Sociology, Semester 2- Thinking Sociologically
Metatheory- looking at sociological theory and the assumptions within them.
Foundational issues to consider- social life, scientific knowledge, social life.
Frye’s three levels: Contemplative (intellect observing+ classifying, emotions determine how we
feel about what we are observing. Separate), active (if contemplation is unsatisfactory, wanting to
create change. Intellect+emotions combined together- world sociologists study) and imaginative
(Look at what we’ve done, not the way imagined it. You then imagine how the world can be a
much better place. Nothing happens, we’d have to go back to action level to create change).
The mind (intellect and emotions) is involved at each level, where intellect is the basis for science
and emotions are the basis to the arts.
Science and the Arts seem completely divergent, but they do converge in some ways. There is a
role that language plays in sciences, and how we engage with the world. Sociology is a scientific
Science: intellect, observation and classification, regularities, progresses in accuracy of
understanding the world and utility, draws upon creativity of emotions and imagination to
create theories and models, language is a critical dimension of science.
Arts: emotions, limitless potential (imaginative capacity is limitless, in the realm of action it is as
well if you have the right tools), comparative standards of excellence, employs aspects of reality
and life experience with imagination.
1) also committed to analysis like science- it analyses the world in which we live, as it is empirically
based. The social world is relatively enduring, as it will change.
2) Language and creativity are critical. The terms we use that make sociology such a complex science.
3) The “domain” o sociology is the level of “action” as we try to humanize the world.
Kuhn (scientific paradigms): rejected “development-by-accumulation” (series of observations lead
to new framework, more observations, etc.) explanation for scientific progress. For him, all
scientists use the same scientific framework, and as they observe the world, they find
observations that do not fit. They either ignore it, or adopt it into their paradigm. There will be a
revolution when there are too many anomalies in the old theory.
Kuhn argues that language and theory are important to scientific progress. Scientists work with
facts that are filtered through a theoretical framework. Sociologists do the same thing.
Foucault argues that before we can observe anything, we have to have some framework within
which we recognize order. To function, we need an ordering system. The categories we use are
Foucaults episteme- “fundamental code of a culture”: the episteme we operate in organizes our
perception about history (change, progress). All areas of knowledge produce and perceive order
on the basis of the same episteme. Our current modern episteme is rooted in process, action, and
Sociology’s Orthodox consensus: no single paradigm has fully dominated sociology. In the late
1940s, 60s, structural-functionalism and naturalism dominated.
Talcott Parsons is positioned in a place, and develops what is seen as a comprehensive theory.
Almost everyone used his theory as most people agreed that a structural-functionalist framework
and a naturalist way of approaching it, dominated. He adopts a scientific approach to social
Parsons’ work encompasses what there is to know about the social world, and the emphasis
shifted to the social system. His over-emphasis of order however was challenged by Conflict
Theory that opposes structural-functional emphasis. He doesn’t take into account the underlying
conflicts, had too much emphasis on integration, authority and order. Does not address that it is an
unstable whole. Over-emphasis of social integration, which was challenged by micro-theories that challenge the
over-socialization of individual. In his theory, human beings merely fulfill roles. There is no agency
in Parsons’ theory, which opened up studying the micro-level/
Metatheory: systematic study of sociological theory. Notion of micro/macro, structure/human
The objects under study in sociology differs fundamentally as they do not exist independently of
human action. Sociologists study what is created by intellect and emotions, we have to identify
what we will study as sociologists. Because what we study are creations, when we identify
something it has both a substantive component to it and an evaluative component. For example,
people in the paid labour force- workers, or employees? Workers has a Marxist tone, employees
has a bureaucratic tone. There is no way I can identify people in the paid labour force, without
politicizing. Anything that we identify has an evaluative dimension to it.
Each time we identify something, it will be contested. People will debate over terms used and how
they are linked together. Parsons’ consensus dominated sociology, but was always critically
assessed by others.
Alexander notes that because of the nature of the object’s studied, sociology is a discourse. There
is a focus of reasoning, persuading through argument, logical coherence, insight, and value-
relevance, how words are being put together. Because of this, sociology is a science and an art.
