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SOC101Y1 (985)
Robert Brym (148)


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Robert Brym

November 9 , 2011 SOC101-Lecture 8 Social Stratification - Titanic example, importance of classes and social status o Emerges as the movie progresses o 1 class young woman and working class man. - Society where class holds little importance, American dream. - What are the sources of social inequality? - Can we lower the level of inequality? - 3 theories of stratification o high levels of inequality if we are going to get things done o we can actually live in a society without classes o under some circumstances, we can act to decrease the level of inequality although its hard - Functional theory of Stratification o Davis and Moore - Which occupation is more important? o Davis and Moore said that judges are more important than janitors o Why are certain occupations more important than others? Some occupations contribute to society more than others do. o Undergo sacrifices, university is important, although its expensive. o How do you motivate people to undergo these sacrafices?  Promise them high income once they finish  Judge, engineer, lawyer  Davis and Moore said that if high levels of inequality didn’t exist, no one would become motivated to become a judge.  What motivates people is the mighty dollar. - Though experiment: o The Attack of the Class-Specific Virus:  Case 1: two classes of people; Farmers and Doctors  One day, people in this society wake up and a killer virus attacks and this virus has a very off property and kills only doctors. What happens to the society?  Over time, people’s life expectancy starts to fall. People can’t be treated.  People are still able to survive because farmers can still make food  Case 2: only the farmers die, only doctors remain.  After the food is gone, all the doctors will die, society can’t exist.  Therefore, farmers are more important.- Money for the church came form the peasantry - 10% of the earnings of the peasants came from the church - The aristocracy began to tax them - Surplus labour of the peasantry - They had to produce a certain surplus which was taxed by the aristocracy - This surplus enabled the church to get what they have - Fund institution of higher learning (northern Africa, later in Italy) - Where did the lawyers etc, get the means to be what they are? o From the sweat of peasants o They aren’t more important because they wouldn’t even exist without the working class. o The occupations that are more and less important are unclear and fuzzy. - Criticism of the Functional Theory of Stratification o The question is which occupations are more important
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