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Chapter 8

Chapter note from Sociology in Our Times 5th Canadian Edition: Chapter 8

15 pages35 viewsWinter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 103
Professor
Sal Guzzo
Chapter
8

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Chapter 8: Social and Stratification in Canada
What is Social Stratification?
Social stratification : is the hierarchical arrangement of large social groups based
on their control over basic resources
Involves patterns of structural inequality that are associated with membership in
each of these groups, as well as the ideologies that support inequality
Life chances: refers to the extent to within individuals have access to important
societal resources, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care
More affluent people typically have better life chances than the less affluent b/c have
greater access to quality education, high quality nutrition and health care, police
Resources: anything valued in a society
Life chances, more for affluent people
Distinguish among people with age, sex, religion, race, treated unequally
Systems of Stratification
Most important characteristics of systems of stratification is the degree of flexibility
Open system: the boundaries between levels in the hierarchies are more flexible
and may be influenced positively or negatively by peoples achieved statues
Social mobility: in the movement of individuals or groups from one level in
stratification system to another
Intergenerational mobility: is the social movement experienced by family
members from one generation to the next
Intragenerational mobility: is the social movement of individuals within their
own lifetime
Both motilities may be upward or downward movement
Closed system: the boundaries between levels in the hierarchies of social
stratification are rigid and peoples positions are set by ascribed status
No stratification system is completely open or closed
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Slavery
Slavery: is an extreme form of stratification in which some people are owned by
others
Closed system (slaves have no control over lives)
Slave characteristics:
oIt was for life and was inherited (children of slaves were considered to be
slaves)
oSlaves were considered property, not human beings
oSlaves were denied rights
oCoercion was used to keep slaves in their place
The Caste System
Caste system: a system of social inequality in which peoples status is permanently
determined at birth based on their parents ascribed characteristics
India, caste based in part on occupation
South Africa, race
Apartheid: the separation of the races
Endogamous: people are allowed to marry only within their own group
Caste systems sustain by cultural beliefs and values
Caste systems grow weaker as societies industrialize
Closed system, group membership is hereditary
Almost impossible to move up within the structure
The Class System
The class system is a type of stratification based on the ownership and control of
resources and on the type of work people do
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Theoretically, class system more open than a caste system, b/c boundaries between
classes are less distinct than the boundaries between castes
Become members of a class other than that of their parents through the mobility
methods
Horizontal mobility: occurs when people experience a gain or a loss in position
and/or income that does not product a change in their place in the class structure
Vertical mobility: movement up or down the class structure
Ascribed status affect peoples social mobility
Inequality in Canada
Whether people get is a fair reward for their effort and hard work
Analysts, the old maxim the rich get richer continues to be valid in Canada
Money important for everyday life
Money can be in the form of income and wealth
Money unevenly distributed
Income Inequality
Income: is the economic gain derived from wages, salaries, income transfers
(government aid ) and ownership of property
Income steady
Overall, the average family income of the three lowest income groups has declined,
two highest income groups continues to increase
Visible ethnic groups have the lease amount of income
Aboriginal also less than two thirds of general population
Wealth Inequality
Wealth: includes property, such as buildings, land, farms, houses, factories and
cares, as well as other assets such as money in bank accounts, corporate stocks,
bonds, and insurance policies
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