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Exploitation lecture 2

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Lorne Tepperman

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Sept 18 lecture (1) Class Inequality and Exploitation (lecture 2) What is class Elusive concept: middle (not poor or rich) or working (employed) Economic relationship: resulting from his location in property and market relations (weber) David Lockwood’s definitions market situation-a person’s relative economic position -source and size of income, degree of job security, opportunity for upward mobility work situation- relative position in the division of labour -dominance vs. subordination status situation-position of someone in the hierarchy of prestige in the society *these three factors, class, work and status shape class consciousness* -Class inequality is different because it does not have distinguishing features like racial, ethnic and gender groups Therefore; it requires a lot of cultural inventiveness Signifying class distinctions -classes created by economic relations -to be performed, classes must be signified by cultural (non-economic) means -patterns of fashion and consumption make up this culture -upper and lower classes (UPPER CLASS) Leisure class -highlights differences through private schooling, clubs, educational credentials -sociologists: Thorstein Velden & Pierre Bourdieu Velden’s Conspicuous Consumption -Theory of Leisure Class (1912) critiques modern western society -wasteful consumption demonstrates the status & what they can afford (creates group boundary) -consuming so other people can see and envy Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction -cultural capital: learned expertise and competence -a process that transfers class position across generations -all cultural symbols and practices that function to enhance social distinctions -tastes in art, style in dress, eating habits and even language -said that cultural capital reproduce social domination from one generation to the next (LOWER CLASS) Teaching and learning the culture of poverty -Oscar Lewis (anthropologist) says that on the other end, a poor, urban underclass perpetuates itself by Sept 18 lecture (2) practicing and teaching its children self-deprecating values like helplessness, marginality and dependency -they lack historical perspective (know only their own troubles and way of life) -have neither knowledge nor ideology to think that there are other poor people like them Bringing Historical perspective to the problem Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx and Fredric Engels) -class inequalities are linked to differentiation and exploitation -Bourgeoisie: owners of the means of production and emp
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