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Lecture 4

SOCWK301R Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Intersectionality, Social InequalityPremium

3 pages18 viewsSpring 2017

Social Work (Social Development Studies)
Course Code
Arshi Shaikh

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SOCWK 301 - Lecture 4 - Social Class and Stratification
Social Inequality
refers to unequal distribution of tangible/intangible goods or services to inds. or groups in
it is about the varying degree to which diff. people have access to and control over
valued resources
Social Stratification
occurs when people are divided into categories/strata that are rewarded unequally in
terms of power, property, and prestige
person’s ability to move b/w or within strata is usually determined by ind’s status
(ascribed and achieved status)
open system society: status largely based on achievement, inds. have ability to move
between and within strata
closed system society: status based on ascription and inds. cannot move b/w and w/in
strata (ex; caste system in India)
Social Class
any group of people who share the same situation in terms of income and wealth in a
common social structure
four major social classes in Canada:
- upper class: 4-5% of total population, own substantial wealth, distinction b/w “old
money” and “new money”
- middle class: own some property, high-paying jobs with generous medical benefit
allowance, ex; nurses, teachers, etc.
- working class: own little wealth, employed in low-paying jobs with little job
security and no benefits, ex; retail stores or fast-food restaurants
- sub working class/lower class: 20%, limited or no income, ex; homeless inds,
welfare recipients, single-parent families, seniors, casual/part-time work
Income vs. Wealth
income: flow of money received over a specified period of time (usually a year)
- generated through salary and wages
- derived from social assistance
- can be gifts and capital gains (ex; received from selling shares of stock)
wealth: accumulation of assets (ex; house, car, savings, cottage, land, jewellery, etc.)
people with higher income = able to accumulate more wealth, happens when people
have higher disposable income (excess income above required for necessities)
Why Does Social Inequality Exist in Canada?
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