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Lecture

SOCA01H3 Lecture Notes - Gaetano Mosca, Social Mobility, Middle Ages


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Mc Kinon

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Lecture 6 Stratification
Part 1
Occupational Hierarchy of Prestige
Supreme Court Judge
1. Professionals
a. Teachers/Professors
b. Physicians
c. Chartered Accountants
d. Dentists
e. Engineers
f. Architects
g. Lawyers
2. White Collar
a. Successful Independent Entrepreneurs
b. Executive
c. Managerial
d. Supervisory
e. Clerical
3. Technical
a. Computer types; software, hardware, programming
4. Skilled Trades (Aristocracy of labour)
a. Automotive
b. Tool and Dye
c. Electricians
d. Carpenters
e. Tinsmith
5. Semi-Skilled Work
a. McJobs (service sector)
b. Sales clerk
c. Manufacturing
d. Truck drivers
6. Unskilled
a. Janitorial
b. Migrant farm workers (See John Steinberg’s Grapes of Wrath)
c. Street Sweepers
d. Shoe Shiners
- Social Stratification = social inequality
conflict theorists like political reasons for inequality
- Social complexity
Job/occupational complexity
how many distinct occupations are there in society
as society becomes more modern, more jobs
a complex division of labour
division of labour = number of occupations
social differentiation = modern society is more complex
in our world, there are 4000 distinct occupational specialties (some pay more than others)
if postal workers make more than teachers, teachers force the TDSB to pay them more they want to
maintain the historical trend (they were always paid more than postal workers)
- those who work in specific occupations will use legitimacy argumence (wtf?) someone will make more money
than you because it’s justified they have more intelligence, and more education and skills
- Natural talent is unevenly distributed some people score higher/lower than other people
- People get jobs probably by networking you know a friend or family member that has links on jobs (you have
approval of someone already working there)
- There’s a powerful link between education and income
- Gaetano Mosca:
Inequality is inevitable in society
A political system is critical for social order?
Coordination decision making
If there’s no political system, there will be chaos
You need coordination of people’s behavior and then decision making

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- Power inequality:
Leaders make decisions leadership
Leaders have more power than followers
If power differences are inevitable, so are material differences (income, money)
When you have power inequality, you have material inequality
- Michelles The Iron Law of Oligarchy:
A group of people are running society
Leaders may promise change, but inequality and corruption always returns
- Lord Actin Absolute power corrupts absolutely
- Those with more power will use that power to exploit others and gain economic advantage
- Inequality is inevitable
- Cynic
Someone who hates people
People described Maskow as a cynic and a reactionary (conservative)
- Maskow used functional theory because it said inequality was inevitable
- Stratification = the process by which people are socially ranked based on social characteristics
- Over time we get more wealthy
- Divide the population into 5 groups (20%)
Top 20% get 40% of the total income
Bottom 20% gets 6% of the total income
Top 20% - people with university degrees
As you go down, you get fewer people with university degrees
Stayed the same from 1951 to 2005
- Social structure
It lasts over time through generations
Once it gets established in society, it stays around, it is resistant to change
- Liberals try to redistribute income so people who make les get money from high earners
- Valued resources
Used to locate people on the social hierarchy
- Wealth can be
Home, equipment, RRSP, non-liquid assests (ie. house)
Liquid money money is a medium of exchange
We live in a world dominated by money exchange
- Where you are ranked is based on
wealth and prestige
prestige refers to social standing in society (people look up to you, honour you, people give you a
break)
supreme court judge most prestigious
- Power:
The ability to determine the fate of other people
Politicians have power
Professional associations have power over their members they decide who gets in, they can also throw
you out (called disciplining others)
They look after each other
Other professionals don’t have this power (non-professionals)
Professionals = licensed practitioners only someone who’s a licensed practitioner can practice in
their fields, pretending to be one is illegal
OCPS (Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons this body runs physicians and surgeons
Professional associations try to maintain a legal monopoly
Ie. Noone else can practice medicine other than physicians
Physicians have a legal monopoly over the body (except the mouth dentists) and mind (court case
summons a psychiatrist)
Only psychiatrists can prescribe drugs legal monopoly
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Some people argue that the mass media has a legal monopoly; others say that the mass media just has
influence it can influence you to do something, but they cant coerce you into doing something
- Power, prestige, and wealth (big 3) go together
- Generally, if you have wealth, you have power; you’re also likely to have prestige
Businessmen are seen as greedy, taking advantage of people they lack prestige
Rock stars: have wealth, they crave prestige
Bono goes to Africa
Bob _____ - one of the first musicians to go into charity because of a lack of prestige
- Power, prestige, and wealth don’t always go together
John Gotti wealthy mobster, powerful, but no prestige
Mother Teresa has prestige and power, but poor (vows of poverty taken)
Jimmy Hoffa:
Teamsters (truck drivers) union leader
Did deals with the mob
Got caught, went to jail, came out, wanted his job back, the mafia didn’t want him, he disappeared
Had power and wealth, but no prestige
If you get wealth under shady conditions, prestige is usually withheld (exception: Kennedy clan)
Kennedy’s:
The original Kennedy (father) was a bootlegger
Sold alcohol
Made millions
Social Mobility
- Moving up/down the class hierarchy/stratification system
- Intergenerational mobility your occupation, when it’s all said and done, compared to your parents; can be
upwards or downwards
- Intragenerational mobility:
Upward intragenerational mobility you start off at a crappy job, end up with a good job; you move up
before you die
Downward intragenerational mobility you start off with a good job, get kicked out of the association, end
up with a crappy job; you move down
- A persons occupational standing is compared to a parent’s occupational standing
Can have upward intergenerational mobility
There’s also downward intergenerational mobility (called social sliders)
If parents are very successful in life, it’s very hard to top them
Sometimes when children come from a successful family, it’s hard for the kids to adjust
- Canada is a highly mobile country
Upward intergenerational mobility is 20%
It siphen’s off social discontent by giving people upward mobility
Society has rewarded talented people of the working class for their hard work
You can co-opt them, they become ____ rather than radicals
This is the way the system is supposed to work: superior ability should be rewarded
Ability equals merit
If you have ability, society will reward you with wealth, prestige, and power
Children of immigrants to Canada do better educationally, have higher levels of educational attainment,
and have higher levels of occupational achievement/attainment than Canadian born children
- Status refers to one of the skilled trades
- Rank ie. professional, blue collar, etc.
Status is a position within the rank
Ie. rank = professional, power = teacher
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