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SOCA01H3 Lecture Notes - Social Stratification, Social Inequality, Social Capital

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Sheldon Ungar

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Chapter 8: Social stratification
Patterns of social inequality
Social Stratification: the way which society is organized in layers//strata
Economic Inequality in Canada
Canada is the world’s most prosperous countries
Families earned almost 79,000 on average
Increases in family income adjusted for inflation were most rapid at the end
of WW2 until the economic downturn began in 1973
Avergage family income then became quite stable
Purchasing power of families rose because
Economic productivity increased as workers skills and technologies
Large numbers of women entered the paid labour fource starting in the
Dual families are the norm now * Before, it was only the male (1950s)
Level of inequality of income in canada is put in perspective two ways
How deos income inequality in caanada compare with income inequality in
other countries
Income inequality is the lowest in Denmark and highest in US, Canada is
Also: how does income inequality change over time?
o Little between 1951-2008. The bottome quintile received 6.1 percent
of total income. Richest increased its share from 41.1 to 43.5 percent
Income inequality has widened in most countries but not Canada
Explanations of Income inequality
The job a person holds plays a large roles
Other jobs pay elss well and also involve restricted hours of work or periods
of unemployment
Some individuals earn high salaries because their natural talent allows them
to take jobs that pay a lot (musicians, actors)
The principal reason for their excellence is a natural endowment in dance,
music athletics and so on
A genetic gift sets them apart
Sociologist believe that for the vast majority of people, genes play a minor
role in determining income
*Effort is essential: practice and eyars of dedication to the basics of a
profession are common to all who enjoy success
However, effort alone does not result in high income (construction
Education matters
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