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Lorne Tepperman

What is Social Inequality? 11/21/2011 12:57:00 PM Life is a stacked deck Life is a gamble – everybody knows that. In that sense, this course is also about “heavy odds” – the chances against most people winning. People who start life rich, powerful or famous are more likely to finish life that way. Life is a poker game – a game of skill and cunning -- played with a stacked deck Inequality: why some people always win The dictionary defines inequality as the quality of being unequal or uneven Inequality is about hierarchical (i.e., better-worse) differences between any two people (or things), A and B. Sociology is dedicated to explaining how this inequality “game” works and the reasons most people face heavy odds It also means showing social inequality leads to crime, sickness, addiction, violence and sometimes-even war for society as a whole. Natural inequalities Our personal experience tells us there are many natural inequalities between people 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 for example the staging or performance of inequalities in connection with physical beauty. Why do some societies reward beauty – especially in women – more highly than they reward, say, intelligence? Flipped around, what are the unwelcome consequences of being plain looking? To explain the creation, performance, and preservation of social inequalities, we need to develop some sociological concepts. The intersection of inequalities In fact, the course is largely organized around understanding the key processes of inequality As we will see, a number of social characteristics – for example, class, gender, race, and age – significantly affect people‟s well being. Intersectionality makes it hard to predict the effects of inequality simply adding together individual disadvantages. Consider the status inconsistency of women Though women tend to have lower status than men in most societies, each “type” of woman will have a different experience Around discrimination in the workplace or in respect to domestic violence, for example. Sociologist Gerhard Lenski showed that status consistency matters. Status inconsistency has consequences for social action that we cannot predict from the so-called dimensions of status alone. Intersectionality also means that people in disadvantaged conditions (e.g., women, racial minorities, or poor people) may find it hard to share a common identity and band together for political action. However, this complexity does not mean that everyone‟s life is different and sociologists cannot draw general conclusions or make general theories about inequality. Habits of Inequality Theory All societies display social inequality of varying kinds – for example, class inequality, gender inequality, age inequality, racial or ethnic 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) Inequality 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 the most extreme consequences, including poor mental and physical health, crime, and war Societies vary in Social Inequality Societies vary in the degree and kinds of social inequality they display. 2  The Scandinavian countries show least inequality  Less developed societies, and the US, show the most inequality  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” Correlates of the Inequality Habit These habits of inequality are related to other cultural patterns: especially, o Traditionalism o Religiosity o Militarism o Parochialism The Cultural Habits: S-N-P-N-S All types of social inequality display similar patterns or cultural “habits” that include the following (S-N-P-N-S): o Social differentiation o Narratives of blame o Practices of oppression o Narratives of validation o 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 colour or sex) into socially important differences and inequalities. N = Narratives of Blame Narratives of blame are socially constructed accounts that attach social or moral qualities to different groups to explain why advantaged people are advantaged and disadvantaged people are disadvantaged. 3 These narratives derive from a belief that the world is just in its distribution of rewards and punishments (more about this later) – the so-called Just World Theory P = Practices of Oppression Practices of oppression comprise a variety of economic and non-economic behaviors including exploitation, domination, exclusion, discrimination, stigmatization These practices of oppression may follow the creation of narratives of blame, or may precede them, in which case the narratives serve to justify pre- existing oppression. N = Narratives of Validation Narratives of validation are socially constructed accounts that attach different, even opposite, social and moral qualities to groups in society, as a response to narratives of blame. They may take various forms: Deny the factual accuracy of the blame narratives, denying any fault, deficiency, or misdeed Deny any choice, guilt, or control over the actions for which blame narratives hold them responsible. Hold advantaged people responsible for creating conditions that are blameworthy S = Strategies of Resistance Strategies of resistance include collective (social) actions that combat practices of oppression, reduce inequality, or ameliorate the effects of inequality. They may take various forms:  Consciousness raising activities  Social movement formation to achieve social and political goals  Institutional completeness: the formation of self-sufficient communities  Information dissemination (via media, schools, churches) to change public attitudes  Legal challenges to oppression, through the courts 4 Continuing Struggle Under continuing conditions of inequality, there will be a continuing struggle between narratives of blame and narratives of validation; and between practices of oppression and strategies of resistance. Under certain circumstances, the struggle over one form of inequality (e.g., race) will influence and energize the struggle over another form of inequality (e.g., gender) Popular images of inequality In this course, we will reconsider many popular views about inequality. If we wished, we could test these popular views and prove them true or false with empirical evidence These include views like “everyone is