Frye- looks at language and critiques its construction and systems. He goes into detail about the
convergence about science, art and the sociological imagination.
Kuhn- Explains the creation of ways in which we gain scientific knowledge.
Foucault- Discusses episteme (principles that order our world, where our knowledge comes from).
Through his genealogical approach, he notes how epistemes change and shift from time to time.
Talcott Parsons- Was a structural-functionalist. He investigated and created an understanding of a social
matrix, and in each matrix there are three elements- substance, time and place.
Bourdieu- We need detail on common knowledge, because it is not really common, there are many details
underneath that we take for granted. When we take this common sense knowledge for granted, we end
up with huge mistakes, large consequences, and social issues.
Micro/Macro and Social structure/ human agency- How much does society impact an individuals life.
How much can an individual’s life impact entire society.
Reflexive sociology- is our knowledge constant, linear, or do we have to go back along that timeline to see
where we have gone, and how it will change our course. This is being reflexive.
Week 2, Thinking Sociologically Continued
Latour’s notion that there is a conundrum in sociology. Where do you start? You start at the micro
level, but this is being shaped by a larger shape of social structures, so you move up to the macro
level, but it is too abstract, so you return to the micro which also has abstractions. Continually
going back from personal biography to issues of social structure. Soc. must bring these together.
Alexander and Giesen: if you look at micro/macro relationship, it falls under categories. A rational
actor using reason to create world around them. (Sheldono Cooper) Interpretive actor assesses
what goes on and creates meaning, creating world around them (Penny). Someone who has been
socialized: way person acts depends on social facts that have moulded them. Mainly micro->
macro. Latour says the actor is created before he or she creates the action. They have been socialized to
think in a specific way. Roles socialized into us, we then follow through in creating the world
around us based on how we’re socialized.
It’s more coercive than that. We are constrained by power.
Munch & Smelser: micro is happening at individual level, for them macro is what’s going on in the
group. Beamish as individual, and the macro is the lecture class.
-For them, micro relationships involves patterned exchanges (weekly lectures) and encounters (meeting
someone). There are different ways to describe it: communication, exchange, cooperation and conflict.
-Macro- is structures of society. Not always the huge macro structure of Canadian society, it can be things
like a group. Sustained by mechanisms of social control that create opportunities and constraints.
Wanting to build an integrated theory for the social world. They can be a dialectical relation. The
real world is quite relational, so we need a conceptual framework that will allow us to understand
this relational world. Science and art of terms and conceptual grasp. It does involve a create mind
to analyze, grasp, and change the social world. Micro/macro should synthetically be brought
At micro level, like any other hockey game, he simply scored. There is a macro context, within the
team itself, or between Canada and Russia. Micro element (guy calling someone off ice so he could
go because he usually scores winning goals) that created the macro phenomenon. They are all in a
Structure and Agency
Social structure- macro
Wants to bring structure and agency into an integrated framework. Social practices ordered
across space and time (i.e. that hockey game), a continuous flow of conduct. Often, social actions
are recursive, and are self-reproducing items in nature (but always a little bit different-goals
aren’t all identical).
We are quite predictable because social action tends to be recursive. Reoccurs over and over and
over, within limits of what we do on a regular basis. Social action must be originally produced,
before we can reproduce it. If we stop acting, the action stops, and nothing happens. Emotion and
intellect come together.
Big bang theory exemplifies many phenomenon. They actually have to produce the action of taking
pictures before comicon, they draw upon their knowledge of each of the Star Trek characters, that
comes from accumulated knowledge that is recursive. Posing as Charlie’s Angels, writers draws on
our knowledge, but they are probably thinking of it as serious.
Theory of structuration: human agents are knowledgeable, and we have two levels of knowledge:
Sheldon gives discursive analysis of what happens in football. Leonard articulates discursively
what’s going on on the field. Penny gets mad because people don’t talk about this tacit knowledge.
Tacit knowledge can be articulated, but not usually. We usually just draw from it.
Knowledge both enables things to happen as well as constrain them.
Second part where their car is stolen, Sheldon says that stealing is against the law. The law is a set
of practical, discursive relationships. It has heavy sanctioned tied to them, but it is really the
informal non-articulated forms of knowledge that tend to structure our behaviour.
