Class 11. Society, Stratification+Inequality.docx

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21 Nov 2012
Department
Course
Professor
Society, Stratification & Inequality
Social Stratification: Institutionalized inequality resulting in some groups receiving
differential access to power, wealth and prestige.
Power: The ability to reach personal, financial, and professional goals regardless of
obstacles
Wealth: Accumulation of financial resources, material possessions, wives and
children, and the potential for future earnings
Prestige: The social esteem others hold for an individual
Stratified Societies: Societies in which ranking and inequality among members vary
Egalitarian Cultures: Groups in which members enjoy equal access to resources
and positions
Minority Group: is a group that is subjected to prejudice and discrimination, while
the dominant group holds greater power, prestige and privilege
Hierarchies
Normalized: made to seem natural, normal, necessary, and inevitable
Hierarchy: a system of ranking (things or people) according to different criteria
Ideology: a set of beliefs and values. Typically, that are a worldview, or that explain
a worldview. It is often (not always) characteristic of a culture: shared ideas about
how the world works, and shared values about what is good, bad, appropriate etc.
Integrative Theory of Hierarchy: Hierarchy is seen as necessary to coordinate
more complex activities
Exploitative Theory of Hierarchy: Hierarchy is created, maintained, and expanded
by individuals or groups who seek to gain wealth or power by exploiting others
Racial Stratification
Race: Group of people who are categorized based on biological and behavioural
traits
Racism: The perception that some groups are biologically and culturally inferior to
other groups
Institutionalize Racism: Legally sanctioned restrictions based on the ideology that
whites are biologically and socially superior to non-whites
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