different” and “everyone has a fair (or equal) chance to get ahead” Is inequality a problem? People hold strong, passionate, often angry or bitter views about inequality. But is inequality a real problem in society or an imaginary one? To answer this, we need to recognize that social issues like inequality have at least two aspects We will call them objective and subjective elements. Objective aspects of inequality Objective elements are measurable signs of disadvantage. Likewise, we can measure the prevalence of inequality. This “objective” kind of research is based on a philosophical premise, called „positivism‟, that there is a physical reality we can perceive with our senses. Subjective aspects of inequality Equally, we can be interested in the subjective elements of a social issues or problem. Subjective elements are people‟s evaluations of objective conditions These moral or esthetic judgments reflect people‟s tastes and values; and they are a social reality in their own right. So, a second goal of sociology is to make and test theories about people‟s subjective beliefs and the social outcomes of these beliefs 5 Both aspects of inequality matter „Subjective realities‟ no less important than „objective realities.‟ What makes inequality
 a social problem? Often, the social construction of social problems means putting a problem on the political agenda. A central feature in the social construction of social problems is called „claims-making‟. That means making (and promoting) particular ways of thinking Some problems are more self-evident than others Some would say problems only become social problems when claims-makers and moral entrepreneurs succeed in drawing public attention to them However, some problems deserve our attention even if most people are ignoring them, most of the time. Why might racism be a problem? Ethical problems, practical problems (income inequality, poverty, crime and demoralization); the lack of intergroup contact, due to exclusion and racism, may isolate non-white people from mainstream Canadian society. Produces secondary psychological effects like prejudice and even self-hate. Racism may even produce bad health conditions which is indicators of social disadvantage How is Canada doing, comparatively? If people suffer from ill health because of racism or another social condition, we can readily see the result, understand it, and, usually, care about it. We also need to ask ourselves whether Canada’s problems of racism – or inequality more generally -- are worse than those found in other societies, and if so why? We need to ask these questions because, as sociologists, we do not compare real societies with ideal societies – that is, with utopias. Let‟s not be idealists Thomas Malthus‟s famous quote about ostriches, in his Essay on Population (1798): “I put out of the question, at present, all mere conjectures, that is, 6 all suppositions, the probable realization of which cannot be inferred upon any just philosophical grounds.” Malthus does even more than merely dismiss utopian thinking: he collects evidence from a variety of societies to support his reasoning about overpopulation. Rousseau‟s theory of inequality Why should we care about social inequality? French philosopher Jean- Jacques Rousseau rightly begins by discussing the difference between natural versus social inequality When is privilege unjustified? Privilege: a right, advantage, favor, or immunity specially granted to. A certain individual, group, or class, and withheld from certain others or all others.” Rousseau argues that social inequality must be proportional to be just. “Moral [i.e., social] inequality, authorized only by positive right [i.e., human law], is contrary to natural right, whenever it is not combined in the same proportion with physical inequality.” One injustice: when the stupid 
 lead the wise Any privilege or inequality that is not explained and justified by a natural difference is contrary to natural right and to the laws of nature. Rousseau correctly identifies why most people care about social inequality. It is because extreme inequality, extreme privilege, and extreme disadvantage, are unfair. We know it when we see it Rousseau is saying we all know when socially unequal privilege has gone too far, and we reject it. By social inequality, sociologists mean unequal --- usually, unjustifiable -- privileges, rewards or opportunities for different individuals within a group, or groups within a society. So, for example, students all expect to be treated equally in a sociology course. Is inequality inevitable? We also expect society to be fair; or else, we are angry, even outraged. 7 That said, inequality, even of the unfair kind, might be a constant feature of the human condition. But is inequality really inevitable? According to economic liberals today, inequality is the price to be paid for dynamic economic growth under capitalism. What equalities are attainable? The communist experiments collapsed around 1990 under excess bureaucracy and the weight of social discontent. We will want to consider what inequalities are justifiable and what equalities are humanly attainable. We will also see that social inequality creates and maintains a large underclass in which disadvantage is transferred from one generation to the next 
 Equality = social justice Like Rousseau, I will argue that social inequality is the opposite of social justice. However, like equality, “justice” is a difficult concept. We can distinguish at least four different kinds of social justice. Types of social justice 1. Equity or fair exchange: the equivalence of outputs to inputs for all the parties in an exchange. 
 2. Distributive justice: a fair allocation of resources, rights, and obligations across an entire category of contenders. It allows for the existence of inequalities of outcome, so long as these are justified by inequalities of input, in relative terms. 3. Procedural justice: guarantees that fair procedures will always be followed in making allocative decisions, even if these fair procedures result in unequal outcomes. 4. Compensation Christopher Jencks‟ schoolteacher Sociologist Christopher Jencks asks how should an elementary school teacher, Miss Jones, justly allocate her time to helping readers in her fourth grade classroom? 
