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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 notes

7 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Sheldon Ungar

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Sociology Lecture Notes 8
Beom-Jun Park
Social Stratification
Shipwrecks in filmmaking – used as literary device; humans stripped of essentials and
left to survive with nothing but their own resourcefulness
1719 – Robinson Crusoe’s story about being cast away. Wealth means nothing on
the island, so one’s merits and talents will make them great in society
1974 – Swept away: deckhands are treated like crap by the rich white lady; storm
claims all except for the lady and a handsome deck hand. They have sex. When
they come back to civilization, the lady goes back to being a pompous aristocrat
and the guy returns to being ignored and unappreciated.
Lessons:
You don’t have to work hard—inherited
Hard work doesn’t always make you rich
Recent example: Titanic
At one level, shows class differences (first class vs third class) – this is made a
life and death issue, as preferences onboard lifeboats were given to first class,
women, and children
Another contradiction to them: we learn that class differences can be insignificant
under certain circumstances—the lovers were of different classes, and love
conquered all. Class differences can be overcome
Focus of this lecture:
Sources of inequality – Which model is more accurate?
Functionalist
Social inequality IS necessary, said Davis and Moore
They said some jobs are more important than others, for those jobs contribute
more to society (e.g. Judge > Janitor; judge has to go to university, law school,
training, experience, pay lots of money, forego income and freedom)
www.notesolution.com
How do you motivate people to undergo the sacrifice to get those more important
jobs? MONEY
Conclusion: high level of inequality is necessary; if you do not give enough
incentive for higher jobs, too few people will be willing to take on that work, thus
society will be less functionally efficient
Weber’s thought experiment, and attack of functionalism
Case 1
Imagine there’s only two classes in society: farmer and doctor
Suddenly, a virus strikes; only doctors are affected. In two weeks, the doctors are
all gone. Mortality increases, life expectancy falls, and society is less well-off
Case 2
This time, virus kills off all the farmers
Can doctors become farmers? But in this case, if they become farmers, they will
die as well
No food is produced; society dies
Conclusion: FARMERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN DOCTORS
Historically, none of the jobs described by Davis and Moore asimportant
would not exist were it not for the labour of the “less important workers
Hunters and gatherers had to produce enough to feed themselves, as well as
surplus to pay the witch doctor of the tribe
In feudalism, peasants had to produce enough food for everybody to survive
Religious authorities and governments have always used taxes and tithes, and
used force to extract goods from the broad population
Out of this surplus economy, universities, law schools, and other institutions were
established
Two more criticisms of functionalism:
2) How do you get talented people to undergo sacrifice? Money. However, there’s
another truth: the argument ignores the pool of talent undiscovered BECAUSE of
inequality
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Sociology Lecture Notes 8 Beom-Jun Park Social Stratification Shipwrecks in filmmaking used as literary device; humans stripped of essentials and left to survive with nothing but their own resourcefulness 1719 Robinson Crusoes story about being cast away. Wealth means nothing on the island, so ones merits and talents will make them great in society 1974 Swept away: deckhands are treated like crap by the rich white lady; storm claims all except for the lady and a handsome deck hand. They have sex. When they come back to civilization, the lady goes back to being a pompous aristocrat and the guy returns to being ignored and unappreciated. Lessons: You dont have to work hardinherited Hard work doesnt always make you rich Recent example: Titanic At one level, shows class differences (first class vs third class) this is made a life and death issue, as preferences onboard lifeboats were given to first class, women, and children Another contradiction to them: we learn that class differences can be insignificant under certain circumstancesthe lovers were of different classes, and love conquered all. Class differences can be overcome Focus of this lecture: Sources of inequality Which model is more accurate? Functionalist Social inequality IS necessary, said Davis and Moore They said some jobs are more important than others, for those jobs contribute more to society (e.g. Judge > Janitor; judge has to go to university, law school, training, experience, pay lots of money, forego income and freedom) www.notesolution.com
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