soc244- lc - nov 22 2011
Social class- the distinctions of clothing speech, level of education are superficial - what
makes a significance differences is your means to the mode of production - the
relationship the means of production this determines social class.
As capitalism matures as a system - the rate of exploitation enhanced impoverishment.
Weber - class had to do with a plurality of people - that have a very similar market
position - and similar set of opportunities. it was made of three components: property,
power and prestige. class determines ppl standing in society -ownership is not a
significant factor for Weber. Class is made up of different ways in which property skills
come together. It is rooted in economic market distinctions.
Power has to do with poeple who have the ability to control and influence other people.
- they have to have a means over production and also have to have a charismatic
personality. Weber its a bunch of things, but for marx its only a singular thing.
-our positioning within the social heriearchy has a profound influence on our life - takes
the choices that we have and that our children have - social location is very significant.
Functionalists: all societies are comprised of different levels - and this is a functional
necessity for this kind of structure - awards and contributions become art of that
hierarchy - all societies have to ensure that the right people take up the right positions.
- and you have to offer them an amount of reward in order for them to take up these
positions. -Functional Necessity. Davis & Moore.
Problems with this type of thinking:1: how do we determine its a functional importance
of a particular position ? who decides what position is more important then other ?
2: if stratification worked as they described it would be called meritocracy - he says about
ability should determine who goes to university and who doesn't. But research says that
the more a family earns the more likely that children are able to go to university.
Also he says that people are motivated because of rewards. 3: Problem: not everyone is
motivated by money and we don't choose our occupations based on income only. People
are motivated by more then just money.
4: if social stratification then everyone should benefit - but it is very dysfunctional !! ** it
is a system that is highly dysfunctional for many - for thousands of man and women.
- Relative poverty - has to do with your income relative to the community that you are
living in the particular historical movement. * part of a subjective component and it
changes on the economic conditions but Absolute poverty - where you are just getting by
day to day.
Objective poverty and subjective poverty : subjective - the way you feel as university
student you may not be making enough money so you may feel like your poor but it is
part of your own opnions but objective: such organizations such as united way - come up
with how to define these types of poeple and refer to them as being poor.
Low Income Cut - Off
- fluctuates depending on where your living. New poverty : did not rise and fall with the buisness cycle :(slide) - poor poeple are seen
as social failures if you work hard enough - you think that you are going to over come
- the myth: that poverty is extensive - this social welfare.
myth: poverty is relatively new phenomenon.
Reading from textbook: look at peoples expeinces during teh great depression - it follow
the collapse of the stock exchange october 1929 - many during the great depression they
lost completly everythign the govt only reached 20% of the population and many fmailies
were left out - and even those that were part of the 20% were very poor and families
went into mortage and had homes reposessed - poeple just left their homes and farms in
hopes of finding a better life it was very difficult - and we see these similar patterns
eemrge as we are currently sitting in a depression. This was referred to as athe old
Poverty - the 1930s - traditional poverty - it tended to follow the buisness cycle - when
times are good when they are good jobs - poverty rates were low and homelessness was
low. Old Poverty impacted elderly poeple adn the disabled. - policies that were developed
were targeted in creating jobs. - so that they could bring in a small amount of money and
support thier families.
- prior to the second world war- there were govt pension plans - but they were very
meager - so these types of supports were not very existent.
NEw poverty is very different from old Poverty: it does not follow the traiditional cycle -
rates keep going up regardless of the buisness cycle - so poverty rates stayed the same or
go up regardless if we are living in a good economic time or not .
the 80s and 90 -s - were seen as inpoverty depiste the economic growth - new poverty
affects women, single parents, proportionally affects young poeple.
- young people are facing very hard times becuase of the lack of jobs that are avaialbe.
there is also a rise of underemplyoed - who might be overwhmled with child care duties -
new immigrant fmailies - who cannot get jobs based on their skill levels - so different
tpyes of families falling into family.
- young poeple in particular are affected.**
Structural causes of Poverty (slide)
- the loss of manufacture jobs.
- many small towns - industrliazed jobs moving out - imapcts the family.
- loss of many factoring jobs - service sector work lost.
- manfacture job. With the rise of the serivce sector you have more worse jobs -
incrasingly work that is precarious work.
Peroanl causes of povertY: single parenting, looking at the rise of female parents in
households, 60% of households headed for divorce, single parenting.
- very little room to maneurve for a single mom recieving assistance.
- disablitiy and ill heath - invidaiusl who are not employable
Distinction: a social critique: (slide)
- interviwed 1200 indiviauls - from small provincial town - and gives think dense
description of the tastes and preferneces of poeple from different class.
- he writes relationship between social original, & etc. if poeple learn to consume culture
- taste is one of the key elements of social identity.
- and it is the determinates of social class - indidvuals anf families unconsciously and
consciously - position within that class through consumption, tastes and classes.
Capital - symbolic cultural, symbolic - based on taste, social - who your parents know
who you know, and based on education.
Each class has a different culmination of cultural goods and of capital