SOCA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Achieved Status, Ascribed Status, Closed System
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Lecture 10 – Social Stratification (Part A)
Social stratification is the study of social inequality and who gets what. Inequality is related to everything
IQ, death, self esteem, health problems. It is often is a small relationship but a consistent one.
•The Field Defined:
-differentiation vs. evaluation
-race, age, hair color are distinctions, it doesn’t mean that one variant is better or worse than the other one
-if there is a difference then there is stratification
The following is an inadequate definition but a good start nonetheless:
Social Stratification: is the way valued resources - wealth, power, prestige - are distributed and
transmitted from one generation to the next.
•Weber’s three hierarchies:
Weber (pronounced Vaiver)
Income/wealth, life chances
POLITICS (POWER) CULTURE (PRESTIGE)
capacity to attain one’s goals despite opposition status groups, recognition, deference respect
-An example of a mansion: 101 bedrooms, 46 bathrooms, a dining room table with 64 seats, and 3240 ha
In US: Top 1% -37%
90% - 31%
-Inequality in wealth in Western countries has increased since the early 1970s.
400 richest families (US):
Average $ 230 million 2.6 billion
Economic Inequality in Canada:
-90% of Canadians own no stocks
-½ of all wealth (not income) is owned by 10% of people
-Status groups that exclude others
-In the past: identified by dress, life style; blue blood, born into family, aristocrats that never worked
-In our society: we don’t have an aristocracy
-When it comes to status lots of money is not enough
-Now prestige is measured by socioeconomical status (SES). Originally, they had random samples of
people rate various occupations, now scores are predicted by a combination of education and income.
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