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Sociology Test 2 notes.docx

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Sociology
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SOC 101
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Barry Mc Clinchey

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Sociology Test 2 Notes from Textbook Chapter 6: Socialization and Social Interaction Becoming Human: (pg.139-140)  How we think about ourselves and the world. Think about thinking.  Personality- an individual’s relatively stable pattern of behaviours and feelings  Nature vs. Nurture- debate between whether biological forces or environment define the person we become o Nature- our actions and feelings stem from our biological roots o Nurture- we are the product of our socialization  Socialization- the lifelong processes by which we learn our culture, develop our personalities, and become functioning members of society  Social interaction- the ways in which people interact in social settings, recognizing each person’s subjective experiences and/or intentions o Our sense of world and ourselves is held to be the result of social interaction Nature Argument: Being Born You: (Biological Approach) (pg.140-142)  Suggests most of our behavior is determined by our genetic makeup (athletic ability, intellectual capacity)  Nurture side more important in determining the person you become  Evolutionary forces led women and men having different brain structures that influence how they respond to the world around them (women- 11 more neurons for hearing; emotion/memory larger in women; men more brain space for sexual drive, aggression, action)  Sociobiology- a science that uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological roots of social behavior o Nobel prize: Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) o Pulitzer Prize winner: Edward O. Wilson o Physical and behavioural differences we see today in women and men are the result of millions of years of natural selection  Evolutionary Psychology- a relabeled form of sociobiology that argues that Darwinian inheritance can explain contemporary human behavior o Eg. Achuar Indians have highest murder rates because warrior is highest status for men o Explain why young men more likely to drive faster than women and older men( invincible feeling men get at age 16-20)- win desirable mate (females)  The structure of the brain, and the emotions and behaviours it inspires, does not prohibit the mind from transcending biology  Biology influenced by other factors such as sex hormones and their flux Nurture Argument: Learning to be You: (Environmental Approach)(pg.142)  We become the people we are through social interaction  Effects of social isolation: o Anna (1938) tied to a chair and kept in attic by grandfather o Deprived of normal human contact and minimal care cause her not able to talk, walk, or do anything of basic intellectual capacity o In 2 years taught her to walk, feed herself, and understand simple commands; in 4 years could dress herself, use a spoon, and learned toilet habits o Died at age 10 from blood disorder o Isolation of early life prevented her from developing more than a small fraction of her intellectual potential  Jeffery Baldwin- found dead in Toronto (2002); 5 years old  Confined to his room for years (grandparents- 2 degree murder), less than 1m tall and 9.5 kg  Died from malnutrition and neglect; at home 6 other adults, and 5 healthy children  Wouldn’t have recovered from abused if he had lived  Social reality is constructed by people every time they interact with others  Genetic makeup (nature) gives us capacity to be social beings, but it is the process of social interaction (nurture) that enables us to develop that capacity Development of Self: Sociological Insights(pg.142-143)  Self- one’s identity comprising a set of learned values and attitudes that develops through social interaction and defines one’s self-image  Every person is unique; self defined as “a composite of thoughts and feelings” from which we derive our “conception of who and what” we are  Self-image- an introspective composition of various features and attributes that people see themselves as – key component of personality  Healthy individuals personality and self join to give an individual the sense that he or she is unique/special Imagining how others see us: C.H. Cooley(pg.143-144)  Looking-glass self: what we think of ourselves is influenced by how we imagine other people see us  Consciousness cannot develop without social interaction  To be aware of oneself, one must be aware of society  Self-consciousness and social consciousness are inseparable because people cannot conceive of themselves without reference to others  “imagine imaginations” Understanding Ourselves and Others: G.H. Mead(pg.144-146)  I – term for that element of the self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive, and often unpredictable  Me – the socialized element of the self  Significant others – people we want to impress or gain approval from  Generalized other – a compilation of attributes associated with the average member of society; represents an individual’s appreciation that other members of society behave within certain socially accepted guidelines and rules  Role-taking – assuming the position of another to better understand that person’s perspective  Self composed of two complementary elements (I, me)  As children grow, they pass through 3 distinct stages: o Preparatory Stage (birth to age 3)-first experiences interacting with others are to imitate what they see others doing;do not understand meaning but want to please significant others in