Sociology: Intro Lecture
Syllabus: on Blackboard
Tutorial: online on Blackboard
Inequalities: make people sick, make violence. Therefore, Inequalities=bad, so how do we get rid of
What is Inequality?
=the quality of being unequal or uneven
Social Inequality= hierarchical difference between any 2 people/groups
Soc is dedicated to explain how social inequality works and the reasons most people are at a
-it also means showing social inequality leads to crime, sickness, addiction, and violence
Different hierarchies: and what consequences are (life and death)
There are natural inequalities between people
Ex. Basketball player is naturally taller: natural inequality; tall people are considered more attractive,
have better salaries.
Ex. People with higher IQs have natural inequalities
Various kinds of natural inequalities: are they to blame for war? And health problems? If it is, than those
problems are inevitable, because you cannot change those inequalities.
Disagreement on whether beauty is social or genetically given, or universal (whether we have the same
perception of beauty)
How do differences become something. Why are some societies more inclined toward beauty than
others? Brains vs. beautywe learn how our culture values beauty.
Habits of Inequality Theory
-All societies display social inequalities of some kind (ex. Class, gender, age, racial or ethnic
inequality)they are socially constructed (collectively imagined on the basis of a supposedly important
natural difference (eg. Skin colour).
Are we stuck with the degree of inequality that we have? How do people perform an inequality?
Inequalities are all socially constructed. what it means to be rich, poor, black, white, women, men,
etc. different societies have different accounts. People are forced to adjust the degree of an inequality
(ex. racial discrimination)
Inequality has harmful consequences…
ALL types of inequality has negative consequences for the people they disadvantage as well as society as
Societies Vary in Social Inequality
Ex. US has twice as much income inequality as Norway (Norway has higher/same style of living as
US)says you don’t need inequality for prosperity
Societies with the widest variety and intensity of inequality are most likely to display clear and long
lasting patterns we call “habits of inequality”.
Correlates of the Inequality Habit
these habits of inequality are related to other cultural patterns esp
S-N-P-N-Sall types of social inequality display similar patterns or cultural “habits” that include the
1. S=Social differentiation
2. N=Narratives of blame
3. P=Practices of oppression
4. N=Narratives of validation
practice of identifying different kinds of people who are assumed to be essentially and unchangeably
different, and whose difference is consequencial for social and economic life
-in creating a new inequality, the first step is to create/perform differences Narratives of Blame
merely an account of how and why certain people are different thn others and why they desrve to be
treated the way they are treated; an account justifying social inequality
Ex. Why woman got rapedshould have dressed better
Just World Theory
Practices of Opression
behaviours that are exacted against disadvantaged people by advantaged people, justified by
narratives of blame
Narratives of Validation
type of resistance by disadvantaged people, undermining narratives of blame; they craft their
validation in terms of the blame that has been imposed on them
Strategies of Resistance
combat practices of oppression the disadvantage create (battles, revolutions, civil war, violence, etc.)
Popular Images of Inequality
-Is Inequality a Problem?