We tend to reflexively monitor what is going on. First half when they are posing, they are
monitoring what they are doing. Howard and Leonard know what the moves are supposed to be
like, draw on their tacit abilities to recreate those moves. Sheldon in his rational logic way of
dealing with the world, what he does is completely off the charts for what is supposed to be a sexy
scene. Howard reflexively monitors how sexy he must like, he is also monitoring what goes on
around him, like the car door slam. Although it is subconscious, we continually survey our own
actions, as well as the whole social space we are involve with. Reflexive monitoring, no one would pick them up because they look crazy. Everyone else tacitly
knows what to do, and put up their thumbs to hitchhike, but Sheldon does not have this informal,
tacit knowledge, as he waves to cars to stop for him.
Notion that knowledge and social action enable and constrain. Formulated rules (reason,
Sheldon), versus non-formulated rules (tacit knowledge). Waitress shows tacit knowledge of Star
Trek. Sheldon has lack of tacit knowledge of how to go on in the world like a normal person would.
We do not expect him to what he does. How important tacit knowledge is for the production +
reproduction of action.
Reflectively monitor what they have been through, decide to go home. Here we see them
reproducing what most people would be doing.
Field: what you can see is that the girls who have never entered into the field of comic books,
decide to. All fields exist in a hierarchical fashion (comic book stores aren’t that cool). In all fields
there is competition amongst the actors (who’s the best superhero, each guy in there has their
own favourite. This is its own hierarchy). It is a delimited area, players with different abilities,
hierarchical arrangements, use capital competing for advantage, power, recognition, distinction,
ranking. This is inseparable from Habitus. An ongoing implicit competition between the girls using
their capital (their looks). Amy tries so much to be sexually attractive like Penny.
Types of capital: economic, social (social connections), cultural (knowledge, status, distinction),
symbolic (images and presentation of self). As they take comic books seriously, they move into
this field, and try to understand what’s going on within it. In this field, analytic ability is required
Sociology of Work- Part 1-Week 15
Labour in general- Marx and the ontology of work. Bees create honey, pollen. Spiders create webs.
Using our extremities for labour for ourselves. Labour for daily life, acting as species being.
Valorization- when we use labour within the capital machine, it is valorization because we are
using labour for others. Creating surplus for capital.
Species being- everyone must contribute their own labour, labour is the ontology of humankind.
More describing us individually, but social makes work seem more interconnected.
Labour- act of doing work. You need workers, and work to be done. It is always changing, you
must develop new ideas, etc. Individual level.
Labour power- People who do the labour. People coming together to perform a task. Generation of
surplus. Takes the individuality of labour, and changes it to hundreds of people in a factory where
the labour power is exponential compared to one person.
Labour process- the way we work expands and changes. All three work to keep the process active,
and up to date. How it changes and develops. Makes jobs easier, which goes back and effects the
individual of labour, the power, and the process.
Emphasis on how important work is to the individual. Work is central to our daily lives.
Perceptions of work change, it is a public issue of social structure. During economic growth, ideas
of shortened workweeks and increased leisure time (1945-1973). 1973-1980-stagflation-shift to
neo-liberal economic policies. 1908-2008- post-Fordism. And now… the future of paid work?
Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Establishes ideology of a free market society, but was much more
than that. He was a moral philosopher. What happens to that wealth? How it is created and
distributed is his main focus.
Bourdieu’s sociology- quest for human dignity. Propose changes to the world for a dignified life for
everyone. Becomes a framework of moral processes.
Alienation- the quest for humanity is the quest for fulfillment. If we fail to fulfill our creative
potential, the world of work is letting us down. Difference between the human and natural orders, and what that means for the general labour
process, and what that means for the sociology of work.
Humankind is an organism of nature, part of the natural order- direct, concrete, and thingly. For
example my cells dividing, living and breathing, I do not have to consciously think of these things.
Subject to the natural processes, it is fundamental to us.
