, status groups and party: ways we behave, ways we dress etc…
Symbolic Interactionism
- How people interpret and construct their responses to class inequality
- How do people accept and perpetuate our own understanding of our own place in society?
- Consider how people use and respond to status symbols expensive cars, tech gadgets etc..
Feminist Theory: role that gender plays within stratification
- Recognize the working lives of women within capitalism
- Role of class position in determining one’s view of the world
- Social stratification is different for women than it is for men
Armstrong and Armstrong (1994)
- Double ghetto
- Women in subordinate position inside and outside of the home of social inequality
Erik Olin Wright (1996)
- Forms of Social Control: Social class is a form of social control (conflict theory)
o Legal system designed by elite for social control based on social class
The Classes
Upper Class
- Relatively few reside in the upper class can’t earn your way into
- Comparatively few visible minorities
- Tend to live in elite communities, marry within their class
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