their life;begin to develop the I but me is also forming in background o Play Stage (ages 3-5)- learn about themselves and society around them through play; assume roles of others (firefighter- Garry); me continues to grow because children want to receive positive reinforcement from significant others; language skills developing o Game Stage (elementary-school years)- take on multiple roles at once; identify with the generalized other; participate in complex games and play a role (defense in hockey) to learn individual and team role; skills developed in game transferrable to life situations  Primary socialization- occurs when people learn the attitudes, values, and appropriate behaviours for individuals in their culture (language skills refined)  Secondary socialization- follows primary socialization and occurs through participation in more specific groups with defined roles and expectations (jobs) Development of Self: Psychological Insights(pg.146)  Socialization is the culmination of a series of predictable stages that people go through that either assist or hinder their adjustment to the society around them (sociologists)  Socialization is a process of internal conflict and tension that people must resolve if they are to have happy and productive lives (psychologists) Psychosexual Development: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)(pg.146)  Believed people behave according to drives and experiences of which they are not always aware; unconscious mind is full of memories of events, experiences, and traumas from childhood- many sexual in nature. When memories are especially painful, people keep them from conscious awareness.  Defense mechanisms- the ways in which individuals manage painful memories; use mental energy to form & maintain defense mechanism ; not resolving painful memories limits a person’s ability to lead a full and satisfying life  Human personality consists of 3 unique but interrelated parts (ID, superego, ego)  ID- individuals biological drives and impulses that strive for instant gratification; ID is unconscious, selfish, irrational, unsocialized, focused on instant gratification  Superego- all of the norms, values, and morals that are learned through socialization; composes of internalized social standards for a given group and helps form a person’s conscience  Ego- the intermediary between the ID and the superego that provides socially acceptable ways to achieve wants; largely conscious and reality-based, and provides socially acceptable ways to achieve what a person wants  Similar to Mead’s “I and me” ; difference is Mead believed I and me worked together as a creative dynamic force, while Freud focused on the tension between the ID and the superego. Psychological development: Erik Erikson (1902- 1994)(pg.148)  Believed early childhood experiences are important for personality development and that socialization is marked by crises throughout one’s life – like Freud  Culture also plays a critical role- unlike Freud  Integrates ideas from anthropology that showed that children from different cultures learn different values and goals and experience vastly different kinds of parenting styles and guidance  8 stages of development all people must go through from infancy to old age (psychosocial) o Need to overcome unique crisis Cognitive Development: Jean Piaget (1896-1980)(pg.148)  show how young people gradually progress through distinct developmental stages; children think and reason differently at different times in their lives  children pass through 4 distinct stages; some variation in speed at which child progresses o Sensorimotor stage (birth-age 2)- children learn about world through 5 senses; form attachments to parents/close caretakers o Preoperational stage (age 2-7)- children use imagination while playing, continue to develop language skills; influenced by fantasy, and the way they would like things to be opposed; difficulty conceptualizing time and assume everyone sees world as they do o Concrete operational stage (age 7-11)- begin to see casual connections in environment to make logical conclusions about world o Formal operational stage (age 12)- child becomes comfortable with abstract reasoning; can offer several alternative solutions to problems  Sociologists look at both sociological research and psychological research to understand how people develop their senses of self as they mature. Central to this understanding of socialization are what sociologists refer to as the agents of socialization Agents of Socialization(pg.149)  Agents of socialization- individuals, groups, and social institutions that together help people to become functioning members of society  We are defined most significantly by the society around us  Four principal agents of socialization: families, peers, education, mass media Families(pg.149)  Most important agents of socialization because they are center of children’s lives  Guide children’s first experiences with social world; responsible for self-esteem, personalities; first values and attitudes are generally reflections of the family’s values and attributes; teach children how to behave prosocially from early age (be nice); also establish gender roles, social classes, and ethnic identities for children  Importance of observing and imitating behaviours, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others  Parents model acceptable roles for men/women and child imitates patterns  Gender stereotyping- the assignment of beliefs to men and women, respectively, that are not based on fact  Families responsible for assigning the socio-economic status (SES) position to its members  Socio-economic status- social status as determined