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Lecture 10

Sociology Lecture 10 notes

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Ivanka Knezevic

Sociology Lecture 10 Class & Stratification “What’s in a name?” ∙ Social inequality: inequality in the distribution of societal values (wealth, power, and prestige), caused by any ascribed and archived characteristics. ∙ Includes gender, ethnic, racial, etc. Inequality and socio-economic (class/status) inequality. ∙ Socio-economic inequality is a relatively stable pattern (hierarchy) of socially sanctioned, economic inequality. ∙ Inequality exists in all known societies, socio-economic inequality exists in nearly all known societies (hunting and gathering societies; gender and age inequality, but no economic inequality). Two theoretical approaches to socio-economic inequality Socio-economic inequality can be described and analyzed in two ways. 1. Distributional: the hierarchical arrangement of individuals based upon wealth, power & prestige. ∙ Scio-economic status (SES): is an individual’s position in this hierarchy. ∙ SES indicators: property, income, education, occupation, occupational prestige, political participation, political power, consumption patterns etc. ∙ Stratum is a category of people with similar amount of wealth, power & prestige. ∙ Assumed value consensus, therefore exceptionality of conflict. 2. Relational: socio-economic inequality is a relationship between classes, groups who differ in their access to means of production. ∙ Differences and/or antagonism in class interests. ∙ Normality of class conflict. ∙ Question: are these classes in Canada? Emergence and maintenance of ocio-economic inequality ∙ 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 (socialization and coercion) to maintain it/ th th ∙ Some societies resist establishment of inequality (e.g. the 20 c. !Kung; the 18 century Iroquois). Meritocracy and social mobility ∙ Meritocracy: a social system wherein status is achieved by merit (ability and effort). ∙ It assumes equality of opportunity and perfect social mobility. ∙ Vertical social mobility is a movement of individuals to different positions in social hierarchy (or: to different classes). ∙ Intergenerati
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