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Lecture 2

SOC102 Lecture 2 Class Inequality and exploitation.docx

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Class Inequality and exploitation Slide 4. Most consequential inequality is class inequality a. About rich and poor and forms of power that go with these social groups b. Related to other kinds of inequalities c. Health, crime, conflict, war, violence consequences Slide 5. Class is an elusive concept a. Disagreement about boundaries of class b. Most people would say they are in middle class (in North America) i. Few would say they are in upper OR lower class c. Europeans have no problem with saying they are in upper class (long history of aristocracy) d. Decline in union membership  decline in self-identification as working people Slide 6. Class is an economic relationship a. Max Weber i. Class situation: location in property or market relations  there is a market for our labour/resources and some are competing more successfully than others ii. An economic position in relation to other people b. Carl Marx i. Class situation: About bargaining/competitive power Slide 7. Marketability and Dominance a. David Lockwood British sociologists and "market situation" i. Person's relative economic position ii. Related to income, job security, job advancement b. Work situation  class in workplace determined by dominance and subordination Slide 8. How related to class consciousness a. Status situation  hierarchy of prestigein society (how much esteem is received) i. Related to income, power position at work, competitive position in job world b. Class, work, and status situations shapes class consciousness (!) and class mobilization (!) Slide 9. Class inequality is different from other inequalities we will discuss a. Racial and ethnic inequalities are more visible (easier to differentiate) i. Easy to develop inequality in visible difference b. Class is not very visible at all Slide 10. Implications a. What is interesting to sociologist is how the inequality is performed b. Needs to be a class structure  how to be a member and how to perform that role as a member of that class  distinguishing features of class needs to be learned c. Strategies of resistance require shared consciousness of differences  difficult when the boundaries are unclear Slide 11. Reminder: Habits of Inequality Slide 12. Societies vary in social inequality a. we can look at precise measurements of income inequality (vs gender / race inequality) Slide 13. SNPNS (!) a. A pattern followed by all inequalities b. Social differentiation c. Narratives of blame d. Practices of oppression e. Narratives of validation f. Strategies of resistance Slide 14. Social differentation Slide 15. Narratives of Blame Slide 16. Practices of Oppression a. People taking advantage of the disadvantaged Slide 17. Narratives of Validation a. Disadvantaged develop their own "stories" of why they are blamless Slide 18. Strategies of Resistance a. What the disadvantaged do to fight back Slide 20. Signifying class distinctions a. People in different position in market, status, prestige b. How do they socially enact these differences Slide 21. Leisure class a. Why do rich behave in ridiculous outlandish ways? Ridiculous clothes. b. Use of wine-tasting and rich activities is to separate classes (rich from poor) Slide 22. Role of conspicuous consumption a. You are consuming them in a way that you want people watching you with envy and awe consuming them  that is what the wealthy do b. Point of it is to WASTE BECAUSE YOU CAN c. Ability to waste provides a group boundary Slide 23. Pierre Bourdiey's book, Distinction a. Continuity of upper class  the children of upper class keep the traits to enact the cultural performance generation after generation b. How do the upper class pass on these tastes to their children Slide 24. Gaining cultural capital a. Symbolic goods regarded as attributes of excellence b. FANCY SCHMANCY FOOD is a prop in which people enact class differences to make clear the class boundaries c. Raise your children to know attributes of excellence Cultural capital  valuable knowledge about your class Slide 25. Teaching and learning of culture of poverty a. A poor urban underclass b. They teach their children that "you're screwed, never going to get out" c. In contrast to upper class teaching that "rule is natural" Slide 26. People in the culture of poverty a. They feel like they're just surviving and not going to do any better b. They feel to blame for their situation, powerless Slide 27. They lack historical perspective a. People thought he was saying that poor people were their own fault b. Why would people hold themselves to blame for their inability to raise themselves? Why can't they understand that it is conditions beyond their control? c. They cant see beyond their immediate condition, don't see that others are living in the same conditions d. They have no class consciousness Slide 28. Bringing a historical perspective to the problem a. Karl Marx b. The Communist Manifesto  huge impact in world history c. Argues every society has some kind of economic organization d. Feudal times  aristocrat owns land, people work for that aristocrat e. Capitalist class of investors; and the other class that has the ability of labour (can sell their time to work  they do it, otherwise they will die) i. Must sell their labour at whatever market value it is in order to survive (THIS IS HOW MARX SAID THEY CAPITALISM WORKS) Slide 29. Then there's the lumpenproletariat a. Demoralized and ignorant that they do almost anything for anybody b. Impossible to organize  must keep them separate from bourgeoisie Slide 30. Classes are self-perpetuating a. People born into bourgeoisie tend to inherit financial, social, and cultural capital Slide 32. Building a class for itself a. Raise the consciousness of the disadvantaged, of people who don't have a conception of their historical perspective b. Marx spent decades sitting in a library reading history book c. A class in itself must become a class FOR itself i. May not be aware of why they are in this position ii. Marx says that they need to gain class consciousness 1. Only by understanding why they are where they are, will they be able to overthrow capitalism Slide 33. The development of class consciousness a. Essential to dealing with class inequality b. Marx doesn't believe you can resolve inequality via uni
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