by family income, parents’ education level, parents’ occupations, and the family’s social standing within the community  Cultural capital- social asserts (values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies) that are gained from one’s family and help one to succeed in life  ethnic and cultural affiliations also defined within family; one’s identity at least partially defined by familial background- more pressing when person is visible minority  racial/ethnic discrimination experience at young age can modify people’s views of themselves Peers(pg.150-151)  importance of peers increases during adolescence; friends very influential  Peer groups- consist of people who are closely related in age and share similar interests  First formally meet other young children in school; find out not everyone likes them(unlike family)- puts pressure to find peers to relate to and spend time with; (Adler) early as grade 3 children identify certain groups to associate with  Belonging to peer group is vital for establishing sense of community and achieving/maintaining social influence; teenagers who have friends who are disruptive in school are more likely to become disruptive themselves  Peer involvement key ingredient in adolescent drug use and other form of delinquent behavior  Women trying to deconstruct images (sexism) and push social boundaries Education(pg.152)  Schools evaluates children on what they do rather than who they are  Learn new social roles by interacting with teachers and peers  Canadian culture: students learn academic content, social skills, and important cultural values  Hidden curriculum- the unconscious, informal, and unwritten norms and rules that reinforce and maintain social conventions o Plays important role in gender role socialization (treat girls/boys equally); teachers generally stereotype girls as hard workers and boys as disruptive- may become self- fulfilling prophecy (prediction that, once made, makes the outcome occur) Mass Media(pg.152-153)  Mass media- forms of communication produced by a few people for consumption by the masses  Television most influential mass media (usually unconscious)  Women watch more T.V. than men, and children from poorer homes watch more T.V., minority populations watch more than Caucasians, working and lower class children watch more than those whose parents have higher education/income  Majority of TV content reinforces competition and the desire for financial wealth  TV defines and reinforces standards of behavior, provides role models, and communicates expectations about all aspects of social life  Internet use is another socialization factor gaining importance (2/3 of Canadian adults surf the internet) mostly for personal (non-business) use- people in cities more likely than rural; more educated individuals use more internet and more wealthy use more internet Socialization across the Life Course(pg.153)  distinguish socialization that occurs during childhood as primary socialization and socialization that occurs throughout one’s adult life as the life course  Life course- socialization that occurs throughout one’s adult life  Birth cohort- all of the people who are born during a given period of time and therefore experience historical events at the same points in their lives- track how events influence lives o Predict how different groups respond to situations (People grew up during Depression)  Ability to change how we see both ourselves and the world around us is at the core of adult development Early to Middle Adulthood(pg.153-155)  Age 20 (young adults); exception- when young adults continue education beyond high school- adult classification not applied until individual has completed studying  Women who have children may stay at home to raise them and put their career on hold, end it, or only work part-time o Resolving this depends on the woman’s long term self-esteem and the support of the family unit  Today, young adults are marrying later or choosing not to marry at all (approx. 51.5% unmarried above age 15 in Canada in 2006)  Today, many traditional expectations of marriage have changed  Later (between ages 40-60) there is increased focus on career achievement, children leaving home, birth of grandchildren, preparation for retirement; also declining health, physical aging  During adulthood, women more likely to become depressed than men as last child leaves home  Empty nest syndrome- the depression that some mothers experience when their children have left home  majority women in fact feel satisfaction when children leave home; retiring from work more difficult transition than children leaving home; women finally have time to pursue hobbies/interests that were put off during child-rearing; increased marital satisfaction in later life for both men and women  “mid-life crisis)- men experience physical and emotional symptoms: muscle stiffness, night sweats, hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, depression, erectile dysfunction- hormone changes; drugs Cialis and Viagra  Adulthood- men and women grow more confident in themselves and focus much of their attention on their family and careers Late Adulthood and Old Age(pg.155-157)  Different functional and chronological definitions of old age; functional definition: declining health or mental faculties; in Canada “old” mostly based on age  Canadian government (1951) defined “old age” by Old Age Security Act (age 70) and Old Age Assistance Act (age 65) ; many years mandatory retirement at age 65 was standard across Canada, however, recently challenged by age discrimination no longer justified since we’re living longer and healthier than when legislation was introduced ; today