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consequences of social class

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SOC 102

SOCA01- Lecture 7 Consequences of social class: -class has a profound impact on our lives -lots of evidence Quality of life= life chances -affected by class -life chances increase as you go up the class hierarchy and decreases as you go down the class hierarchy -even when we have universal health coverage (Canada) -members of the lower class have higher infant mortality rates (die w/n first 6 months) -due to prenatal and postnatal care -can see this globally -poorer countries have higher rates of infant mortality -ex. Afghanistan has one of the highest rates (relativistically) -lower classes also have higher rates of general mortality -keeps increasing (in wealthy countries) -women seem to live longer and make it up to the age of 90s -lower orders are more likely to suffer from physical ailments and more likely to suffer from psychological disorders -health improves as go up the class hierarchy Why?  -less knowledge of health related issues among members of lower class orders -less interest b/c those people seem to have a more fatalistic attitude towards life ‘que sera sera’ whatever will be will be -have a lack of control over their own lives -fate affects all of us -but poor people are more fatalistic b/c they lack that control of their lives -lack of power (powerlessness) associated w/ poorer health -wealthier people live longer b/c they have the money -upper classes live longer b/c they have higher levels of education, have more knowledge in connection to a healthier lifestyle -i.e. healthier food, diet -poor people are less likely to use medical facilities when they’re sick -poor people are more likely to smoke cigarettes -they have a higher tendency to use hard drugs (even alcohol and tobaccoboth are very addictive) -i.e. cocaine, crack, heroine, meth -research on ecstasy: even w/ a few uses of the drug, it affects memory -marijuana: -used by the Rastafarians in Jamaica -marijuana is a part of their subculture -they smoke Jamaican dope which is powerful -took a sample of their dope and compared it to a group of Jamaican non-smokers and did cognitive tests -found that there were no differences -research on marijuana on monkeys -showed damaging effects (but may have been due to the high doses they were given daily) -lower strata also experience more dangerous working conditions -ex. white collar workers -prone to getting carpal tunnel syndrome from typing -ex. factories (GM) -people get mutilated, injured, killed -ex. mining -very dangerous, floods, cave-ins, coal gas -used to put canaries which helped to measure the intensity of coal gas -keep an eye on them and if they died that meant that coal gas was accumulating to dangerous levels (early warning system) -ex. construction, logging, ocean fishing -lifestyle also differs: 1. Consumption patterns 2. Leisure activities 3. Political involvement 4. Attitude formation Consumption patterns: -important in career of marketing -therefore you need a degree in sociology -need to be aware of the class you are trying to relate to -ex. rye tends to be more working class, scotch more middles and upper class -therefore need to know your audience -ex. muscle cars -lower classes don’t make as much money and therefore cannot purchase luxury goods -thus it’s not smart to pitch a luxury good to lower class order -you need to know who you’re customers are Leisure time: -lower classes have less leisure time -people usually have 2 or 3 jobs and so they have no time to relax -when they do have time off they may take a holiday but that’s about it -upper and middle class are much more capable of taking longer holidays abroad Political involvement: -to be politically involved, you take part in community activities -lower classes are much less involved -therefore, they are much less likely to join voluntary organizations -in a democracy there are many volunteer organizations -many lobby politicians to get laws passed that help their organization -ex. chambers of commerce (business organization) -social organizations aka fraternal (brotherly) -ex. the Shriners -old men that wear funny hats w/ tassels -ex. loyal order of the mooseKiwanis -ethnic/religious organization -working classes tend not to join -they live a privatized existence=social isolation -not involved in community activity Why?  -some suggest that they lack participation resources -they fear when they look at organizations b/c they lack education, language -fear of not being able to express themselves properly -lack of confidence -isolation also extends to political involvement -therefore lower classes are less involved in political activities -they are less likely to vote -they say that politics is crooked Attitude formation: -authoritarianism -as you go down the class hierarchy measures of authority become higher -authoritarianism scale -authoritarians tend to be more prejudice -they tend to be xenophobic=fear of the outsider, fear of people who rare different -therefore, this increases as you go down the class hierarchy -discrimination also increases -authoritarianism represents the absence of cognitive complexity -they tend to see things in terms of absolutes -raise children in strict ways -seem to be law and order typessomeone who believes in harsh penalties to people who break the law -absence of organizational complexity -“the world should be the way I want it to be and if not then the world is wrong” -world view: -relative lack of education -as go down the hierarchy educational obtainment decreases Adorno and Fromm: -called authoritarianism and “escape from freedom” -some people are afraid of freedom b/c they need to take on a lot of responsibility -authoritarians cannot handle that level of responsibility and so they try to escape from it Fascismideology of native Japan and Germany Income and Poverty: -difficult to determine poverty -a political “hot potato” -tense debate over if the definition should be absolute or relative -absolute tends to focus on economic yard sticks -ex. anyone who makes less than 20 000/yr is in poverty -relative looks at people compared to other people -not interested in absolute cutoff points but whether this person can lead a decent life given what a person makes and the resources they have Defining poverty: -have political consequences -b/c if you can capture the definition of poverty and get people to agree, this can influence political decisions -If someone owns a factory or office, they own that enterprise and they have property rights over it -this doesn’t go on indefinitely -need safe workplace -have to have fair hiring laws and fair laws of promotion -therefore, ownership of property is subject to limitations th -in 19 century employers would do what they wanted -nowadays it’s harder to fire someone -can consult lawyer who specializes in unjust firing -can redistribute income -take from the rich and give to the poor -provide them with welfare benefits -tax policies: graduated income tax system -the more you make the more you pay Explaining poverty: -individual and structural -poverty found everywhere throughout history -conflict theorists say poverty is due to capitalism -but capitalism is not as poor as other systems b/c they produce more wealth -structural explanations against capitalism -a poor individual in cap
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