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Midterm #2 Review notes and key terms for chapters 10 - 21

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Suzanne Casimiro

Chapter 10 Social StratificationSocial stratification is a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy It is based on four principlesSocial stratification is a trait of society not simply a reflection of individual differencesSocial stratification carries over from generation to generationa Social mobilitychange in position within the social hierarchySocial stratification is universal but variable what is unequal and how unequal it is varies from one society to anotherSocial stratification involves not just inequality but beliefs as well Caste and Class SystemsClosed systems allow for little change in social positionOpen systems permit much more social mobilityThe caste system is closed common of agrarian societies while the class system is more open common in modern industrial and postindustrial societies The caste system is social stratification based on ascription or birth From birth a caste system determines the direction of a persons life In India the caste system works like thisFirst with the exception of farming which is open to everyone families in each caste perform one type of workSecond a caste system demand that people marry others with the same rankingThird caste guides everyday life by keeping people in the company of their own kindFourth case systems rest on powerful cultural beliefs The class system is social stratification based on both birth and individual achievementMeritocracy refers to social stratification based on personal knowledge abilities and effort Status consistency the degree of consistency in a persons social standing across various dimensions of social inequality The mix of caste and meritocracy in class systems in well illustrated by the United Kingdom In the middle ages England has a castelike aristocracyhighest class in society which included leading members of the church and hereditary nobility royalty The majority of men and women were commoners who had little schooling and were illiterateTodays British class system mixes caste and meritocracy producing a highly stratified society with some social mobility Social stratification in Japan also mixes caste and meritocracy In middle ages Japan had a rigid caste system in which an imperial family ruled over nobles and commoners Todays Japanese class system still places great importance on family background and traditional gender roles The lines between social classes are unclear and people constant move between classesRussia claims itself to be a classless society Although the Russian Revolution in 1917 attempted to abolish social classes the new Soviet Union was still stratified based on unequal job categories and the centration of power in the new political elite Economic development created new types of jobs which resulted in structural social mobility a shift in social position of large numbers of people owing more to changes in society itself than to individual effortsSince the collapse of Soviet Union in the early 1990s the forces of structural social mobility have turned downward and the gap between rich and poor has increased China Economic reforms introduced after the communist revolution in 1949 including state control of factories and productive property greatly reduced economic inequality although social differences remained In the last 30 years Chinas government has loosened control of the economy causing an emergence of a new class of business owners and an increase in economic inequality Ideology Cultural beliefs that justify particular social arrangements including patterns on inequalityThe Structural Functional Approach Points to ways that social stratification helps society operateThe DavisMoore Thesis states that social stratification has beneficial consequences for the operation of a society In caste systems people are rewarded for performing the duties of their position at birth In class systems unequal rewards attract the ablest people to the most important jobs and encourage effort Level of analysis Macro LevelIn this approach stratification is a system of unequal rewards that benefits society as a whole Social position reflects personal talents and abilities in a competitive economyUnequal rewards boost economic production as people are encouraged to work harderThe SocialConflict ApproachClaims that stratification divides societies in classes benefiting some categories of people at the expense of others which causes social conflictKarl Marx claimed that capitalism places economic production under the ownership of capitalists who exploit the proletarians who sell their labor for wagesMax Weber identified three distinct dimensions of social stratification economic class social status and power Conflicts exists between people at various positions on a multidimensional hierarchy of socioeconomic status a composite ranking basedon various dimensions of social inequalityLevel of analysis Macro levelIn this approach stratification is a division of societys resources that benefits some and harms others Social position reflects the way in which society divides resourcesUnequal rewards serve only to divide society creating haves There is widespread opposition to social inequality Bluecollar jobs lowerprestige jobs that involve mostly manual labor Whitecollar jobs higher prestige jobs that involve mostly mental activityThe SymbolicInteraction ApproachLevel of Analysis Micro LevelExplains that we size up people by looking for clues to their social standingConspicuous consumptionbuying and using products because of the statements they make about social position People tend to social with people who have a social standing similar to their own In this approach stratification is a factor that guides peoples interaction in everyday lifePeople may or may not define inequality as fair People may view their social position as a measure of selfworth justifying inequality in terms of personal differencesStratification and TechnologyGerhard Lenski explains that advancing technology initially increases social stratification which is most intense in agrarian societiesHuntersGathererspeople produce what is necessary for day to day living sharing what they haveHorticultural pastoral and agrarian societies small elite controls the surplusIndustrial societies meritocracy takes hold and weakens power of the elites social stratification is reducedPostindustrial Social stratification increases againStratification Facts and ValuesPeoples beliefs about social inequality reflect not just facts but also politics and values concerning hw a society should be organized Chapter 11 Social Classes in CanadaSocial Stratification involves many dimensionsIncome occupational wages or salaries earning from investments and governments payments Earnings from work and investments are unequal with the richest 20 of families earning eight times as much as the poorest 20 of families Wealth the total amount of money and other assets minus outstanding debts Wealth is distributed more unequally than income with the richest 20 of families holding 85 of all wealthPower income and wealth assets such as stock or real estate are important sources of power Occupation prestige Major determinant of wealth income wealth and power It also serves as a key source of social prestige since we evaluate one according to what work they do Whitecollar jobs generally offer more income and prestige than bluecollar jobs Women and visible minorities perform many lowerprestige jobs Schooling Schooling affects both income and occupation greater with people with high school diplomas earning almost half of what people with university degrees do Merit and Caste
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