Ch.6 – Social Inequality: The Canadian Experience in a Global Context
1. What are the four major systems of social stratification?
Refers to a hierarchy of relative privilege based on power, property, and prestige. Every society stratifies
its members. Slavery, caste system, clan system, class system.
2. What is social class, and how do sociologists measure it?
Social class is a large number of people with similar amounts of income and education who work at jobs
roughly comparable in prestige; according to Weber, a large group of people who rank closely to one
another in wealth, power, and prestige; according to Marx, one of two groups: capitalists who own the
means of production or workers who sell their labour.
Means of production, bourgeoisie, proletariat.
3. What are three criteria used to measure social class?
Wealth, power, prestige.
4. What is meant by the term status inconsistency?
5. How do nations maintain social stratification?
Ideology; controls information.
6. What models are used to portray the social classes?
Four-class model developed by Erik Wright base on Marx: 1. Capitalists or owners 2. Petty bourgeoisie or
small business owners 3. Managers 4. Workers.
7. How does social class affect people?
Affects people’s chances of benefiting from new technology, dying early, becoming ill, receiving good
health care, and getting divorced.
8. What are the three types of social mobility?
Intergenerational mobility, exchange mobility, structural mobility.
9. Who becomes poor?
Women, senior, members of racial and ethnic minorities, the disabled, recent immigrants, and whildren
whose primary parents are members of these categories are much more likely to be poor.
10. Why are the individualistic explanations of poverty more popular than structural explanations?
Some say that people lack work ethic, and some say that it is easy to ignore the complexity or poverty.
Employment opportunities are looked at, often conclusion that life orientations are not the cause of
people’s position in the social class structure.
11. How is the Haratio Alger myth functional for society?
The belief that anyone can get ahead if only he or she tries hard enough. This encourages people to
strive to get ahead. Social stratification: the division of large numbers of people into layers according to their relative power,
property, and prestige; applies both to nations and to people within a nation, society, or other group.
Slavery: a system of social stratification whose essential characteristic is ownership of some people by
Indentured service: a fuzzy area between contract and slavery; people whose passage to another
country was paid for an exchange for labour; they pay back their transportation costs by serving their
master for a specified period of time.
Ideology: a system of beliefs that justifies social arrangements.
Caste system: status is determined by birth and is life-long.
Endogamy: the practice of marrying within one’s own group.
Clan system: a form of social stratification in which individuals receive their social standing through
belonging to an extended network of relatives.
Clan: an extended network of relatives.
Class system: a form of social stratification based primarily on the possession of money or material
Social mobility: movement up or down the social-class ladder.
Means of pr