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sociol lecture Social Stratification and Global Inequality.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

Social Stratification and Global Inequality Meritocracy trumps inequality structures – if you work hard enough and are determined enough, you will succeed  Overlooks intergenerational sociolbility  Inequality of education exists Poor people are lazy and don’t want to work  Majority of people that are poor are working poor  Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed worked minimum wage jobs and wanted to see if she could survive  If she could pay rent and afford to eat Money can’t buy happiness  The higher your social class, the higher your emotional, mental, and physical health  Poor have shorter life expectancies  Poverty affects babies  Poor babies are more likely to have low birth weight  People with higher incomes are overall more healthy  The stress of low money causes many of the diseases Theories Structural Functionalism  Social inequality is useful  Davis and Moore – inequality is not only inevitable, but necessary  The most important positions in society must be the most highly paid Conflict Theory  Inequality is created and maintained by one group in order to protect and enhance its own economic interests  “class consciousness” Symbolic Interactionalism  People create inequality in their everyday interactions  Looked at things like how people communicate and body language Feminist Theory  Inequality caused by male political, legal, and economic advantage  Gender disparities in earnings Max Weber  Class (economic power, owning power)  Status (prestige, i.e. occupational prestige)  Party (political power) Erik Olin Wright (Neo-Marxist)  ‘contradictory class locations’ – some occupational groups have divided loyalties Frank Parkin (Neo-Weberian)  Social groups maximize their own interests by restricting access to resources and opportunities  Two files of closure - Exclusion: effort by powerful groups to maintain their position - Usurpation: effort by excluded groups to gain power Gerhard Lenski (Technology)  Technological base of society will determine the amount of inequality  Managers/CEOs have power and share profits Inequality in Canadian context  Absolute poverty – so little income
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