The human order is different than the natural order too, we have a mediated relationship with the
natural world, as there is a process of consciousness. We plan our interactions with the natural
The recursive processes of nature- mitosis or meiosis. Processes dictated by material processes of
oxygen, etc. It happens again and again, virtually the same without deviation (unless an unhealthy
The recursive practices of the human order require knowledge and while largely reproductive in
the flow of conduct producing the action are not perfectly reproductive.
The human order is a complex place (micro/macro, agency/structure, formal/informal rules,
discursive/practical consciousness, enable/constrain, field/habitus, types of capital
Human action is teleological. We humanize the world through action. There is an endpoint, we
plan for that endpoint by drawing upon our practical knowledge in order to make the changes we
Labour in general-Enumerated the same process as central to human engagement with the world.
The externalization and objectification of ideas in the labour process, humans learn about
themselves, nature, and what humankind can and cannot achieve.
Without action, nothing will change. Action is preceded by knowledge (practical and discursive).
Marx reads Hegel, shifts the whole theory of alienation to one that focuses around the central issue
in sociology: the quest for human fulfillment, the full creative expressive power of humanity.
Objectification process, sees how dialectically integrated that is, but also within the capitalist
world, that the creative process creates goods and the worker as a commodity- all oriented
towards profit for the entrepreneur. Hardly the full creative potential of that process.
Within sociology of work, the ones most appealing are the ones with biggest creativity aspect, and
freedom to learn.
State of alienation, where we are not creating goods that allow us to flourish, but we are subject to
Recast the whole theory of alienation (see coil book).
The world of work is one where there are tremendous inequities.
Role of discourse, he uses terms that can be used to assess the world of work in which we live.
Sociology of Work Part 2
The employer-labour process-employee relationship (see book charts)
Different employer inputs/ employee inputs. (habitus or resources) each have motives/interests
Employee: All of these things are part of the creative process emphasized last week.
Employer: access to the materials employees need. They have more capital.
Come together in the labour process which is central.
There are also social forces shaping individual’s resources, aspirations, worldview: social facts-
gender, racial background, education, family dynamics, residence, media exposure, etc. Larger
social framework. Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, my disposition is influenced by these things (note:
cultural capital is knowledge). Bourdieu’s four types of capital drawn from this level.
Different experiences and social variables determines where you fall: employee or employer.
There are major employee or employer expectations. There are trade-offs that we are willing to
make, for example financial reward vs. intrinsic reward on behalf of employee. Pass on cultural
capital, for money to purchase more material goods.
Market forces- employee wishes to maximize rewards/ employer pressures to minimize costs and
maximize productivity- gain efficiency.
Overall dynamic of the relationship. When you put all the pieces together, 1) complexity of the
relationship 2) sense of a dynamic tension.
The “Culture” of Work
Foucault’s “technology of power”- there are all these different power relationships that develop
the way we work and behave. Shift from feudal to disciplinary society.
“Docile bodies”- Ideal of an employer. Perfect employee would be completely compliant. It
overstates the impacts of discipline.
Culture of work that has been socially engrained in us (society as a whole), passed onto you.
Making the body more obedient and thus more useful; more useful because it is more obedient.
Increases productive forces in the body; decreases resistant forces.
Power and aptitude increased while self-determination and self-realization reduced.
Work ethic: 1) body that is obedient-> useful
Army: obedience instilled overtly. Once a new person arrives, they kind of notice the rules by
following other people’s behaviour/ what is expected of them (docile bodies).
Education: subtly disciplined into becoming punctual, recognizing an authority figure, time
management. These make children more useful employees in the long run, or a more successful
employer in the long run. In the social network, the table system is used. People creating code in same room. Intrinsic wish
Look at week notes for soldiering. Put in place separate tasks with explicit orders.
Systematic soldiering: skilled workers spread their work out over longer periods of time. This
leads Taylor to say we need to separate planning and production. All you would need now is
workers that can perform specific tasks.
Get people to make them focus on specific tasks, company as a whole would be more profitable. If
you become a docile body, I’ll pay you more because you will be more efficient. A fair day’s work=a
fair day’s wage.
“Task idea”- workers’ tasks clearly specified and how to carry them out.