 Which is the fairest way to allocate scarce resources? What is the fair way to do so? 8  Democratic equality - treat everyone the same  Moralistic justice - reward biggest effort  Weak humane justice - reward most economically disadvantaged  Strong humane justice - reward all disadvantaged  Utilitarianism - reward the fastest learners What principle would you support here? Rawls: Do no (more) harm John Rawls's famous „difference principle‟: equality is the default position, unless inequality will serve to improve the position of the already disadvantaged.” E.g., affirmative action Social justice will mean considering society from an impartial standpoint, with you making the choices as though you were the most underprivileged Popular view: reward “merit” If you are rational, you will choose impartially with your own interests also in mind, since you want to avoid making your own situation any worse. That is what we can imagine underprivileged people would do too Far more familiar in our society is the notion that equality means rewarding people according to merit. However, this “meritocratic” approach forces us to ask what constitutes merit, and which qualities of individuals we can justly reward. But why reward “merit”? Moreover, who can rightly claim credit for their own merit? Justice may not be served by rewarding chance attributes. Rawls says that even a quality like the ability to work hard is a chance attribute. Sociologists have grappled with this question in the so-called functional theory of stratification, credited to Davis and Moore (1945). The functional theory of stratification – Davis and Moor (1945) The needed skills are scarce, because talent is rare and training is costly. This scarcity of skills means society will have to induce or persuade people to train. In the end, inequality benefits all of society. In this sense, inequality leads to the survival of society. However, the functional theory is not without problems. 9 Problems with functional theory 1. Ignores the inheritance of wealth and status. 2. Ignores the disagreement about society‟s “most important roles.” 3. Fails to explain why leading figures in organized crime, sports, or entertainment receive high wages and great social prominence. Too many exceptions to the rule The functional theory does a poor job of accounting for many types of inequalities. Consider the following typology of social “players”  Shakers: Bill Gates and David Suzuki  Princes: Paris Hilton and Prince Charles (And what about Kim Kardashian?)  Saints: Nelson Mandela  Pawns: the majority of people in society 
 The supposed ladder of success Some members of society are rewarded far too much and most far too little. It is not clear why North Americans accept the functional theory of stratification. Perhaps, people accept evident inequalities because they believe they have good opportunities, perhaps even equal opportunities, to move up the social ladder. Or perhaps it is because they hold unfounded beliefs about the fairness of their society Just World Theory Lerner and Simmons proposed in 1966 that people use psychological strategies to make the world seem less threatening. As a child gives up seeking immediate gratification in favour of a longer-term strategy, the child comes to feel entitled to certain rewards by virtue of having made the appropriate sacrifices. However, this only makes sense if the child lives in a just world where each person eventually gets what he or she deserves. The positive functions of this belief Belief in a just world has been shown to be positively correlated to life satisfaction, mood, and levels of anxiety and depression. Belief in a just world may also help people feel confident and secure enough to carry on 10 with their everyday lives. Participants may discount news when it is presented as imminent and catastrophic as it would undermine their commitment to their personal contact. When encountering negative life experiences which cannot be simply ignored or discounted, people tend to shift the blame or rationalize the situation in order to understand their suffering while also maintaining belief in a just world. For example, Krumie et al found that 48% of their sample endorsed some form of demonization to explain their recent divorce. Blame those who will not or cannot change When presented with an “innocent” victim whose suffering seemed unfair, experimental subjects helped the victim if they believed that it would end the victim‟s suffering. However, when presented with the expectation that his or her suffering would continue, participants tended to derogate the victim‟s character and describe the victim in more negative terms. Blame the unfamiliar. The degree to which people blame victims has been shown to relate to the degree to which they know or identify with the victims. People tend to be willing to contribute more resources to save the lives of identifiable victims than they are to save the lives of statistical or anonymous victims. Identification appears to also manipulate participants‟ perceptions of perpetrators. All victims are blamed similarly The belief in a just world is used in virtually the same ways across victimized groups. Much recent research has been analyzing participant‟s responses to victims of sex crimes, primarily rape and sexual assaults. However there has also been considerable research applying the just world hypothesis to people with illnesses or disabilities, and to perception of poor and working class people. Blaming – even self-blaming -- increases with inequality Poor and working class people are also blamed for their situation and derogated by people with strong just world beliefs. Belief in a just world rises in relation to income disparity in society. Victims may also invoke just world beliefs to cope with their own situation. Victims of chronic pain who were diagnosed with arthritis endorsed BJW-Self more often than they endorsed general beliefs in a just world 11 There may be cultural differences There may be important cultural differences in the just world belief. For example, Matthew Hunt‟s (2000) study of Californians found that significant racial and ethnic differences are found in regards to belief in a just world. Latinos showed the strongest support for the belief in a just world, whereas blacks showed the weakest. Hunt‟s study also found that religious affiliation shapes the belief in a just world, but that church attendance does not. Key “habits of inequality” So, starting from