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Lecture

SOC 100 Notes Oct 8

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 100
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Soc ­ Lecture 10/08/2013 Today… Introduction The Working Poor The Upper Class Class and Parenting Unit 3 Identity and Inequality: Who Is What and Who Gets What? Race and Ethnicity Social Class Gender and Sexuality Where your class location is shapes the reality of your everyday life Critical issue: social reproduction Various institutions/patterns of interactions that lead the realities of society to continue to be reproduced The working poor is not the same as the working class “Working class”: Those employed in skilled and semi­skilled manual labor occupations, esp. industrial  manufacturing. [Proletariat] Changed with industrialization ­ decline “Working poor”: Those who are regularly employed (often in unskilled, service­sector occupations), but  whose wages do not provide enough income to escape poverty. In the US today it is possible to regularly work and still live below the poverty line/be homeless. Deindustrialization – factory jobs went away, wages went down dramatically, people faced financial  hardship 1996 Welfare Reform Act – Bill Clinton signed into law a welfare reform act. Goal: get people off of welfare,  and out into workforce. Encourage employment among the poor. Shift from “welfare to workfare.”  Philosophy behind this: getting people into workplace would encourage a self­reliance, self­respect that  comes from steady employment. Moral virtue to engaging in regular work. Hit single mothers really hard.  “Nickel­and­Dimed” What everyday life is like if you’re a member of the working poor Is it possible to get by with unskilled jobs? Survival strategies? Hidden costs? Is Welfare Reform Act  applicable – self­reliance?  Method: Go out and spend a month living as a working poor person. Got a job, tried to find housing, feed  herself… Try it out herself and meet other people who do it.  What were some of the everyday difficulties that Ehrenreich encountered through her research? Hard to find a job Couldn’t eat good food Had to get 2 jobs Location of house: close but expensive or far away and cheap? Make herself look less qualified Boss didn’t treat her well Had to buy clothes for her job Stressful work environment Self­esteem issues Social reproduction – hard to get out of these circumstances?  Things that kept her coworkers from getting a better lifestyle:  Very minimum wages Couldn’t afford to move out of their housing Bad relationships Living Wage The amount of income that you need in order to meet your basic costs of living without the need for  government assistance or poverty programs Food, shelter, transportation, health care, child care, education Not the same thing as the poverty line. Significantly above the poverty line. Poverty line is notoriously outdated. Doesn’t account for regional differences in cost of living.  Don’t just need a job even that gives you minimum wage or poverty line, need a job that gets you to living  wage “Who Rules America?” What leads to the rep
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