SOSA 1200X Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Disposable And Discretionary Income, Social Stratification, Economic Inequality

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Chapter 7 – Social Inequality
Dimensions of Social Inequality
Karl Marx – class, etc.
Social Class: people with similar income and wealth rank close to one another
Status: the prestige attached to one’s position in society
Power: the ability to get others to do what you want them to (institutions)
Consistency Across Dimensions of Stratification: similar positions are accompanied by
similar rankings on all three dimensions (class, status, and power)
oEx. The manager of a department within a large corporation is likely to have a
middle-class salary, middling prestige (status), and mid-range supervisory power
Economic Inequality
Income: the amount of money a person earns (job, business, returns on assets); usually
measured year to year (flow)
Wealth: total amount of a person’s financial assets, less total liabilities (ie. net worth)
(stock – accumulated assets)
The Study of Stratification is the Study of Inequality
Royals = ruling class (born into)
How are Stratification and Social Class Related?
Poverty: who are the poor?
oAbsolute, or relative
oMany poor adults work outside the home
oAn increasing proportion of low-income people in Canada are women – known
as feminization of poverty
oUnderclass: long-term poor who lack training and skills
oLife Chances: class closely related to people’s life chances – their opportunities
to provide themselves with material goods, positive living conditions and
favorable life experiences
oIn times of danger, affluent and powerful have best chance of surviving
Class position affects people’s day-to-day health
Sociology as a Life or Death Issue
The patterns of class and racial inequality were responsible for most Katrina-related
Other societies with different patters of class and racial inequality have been more
successful than the United States in avoiding such catastrophes (class consciousness and
false consciousness)
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