differentiation, in this course we will discuss some of the harmful processes resulting from (increased by) inequality and “othering.” They include:  Exploitation  Domination  Racialization  Exclusion  Colonization  Stigmatization  Victimization 12 Racial and Ethnic Inequalities 11/21/2011 12:57:00 PM ***Institutional completeness – strategies of resistance o “I‟m obliged to confess that I do not abolition of slavery…” Alex a. You can free the blacks, but until they have equal rights, they will be angry and consider rebelling, and until they become equal in civil rights, more than just legislative freedom, there will be unrest. o “If my theory of relativity is proven correct…” Albert Einstein th o “The problem of the 20 century is the problem of the colour blind…” first black sociologist o “Instead of being presented with stereotypes of age sex and religion…” – Margaret Meed a. Within each variation of ethnicity there is no group that is all bad or all good o “All stereotypes turn out to be true” – David Cronenberg a. Opposite of Margaret Meed‟s quote b. He is not racist he is saying that it is not by accident that people end up the way they are. There are reasons why certain ethnic groups are stereotyped. o “I hear that melting pot stuff a lot but we are not all melted.” “In Canada we have never been a melting pot, we are more of a mixed salad.” Canada is not a melting pot, like the United States (where all different ethnic groups come together and become a blur. It is a vertical mosaic. Differentiation and orientalism Sociologists want to know which differences become inequalities, and why? They also want to know how and why differentiations (or social distinctions arise historical. One good place to start is with Edward Said‟s book Orientalism. He argues that the Orient is seen as a reverse version of the West – everything considered inferior and alien (“Other”) to the West. This is partly political but not entirely. What is the image of the Orient that Westerners carry in their heads? And why does it persist? Seen in images/art of what is thought by Westerners to be “oriental.” Who is the Oriental? What are they about? The oriental man is painted as feminine/weak but strangely dangerous and cunning so poses a threat to the white, Western women. The Oriental woman is seen as exotic and eager to be dominated. Said analysis, the “Oriental is a sweeping generalization (a stereotype that crosses cultural and national boundaries). Post-colonial analysis The book was published in 1978, remains Said‟s most influential work. It is said to open up new avenues. Whose story is told? Orientalism is an image of a prototypical Oriental. It builds on previously unspoken notions of the other These wrong notions are taken as foundations for both ideologies and policies develop by the West. Mythologies and Inequality The subjection of subordinate groups (e.g., poor people, women, racial minorities, and old people) is always accompanied by mythologies Mythologies stress they are essentially, fundamentally and universally different (From rich people, men, white people etc.)” The logic is that people who are in advantage create mythologies to justify their role as the dominators. Seen as the “role” “job” of westerners to come over and dominate indigenous people, and the “different” people. People still care about Ethnicity and Race Around the world, racial and ethnic conflicts still erupt in genocidal bloodbaths that kill thousands of people This has gone on for nearly a century, since the Armenian massacres of 1915-1918 That‟s not counting the - Genocidal effects of African slavery - The European conquest of North and South American and - 19thcentury European programs to exterminate Jews 14 The Persistence of Ethnic and Racial Inequalities There may be economic reasons for continued distinctions between races and ethnic groups. In the 19 thcentury sociologists thought these “stupid distinctions” would disappear the way religion disappeared. Yet they persist Defining Race and Ethnic Group However not all racial and ethnic inequalities can be reduced to class inequalities. Nor are they the same: Race: a set of people with physical or genetic characteristics that are deemed to produce identifiable differences in appearance Ethnic Group: a set of people who consider themselves to share common characteristics that distinguishes them from other groups in a society New Ethnic Groups Form all the Time New ethnic groups are constantly being formed as populations move between countries Especially, as they move from their country of origin to a new receiving country, as immigrants It is usually immigration (and/or group conflict) that creates awareness of group membership Every time you create a group with boundaries around it, and another group with boundaries around it, conflict is created. Survival of Ethnic Groups Some immigrant communities – ethnic groups in particular cities or countries –simply disappear Other immigrant communities purposely maintain their ethnic distinctiveness Historian Benedict Anderson coined the term “imagined communities” to describe people who group together around a common history and culture Sociologist W.I. Thomas says, “What people believe to be real is real in its consequences” Under what conditions will people continue to believe they belong to the same group? Why do Italian-Canadians exist in Toronto and not Dutch- Canadians? Defining Ethnic Communities 15 Ethnic community – bounded group of interaction people with the same ethnic background, often I a defined geographic location Membership means adopting shared norms and associating mainly with other group members Often, communication with non-members is limited to a few areas of common understanding Not all Ethnic groups are ethnic communities. Why can some ethnic groups maintain their heritage, exist as an ethnic community? Retain their traditional language, tradition? Sending your kids to ethnic school? To say the Portuguese community is complete, is to say unlike the other groups, Dutch, Ethiopian, and other ethnic groups, is to say that everything a Portuguese community member does is Portuguese (who they interact with like doctors, lawyers, everywhere they go like church, school bank) They create stereotypes around people outside their boundaries, in order to successfully maintain cultural identity of people on the inside. This is a Strategy of Resistance Totems and Community Solidarity Ethnic community solidarity is based on blood and kinship