• Meritocracy: getting ahead is based on individual merit, which are many factors that impact a person’s ability to succeed.
Ascribed statuses play a large role in opportunities and barriers that people face (achieved statuses).
• Life chances: Weber’s term for the extent to which individuals have access to important societal resources, such as food,
clothing, shelter, education, and health care.
• Social inequality: the longterm existence of significant differences in access to goods and services among social groups,
including differences in wealth, prestige, and power. Social inequality includes dimensions such as social class, gender, race,
ethnicity, religion, age, sexual identity, disability, and more. It results from prejudice, discrimination, and oppression of certain
people and groups.
• Privilege: unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious
• Social Stratification: a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy (based on property, prestige, and
• Based on their control over resources
• Slavery: an extreme form of stratification in which some people are owned by others
• Caste system: a system of social inequality in which people’s status is permanently determined at birth based on their
parents ascribed characteristics
• Class system: a type of stratification based on the ownership and control of resources and on the type of work people do
• Social Structures: the way in which society is organized into predictable relationships, patterns of social interaction. It shapes
the distribution of inequality.
• Prejudice: arbitrary attitudes or beliefs and unfair bias towards or against a person/group. It is based on little or no experience
and projected onto the entire group. It is an individual’s internal perspective.
• Discrimination: action based on prejudice. Excluding, ignoring, avoiding, threatening, ridiculing, jokes, slurs, violence, unfair
treatment. It is an individual’s external behaviour.
• Oppression: exists when one group exploits another for its own benefit. Systematic oppression is embedded in institutions
such as: media, religion, family, education, and in cultural definitions of what is normal, real, correct, beautiful and valuable. It
is socially sanctioned and maintains an imbalance of power.
• Social Class: the relative location of a person or group within a larger society, based on wealth, power, prestige, or other valued
resources. In a class system people can move up or down, but it is heavily dependent on family and ascribed factors, children’s
social class reflect parent’s