most provinces/territories don’t have mandatory retirement  Canada’s population is getting older; seniors’ proportion of population expected to double  Shortage of workers now and in the future causing programs such as “retirees on call”; companies can hire 2 young workers for the price of one older one  Loss of identity and satisfaction when people retire from careers and have grown children who no longer need daily support  Now can travel and pursue other personal interests; learning of new roles and unlearning of others, and preparation for final stages of life Socialization into Dying and Death(pg.157-158)  Old age and realization of approaching death; death becomes fact of everyday life  Gerontology- the scientific study of old age and aging  Process of dying studied through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; developed series of stages people go through as they deal with their own death: o Denial-experience shock and disbelief when told about illness o Anger- express hostility and resentment, often towards who will live on (“why me”) o Bargaining- usually with god (“I will be a better person if I can live”) o Depression- realization they cannot negotiate out of the situation (sorrow, guilt, shame) o Acceptance- discuss feelings; death is accepted (inner peace can be reached)  Dying Trajectories- the courses that dying takes in both social and psychological senses o Hospital staff taught to interpret patient behavior to help them with inevitable death o Therapeutic recommendations socially construct process of death  Robert Kastenbaum challenged Ross’ work: no evidence people move stage to stage, no definable stages in grieving , characteristic of dying individual not taken into account  Entire lives are the result and expression of socialization and social interaction Resocialization: The Total Institution(pg.158-160)  Resocialization: the profound change or complete transformation of a person’s personality as a result of being placed in a situation or an environment dedicated to changing his or her previous identity  Generally occurs against one’s will and in a location where the person has little or no control over the situation (eg. prison/mental institutions to change a way person behaves)  Total institution- a setting in which people are isolated from society and supervised by an administrative staff  Erving Goffman was pioneer studying resocialization that occurs in total institutions. Book Asylums (1961) outlines 5 types of total institutions: o Institutions help people who are incapable of taking care of themself and are harmless(blind, orphaned) o Institution take care of people incapable looking after themselves and pose threat to community (mental hospitals) o Institution protect community from those who would do harm to it (prisons) o Institutions that perform instrumental tasks that require unique work arrangements (army) o Institutions that act as retreats from rest of world aand serve as locations for religious training (convents)  Total institutions defined by 3 important characteristics: administrative staff, controlled activity (schedules), formal rules/policies  Resocialization occurs in 2 distinct stages: existing identities stripped from them, resocialization process  Identities stripped: Modifications of the self- person’s existing identity is stripped; personal possessions taken away, no more daily schedule, wear uniforms, cut hair, have anxious feeling and low self-esteem  Resocialization process: build up inmates through a system of rewards and punishments, formation of new identity distinct from the one entered in the institution with  The development of a sense of self is a dynamic process that influences us each and every day of our lives Chapter 7: Social Inequality What is Social Stratification?(pg.163-164)  Social Stratification- A society’s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes  Social Class- A group of individuals sharing a position in a social hierarchy, based on both birth and achievement  Social Status- An individual’s position within the class structure  Social stratification based on a few key principles: o 1. All societies redistribute materials and social rewards to individuals (food, money)- those who do more receive more material wealth/recognition and people who offer more to society have more  Meritocracy- A system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated abilities; people achieve what they deserve o 2. System relatively stable over time; some movement between social classes (Social mobility- movement between social classes)- very few people are able to move out of the social class into which they were born  Intergenerational mobility- The comparison of adult children’s social class to that of their parents- how social mobility is measured  Intragenerational mobility- Status movement throughout one’s lifetime- also measuring social mobility  Social stratification has little relationship to skills or abilities o 3. Social stratification is present in all known human societies, but varies in how much it expresses itself  Canadian society- status based on how much $ we have; Northwest Coast- status based on how much $ given away  Canada-judge people (& status)how they make wealth( drug dealer vs. surgeon) o 4. Criteria by which societies recognize differences in wealth and prestige are considered fair by majority of the population What is Social Inequality?