Strat lec nts

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4 Dec 2010
Stratification Sociology
Cnt. Lecture #8:
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x In the past:
o Argued that inequality is governed by politics (ex: royalty, church, peasants, merchants)
o Low mobility (large families Æ extended families)
Immobile: traditional societies & mobile: modern societies
o Groups are defined legally
o In traditional societies, inequalities are frozen in place
o KvP}µv[Áol]v}v}ZP}µ[]}Ç~}ÇWu}}v
x Today, we have classes (not caste systems)
o Therefore, people can move up and down the social ladder
x You can never equalize opportunities completely
x But the best way is through EDUCATION
o Of course there is a need for $ to obtain education but students can borrow money
o Financial aids, OSAP, scholarships etc.
o Govt. pays for about 60% of education through tax money
x Sometimes people born into wealthy families have immediate advantages (ex of when
opportunities are not equalized)
x What causes inequality?
o Politics
x Why do some people make more money than others?
o Complex division of labour Social differentiation
o Occupation complexity
x Modern societies are more highly differentiated (about 3,500 different occupations)
o Historical relationships of occupational inequalities are established
o Ex: Teachers see postal workers making more money and over time they become
agitated and want a higher salary
o Salary changes over time
o Different occupations make diff salaries
x Factors in economic success & explanations of income inequality:
1) Degree of natural talent: (talent, effort, schooling, responsibility)
2) Social capital:
a. Important in getting a job
b. Most people get jobs through connections and networking
c. D<]vv}v[Æuo}(µvÁZ}Áv}P}]v}}]vP~}]o
network or social capital help you get your foot in the door)
3) Human capital:
a. Schooling and income levels (linked)
b. Education and skills
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Stratification Sociology
c. Intrinsic Æ to broaden horizons and become a well rounded person
d. Extrinsic: To get a better job
x Moscow
o Elite theorist (studied upper class society)
o Ruling class (book)
o Reactionary: someone who recognizes inequality
o Says inequality is inevitable
o Why? Because of politics (establishes inequalities of power)
Make decisions on hoe society should be coordinated
What goals should we strive for as a society
Politicians make decisions on how society should work/ function
o ^&Z]vPÇ}µ}Ávv_
When people have more power, they look after themselves
Politics related to corruption
Less corruption in democratic politics
Longer you are in power, more likely for corruption
x Robert Michels:
o German Elite theorist
o dZ^]}voÁ}(}o]PZÇ_ (group of people that run society)
Politics in and of itself corrupts (people use power to enrich themselves)
(general rule)
Money in their own pocket
x Pareto:
o Italian Elite theorist
o Self-]vP}Àvuv]vP[ÁÇ}(Z]vl]vP~]v}o]]]ooÇ
o Economics is based on the idea of self interest
o People always seeking to maximize their own interests (one way to maximize self
interest is to go to school)
o The more power you have, the more you use it to exploit others
- When Moscow talked emphasized self-interest people thought he was a cynic (pessimistic) because of
his views
- Not selfish everywhere (families, friends)
- Inequality found everywhere, not just capitalist societies
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Stratification Sociology
How are people ranked?
x Basis of categories Stratification system
x Basis of characteristics
o Even little children pick up on this (poor people, rich people)
-Since 1951-2006- wealth of Canada has doubled
- Now how is that wealth divided?
-Wealth has been divided the same way without much change (unequally)
- Class system= social structure
*Machine politics? American gangs?
* The higher up you go, the more access you have
* People in the bottom 5th (raise them in poverty)
* Most likely to be high school dropouts
*Socialized in such a way that it is very unlikely to go to university
x How much prestige?
x How much power? Access to value resources
x How much wealth?
*Families pass on inequality from one generation to the other
*Money can buy you love Æ marriage (marriages within the same economic class)
* Money has liquidity Æ fungible
* $ Is a medium of exchange (transaction: $ is almost always involved)
*($ Æ service)
Wealth is not just money. It comes in two forms:
x Liquid assets (liquidity- fungible)
o Cash money
o Can be used immediately and can be transformed into something else
x Not liquid
o House
o Insurance
x Practitioner= professional (establish a legal monopoly over preventing outsiders from stealing
x Ontario College of physicians and surgeons (OCPS)
x Iron law of oligarchy
x Lord Acton (came before Michele)- Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely
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