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Introduction- Social Structures of Inequaity .docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Anna Korteweg

INTRODUCTION. Thursday, September 12, 2013 3:06 PM 1. Brief overview of main themes of course 2. Review syllabus 3. To do next week What is social? Society and interactions in society, class system, family structures, gender, social economic status Inequality? Double standards, treating people differently, all societies are unequal. Inequality does not simply refer to differences among individuals but rather reflects differences that matter, differences that result in unfairness and disadvantage for some and privilege for others. Structures of inequality Are patterns of advantage and disadvantage that are durable but penetrable. Durable means that it stays for a long time and penetrable means it can pass through generations. Social Patterns This means way of doing things, patterns of advantages and disadvantages, its durable and penetrable Social Structure Generally refers to relatively long lasting patterned relationships among the elements of society. In general however, there are two dominant views of social structures 1. Structural Functionalism: it tends to emphasize the degree to which individuals conform to the values and norms established in the social structure and the degree to which society is based on consensus. It also de- emphasizes the possibility of conflict in society or the possibility that individual choices are constrained by the forces of social structures 2) Critical Theory  Assumes that social relations are the essential elements of social structures  Assumes that social relations are characterized more by conflict than by consensus. The views of social structures and power fall more in line with critical approaches to social inequality than with those found in stratification or structural functionalist approaches. Social inequality- on the test “Relatively long lasting differences among individuals or groups of people that have implications for individual lives, especially for the rights or opportunities they exercise and the rewards and privileges they enjoy” p7 from Grabb 2007. People are not poor because they are lazy or because they lack motivation or ambitions. They are poor because opportunities are distributed differently in society on the basis of things such as class, gender, age, ethnicity, and race. For example, compared to people from the middle and upper classes, people who are part of the working class don’t have the same educational opportunities and tend to have worse health. Women and members of racial and ethnic minority groups tend to work inn bad jobs while good jobs are reserved for men and members of the privileged racial and ethnic groups. What fact about inequality? Continual discrimination among sexuality, sexuality becomes a side of inequality What % of parliament are women? 25% It is also about how society encourages certain things Of all the Canadian population 16 % visibl
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