(pg.164-165)  Results from collective decisions about what is important in evaluating a person or a group  Inequality takes various forms: women paid less than men for same job; visible minority members less likely to be hired than majority; more educated people make more money  Results from system that ranks people from high to low on such objective criteria as gender and minority status- considered subjective because there’s no material influence on whether a person can actually perform a particular job- assessments supported by dominant ideology Classism(pg.165)  Classism- An ideology that suggests that people’s relative worth is at least partly determined by their social and economic status  Called the “ideology of competitive individualism”  Everyone in society starts out with the same chances of success- “American dream” (capitalistic ideology)  Belief that the wealthy deserve what they have and the poor are responsible for their failure o 2 perspectives that explain why people are poor: blaming the victim, and blaming the system Blaming the Victim(pg.165-166)  Blaming the Victim- A perspective that holds individuals responsible for the negative conditions in which they live  Widely accepted by the general population; often criticizing the poor for not helping themselves  Little to no evidence to support the assertion that social inequality is the result of individual attributes  Culture of Poverty- A fatalistic belief system held by the poor as an adaptation to systemic discrimination o Poor have different subcultural value systems than the larger American society and that these systems limit their ability and desire to escape their poverty o Poor feel marginalized, helpless, and inferior  Deferred gratification- The ability to forgo immediate pleasures in the interest of achieving greater rewards in the future- poor don’t appreciate this o Middle class-save $, study, work hard so they reap rewards later  Lewis argued that culture of poverty isn’t necessarily a bad thing; could represent an important cultural adaptation to systemic discrimination- consistent with Marxist critique of rich and powerful and their desire to keep the poor weak  Lewis’ approach less biased than other beliefs that simply view poor as lazy  Sociologists argue changing structural realities of being poor (better education and job training for the unemployed) will result in a decline of poverty over time Blaming the System(pg.166-167)  Blaming the System-A perspective that holds the systemic discrimination exists within the social system  Argues that the larger socio-economic system imposes certain restrictions on certain members of society  Deindustrialization- The transformation of an economy from one based on manufacturing to one based on services o Poor lack skills needed to compete for new,highly skilled jobs that replace industrial jobs o Creates poverty that is beyond the control of any individual o Community-based anti-poverty programs may be able to compensate for negative impacts of deindustrialization o Some believe social welfare programs encourage laziness, dependency, & poverty o Proportion of poor would have doubled if welfare programs had not been enhanced From Perception to Policy(pg.167-168)  Huber and Form found wealthy and middle class Americans saw themselves as deserving of their wealth and status- result of own abilities, skills, efforts  Poor were more likely to see their economic plight as being result of structural factors (unemployment rates, failure of society to provide adequate schooling, lack of opportunity)  Wealthy point of view: self-discipline used to accumulate capital and then use it effectively and intelligently to make income and wealth. The poor don’t want to assume responsibilities and obligations necessary to become rich. Poor lack ability to rise above their class situation. No lack of opportunity, but lack of ability.  Poor point of view: Rich stepped on other people’s toes to acquire what they got or they were born with it (through family). The lacked opportunity.  (Newman and Smith) If decision-makers believe poor people lack motivation then government should focus on reducing people’s dependence on subsidy for the poor, such as welfare. But if poverty is viewed as the result of structural barriers for the poor, then policy-makers should focus on increasing educational and occupational opportunities.  Classism is being challenged today, and awareness of class discrimination is improving  Educational levels rising in Canada, promotion of social change through technology Closed and Open Social Systems(pg.168)  Closed System- A social system in which status is based on attributes ascribed at birth (race, sex) o Attributes cannot be changed therefore little social mobility  Open System- A social system in which status is based on achieved attributes o Where you end up is where you deserve to be- own efforts and abilities can move you up or down in social backgrounds Closed System: Caste(pg.168-170)  Caste Systems- An ascribed system of hereditary class designation – allow no social mobility  Tremendous disparities in wealth, social status, and occupational prestige among castes  Usually emphasize a legitimating ideology, nearly always religious in character, to support and justify such differences  Person’s caste is a central component of who they are and determines virtually everything in their lives, including what they can wear, what jobs they can perform, and who they can marry  India infamous for having caste system in society, started early as 350 BCE, when varna system (colour) divided Indian society into 4 primary groups, broadly associated with the types of work its members performed: o Brahmin: teachers, doctors, and other scholars o Kshatriya: warriors and politicians o Vaishya: merchants and artists o Shudra: workers in the service occupations  Beneath the 4 primary castes are the Dalit (untouchables) who literally