Class Notes (836,147)
Canada (509,656)
Sociology (2,430)
SOCA01H3 (591)


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Ivanka Knezevic

Social inequality: inequality in the distribution of societal values caused by any ascribed or achieved characteristics. Main values include: ● Wealth: how much material goods and financial resources ● Power: ability to influence the behavior others despite initial resistance ● Prestige: degree of respect you get from others in society Includes gender, ethnic, racial, etc, inequality and SE (class position/social status) SE inequality is a relatively stable pattern (hierarchy) of social sanctioned (believe is justified by society, lowest in agricultural societies), economic inequality Income from investment is more stable than income from employment Inequality exists in all known societies, SE inequality exists in nearly all known societies (hunting/gathering societies: gender and age inequality but no economic inequality because of lack of private property) Two theoretical approaches to SE inequality: 1 Distributional: hierarchical arrangement of individuals based upon wealth, power and prestige. Looking at entire society as a collection of individuals and rank each individual based on their unique level of WPP. SES is an individual's position in this hierarchy; indicators include property (productive: shares in a company > profit vs. consumption: house), income (investment, capital, employment: amount), education, occupation(al prestige: highly correlated with other indicators of SES), political participation/power, consumption, 등등 Stratum is a category (large sets which share similar traits but don’t have any significant social interaction, as opposed to group) of people with similar amounts of WPP Assumed value consensus, therefore exceptionality of (minimum) conflict in societies because everyone agree about the values and everyone has a portion of those values > stratification: structural functioning 2 Relational: SE inequality is a relationship between classes/groups who differ in their access to means of production. Differences and/or antagonism in class interest (ex. employers vs. employees) > normality of class conflict >Marxism, neo-Marxism (no classes) In Canada, there is an open class system as it is possible for movement between classes Emergence of inequality may be due to chance and to apparently insignificant differences between individuals/groups. Once inequality emerges, the privileged develop a system of social control (socialisation: not object the privilege of the privileged and coercion: system protecting wealth of corporations) to maintain it Some societies resist establishment of inequality 18 century Iroquois: no private property of land, Europeans came and started trading, those who traded with Europeans amassed more wealth and did not share with community. Others resisted by accusing those who traded of witchcraft to isolate them from social network 20 century !Kung: used to be hunter gatherers of central and south central Africa with no private property causing people to come and observe them. Showing off is a social faux-pas as it was based on equality and strongly prohibits any display of wealth Meritocracy: social system wherein status is achieved by merit (ability and effort). It assumes equality of opportunity and perfect social mobility (easy to move through classes/social statuses on basis of merit) Vertical social mobility is a movement of individual to different positions in social hier
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