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Chapter 6-Social Stratification Nov 12 2008

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Sheldon Ungar

Reading Notes 11-12-08 New Society Chapter 6: Social Stratification Introduction O Social Stratificationpersistent pattern of social inequality in society Stratification: A Cornerstone of Sociology O Social Stratification: the manner in which vale resources- that is wealth, advantages of wealth, power, and prestige from one generation to generation Social Hierarchies in Stratified Societies O In most societies, stratification is much more pronounced, and basic skills are seldom the foundation of primary social hierarchies O Social hierarchies often emerge due to different abilities and skills in society (nursing, fishing, etc) Ascribed and Achieved Status O Status: the rank or position that a person has within a social hierarchy O Ascribed Status: function of race, gender, age and other factors that are not chosen or earned and that cannot be changed (a few people do choose to their gender status, but they are rare exceptions) O Achieved Status: a position of hierarchy that has been achieved by virtue of how well someone performs in some role (ex: law students-> professional lawyers, high performance athletes-> professional athlete) O Meritocracy : everyone would have equal changes to compete for higher-status positions and presumably, those most capable would be awarded the highest rank O Social Mobility: as those who are more qualified moved up the social hierarchy to replace those who are less competent and who are consequently compelled to move down Open and Closed Stratification Systems O Open Stratification System : in which merit, rather than inheritance (or ascribed characteristics), determines social rank and in which social change is therefore possible O Ex: dramatic changes in various groups have occurred in this country over time; F black Chinese laborers and slaves O Caste System: a closed stratification system, most common in India, with strict rules regarding the type of work that members of different castes (the strata of society into which people are born) can do O Closed Stratification Systems: system in which little or no social mobility occurs, because most or all statuses are ascribed Class and Class Structure O Class: is a position in an economic hierarchy occupied by individuals or families with similar access to, or control over, material resources O Class Structure: is the relatively permanent economic hierarchy comprising different social classes O Socioeconomic Status: refers to a persons general status within an economic hierarchy, based on income, education, and occupation O Patterns in material inequality exist in our society and overlap with most other dimensions of social stratification
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