Sociology Exam Notes PDF.pdf

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24 Apr 2013
Social Stratification
November 7 and 14, 2012
Chapter 6
capitalism as a virtue
shipwreck as a literary devce
structure of society causes inequality
titanic: class difference = life or death
contradictory theme: we learn under some circumstances,
class differences could not be important at all
sinking of the titanic give the lovers to cross class lines
at one levee, titanic is an optimistic tale
is social stratification necessary?
The Functional Theory of Stratification
some jobs are more important than others
jobs that are more important require more training and
to motivate talented people to undergo training and sacrifice,
high rewards must be offered
therefore, stratification is necessary; it performs a useful
Davis and Moore
judge vs. janitor
they said being a judge is more important because a judge
can contribute more to society
make sure the people who make up bigger sacrifice have a
bigger reward
most talented individuals make it to the best occupation in
motivate people to get the best jobs
functional an important
serves important, valuable purposes
Attack of the Class-Specific Killer Virus
Case 1
physicians on top earn more, farmers on the bottom make
virus comes, kills all doctors
more people die because there are no one to care for the ill
society however can continue because they can continue to
Case 2
same society, physicians on top and farmers on the bottom
virus come, kills all farmers
physicians cannot become farmers because they ail die
without the farmers there is no society
in a very real sense in terms of life or death, framers are
more important physicians
why do physicians get paid so much more?
historically if we look at societies, we wouldn't have judges,
doctors, professors, without the labour that was done
the most important people in society were the ones Davis
and Moore said were the most unimportant
Criticisms of the Functional Theory of Stratification
the question of which occupations are more important is far
from clear
the functional theory ignores the pool of talent that lies
unused because of inequality
the functional theory fails to examine how advantages and
disadvantages are passed from generation to generation
some people cannot afford university, perfectly capable
students that cannot take the opportunity - BECAUSE of
in a position that cannot take advantage the opportunity to go
to school
in North American, 2/3 of all wealth and assets - rich and
poor - comes from inheritance
does it make sense to say inequality exist because of talent
when we talk about inheritance?
disadvantages: if you lack a higher education, you are
unlikely to give your kids the environment and the
background to do it
a lot of what we have is not ours by efforts, it is our by
inheritance (true for the good and bad)
Marx's Theory of Stratification
the ability of capitalists to hire and fire wage workers at first
encouraged rapid technological change and economic
the drive for profits also caused capitalist to concentrate
many workers, keep wages low, and spend little on improving
working conditions
the result: class polarization, the growth of class
consciousness and working-class organizations and a
growing demand on the part of workers to end capitalist
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because capitalism could produce more than workers could
consume, ever-worsening crises of overproduction would
result in the fall of capitalism
social inequality is not necessary
fall of the Roman Empire
relationship to the means of production
Ex. Ancient Times
the rise of Islam put a stop to a lot of trade
tolerant regime in African and southern Spain
Roman Empire became susceptible to attack by barbarians
needed security
they established a contractual relationship between certain
members of aristocracy and themselves
you have land, we need protection
we will work your land and give you or sell a part of what we
make, in exhale for protection
become legally bound to the land
feudalism: contractual relationship between peasants and
by the 1400's there were a number of forces that cause this
system to weaken and collapse
soot-war: cancer
industrial working class: Scotsman in their families were
kicked off their land and forced to the city, legally free
no contract to work for anyone
class consciousness
shrinking class of capitalist
bankrupt, fall to working class status
Critique of Marx's Theory of Stratification
industrial societies did not polarize into two opposed classes
engaged in inter conflict
capitalism persisted by stimulating demand
investment in technology made it possible for workers to earn
higher wages and word fewer hours in better conditions
workers fought for, and won, state benefits
communism took root in semi-industrialized countries and
witnessed the mere emergence of totalitarianism and new
forms of privilege
Point 2: first seen in the Great Depression, people doing work under
for which they were trained
- Kaynes: the government should borrow money and pay people to
dig holes into the ground, and then pay them to fill the holes back up
- if people were paid for useless taks, it increases demand for
commodities and therefore increase employment because goods are
once again being demanded because people have money
- government can intervene in the economy to artificially stimulate
demand to ensure the crisis of overproduction to end one quickly, one
way which capitalism existed
Point 3: never realized how quickly and efficiently technological
improvement would be implemented to pay orders higher wages and
make wiring conditions better while increasing production
Point 4: employment insurance, welfare payments, all of these
benefits were won while those who were fighting were going on
strikes, they didn't just get bettwe wages, they got state benefits too.