Outcomes of Taylorism
reduced size of workforce (efficiency and technology)
process of “deskilling”- head and hand labour separated; planning consolidated in managements.
Increased white collar workforce.
From Scientific Management to the Fordist assembly line.
Mass production techniques-> pretty sophisticated products.
Interchangeability of parts from model A to model T
Standardized auto parts/ standardized quality of product
Easier for assembler to do the same thing over and over, parts brought to them.
Moving assembly line.
All materials rationed and calculated.
Technology to make the job easier, starts to run the assembly line.
Mass production-> mass consumer good-> less expensive so people can buy it.
Model of integrated corporation. Moving up the ladder, upward mobility of complex, integrated
Rational system of assessing performance. Assess how efficient you are. Efficient=promotions, less
Self-disciplining process to become more productive employee.
Five model product range from Chevy to Cadillac. An array of cars, each one and annual
adjustments. The year suggests your social standing.
Impact of unionization
Two logics of collective action. Impact of market on employers trying to decrease costs, and what
this means to structuring/controlling the workplace. Same market puts pressure on employees to
bargain for better wages, better working conditions, as an individual or a collective.
Emphasize 1) face of unionized workers is the blue-collar automotive worker. The face of
organized labour has changed since then- now white-collar female workers in one of the service
sectors. Face of collective bargaining. 2) As occupational structure has shifted, there are now so
many women involved in growing white sector, large part in unions.
Unionization has really helped female employees because of the wage gap that tends to exist
between male and female employees. It has helped mitigate the wage gap.
The difference b/w someone who is in a union and someone who is not, if they are of the same
gender and background, there is not much of a difference, just 14%.
It isn’t that dramatic of a difference because… the two different logics that apply to employers and
employees. Logic #1:Employer inputs: primary organizer of labour force, capital exists as a fluid resource, can
plan for negotiations. How homogeneous or heterogeneous his employees will be. Becomes
important later for employees forming a collective bargaining unit. More heterogeneous=harder to
come to an agreement in unions.
Employees: human/labour power inseparable, this is a challenge for the employer. Union is
secondary organizer of labour force. History of work association, entire spectrum of needs/want,
you cannot reduce fundamental needs. A strike or a lockout has a longterm impact if it draws out.
Employer: costs of demands vs. cost of lockout. Their willingness to pay. Long term contracts are
better, they can plan for increased productivity to outset the costs of strikes. More flexibility,
fluidity of capital.
Employees: costs of strike vs. management offer (can we afford what they are offering us, or can
we resist it), willingness to pay, willingness to act. Can we keep people as a cohesive group during
the strike or lockout that becomes critical for employees. Consensus building via negotiation.
Mobilization and maintaining a strike.
The employer/employee relationship is fundamental to the structure of society. It is a power
balance, most of them having to do with expectations and the influences of the market.
Unions don’t have nearly as much power as people assume. Balance tension that tends to favour
The globalization of the economy makes employment increasingly precarious. (outsourcing)-
reduction of blue-collar work force, reduces male unionization, wages not progressing as rapidly
as the cost of living.
Carol Hyunh and meritocracy. Gives a sense visually of what consists of a meritocracy.
Hyunh represents a huge change in opportunity for young women. Far greater gender equality in
the world of sports, now have women wrestling in the Olympic games. Reflect on obstacles and
limitations women still face.
She is involved in a sport that allows her to express her full physical ability. What matters in life is
Sense that Hyunh represents the openness of Canadian society.
Two individuals matching widths, skills- suggests that we live in a society with no rationalization.
Doesn’t impede someone from accomplishing their goals, sometimes it does, not as bad as it was.
Where do we stand as a society in terms of racializing different groups.
To capitalize on her medals, has to continue post-career. Ways in which they try to present her as
“the typical girl next door.” Sense in which on one hand she resist feminized characteristics, yet
she kind of has to fit the mainstream what a young woman should look like to maintain a career.
The world should be meritocratic.
Meritocracy- a hierarchical system, where rewards are distributed unevenly, given to those who
achieve the most and demonstrate their merit. Competition for scarce rewards, allocated based on
merit. Achieved status as opposed to ascribed status (birth advantages).
Like to have an open society where people compete for the best positions in that world.
