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SOC 281 test prep.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Bonnie Erickson

SOC281 Study Guide Compare and contrast a the impact of class on culture with b the impact of age and generation on cultureThe similarities between the impact of class on culture and the impact of age and generation on culture are that they produce stratificationsClass position can be defined as the common location certain individuals hold in the economic and power structure of a given societySocial locations can be intersected with physical appearance which is a source of ageism O In class structure Bourdieu would classify economic capital priority However attractiveness could be a boundary for whether you have the ability to attain such economic capital or notWhen it comes to age in North American culture there is a cult of youth that favors young over old and that suggests being young is to be vibrant happy and energetic whereas to be old is to be tired unattractive and grim o these cultural views do not take away from the status and power of the middle aged however they are detrimental to older adults o Just like dominant groups can define their culture as superior those of middleage attractiveness can also define their culture as superior as well o Age structure serves the interest of dominant social classes o Power does not seem to be derived from relations between age groups but rather from relations between classes o they too can use attractiveness to legitimate their superior positions with greater life chances The reason why ageism based on physical appearance occurs is very much related to power relations because attractiveness matters o For example women are considered as old earlier in their lives because their value is based on their attractiveness to men and their reproductive abilities Women age more quickly than men in workplaces where they deal with money power and public achievement This is especially true if they work jobs that deal with the public or working for predominantly white male supervisors1 o whereas for men attractiveness stems from other sources Sometimes age can enhance a mans attractiveness especially if associated with public achievement money and powerNote that these issues are shaped differently in different societies Youthfulness in Finland and attractiveness in Finland is not as important for women as they are in the USClass plays an important role in another way as well Through economic resources lass can play a critical role in denying or providing resources that allow the old to choose the ways in which they will manage growing old o Remodeling and stalling an adding body is expensive and time consuming hence beyond the reach of the workingclass or poor o just like within class structure if you have more money you have more choices For instance the more money you have the more choice and freedom you have to get a face lift If you are at the bottom of the level you get the most grief o However if you look at the situation on the basis of diversity and you are more diverse ie having grey hair wrinkles there tends to be less life chances in Western culture However those with more diverse sets of culture in class structure like both high and lowbrow culture you have a higher chance of advancing in your social or economic situationHagar Shipley recognizes that certain privileges in society are distributed on the basis of age o Distinctions are made between the old the middleaged and the young o observes a connection between the young and the old because of their relationships to the more privileged middle onesThere are also more privileges and more social solidarity for people at the with higher class status than those are the bottom These people tend to be in the middle class However you cannot discount those who are older The privileges that are distributed on the basis of age relations extend toin North America o status and power and wage scales are established for teenagers not on the basis of their maturity intellectual ability but by their chronological age2People and roles are differentiated by an age structure the elements of which are age strata agerelated acts age structure of roles and agerelated expectations and sanctionsMoore and Lowe shows the importance individuals assign to age norms in determining appropriate behavior is a function of the age of the respondent o For example older adults tend to hold stronger convictions about age norms than those younger than them o however some argue that boundaries between culturally specified age categories are becoming increasingly blurred as active lifestyles and related consumer products are being marketed to the aging baby boomers O the usefulness of this conceptualization comes from the idea that age distinctions are fundamental in our society and that they influence patterns of resource distribution for the youth the middleaged and the old The fundamental processes in age stratification theory are cohort flow individual aging allocation and socialization o Allocation and socialization are the processes that intervene between the social structures relating to people and those relating to roles Like social networks in class structure cohorts play a crucial part in further stratification Cohort centrism is a term that refers to the error of assuming that older cohorts age in the same way as ones one o Age tends to be treated in static rather than dynamic terms Hence most literature on the cultural meanings that individuals attribute to age casts doubt on the assumption that there are clearly defined age norms for different age strataHowever in the class structure some people are mobile upward or downwardCohort differences in education have strengthened the age stratification system o for example baby boomers started their lives early after WWII Therefore the majority did not enter postsecondary education instead they had families When their children grew up economic times were a lot different Postsecondary education became more important thus the increasing levels of education and better jobs Not to mention the time of industrialization and commerce Youre welcome to expand or use different ideas3
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