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Social Class

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University of Toronto St. George

January 18, 2011 SOC102 Lecture 2 - Social Class 2 classes that make difference - capitalist and socialist, always in conflict (Marx) - divided into rich and poor, exploiter and exploited (Stalin) - those that have more appetite than dinners, more dinners than appetite (Sebastien Balfour) 3 kinds of people - high, middle, low (George Orwell) - numbers change throughout time, but classes stay the same - began as Marxist, left it and began to attack it - with 3 groups, coalitions and cohesion (odd #s), with 2 groups will always be conflict (even #s) Capitalist Society - capitalist society is characterized by conflict, not harmony - in industrial societies capitalism divides the population into two opposing classes - the working class has only 3 alternatives - cooperate with capitalists - form unions and try to modify social conditions - make revolutions - for humans to live, require food to eat - in order to eat, must sell labour to others - those that control food control society, have power over all - who controls means of production, they control those that sell labour to them - this is what limits working class power - Marx believed unions and cooperation could only do little, unions were only a starting point - revolutions were required for change - different means of production for different societies, meant different people in control - social class is different in every society - differences in social position result from differences in peoples relations to the means of production - at both ends of the class ladder, class stability over time is maintained by inheritance - that is why poverty (and wealth) is self-perpetuating from one generation to the next - social mobility in modern society, should reduce the self perpetuating nature of society - preserved materially (wealth) and culturally (value systems and lifestyles)
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