Symbolically, it is also based on rituals and ritual objects Durkheim called “totems” According to Durkheim in (preliterate) tribal rites, anything could serve as the basis for group solidarity (e.g., a bird, an animal, a rock) He noticed that there were rituals (group activities done in unison at a special location/time) Noticed there were ritual objects, he wondered what was the purpose of these ritual items (eg. Totem poles). He says the exact item/practice doesn‟t really matter for the purpose of religion or cohesion, it has no particular meaning, all it does is create group solidarity, they are a large part of the survival of the group (in peoples minds) “we are the people of the bear, or the lion” That is not to say ethnic groups are “nothing” How Ethnic Groups Compete with Other Groups 16 *Max Weber noted that ethnic groups practice closure (exclusion and usurpation (capture) to maintain them selves. The processes that form ethnic consciousness and class-consciousness are similar. Part of the formation and maintenance of ethnic communities is the capture of things away from non-members, and the exclusion of non-members. This is important in a country like Canada, which is “multicultural”. Multiculturalism does not mean simply do not disrespect other cultures, does not mean, “be nice”. What is remarkable about our society is that there is a political commitment to helping ethnic communities survive. There is committed spending into the maintenance of ethnic communities, which helps them survive, and consequently maintain their boundaries and exclusion from one another. Ethnic groups are Imagined Communities Western Conquest and Colonization encourage (but did not invent distinctions between ethnic and racial groups Even pre-colonized and post-colonized Cultural (totemic) Objects have Different Meanings for Different Groups My friend Luba came from a Ukrainian background. ON her parents a wall was a picture of Bohdan Chmielnicki (or Khmelnytsky), a famous Ukrainian Cossack hero of the 17 thcentury. Led the largest mass murder of Jews in history – an estimated 100,000 murdered – prior to the Nazi holocaust ***Though ethnicity is “admirable”, it is “nice” to have things that help them feel more at home, it is dangerous because what might be positive for one group is negative for another. Ethnic assertion is a strategy of warfare The Role of Institutional Completeness However, merely imagining an ethnic community is not the same as maintaining it. To survive, ethnic communities rely on what Raymond Breton has called institutional completeness: “a set of institutions (for example, stores, schools, churches, and newspapers) that help people maintain their traditional culture, social connections, Diasporas in the Global World 17 Today when communication and travel are relatively easy, we can realistically speak about global ethnic communities, with sub communities in different parts of the world Diaspora describes the resulting network of ethnic communities that maintain contact with one another around the world – thanks to the technology and communication revolutions When we talk of ethnic communities were talking about international communities. For example, what is the relationship of the interconnection of Arab relations around the world, between the relationship between Arab and Israel communities in Toronto? The Problems of Assimilation Between 1918 and 1920 Thomas and Znaniecki published their multi-volume work The Polish Peasant in Europe and America It studies the social life of Polish peasants and the social and economic disorganization experience in the early twentieth century The authors explain why immigrants often fail to meet new challenges while trying to assimilate into the new North American culture. Why did people stay and why did they leave? How is a polish peasant going to make out in a large city? Why do we study this? Why do we want to know? Because exactly the same thing is happening to the immigrants coming from Somalia, small parts of Africa and Asia Creative methodology - Authors used numerous primary documents to study the immigrants. Problems of Assimilation o Expectations Unfulfilled o Many peasants immigrated to America expecting easy success o After arriving, many immigrants failed to alter their social customs o Thomas and Znaniecki conclude that immigration to America demands great change form the immigrant o Yet American society provides none of the means needed to bring this about o Tensions within the Family 18 o They found Polish immigrant families experience a significant disruption to traditional patriarchal relations. o Children are challenging parents for a say in the household because children learned faster than parents so they didn‟t understand as much o Suddenly, wives are challenging husbands because men are frustrated because they can‟t find work. Frustration taken out on family. Higher divorce rate because of immigration process, and other domestic issues Bogardus and Social Distance Ethnic communities put boundaries around themselves and experience the boundaries that other communities have created Emory Bogardus invented and popularized the Social Distance Scale (1925) The Bogardus scale measures the extent to which participants would accept members of a certain racial or ethnic (or other) group into various relationships The bogardus Social Distance Scale is a cumulative scale (also called a Guttmann scale) -Agreement with any item implies agreement with all preceding How the scale is scored The scale asks people the extent to which they would be accepting of each group (a score of 1.00 for a group is taken to indicate no social distance)  As close relatives by marriage (score 1.00)  As my close personal friends (2.00)  As my neighbors on the same street (3.00)  As co-workers in the same occupation (4.00)  As citizens in my country (5.00)  As only visitors in my country (6.00)  Would exclude from my country (7.00) Some Trend in Social Distance Some ethnic groups are regularly deemed less acceptable than others are, and people create more distance form these groups 19 Some ethnic groups are less accepting than others – their average distance scores are higher than the average distance scores generated by other groups. Tolerance is generally increasing over time – as shown by decreased social distance scores. Another Classic Work: French Canada in Transition As a study in social distance, consider the improved relationships between Canada‟s French – speaking and English-speaking