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SOCI 1010 (242)
Lecture

What is Social Stratification Chapter 10

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 1010
Professor
Alice Propper
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 10: Social Stratification 1. What is Social Stratification? a. Social Stratification: a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy b. Based on 4 basic principals i. Social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences  People will generally do better because of their privileged position rather than excelling because of personal talent or effort  Wealthy vs. Poor  Ex. Titanic: first class passengers survived because they we offered positions in life boats first, not because they were more talented at swimming than third class passengers ii. Social stratification carries over from generation to generation  Parents pass their social position onto their children  Social Mobility: a change in position within the social hierarchy - may be upward or downward, most people move horizontally (exchanging at a comparable level) iii. Social Stratification is universal but variable  What is unequal, and how unequal it is, varies from one society to another  Ex. Power iv. Social stratification involves not just inequality but beliefs as well  Any system of inequality defines the arrangements as fair 2. Caste and Class Systems a. Caste System: social stratification based on ascription, or birth i. Closed System – allows for little change in social position because birth alone determines a person’s future regardless of personal effort b. Class System: social stratification based on both birth and personal achievement i. Open System – permits much more social mobility c. Meritocracy – social stratification based on personal merit i. Industrial societies  Need a broader range of abilities  Stratification is not based on birth alone, also includes merit  Merit = person’s knowledge, abilities, and effort  Inequality of rewards based on individual performance  Use meritocracy to promote productivity and efficiency d. Status Consistency: the degree of consistency in a person’s social standing across various dimensions of social inequality i. Caste System – limited social mobility = high status consistency  Same relative ranking with regard to wealth, power, and prestige ii. Class System – greater social mobility = low status consistency  University professor has high prestige but an average salary e. Ideology: cultural beliefs that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns of inequality  Ex. Rich people are smart and poor people are lazy therefore loss who are less well-off deserve their poverty ii. Historical Patterns:  Argrarian  depend on devot
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