01/21 – Cultural Forms of Class Inequalities

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SOCI 139
Vanesa Ribas

1) 2:1 Ratio to 5:1 ratio in 2006 a) Absolute numbers are pretty astounding, business pacts contributed to 622 million dollars compared to 88.9million of labor organizations. There is a pretty big discrepancy of the absolute size also the relative strength of labor pacts in terms of their contributions to the US. 2) Business vs. Labor in terms of which way they would like to influence the political process. a) (These two group have different political interests) i) Wages - raise wages ii) The business pacts - more likely want to contribute to the republican party. 1) Chambers of commerce: Looking to lower wages. 2) Federal OSHA- underrepresented. Labor condition inspectors at the federal level. There are so few of them and their audits are so rare if not ever going to happen for most workplaces that they are pretty inconsequential. 3) US is pretty unique because they have restricted access to the political process for this type of campaign financing. a) Does not exist in Europe, they have strict limits that separate and make it impossible for organized business interest to so drastically have an influence in terms of their financial backing in terms of their financial campaigning. iii) Ronald Reagan - real strength and organized were shattered at that point (1981) turning point in all of these b) Discussion Questions: i) How might cross-cutting social cleavages in the U.S. diminish or magnify class-based political alignments? What might be some examples? 1) Magnify class-based political alignments:Age, Race, Religion a) Race - 90% ofAmericans vote for the democratic party but for many of them it is cross-cutting interest. i) Huge - Historically been the most important cross- cutting social cleavage. It is the reason why the parties switched in their basic position with respect to their polarities of liberal conservative. ii) Black americans tend to be not very differentiated amongst themselves in terms of their political preferences. (Same political preferences regardless of class differences) iii) Racial threat have influenced the preferences of white working classAmericans. 1. Anti-immigration - fundamental to the origins of the United States. 2. For a long time, you had to be white in order to be naturalized to be a citizen. 3. In that fundamental sense race is BASIC to the political divisions - thick criss-cross class in the United States. b) Religion - working class individual would align with one party but as far as their social issues they may align with another party. c) Age - 2) Working Class → would go with a certain party a) support politics and politicians that best repres
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