Canadians, and between Quebec and the rest of Canada Discussed in French Canada in Transition (1943), written by American sociologist Everett C. Hughes English-French relations in Canada have been troubled since the 1760s, when an English army defeated a French army on the Plains of Abraham It is because of change, how it used to be and how it is now. After a period of intense violence between both groups, there is a period of peace between the two groups. What happened? Hugh‟s writes this book from a small Milltown in Quebec. He is observing the relations between the two groups. Management is English the workers are French. There is a class conflict between two groups. The guys in economic power come from a culture that is familiar with a colonial environment. These French come in and experience culture shock, they are working with machines under domination of people with different language and different values. This culture shock is similar to what the Polish peasants were experiencing. Modernization and Exploitation Hughes described “French-Canadians [as] self conscious and sensitive people” By 1963, Hughes in a new preface noted that French Canada was still in transition. He continued to believe the problem grew out of deep-seated conflict with Problems with modernization were attributed (perhaps wrongly) to the English speaking management. Disruption of French-Canadian life was attributed to the English where it should be attributed to Capitalism and modernism. 20 French Identity still Matters! Today, 50 years since the Quiet Revolution, French-Canadian nationalism has been channeled into an uneasy, constantly readjusting federalism The symbolic issues arising from pride and memory are still rooted in the humiliation of being pulled unwillingly into a world dominated by others with different sensibilities French Canada is still in transition and it still matters to Canada, which way they choose to go. Like studies in the Southern US A similar example of this type of study was Deep South a social Anthropological Study of Caste and Class (1941). That study posed a similar question: “How do people separated into distinct classes and castes live together in a small community?” The Vertical Mosaic - Another attempted to understand Canada‟s ethnic relations focuses on the role of immigrants and ethnic minorities in the Canadian class structure. - Consider John Porter‟s class, The Vertical Mosaic [1965] - Why ethnic groups get locked into certain positions in class structure and why class mobility is not possible? - He claimed through higher education this could be fixed. 21 Gender Inequality 11/21/2011 12:57:00 PM Gender relations are often unequal “If you want something said ask a man, if you want something done ask a woman” – Margaret Thatcher Sex versus Gender For sociologists, there is an important difference between sex and gender. Sex: biological characteristics that make a person biologically male or female. The biological basis for why we are different. Gender: the social expectations that people describe as masculine or feminine. Social Construction: the process that makes sex differences seem large or small, important or unimportant **Women have power without having political equality. Men are said to have rational which makes it possible for them to carry out tasks, and women are seen as emotional beings. However, women can manipulate men with their emotions. Differentiation and Socialization As the sociology of housework suggests, domination requires making essential and universal distinctions between different “kinds” of people in a power relationship. Several patterned or institutionalized processes maintain gender inequality, as narratives of blame. Learning narratives of blame  First, there is Gendered Socialization.  Parents who start to treat their children male or female as soon as they are born determines their nature. Parents more likely to grow up girls as more masculine then boys more feminine.  Second, Schools maintain gender ideologies about the differences between boys and girls. School organizations itself may play a part in teaching gender beliefs and ideologies. Most important, schools channel boys and girls into different courses of study. Gender segregation even at U of T, in different educational programs Education for Women Women were not admitted to North American universities at all until the late 19 thcentury. It took a full century until women became more numerous than men in university programs. Despite this flood of women into post-secondary education, segregation has continued. Women and men are in different programs, which lead to economical inequality The Role of Mass Media Plays a large role in calling attention to gender differences and suggesting these are natural or inevitable differences. Mass media dramatizes differences between men and women in advertising, music videos, movies, beauty pageants, situation comedies and pornography These mediums often encourage stereotypes The media still teach women to be sexy and beautiful love objects for men The Sexual Double Standard: Another Narrative of Blame Mainstream media continues to treat men as experts in the fields of business, politics, military matters and economics One of the key cultural devices that keep women and men different is the sexual double standard It is evident in the way men and women dress in traditional, especially religious, societies Notion of double standard: girls who are supposed to be virgins, but when held captive act like whores. Men are animals who once captured by the “right woman”; their “good side” is brought out. **The double standard is disappearing. Women, Religion and Fashion Characteristic of Orthodox religions is to cover-up female body; reveal the male body because women are “uncontrollably seductive”. Traditional societies are very concerned with covering up the female body so that men won‟t be tempted What is “domination”? Why historically have men dominated women at work and home? 23 Max Weber defines domination as “the probability that certain specific commands (or all commands) will be obeyed by a given group of persons” Seen in parent-child relationships, employer-employee and student-teacher Weber on “authority” His definition is a useful way to examine all unequal relationships that become regularized or institutionalized The relations between men and women show attempts (by men) to routinize patterns of dominance and attempts (by women) to subvert dominance Over