have no caste and name translates to “oppressed, downtrodden, and exploited” o Dalits perform most menial and despised tasks and are believed to pollute people of higher caste o If higher caste Hindi is touched by Dalit or crosses into one’s shadow, he or she is considered polluted and must go through rigorous cleaning rituals  Caste system not based on wealth it is hereditary); only way people can change their cast is through reincarnation- the belief, associated with Eastern religions, that one’s essence does not die and instead is reborn in another form  Indian Constitution of 1950 abolished caste system; instituted various affirmative action policies to provide lower castes with access to government jobs, higher education, and politics; however, caste system continues in India  Some movement towards equality within cities, but many rural areas follow caste system- lower castes still discriminated while upper castes enjoy social privilege  Japan also has caste system  Group known as Burakumin (people of the village) similar to Dalit in India.  Burakumin are descendants of outcast communities of Japanese feudal era; they held occupations that were considered impure (burying humans) or non-human (beggar) and traditionally lived in isolated hamlets and ghettos. o In 1871 Burakumin were legally liberated and government abolished caste system; did not improve social standing/ decrease level of discrimination o Continue to be disadvantageous today; stereotypes permeate workplaces, schools  Closed caste systems continue to exist even when governments abolish them  Societies become more open as they move from preindustrial to industrial and finally to post- industrial economies o Reason for shift is modern production techniques require more highly educated workforce- as levels of education increase, so does recognition of inequalities of class- based systems- often inspires the disadvantageous to become more politically active as means of achieving greater equality Open Systems: Class(pg.170)  Class Structure- A society’s economic hierarchy that categorizes groups of people based on their socio-economic status  Socio-economic status (SES)- Social position based on income, occupational prestige, and education- must look at all 3 factors together Property and Occupational Prestige: Two Components of Inequality(pg.170) Property(pg.170-171)  Divide property into two general categories: income and wealth  Income- money received annually from all sources  Wealth- net accumulated assets, including homes, land, and stocks  Income is what you earn, wealth is what you have  Quintile- a measure that divides population into five categories, each representing 20% o Median net worth of Canada’s richest families increased by 19% ($551 000) while net worth of the poorest Canadians fell by 43% Occupational Prestige(pg.171)  occupation helps determine class position and how we interact with people  Occupations dominated by women or visible minorities tend to be poorly paid and less prestigious  Gender differences in Canadian occupational prestige are declining over time  Occupations highly rated generally require university education, provide a great deal of independence and autonomy, and depend on sound decision-making and abstract reasoning skills Sociological Approaches to Social Stratification(pg.171) Functionalism(pg.171-173)  Kingsley Davis (1908-1997) and Wilbert Moore (1941-1987) Davis-Moore thesis- The theory that social stratification is functional for society because it ensures that key social positions are held by the most capable people – individuals fill certain social positions and the desire to complete their duties and responsibilities  In order to attract most capable and skilled people into important and demanding occupations, the rewards(money, prestige) must be high enough to compensate them for their time/effort  The thesis criticized on a number of fronts: o 1. One of the rewards that social elites receive is the ability to help their children assume the same social benefits they have- children maintain upper status independent of their own strengths/weaknesses o 2. Even in modern, open, class-based societies, there is substantial discrimination of who is eligible to assume elite positions (gender, minority status) o 3. Capitalist economy determines the salary of a given occupation not on the basis of the work’s value but rather through market forces (teachers paid less than athletes) o 4. Social inequality is extreme. Senior executives can earn 100’s of millions of dollars/year and athletes can earn tens of million, but 11.7% of Canadian children live in poverty; inequality between rich and poor. Davis-Moore theory ignores the power of the social elite and the negative impacts on the poor and the lower classes. Conflict Theory(pg.173-175)  Society that contains social classes is simply a manifestation of competition between those who have social power and those who do not ; Marx and Weber differ on why social stratification occurs and whether it is inevitable  Karl Marx- believed class struggle was the most important inspiration behind the historical transformation of societies. o Social stratification is a mechanism that institutionalizes inequality and promotes social stability over time; class inequality is neither desirable nor inevitable. o All of social life is influenced by how people interact during the process of economic production. Class structure of owners (bourgeoisie) and workers (proletariat) emerged. Argued that interests of these two social classes are incompatible. o Bourgeoisie are motivated to maintain control over society so they can accumulate as much profit as possible o Proletariat