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SOCIOL 2R03 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Counterargument, Proletariat, Gerhard Lenski

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Lina Samuel
Study Guide

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SOCIOL 2R03 Quiz #1
Chapter 1
Inequality’s core dimensions
Some dimensions are bound together and hard to disentangle
Dimensions of an Unequal World
Luck is important in society
oHaving access to right schools, financial resources, business and professional contacts
and particular opportunities
Strata: layers with discernible borders between the levels
Social stratification: how the inequalities in society are sorted into identifiable layers of persons
with common characteristics
oThese layers are social classes
oExample: most people call themselves middle class, because it seems too “uppity” to
label yourself as upper class, yet nobody wants to admit to being lower class because
that could be associated with failure
Sociological perspective of social inequality seeks to examine patterns going beyond certain
scenarios to explore differences in the constraints that shape people’s choices
oTries to dig deeper in a macro perspective, not micro
Interested in how inequality is structured – systematic inequality
Key theme: who we become is part of a complicated interplay outcome, between individual
characteristics and our role in society (this determines which characteristics are encouraged,
constrained and rewarded)
Social imagination: awareness of micro personal experience and the relation to that with macro
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Intersections of Race, Class and Gender
Robeson County: courthouse that lists veterans in a hierarchy – whites first, Lumbee Indians
second, Africans last
Smithfield packing: hog-butchering/pork production plant; Whites hold supervisory roles
oA few Indians are supervisors/have clean jobs
oBlack women scrape feces and worms from animal intestines
oBlack/Mexican workers stand 8.5 hours and slash hogs
oAt end of shift, their whole bodies ache and go numb
oThis is one of the only jobs that enables unskilled workers to work for as much as
Employee turnover = 100% (5000 leave in a year, then 5000 more come)
Industrialization of food production, immigration, and globalization
oDecline of union power
oRace, class and gender intersect work
oComplex social relations define social stratification
“New” approach to inequality: religion, ethnicity, sexuality, age
oclassical theorists pay most attention to class
Weber: 3-part division
oClass, status (prestige), party (political power)
oInterested in organization of privilege/duty between men and women in the household
Race and gender = special types of status
oRace is better understood as social status
oRacial category/identity = special prestige/respect within a community and may come
with stigma or disadvantage
oGender = social and legal status, can come with privileges/barriers related to associated
oAge – may command respect or contempt
oEthnic heritage – source of pride or (in negative terms) something to be hidden
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oIn trying to analyze race, class and gender it is difficult because they are a continual and
complex interaction with one another/other dimensions of inequality
Example: a poor black woman would have triple the disadvantage
Conclusion: we cant disentangle the Gordian Knot, the challenge is to better understand
interactions among oppression and privilege, dominant and subordinate positions, and inclusion
and exclusion that shapes our social structure
oThe Gordian knot is an analogy of how the three dimensions (class, race, gender) are all
equally intertwined/important, and they affect the individual as a whole
Hunting and Gathering Societies
Until 10,000 years ago, they contained everyone in the world
Made up of semi nomadic bands of 50+
Gender divided societies, based on biology and convenience
oMen hunt, women gather
oImportant protein and nutrients
oEasier for men because they have longer arms
oSmall animals
oMen and women work together to fish (combo of hunting and gathering)
oReliable food source
o60%-80% of total food
Class Divisions
oUnheard of among hunter-gatherers
oSkills of hunting and gathering = equal to everyone
oFew possessions – bands must carry all they possess when they travel
oEconomy based on reciprocity – the sharing of goods
oNo hierarchy or leader
oShare their common lot
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