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Lecture 9

SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Hyperinflation, Iqvia, Social Stratification

4 pages45 viewsFall 2012

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Sheldon Ungar

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SOC: Social Stratification Part 2 Lecture 9
Functionalist theory says that inequality is necessary for smooth functioning of society
Marx theory says the exact opposite: inequality is unnecessary and will one day cease to
Neither theories fit the facts well; a reasonable approach is Max Weber's view that
social stratification is complex (not just about social classes; involves honour, prestige,
You can have different types of classes that are structured by these criteria and may be
correlated: your economic position does not necessarily determine your power
One sphere of stratification may influence others
o e.g. possible for a population to gain control over government and pass laws over
distribution of wealth; this is turn affects who is wealthy and who isn't
How much inequality do we have in Canada? What is fair in terms of equality?
Inflation: too much money chasing too few goods and services
o when prices go up over time, inflation takes place; in Canada, inflation goes up 2% per
Hyperinflation: very high rates of inflation; the rate of inflation is the increase in the
price of goods over time
Stats Canada does a monthly survey of consumer prices
In 1970, there was no computer or cellphone in the average basket of goods and
services; today, we don't have buggy whips in our basket of goods and services,
therefore our needs for goods and services change over time
Real dollars as opposed to nominal dollars: purchasing power of a standard basket will
fall in periods of inflation; real dollars are nominal dollars minus inflation
Real dollars: original cost or price or amount
Nominal dollars: amount after inflation
Over time and on average between 1951 and 2004, Canadian families real purchasing
power has improved
Purchasing power: amount of goods or services one can buy with their money
o for example, if you had taken one dollar to a store in 1951, you would have been able
to buy a greater number of items than you would in 2004, indicating that you would
have had a greater purchasing power in 1951
In 1951, most families had only one person in the labour force (husband or father), but
since then most families have two people in the paid labour force (husband/father and
People's purchasing power increased in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's; that curve
flattened out in 1973
People's purchasing power fell as prices went up
In order to keep from prevent rebellion and to keep capitalism afloat, the Canadian
government saved money for the lower class for employment insurance, welfare and
health care programs, but this money that was saved very quickly ran out and Canada
had to start borrowing money from other countries in order to fund these programs
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