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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Chapter 7- Social Stratification
Some Principles of Stratification- Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore. Response by Melvin
Stratification is a functional necessity. Occurs because some social positions are more important
to social system than others and such, some are values and rewarded differently.
Tumin suggests that social stratification may be dysfunctional for society.
Stratification-precisely requirement faced by any society of placing and motivating individuals in
social structure.
Rewards are built into position. Rights associated with position called accompaniments or
perquisites-related to duties of position.
The most important tasks in a society will be performed conscientiously by the most competent
Lecture Notes:
Big Three of Stratification- access to valued resources.
1) Wealth
2) Prestige
3) Power
Generally have 2 or 3 of them but usually we have 1.
Judges, lawyers, and Quebec notaries make the most income In 2005 $99 305 median. Followed
by specialist managers, professional occupations in health.
Strata- class
Traditional Society- immobile. Modern Society- mobile (able to move in hierarchy)
Why do people make different incomes?
Different occupations. Aka complex division of labour/ social differentiation
Modern society more differentiated, 3500 occupations. Become established over time,
explanation of income- natural talent, effort, and level of income.
Mosca (1896)- studied social elites. “The Ruling Class- inequality is inevitable bc of politics. It
coordinates the society. Politics- causes/establishes inequality of opportunities and power.
Coordinated/interact- what goals we should strive for.
Feathering your own rest- look after themselves.
Michel- idea to explain inequality called Iron Law of Oligarchy- dictation of group of people
running society, putting money in their own pockets.
Pareto- people are self interested, applies to business, politics, and students in school. Ex.
Maximize your interest by going to school (and talents).
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Mosca called Pareto, cynic- pessimistic view.
Explanations of Income Inequality-
Factors in economic success:
a)Degree of natural talent
b) Degree of effort
c)Level of education
Social Capital- peoples networks or connections.
Cultural Capital- learning and skills that increase chance of securing a superior job.
Importance of education affects economic success, stressed by human capital theory.
Human Capital- sum of useful skills and knowledge than a person has.
Link between schooling and income levels.
Distribution of Total Market Income among Families in 1951- 2005.
Class system has stayed the same since 1951- of top to bottom (lower class) 5 ranks. And income
has stayed the same. Although income of families has increased from $25 000 to $75 000 over
the years. This shows how unequal wealth is divided.
Social Mobility- refers to dynamics of system of inequality. Movement of up or down in
stratification system.
Movement is reflected upon:
a)Intragenerational mobility- comparing first job with current one. During a persons
lifetime ex) leave highschool then go to work in a factory for 5 years (semi skilled worker)
become atomic physicist.
b) Intergenerational mobility- comparing occupations of parents with their kids jobs.
c)Upward intra(within) mobility- removes talented people from the underclass such as
young people called co optation. Long been practiced by elite people with power and
authority to keep political discontent under control.
Mobility studies- examine how people move up and how others move down.
Social stratification- the way society is organized in layers or strata. Way of ranking people eg)
kids at school know which kids are poor.
Ascription based stratification system- what rank you have depends on characteristics a person is
born with. Mentorship to a demo-group (demographic).
Achievement based stratification system- what rank depends on persons accomplishments.
Caste System- almost pure ascription based stratification system in which occupations and
marriage partners are assigned on basis of caste membership (group you belong to, ex religion).
Family isnt completely altruistic, self interest.
Left wing thinkers- think equality can be achieved.
Communism/socialism- focus on equality.
Soviet Union/East societies- foster equality more than capitalist society.
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