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Lecture 7

SOCA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Economic Security, Incest Taboo, Fatalism


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar
Lecture
7

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SOCA01- Lecture 7
Consequences of social class:
-class has a profound impact on our lives
-lots of evidence
Quality of life= life chances
-affected by class
-life chances increase as you go up the class hierarchy and decreases as you go down the class
hierarchy
-even when we have universal health coverage (Canada)
-members of the lower class have higher infant mortality rates (die w/n first 6 months)
-due to prenatal and postnatal care
-can see this globally
-poorer countries have higher rates of infant mortality
-ex. Afghanistan has one of the highest rates (relativistically)
-lower classes also have higher rates of general mortality
-keeps increasing (in wealthy countries)
-women seem to live longer and make it up to the age of 90s
-lower orders are more likely to suffer from physical ailments and more likely to suffer from psychological
disorders
-health improves as go up the class hierarchy
Why? -less knowledge of health related issues among members of lower class orders
-less interest b/c those people seem to have a more fatalistic attitude towards life
‘que sera sera’ whatever will be will be
-have a lack of control over their own lives
-fate affects all of us
-but poor people are more fatalistic b/c they lack that control of their lives
-lack of power (powerlessness) associated w/ poorer health
-wealthier people live longer b/c they have the money
-upper classes live longer b/c they have higher levels of education, have more knowledge in connection to a
healthier lifestyle
-i.e. healthier food, diet
-poor people are less likely to use medical facilities when they’re sick
-poor people are more likely to smoke cigarettes
-they have a higher tendency to use hard drugs (even alcohol and tobaccoboth are very addictive)
-i.e. cocaine, crack, heroine, meth
-research on ecstasy: even w/ a few uses of the drug, it affects memory
-marijuana:
-used by the Rastafarians in Jamaica
-marijuana is a part of their subculture
-they smoke Jamaican dope which is powerful
-took a sample of their dope and compared it to a group of Jamaican non-smokers and did cognitive tests
-found that there were no differences
-research on marijuana on monkeys
-showed damaging effects (but may have been due to the high doses they were given daily)

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-lower strata also experience more dangerous working conditions
-ex. white collar workers
-prone to getting carpal tunnel syndrome from typing
-ex. factories (GM)
-people get mutilated, injured, killed
-ex. mining
-very dangerous, floods, cave-ins, coal gas
-used to put canaries which helped to measure the intensity of coal gas
-keep an eye on them and if they died that meant that coal gas was accumulating to dangerous
levels (early warning system)
-ex. construction, logging, ocean fishing
-lifestyle also differs:
1. Consumption patterns
2. Leisure activities
3. Political involvement
4. Attitude formation
Consumption patterns:
-important in career of marketing
-therefore you need a degree in sociology
-need to be aware of the class you are trying to relate to
-ex. rye tends to be more working class, scotch more middles and upper class
-therefore need to know your audience
-ex. muscle cars
-lower classes don’t make as much money and therefore cannot purchase luxury goods
-thus it’s not smart to pitch a luxury good to lower class order
-you need to know who you’re customers are
Leisure time:
-lower classes have less leisure time
-people usually have 2 or 3 jobs and so they have no time to relax
-when they do have time off they may take a holiday but that’s about it
-upper and middle class are much more capable of taking longer holidays abroad
Political involvement:
-to be politically involved, you take part in community activities
-lower classes are much less involved
-therefore, they are much less likely to join voluntary organizations
-in a democracy there are many volunteer organizations
-many lobby politicians to get laws passed that help their organization
-ex. chambers of commerce (business organization)
-social organizations aka fraternal (brotherly)
-ex. the Shriners
-old men that wear funny hats w/ tassels
-ex. loyal order of the mooseKiwanis
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-ethnic/religious organization
-working classes tend not to join
-they live a privatized existence=social isolation
-not involved in community activity
Why? -some suggest that they lack participation resources
-they fear when they look at organizations b/c they lack education, language
-fear of not being able to express themselves properly
-lack of confidence
-isolation also extends to political involvement
-therefore lower classes are less involved in political activities
-they are less likely to vote
-they say that politics is crooked
Attitude formation:
-authoritarianism
-as you go down the class hierarchy measures of authority become higher
-authoritarianism scale
-authoritarians tend to be more prejudice
-they tend to be xenophobic=fear of the outsider, fear of people who rare different
-therefore, this increases as you go down the class hierarchy
-discrimination also increases
-authoritarianism represents the absence of cognitive complexity
-they tend to see things in terms of absolutes
-raise children in strict ways
-seem to be law and order typessomeone who believes in harsh penalties to people who break the law
-absence of organizational complexity
-“the world should be the way I want it to be and if not then the world is wrong”
-world view:
-relative lack of education
-as go down the hierarchy educational obtainment decreases
Adorno and Fromm:
-called authoritarianism and “escape from freedom”
-some people are afraid of freedom b/c they need to take on a lot of responsibility
-authoritarians cannot handle that level of responsibility and so they try to escape from it
Fascismideology of native Japan and Germany
Income and Poverty:
-difficult to determine poverty
-a political “hot potato”
-tense debate over if the definition should be absolute or relative
-absolute tends to focus on economic yard sticks
-ex. anyone who makes less than 20 000/yr is in poverty
-relative looks at people compared to other people
-not interested in absolute cutoff points but whether this person can lead a decent life given what a
person makes and the resources they have
Defining poverty:
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