Inequality can be complex, in meritocracy, we believe in a system of inequality.
Two types of equality we have to believe in: everybody having the opportunity to compete
(education determining that every child has a fair chance to be the best students- more educated,
rise through structure) , if we exclude people early on, maybe they were the most talented but we
lost them to this meritocratic structure. Need equality of opportunity.
We also should have equality of condition. Everyone competing in a race should have the same
conditions: no performance enhancers, same equipment. Ensuring that we get the best people
through achievement alone, everyone must have same conditions that they come under.
In Canada, conditions of competing are quite unequal. Profile of income inequality in Canada
If we have a hierarchical system, it might not be perfect, but most Canadians are comfortable with.
If you are to have this systems, there will be some individuals making more money than other
Showing Gini coefficient of incomes. Zero would mean that everyone is making the same amount
of income. There are some groups making more, and a lot of individuals making less. Part of the
incentive structure, higher rewards for harder jobs.
If income, a fairly successful progressive tax system.
While we believe in a meritocratic structure, those who are doing really well have to contribute
more to the social whole through taxes (redistribution of social wealth).
Problematic: the top 1% in 2007
Growing disparity in income, and growing share of income going to the top 1%. We also believe
that some of that wealth need to be funnelled back into the system to help the disadvantaged.
In order to be in top 1%, all you need to make is 169K a year, but the average is 404K. While the
bottom is 170 000, there are some people making a lot of money in the top 1%. Displays the
advantages. Getting a university education gives the skills required to fill the positions that will
pay you really well 58% of top 1% have BA or more. People do work hard in order to get that
Why the growing divide?
2 recessions- forced entrants to workforce to take lower paying jobs
Outsourcing of work- good deal of bluecollar work has been sent offshore, eliminates a
comfortable part of the income structure; deskilling of white collar jobs through technology-
because they demand less skill, there is a large labour pool competing for these jobs.
Minimum wage sets wage floor for wages. As unionization starts to decline, employers can say this
is the minimum wage, but the surplus I pay over that minimum wage becomes the stage for
Bad news- we are all salary workers, doesn’t mean there is a great even sharing of the wages. As
top 1% starts to move away, there are huge holes in the economic structures.
Marx’s class theory
Parkin: leading sociologists in study of social inequality. No cumulative body of social theory
around social inequality, expect it to become more sophisticated as you go along. Beamish thinks it
is possible to suggest that there has been progress, people have become more sensitive to types of
inequality that exist.
Parkin #2: 2 nd wave of women’s movement. He pays no attention to gender. Hasn’t focused on
processes of racialization either. He does point out that in the post-war period, there was one
system of explaining social inequality, after this came into question, many sociologist came back to
Marx from now on: Two class model, also intermediary classes though not stated
Particular social relationship- the ownership of the means of production (social relations of
Relations of inequality are social- an internal dynamic.
Centrality of the economy in determining the overall social structure. The place to start for
inequality, is in production. Unless you’ve changed these things, you’ll be faced with a society with
significant inequalities. Because they are social relations, we can create social change to alleviate
the inequalities that exist, or hope for the system to become more meritocratic.
Critique of classical liberalism and its individualist focus
Societies themselves have to come together,a nd figure out democraticall how they want to
structure it. Weber
Looking at a different world in a different time period.
Boards of directors delegate to managers. Increasingly bureaucratic.
Goal-rational most efficient means to an end.
Inequality, based on your class position but also on social status and political process.
There are empirical, scientific grounds to reject class theory. Class became really politicized, a
Marxist canyon. A power in opposition to Western democracy. Partly politics. Empirical: social
sciences move towards becoming increasingly empirical, drawing upon natural sciences. With
growth of universities and scientific knowledge, emergence of the computer that allows
sociologists to gather lots of information, and have the machine look at the relationships. Scientific
pressures moved us closer to Weber’s ideal- social stratification.
Dramatic class differences, 19040s becomes more meritocratic. Changes to social structure itself
that leads sociologists to say that Marx was not right about contemporary society.
A stratified layer, stratified system- perception of post war system.
Talcott Parson’s structural-functionalist stratification.
