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Stratification Lecture notes

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Stratification Stratification: a way or process by which categories of people are ranked. In the past, people argued that inequality was controlled politically. (Immobile) Today, in modern society people can move within statuses. (Mobile) People make different incomes is due to a complex division of labour. This is significantly responsible for inequality. o Social differentiation, some are more highly differentiated than others. There are more parts and this complex division of labour measures these parts. o Factors in economic success can be due to natural talent, education, motivation or responsibility. o Social capital is vital for getting good jobs, connections. o Cultural capital is stock of learning and skills that increases chance of securing a superior job. o Human capital: sum of useful skills and knowledge, education. A lot of evidence between schooling and income levels. Mosca an Italian elite theorist says that inequality is inevitable. Mosca was called a cynic and a reactionary, because he spoke of self-interest and believed that complete equality will never be achieved. o Society cannot exist without politics because it coordinates activities. o Inequalities of power lead to self-interest. Robert Micheles a German elite theorist came up with the iron law of oligarchy idea. Explains that politics corrupts because people have more power, hence will try to enrich themselves with this power. o Self-interest Pareto an Italian Elite theorist says that self-interest is a natural human motive. Economics is based on self-interest. Lord Acton says power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. How are people ranked? On basis of categories and characteristics, this is called the stratification system. The higher you are ranked, the more accessibility to valuable resources you have. Access to and possession of valued resourced refers to THE BIG THREE o Wealth Wealth comes in two forms: liquid assets (cash) or non liquid (house) Money is a medium of exchange. o Prestige Refers to social standing. In modern society prestige is attained from occupation, which is earned.
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