Class Notes (835,581)
Canada (509,259)
Sociology (3,252)
SOC102H1 (261)


26 Pages
Unlock Document

Lorne Tepperman

9/11/2012 2:08:00 PM Soc102 Lecture 1 What is Social Inequality? the dictionary defines inequality as the quality of being unequal or uneven social inequality is about hierarchal (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 a disadvantage It also means showing social inequality leads to crime, sickness, addiction, and violence. Natural inequalities our personal experience tells us there are many ntural 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 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 explain 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 ethnic inequality. These social inequalities are socially constructed: that is collectively imagined on the basis of a supposedly important natural difference. ( eg., sex, skin color) NOT TALKING ABOUT HUNTER-GATHERERS. HOW MUCH INEQUALITY? WHAT ARE THE FACTORS. Inequality has Harmful Consequences: all types of social inequality have negative consequences for the people they have disadvantage, and for society as a whole The most extreme form of inequality produce the most extreme consequences Societies vary in Social Inequality Societies vary in the degree inequality Scandinavian countries show least inequality Less developed societies, and the us show most inequality Canada falls somewhere near the middle societies with the widest variety and the intensity of inequality are most likely to display clear and long lasting patterns we call, “habits of inequality” USA^ Correlates of the Inequality Habit The habits of inequality are related to other cultural patterns especially Traditionalism Religiosity Militarism Parochialism The cultural habits SNPNS ALL TYPES OF SOCIAL INEQUALITY DISPLAY SIMILAR PATTERS OR CULTURAL HABITS THAT INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: Social differentiation Narratives of blame Practices of Oppression Narratives of Validation Strategies of Resistance SocialDifferentiation : 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 This process is the transformation of natural differences for example In skin colour or sex into socially important differences and inequalities. Narratives of Blame: are socially constructed accounts that attatch social or moral qualities to different groups to explain why advantaged people are advantaged and disadvantaged people are disadvantaged. These narratives derive from abelief that the world is just in its distribution of rewards and punishment( more about this later) and this is called Just World theory. Practices of Oppression: A variety of economic and non economic behaviours including exploitation, domination, exclusion, discrimination, stigmatization Narratives of Validation Are socially constructed accounts that attatch diff even opposite social and moral qualities to groups in society, as a response to narratives to blame. Strategies of resistance: Collective social actions that combat practices of oppression reduce inequality, or ameliorate the effects of inequality. Is inequality a problem? We have to recognize that social issues like inequality have atleast two aspects Objective or subjective elements Or scientific, and political elements. Objective: measurable signs of disadvantage ( income) this is based on philosophical premise, called positivism, that there is a physical reality we can perceive with our senses Subjective: are peoples evaluations of objective conditions these moral or esthetic judgements reflect peoples tastes and values; and they are a social reality in their own right we can make and test theories about peoples subjective beliefs and the social outcomes of these beliefs SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION… PUTTING A PROBLEM ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA….MAKE PEOPLE NOTICE IT “CLAIMS MAKING” – MAKING AND PROMOTING PARTICULAR WAYS OF THINKING. Some problems deserve our attention even if most people are ignoring them, most of the time EX. RACISM Causes ethical problem…. Inequalities based on race might pose practical problems, such as income, Poverty, crime and demoralization The lack of intergroup contact, due to racism may isolate non white people from mainstream Canadian society. Racism might produce secondary psychological effects like prejudice and even self hate...bad health conditions Poor health conditions are important indicators Rousseau;s Theory: discusses the diff between natural vs social inequality….first theory arguably. Argues that social inequality must be proportional to be just Social inequality is contrary to natural right whenever it is not combined in the same proportion with physical inequality. Any privelidge or inequality that is not explained and justified by a natural difference is contrary to natural right and to the laws of nature He identifies why most people care about social inequality Its because extreme inequality extreme priviledge and disadvantage…are unfair. He is saying we all know when socially unequal priviledge has gone too far, and we reject it INEQUALITY IS INEVITABLE IT IS THE PRICE TO BE PAID SOME ARGUE… SOCIAL INEQUALIT IS THE OPPOSITE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE BUT JUSTICE IS A DIFFICULT CONCEPT EQUALITY-SOCIAL JUSTICE CHRISTOPHER JENCKS… MISS JONES ALLOCATING HER TIME TO KIDS IN A CLASROOM…CAN THIS BE ACHIEVED VIA INEQUALITY OR EQUALITY? Whats the fairest way to allocate scarce resources? 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 fastest learners STARTING Points 9/RS 7,10. 9/11/2012 2:08:00 PM STARTING POINTS CHAPTER NINE: - they can be as oppressive as capitalist*** even if they do not own means of production. - state institutions NOT PRIVATE INTERESTS…excercise much of the power in society - Marx saw this conflict as a problem inherent to CAPITALISM - Durkheim saw it as inherent to INDUSTRIALISM The context: a time where privileged capitalist class exploited working class to gain high profits and social dominance. - but today modern workplace, & modern economy is more complex characterized by global competition. What are the social, economic and psychological consequences of being exploited at work… The three founders of sociology( Marx,Weber,Durkheim) were concerned with the workplace conflicts arising out of class relations. The excercise of economic and political power today is global and multinational///HOW CAN WE RECONCIEVE CLASS CONFLICT IN GLOBAL TERMS? Gender Inequalities Starting Points Chapter 5. 9/11/2012 2:08:00 PM Functionalist Approach: What function does it perform for society as a whole? How does gender inequality contribute to the wellbeing of society as a whole. Talcott Parsons: gendered division labour is the most effective and efficient way to carry out societies tasks for reproduction and socialization. Critical theories: Who holds power and benefit from a particular social arrangement? Who is best served by gender inequality? -Marxists would say (referring to class relations) CAPITALISM requires the low cost social reproduction of a workforce from one generation to the next… families= best + cheapest way to raise new workers Women= cheapest family labour. This approach assumes working class men and women are on the same side. Both are equally victims of the capitalist class. The feminist approach assumes the women have diff experience from men and may be exploited by men of their own class INCLUDING CAPITALISTS. They see gender inequality as serving men… Theory of patriarchy- that men are the main and universal cause of women’s oppression- is compatible with Marxist analyses that view working class womens as being the victims of both class and gender oppression. Symbolic interactionism: How is social arrangement symbolized? - how is gender inequality negotiated, symbolized and communicated in our society? They are concerned with the ways that gender differences become stable gender inequalities-for example the ways that young women become objectified and turned into sex objects sexual double standard: men have more sexual freedom than women: Example : define sexual freedom as mens free access to women. Social Constructionist: When and how did the arrangement emerge? A social constructionalist would note that gender inequality began to decline in 1960-1970s largely because actions of the womens movement. TYPES OF FEMINIST SOCIOLOGY: - majority of feminist theory postulates that most gender differences are SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED. CHART On page 129. Ann Oakley wrote book on Sociology of Housework…as a result housework began to emerge as a type of legitimate, difficult, and worthwhile work, not just the labour of love. OAKLEYS THOUGHTS ABOUT FAMILIES WOMEN, AND HOUSEWORK: “ Society has a tremendous stake in insisting on a womans natural fitness for the career of mother: the alternatives are all too expensive” - families are nothing other than the idolatry of duty - housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self actualization -there are always women who will take men on their own terms. If I were a man I wouldn’t bother t change while there are women like that around. Gendered Socialization : Children learn about what it means to be a girl or a boy through their families…largely by a process of socialization. Mass Media: Mass media provides indirect experience with people of the opposite sex - objectifies women The Beauty Standard: - appearance norms…shared notions about beauty that literally attract s to some p
More Less

Related notes for SOC102H1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.