This helps to calm workers down and make them less radical
Point 5: in these countries, rather than becoming democratic, more
forms of privilege and totalitarian developed, didn't quite look like the
privilege that existed in capitalist societies. Non-monetary class
based system. Workers in the West became aware of this and a lot of
workers became turned off by socialist ideas in the Soviet Union and
Weber's Theory of Stratification
class position is determined by "market situation": the
possessions of goods, opportunities for income, level of
education, and level of technical skill
the four main cases: large property owners, small property
owners (small business, more numerous), propertyless but
highly educate employees (highly numerous and growing),
and propertyless manual workers
status groups (distinguished by differences in prestige) and
parties (distinguished by differences in power) also stratify
the social order, to some degree independently of class
class conflict may occur but classlessness is unlikely
apart from classes, we have statuses that are marred by
difference in prestige
low education or income
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low prestige
presitge and income are only correlated
different dimensions of stratification that world independently
different kinds of organization
with access to these different kinds, you have a third
dimension and power
if we want to understand inequality of society, we need a
different picture about how the world is stratified
Three Pillars of Stratification
based on market position, prestige, and power
more rewards for categories in which there are fewer people
might be possible for people or members of a particular
group to gain control of a political party that redistributes job
opportunity and incomes through taxation to make the level
of inequality
implication is that we determine how much inequality exists in
society through political process
There is nothing inevitable about the level of social
stratification. We are neither deeded inexorably toward
classlessness nor are we bound to endure high levels of
the level of social stratification depends on the complex
interplay of class, status, and party and their effect of social
For example, in a democracy, citizens decide which party is
in office, and the political party in office enacts policies that
have implication for social mobility we decide how much
inequality there should be
hyper inflation
people in Statistic Canada do a monthly survey of consumer
consumer price index: the amount it takes to buy a god and
the price changes over time
real dollars: nominal dollars minus inflation
Inflation and Real Dollars
inflation: the increase over time in the cost of a standard
basket of goods and services
- year 1: a typical baskets of goods and services costs $100
- year 2: a typical baskets of goods and services cost $105
Therefore, the annual inflation rate = 5%; $105 year 2 dollars = $100
year 1 dollars
- how much are $100 year2 dollars worth in year 1 dollars (i.e. what
is he real value of purchasing power of year2 dollars using year 1 as
a base)?
- the real value of $100 year 2 dollars is $95.24 year2 dollars
x + 0.5x = 100
1.05x = 100
x = 100/1.05
x= 95.24
check: $95.24 + 5% = $100
TEST QUESTION: The inflation rate between year 1 and 2 is 3%.
The inflation between year 2 and year 3 is 4%. What are $1000 year
3 dollars in year 1 dollars?
Year 3 -> Year 2
x + 0.4x = 1000
1.04x = 1000
x = 1000/1.04
x = 961.54
Year 2 -> Year 1
x + 0.3x = 961.54
1.03x = 961.54
x = 961.54/1.03
x = $933.53
Share of Income by Canada's Top 1% 1920 - 2007
government of Canada was redistributed income in such a
war that the top 1% were taxed and that money was
redistributed to the poor
then there was a reversal
Canada is becoming a more unequal country
in relative terms, the poorer are becoming poorer
wealth: assets you accumulate over time
Taxes and Transfers Redistribute Family Income
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