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NOV 15TH.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ivanka Knezevic

Lecture #9 – Nov 15 2012 Class and stratification Whats in a name?  Social inequality: inequality in the distribution of societal values (wealth, power, and prestige) prestige: respect, caused by any an ascribed or achieved characteristics  This includes gender, ethnic, racial etc, inequality and socio economic ( class/status) inequality  Socio-economic inequality is a relatively stable pattern ( hierarchy) of social sanctioned, economic inequality – economic inequality which is socially sanctioned, societies agree.  Inequality exists in all known societies, socio economic inequality exists in nearly all known societies( hunting/gathering societies: gender and age inequality, but no economic inequality) Two Theoretical approaches to socio economic inequality  Socio economic inequality can be described and analyzed in 2 ways:  Distributional: the hierarchical arrangement of individuals based upon wealth, power, and prestige. - Socioeconomic status (SES) Is an individuals position in this hierarchy - SES indicators: property income, education, occupation, occupational prestige, political participation, political power, consumption patterns etc. - Stratum( latin for layer) is a category of people with similar amounts of wealth, power and prestige - Assumed value consensus therefore exceptionality of conflict  2. Relational: socio economic inequality is a relationship between classes, groups, who differ in their access to means of production. - Differences and or antagonism in class interests - Normality of class conflict. - Question – are there classes in Canada? – we have an open class system, it is possible for people to change classes during their lives Emergence and maintenance of socio economic inequality  Emergence of inequality may be due to chance and to apparently insignificant differences between individuals/groups  Once inequality emerges the privileged develop a system of social control ( socialization and coercion) to maintain it th  Some societies resist establishment on inequality ( e.g the 20 c, !kung ( bushmen) the 18 century Iroquois) Meritocracy and social mobility  Meritocracy: a social system wherein status is achieved by merit ( ability and effort)  It assumes equality of opportunity and perfect social mobility  Vertical and social mobility is a movement of individuals to different positions in social hierarchy ( or to different classes)  Intergenerational and intergenerational mobility  Upward and downward ability ^  Canadian middle class has been experiencing significant downward mobility in the last 25 years – unknown a generation ago  Open vs. closed stratification systems ( cum
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