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SOC102 Test 1 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Lorne Tepperman

Status inconsistency has consequences for social action that we cannot predict from socalled dimensions of status alone Intersectionality of inequalities make it hard to predict effects of inequalityHarder for disadvantaged people to share a common identity and band together Societies with the widest variety and intensity of inequalities are most likely to display clear and longlasting patterns we call habits of inequality All types of social inequality display similar patterns or cultural habits that include the followingSocial differentiationPractice of identifying different kinds of people Transformation of natural differences into socially important differences and inequalitiesNarratives of blameSocially constructed accounts that attach social or moral qualities to different groups to explain why the inequalityPractices of oppressionVariety of economic and noneconomic behaviours that include exploitation exclusion etcNarratives of validationSocially constructed accounts that attach different social and moral qualities to groups in society as a response to narratives of blameStrategies of resistanceCollective social action that combat practices of oppression reduce inequalityContinuing struggle between narratives of blame and narratives of validation and between practices of oppression and strategies of resistanceOne form of inequality may influence and energize the struggle over another formJust World Theory use psychological strategies to make the world seem less threatening Lerner and SimmonsIgnore the obvious or make up stories to shift the blame or rationalize the situation in order to understand their suffering Blame those who will not or cannot changeBlame the unfamiliarAll victims are blamed similarlyBlamingeven self blaming increases with inequalitySocial inequality is the opposite of social justiceThere are four kinds of social justiceEquity or fair exchangethe equivalence of outputs to inputs for all the parties in an exchangeDistributive justicefair allocation of resources rights and obligations across an entire category of contendersProcedural justicefair procedures will always be followed in making allocative decisionsJust compensationequality is the default position unless inequality will serve to improve the position of the already disadvantaged affirmative action John Rawls difference principleEquality means rewarding people according to meritWhat constitutes meritWhich qualities of individuals can we justly reward What is fairest way to allocate scarce resourcesDemocratic equality treat all the sameMoralistic justice reward biggest effortWeak humane justice reward most economically disadvantagedStrong humane justice reward all disadvantagedUtilitarism reward fastest learners Functional theory of stratificationNeeded skills are scarce because talent is rare and training is costlyScarcity of skills means society will have to induce or persuade people to trainInequality benefits all of society inequality leads to the survival of societyProblemsIgnores the inheritance of wealth and statusIgnores disagreement about societys most important rolesFailures to explain why leading figures in organized crime sports or entertainment receive high wages and great social prominence Social Problemsocial condition or pattern of behaviour that is believed to warrant public concern and collective actionFormulation of social problems is influenced both by changes in measurable reality and by changes in our perceptions of measurable realityDefine a social problem as both a conditionan empirically observed condition that threatens the wellbeing of a significant part of societyand a processthe sequence of events by which members of society come to see a condition as a social problemObjective elementsmeasurable features of a negative social conditionSuch a condition might include crime poverty or alcohol abuse and can be considered an objective realityCan study cause and effectsSystematic measurements show the condition exists and that it harms peopleSubjective elementspeoples evaluations of objective conditions and the processes that influence their evaluationsThey include the moral labels that people apply to particular acts or situations and the accounts they give for these acts and situationMoral labels wrong immoral sick or aesthetic judgments that reflect peoples beliefs and tastes Beliefs become Social reality in their own rightSociological imaginationA term used by sociologist C Wright Mills in his 1959 book The Sociological Imagination that describes the sociologists ability to connect seemingly impersonal and remote historical forces to the most basic incidents of an individuals lifeThe sociological imagination enables people to distinguish between personal troubles and public issuesKnowledge can be power if individuals choose to act on it Methods of studyMicrosociology microlevel analysis focuses on interactions between individuals in small groupsStudies peoples understanding and experience of social problems at the local personal levelMacrosociology macrolevel analysis focuses on the societal levelExplores the ways that social trends occurring within major bureaucratic organizations and social institutions such as the economy or government affect the population as a whole Approach to sociologyTraditional scientific mannerpurely objective positivistic approach
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