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Week 3 – Lecture Study Notes.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC220H1
Professor
Josh Curtis
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 3 – Lecture Study Notes Poverty line – what a family must spend for a “basic” standard of living • Many people move in and out of poverty in a year’s time Socioeconomic Status – Variables that characterize the placement of persons, families, households, census  tracts, or other aggregates with respect to the capacity to create of consume good in society Targeting Social Policy: (vertical integration) • We can eradicate inequality if we focus on certain groups in need • Cheaper (resources aren’t ‘wasted’) • Lower expenditures = lower taxes Critique of targeting: • High administrative costs (monitoring trends and needs) • Subject to higher ‘non­take up’ (stigmatization) • Give rise to ‘poverty traps’ (recipients have little incentive to change because benefits would be  lost • The impact tends to be smaller – targeted societies have lower tax= less resources • Selective system creates class conflict between the least well off and the middle (misguided  conflict) Why do Welfare States Persist? • People want the government to spend (or not spend) on policy • Social policy responsiveness – elected officials have an incentive to incorporate policy preference  in order to reduce electoral losses and reduce possibility of public protest/disobedience Economic conditions matter • Changes in economic development and income inequality lead to significant class differences in  public opinion Marx  •
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