try to get as much money for their labour as they can – only way hope to improve their position is by overcoming their false perception of class consciousness and overthrowing the bourgeoisie; but bourgeoisie control proletariat through state machinery (prison, police, military) o Social stratification is the embodiment of class conflict and is inevitable in capitalist economies that require exploitation of the working classes  Max Weber- agreed with Marx’s conclusion that capitalism led to class conflict, but also appreciates the multi-dimensional nature of social class, inequality, and role of cultural values o The classless society is not inevitable and social stratification is at some level unavoidable and necessary o Agreed with Marx that modern society is divided into economic classes and that the ownership of property is important for gaining influence Other sources of influence: class, status groups, and party o Class- class differences are largely based on economic inequality; economic class was relatively unimportant, given that most people lack class consciousness and are therefore unlikely to challenge the status quo  Status Group- A group of people who share similar social status, lifestyles, world views, occupations, and standards of living; o based on ethnicity include: First Nations, Asians, blacks, Ukrainians o based on religious beliefs include: Jews, Muslims, Catholics o based on occupation include: manual labourers, academics, dentists  (Lindsey and Beach) people are more likely to act collectively as part of status group than economic class- beyond family/friends, we are more connected to those we share experiences  Party- organizations that attempt to achieve certain goals in a planned and logical manner; associations of people that have the power to influence social action and change (NGO’s)  Power- the ability to make others do something they would not otherwise do ; generally originates with the possession of wealth and privilege  Workers who lack economic power and status can still exert tremendous amount of power because they have the authority to make important decisions  3 distinct systems of stratification are at work (class, status, power), there exists possibility of Status inconsistency- occurs when as individual occupies several differently ranked statuses at the same time (drug deal- lot’s of $ and big house but little social prestige)  Social stratification and inequality are not the same thing, but instead a combination of many factors Symbolic Interactionism(pg.175-176)  how class affects patterns of everyday life; how people use/respond to status symbols  Status Symbols- Material indicators that demonstrate a person’s social and economic position  Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) concept of Conspicuous consumption- the purchase of expensive goods simply because they are valuable, not because there is any innate satisfaction in them o In Theory of the Leisure Class (1899/1979)Veblen developed 2 key concepts to show how people communicate social wealth to others: conspicuous leisure and conspicuous waste o Conspicuous leisure- the demonstration of one’s high social status through forms of leisure o Conspicuous waste- the disposal of valuable goods to demonstrate wealth (eg.giving tip) o People want to be seen as living one class stratum above where they actually live  (Scott) Credit cards changed people’s ability to reach, or appear to reach, next higher level; conspicuous consumption more prevalent today since credit cards allow people to purchase things they may not be able to afford or justify if they had to pay cash for them  Material objects (houses, clothes) still indicators of social class  Non-material indicators of social class include an individual’s accent  Working class-> name goes on shirt, middle class -> name goes on office door, upper class -> name goes on company  We seek to appear as belonging to a higher social class than our actual one; we constantly define and reconstruct impressions of ourselves and others Feminist Theory(pg.176-178)  The dominant (male) perspective permeates our society’s evaluation of what is deemed to be valuable and important  2 lines of investigation: o 1. Recognizing the working lives of women within capitalism o 2. Investigating the role of class position in determining one’s views of the world  Double ghetto- A situation in which women who have full-time jobs outside the home often work another “shift” when they get home  Regardless of class men maintain superior social position over women because they own most of the social wealth  Feminists view classes as one of the primary locations for struggle within society; the production of social reality (one individual’s perspective of the world) is influenced by one’s class  Women’s class position lead’s low-income women to prefer more collective, egalitarian, and participatory approaches to life than women from higher classes  View consistent with Standpoint perspective  View chart on page 178 The Canadian Class System(pg.178-179)  Erik Olin Wright (1996) focuses on 3 important forms of social control: o 1. Economic ownership that entails real control over economic surplus o 2. Command of the physical means of economic production (e.g. owning/supervising the control of machines) o 3. Supervisory control over the workers  The bourgeoisie have all 3 forms of control while proletariat have none; petit bourgeoisie have some of the first 2 forms of control but no supervisory control over workers  Forms of control correspond to 3 distinct classes: bourgeoisie, petit bourgeoisie, and proletariat  Two
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