Davis and Moore “Some principles of stratification”: set the stage in 1950s in how people started
thinking about social inequality. Draw heavily from Parson’s notions that society is a social system
with different parts that each play a functional role in the system itself. There has always been
social inequality, since it always has existed, it must nd serving some particular function. Move to
meritocratic, pressures to eliminate discrimination. 2 argument: social inequality serves the
function that the most important jobs that require the greatest amount of skill are given to the
best people. Best people are given the most responsible jobs, clear incentive to do that. Societies
have become more open.
Bell: society has changed dramatically in post-industrial society. Becoming a knowledge-based
society. The internal conflicts of industrial world have been eliminated a little bit. Class conflict
institutionalized. Tension between employers and employees, now they become part of the
negotiation process thanks to unions. Overt conflicts, Marx’s revolution didn’t occur. Greater
stability as they agreed to negotiate.
Bell 2: Mass production led to a large consumer society. Everybody now can buy consumer goods,
and live more comfortable life-styles. We are all middle-class now, Embourgeoisement. A middle-
class is expanding, rather than polarization of classes. American melting pot- every immigrant that
comes to Canada can maintain their identity, etc but will not help them have job precedence over
others. But we are all on the basis of our hard work, able to move up the stratification system.
Economy starts to slow. Employers less willing to meet large wage demands. Emergence of overt
conflict, and the women’s movement. The stable system really was an anomaly. What happened
before and after the first world war was the reality.
Premises of stratification system- best people fill best jobs, are paid the best for them. But what
are the best jobs? Lawyers, doctors? Some people such as musical artists get paid a lot for not
really important work. This became highly questioned.
Equality of opportunity vs equality of condition. Gender inequality was one of the major factors
that emerged. It wasn’t just inequality of condition, but opportunity. Women were blocked out of
Postwar consensus an anomaly- idea of shared set of values started to crumble.
Nice stratified system: Weber focuses on the growth of bureaucracy. Opens the door for
sociologists to examine social inequality. Universities expand: bigger opportunity for women to
enter them. People start asking what are the types of knowledge that universities should be
developing? Sciences fall into same model. Encourage sociologists to understand stratification better. Weber’s idea of status, but there must be a way to measure it. What emergences is a
collection of social facts that produced scales. Scales of socioeconomic status, made up of social
facts. Scientific knowledge aided by computer aided by complexity of employment structure.
John Porter in the 1960s questions whether Davis and Moore are right. Elaborate study of
stratification system- The Vertical Mosaic. There is a hierarchy, this is clear. Tiles arranged
unequally, an arrangement of tiles. Porter’s argument that really, while tiles can move up and
down, it is difficult- there are fundamental difficulties to be crossed. Unlike the nice ladder or
pyramid stratified model.
Clement- there is a ruling corporate elite. Develops analysis of Canadian establishment. Says there
are a 1000 men who rule our society. Meritocratic structure shows that power is focused in a
small ruling elite. A lot of men are on several important boards. The members of boards of
directors of Canadian corporations, there are many corporate interlocks- people sitting on more
than one board. Banking system in Canada is very powerful.
Through process of corporate interlocks, there are some individuals who sit on 2 or 3 boards, and
there are 16 individuals who sit on 68% of the boards of directors that have influence on half the
capital investments of the Canadian economy. Rothman school of business.
Bad news is that there are very strong interests. Power really matters and is concentrated in
Different sociologists have approached the growth of women’s movement in different ways.
Recognize that women have always been struggling for equal rights. The small successes and big
successes translate into the “waves.”
Women to look for better opportunities within the paid labour force. Shift into paid labour,
women have always worked.
Hamilton: First wave- point of time in which middle-class and upper-class women are successful
at opening up post-secondary education, and non-traditional female jobs. Also lobbying for right
to vote, represent their own particular class interest. Little impact on lives of working-class
women. Never really challenged perceptions of women.
Second Wave- made significant changes. 1970s federal government launches a moral inquiry into
the status of women. Puts a lot of money into research for gender inequality. Media focusing on
government policy. The changes that occur are put in place by government, backed up by legal
requirements. Challenges the notion that sex is de