time, gendered marital inequality creates a permanent pattern of dominance and subordination within the home and the larger community Domination and Legitimacy Domination is power relationship that implies voluntary compliance or obedience. People obey because they have an interest in doing so, or at least think that they have such an interest. Usually there is a believe in the legitimacy of the actions of the dominant individual or group. Obedience is not haphazard or brief, but sustained and institutionalized. - Science, for ex, has persuaded us that there are specific differences in gender Weber‟s 3 types of Legitimate Domination The relations between men and women show attempts (by men) to routinize patterns of dominance and attempts (by women) to subvert dominance Over time, gendered marital inequality creates a permanent pattern of dominance and subordination within the home and then the larger community Weber‟s theory calls attention to the relative rarity of violence and naked force in most relationships, including relations between men and women Weber identified three pure types of „legitimate domination‟ based on the grounds on which their claims legitimacy were based:  Traditional authority  Rational-legal authority  Charismatic authority 24 The longer the dominated group stays dominated the more they feel they need their dominator. An example of this might be “Stockholm Syndrome” Patriarchy as Authority We grant legitimacy (or authority) to a power arrangement when we consider it valid. Powerful people eliminate the need for naked force if they can convince subordinates that they really ought to obey and that a failure to obey them is immoral, sick or abnormal In many societies patriarchy has served as a legitimating ideology. The “head of the household” myth Today, patriarchy has come to mean male domination of any kind. Can be specific or generic. Historically men have dominated households. Women are viewed as servants, conveniences, and means of reproduction. They were expected to do what the head of household wanted. Women who were not compliant were seen as “hysterical”, mental illness The traditional patriarchal “head of household” ideology refers to the principal earner in any household. In theory, it could refer to the oldest or highest earning female –but rarely in practice Using “normality” as a stick Today, women have the legal tools to challenge and escape domineering males, though they often lack the economic tools. Michel Foucault has argued that people are taught compliance with authority is “normal” and people who repeatedly oppose authority are abnormal and sick. Whenever the subordinate group no longer accepts traditional privileges unquestioningly, the status order starts to break down. Citizenship as a way Forwards Perhaps, as citizenship becomes a new source of equal rights in a society, men are less able to maintain their dominance over women. It is because citizenship is so important for equality that the early feminist movement was mainly concerned with suffrage. The discovery that housework (women‟s work) is work 25 However, legal and political rights do not always translate into social opportunities How do we translate ideal (formal) rights into actual (real) rights that change people‟s lives in practice? In 1974 sociologist Ann Oakley published The Sociology of Housework – the first to consider housework as real, unpaid work. She found out that women hate it. They just felt obligated, because without it they would have no social role. The alienation of Housework They are deeply unhappy; yet they feel morally and socially obliged to play a fundamentally alienating, frustrating and self-destroying role. Judith Hammond (1977) wrote that Oakley “narrowed and distorted the picture of housewifery into that of a thankless joyless task.” However, Oakley has rightly called our attention to the neglected topic of housework. “Families are nothing other than the idolatry of duty” Women are the ones with the duty to do work they don‟t want to do. If they are forced to do housework and not go out of the home they will not go out and realize they are equal to their husbands. **This is why a very common story for housewives throughout the 20 th century, was depression, secrete alcoholism and other mental illness Women still lack opportunities Women have still not achieved full workplace equality However, a classic study, Men and Women of the Corporation (1977) by Rosabeth Kanter (Harvard Business School professor and business consultant), argues that this is because women lack opportunities Kanter‟s book challenges assumptions about the traditional system of reward within organizations That‟s why they are timid at work It is because women have less opportunity for promotion that they are forced to act “like women”: subservient, devious and seemingly unambitious All the “corporate women” (executives, secretaries or even wives) are in a similar bind. Because of powerlessness, they behave in “typical” female 26 ways, which supports the male view that women, by nature, are poor executive material. Kanter says that women‟s behavior is not reflective of who they are, but the position they are in. If they are put in a position where they are believed and expected to be aggressive, they will be aggressive. If they are put in a position where they are told/expected to be timid, they will be timid. Minority status promotes timidity People in a numerical minority often feel restricted in what they can do Adding a few “token women” to an organization does not significantly increase choices for women nor allow women to flourish To reduce inequality and increase productivity, traditional hiring and promotion practices have to change. Kanter‟s idea is that there has to be a large number of members of a disadvantaged group in order to have variety, and to truly have change, because if there is only one “token” individual, they will feel they have to carry the burden of representing an entire minority. Overcoming Tokenism Tokenism prevents us from seeing how people could potentially adapt and grow into their roles It is an organization‟s interest to make the best possible use of its human capital: for example, its talented women. Legislation has been important in promoting that change It is CRAZY for legislation to determine promotion/wages/etc. based on physiology. Organizations beginning to recognize diversity as an asset. Companies now have to make quotas on the number of minorities represented Narratives of