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SOC102 (1) sept11.docx

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September 11 , 2012 Tuesday SOC102 The testing procedure: - based on lectures and assigned readings - no multiple choice test is perfect - each test will have a mean of ~70% and an upper limit of ~100% What is inequality? - the dictionary defines inequality as the quality of being unequal or uneven - social inequality is about hierarchical (i.e. better-worse) differences between any two people (or groups) - sociology is dedicated to explaining how social inequality works and the reasons most people are at the disadvantage - it also means showing social inequality leads to crime, sickness, addiction and violence Natural inequalities - our personal experience tells us there are many natural inequalities between people o height  must reach a certain height to be in MBA basketball o inborn differences; taller people seem to have more authority - we know that simply by looking around us and talking to other people - the question for sociologists is, how do these natural inequalities become social inequalities, and with what results? - Finally, sociologists are interested in how people invent or construct (unnatural) inequalities The example of beauty: - consider the performance of social inequalities in connection with physical beauty - why do some societies reward beauty – especially in women – more highly than they reward, say, intelligence? - What are the unwelcome consequences of being plain looking? - To example the creation, performance, and preservation of social inequalities, we need to develop some concepts Habits of inequality Theory - ALL societies display social inequality of varying kinds – for example, class inequality, gender inequality, age inequality, racial or ethic inequality - These social inequalities are socially constructed: that is, collectively imagined on the basis of a supposedly important natural difference (e.g., sex, skin color) Inequalities has harmful consequences - all types of social inequality have negative consequences for the people they disadvantage, and for society as a whole - the most extreme forms of inequality produce Societies vary in Social inequality - societies vary in the degree and kinds of social inequality they display o the Scandinavian countries show least inequality September 11 , 2012 Tuesday o less developed societies, and the US, show the most inequality o Canada falls somewhere near the middle of the pack - Societies with the widest variety and intensity of inequality are most likely to display clear and long-lasting patterns we call “habits of inequality” Correlations of the inequality habit - these habits of inequality are related to other cultural patterns: especially, o traditionalism o religiosity o militariam o Parochialism The Cultural Habits: S-N-P-N-S - all types of social inequality displays similar patterns or cultural “habits” that include the following (S-N-P-N-S) o S = social differentiation o N = Narratives of blames o P = Practices of oppression o N = Narratives of validation o S = Strategies of resistance S = Social differentiation - Social differentiation is the practice of identifying different “kinds” of people who are assumed to be essentially and unchangeably different, and whose difference is consequential for social and economic life - This process is the transformation of natural differences (for example, in skin
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