Blame versus the Reality Study found 5 key reasons for leaving work:  Not being valued  Feeling excluded  Male-dominated work environment  Lack of opportunity  And (least important) work-life issues 27 As an employer makes more sense to hire a man, because he has a wife to take care of his home duties, therefore he can work more. A second belief many men hold is that women cannot hack it in business. However in a 2009 Harvard Business School survey on “the exodus of women,” only 6% admit quitting because the work was too demanding. Men and women are taught different things on how to have conversations. Women have more emotional capabilities where as men are seen as more decisive More than a Labour of Love Study on the family life of miners Sex as a domestic work: duties include providing meals, childcare, emotional support for husbands and children, shopping paying bills and organizing family schedules. They also include satisfying husbands‟ sexual demands. Women in this community are trained to recognize and care for the needs of others, even if it means denying their own needs. Capitalism and Patriarchy in Flin Flon Patriarchal system dominates women‟s lives socially and psychologically Equally, a class-based capitalist system dominates men‟s lives socially and psychologically Women in Precarious Work At the other end of the job continuum, women are more than men likely to do precarious work, These are jobs that are part time and temporary; provide lower incomes, fewer benefits, less prestige and lack of unionized support. Women are always at greater risk of poverty As custodial parents, divorced women have more (child-related) expenses to pay than their husbands If women are willing to accept responsibility for household duties that may mean that they are taking on part-time work, instead of full time work. Women‟s problem is at home more than out in the workplace. They have to persuade their husband to 28 Class Inequality and Exploitation 11/21/2011 12:57:00 PM Class, as Marx would have found about, is less identifiable to people. They tend to identify to racial and ethnic, and gender inequalities before they identify to class inequality. Class Inequality: the unequal distribution of economic wealth and power. It has important and direct effects on people‟s health, on crime, and on intergroup conflict. There are important relations to other kinds of inequality (ex. racial, gender). However, class inequality is different from other inequalities we‟ve discussed. DIFFERENT  Unlike racial groups, which have distinguishing physical features  Unlike ethnic groups, which have distinguishing cultural features  Unlike gender groups, which have distinguishing physiological features  Class differentiation has no self-evident features. It requires a lot of cultural in genuinity (for ex. the invention of a “culture of wealth” and a “culture of poverty”) Implications Self-awareness of class differences – class-consciousness – will be hard to establish and maintain. Because it is difficult for people to see which class they are in and why it matters. Therefore, strategies of resistance will be hard to establish and maintain. Signifying Class Distinctions Classes are created by economic relations (Marx says some own means of production, some are means of production), however, must be signified by cultural (non-economic) means. Patterns of fashion and consumption reveal this. Veblen‟s Leisure Class Veblen‟s book Theory of the Leisure Class 91912) critiques modern Western society – the conspicuous consumption of the upper class bourgeoisie. W Highlighting class differences in various ways – e.g., through private schooling, private clubs, and educational credentialing. Interested in describing the “upper-class”. The way they live, why they live that way, and why they are so wasteful (preforming social class to distinguish themselves from people who couldn‟t preform that way. It reaffirms their status providing a group boundary). Pierre Bourdieu‟s book Distinction Same idea as Veblen. Learned expertise and competent practices reproduce social domination from one generation to the next. Members of the ruling class teach their children esthetic preferences in order to pass along the class-based cultural capital: resources that transfer class position across generations. (For ex. Two reasons why people attend private schools is 1. Credentials to get you to next level 2. You learn how to dress, party, eat, etc. in an upper-class manner.) Cultural Capital induces all cultural symbols and practices that embody interests and function to enhance social distinctions (for ex. artistic tastes, style in dress and eating habits to religion, science and philosophy-even language itself.) He says why it is in theory possible for everyone to acquire cultural capital of all those people who go to elite schools, realistically they won‟t. People who are born poor will not gain cultural capital, just as no matter how lazy people who are born rich will not loose cultural capital. The middle class is about not falling, and trying to rise. He emphasizes that classes are very adamant in guarding secrets of their cultural capital (good taste, not because taste got them there, but because they define what it is). Blaming the Victim: The Culture of Poverty Anthropologist Oscar Lewis says, at the other end of the class system… A poor urban underclass perpetuates itself by practicing and teaching its children self-defeating values. People in poverty have strong feelings of marginality, helplessness, and dependency, of not belonging. They believe the existing institutions do not serve their interests and needs. Along with a feeling of powerlessness is a widespread feeling of inferiority and personal unworthiness. The question is whose fault is this? They lack Historical Perspective - have very little sense of history – know only their own troubles, their own troubles their own local conditions, their own way of life 30 Usually they have neither the knowledge nor ideology to see the similarities of their problems and those of others like themselves. Lack of class- consciousness The Economic Base: Origin of Class Relations The sociological study of class inequality begins with Karl Marx Class inequalities are linked to both differentiation and exploitation – the bourgeoisie (Capitalists) exploit the proletariat (workers). By bourgeoisie we mean the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage lab
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