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SOC 103 (124)
Chapter 7


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SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

CHAPTER 7: SOCIAL INEQUALITY Module 7.1: Social Stratification DF:social stratification ranking people into social classes DF:social class access to resources based on birth and achievement DF:social status one’s position within the class structure Key Principles: 1) All societies redistribute materials/social rewards to individs (food, money, social prestige)  Stratified system ensures ppl who do more get more material wealth/social recognition  Physicians/surgeons money, high status  DF: meritocracy a system based on the principle that people achieve what they deserve 2) System is stable over time  DF: social mobility movement btw/ social classes  few ppl move out of social class they were born into  DF: intergenerational mobility status as defined by parent’s social class  DF: intragenerational mobility status movement throughout one’s life  (e.g. young grl born in poor family scholarshiplawyer)  High status ppl easier to obtain power, property, prestige even if they lack intelligence 3) Present in all human societies but varies in how it expresses itself  Status granted by how much money one has/one gives away  Drug dealer and surgeon make same income drug dealer has lower status than surgeon 4) Wealth and prestige that is granted considered fair by majority of population, even those in lower class SOCIAL INEQUALITY  Women paid less than men for same job  Members of visible minority groups less likely to be hired then majority  More educated make more than uneducated  system that ranks ppl from highlow on subjective criteria: gender/minority status  mentruck drivers/lawyers and womenschool teachers  racism, sexism, ageism CLASSISM classism an ideology that suggests that people’s relative is at least partially determined by their social and economic status (attitudes towards social assistance)  based on idea everyone has equal chance of getting ahead work hard   DF:”American Dream” fundamental for smooth operation of capitalist society  Wealthy deserve what they have result of abilities, skills, effort  Poor responsible for their failure result of structural factors (high unemployment, no opportunity, failure of society to provide schooling)  DF: Classist thinking idea that ppl ultimately get what they deserve SOCIAL SYSTEMS CLOSED systems status based on ascribed attributes at birth cannot change (race, ethnicity) and allow for little social mobility  DF: CASTE system ascribed system of hereditary class designation (of India)  no social mobility  person’s caste  central component of who they are/determines (what they wear, jobs, who they marry) Brahmin teachers/doctors/other scholarsShudra  workers in service occupations Kshatriy warrior/politicians Dalit no caste “oppressed, downtrodden, Vaishya merchants/artist exploited”/pollute ppl of higher caste  hereditary, if rich lose all money/poor gets rich, remain same caste  person must marry w/in their caste  Can only change caste reincarnation no one’s essence does not die, reborn into another form OPEN system status based on achieved attributes (class system in Canada)  DF: CLASS system social stratification based on achieved sttcan change status/social rank on abilities and efforts  DF: Class structure society’s economic structure categorizes groups of ppl based on their SES  DF: Socio-economic status (SES) social status determined by family income, parents education lvl, occupations, family social standing w/in community TWO COMPONENTS OF INEQUALITY: PROPERTY  Indicator of where one resides in class structure, divided into 2 categories:  DF: income money received annually (salaries, rents, grants, government assistance etc.) what you earned  DF: wealth net accumulated assets (homes, land, stocks) what you have  Canadian population divided into DF: quantile measure that divides population into 5 categories (20% each)  OCCUPATIONAL PRESTIGE  The social value of a particular occupation  People interact w/ others differently based on their occupation (student/lawyer) Module 7.2: Sociological Approaches to Social Inequality FUNCTIONALISM  All social practices/structures must perform useful service/purpose to society  To attract most skilled/capable person demanding jobs (reward must be high enough to compensate for time and effort)  Unfair family inheritance/connections may be reason for high-paying job  Gender bias influence salary lvls of socially imp. occupationsschool teachers, daycare workers, social workers  Capitalism is a meritocracy  Davis-Moore thesis argues that poverty has 2 functions: 1) Motivates ppl to fill certain social positions 2) Motivates ppl to fulfill their duties and responsibilities CONFLICT THEORY KARL MARX: 2 CLASSES 1) Proletariat (workers)  Get as much money for their labour as possible  Being exploited/controlled “false consciousness”, can hope to challenge bourgeoisie  “class consciousness” sense of their own needs and collective power, could challenge bourgeoisie for greater share of resources 2) Bourgeoisie (owners)  maintain power by using “state machinery” (police, prisons, military) and ideological apparatuses (media, school religion)  make as much money as possible  All social life influenced by how people interact during process of economic production  “social stratification is embodiment of class conflict and inevitable in capitalist economies require exploitation of proletariat”  Industrialization leads to intensification of two-class system MAX WEBER  access to power in 3 ways: Class, Status, Party 1) 4 CLASSES: access to marterial resources  Bourgeoisie (big business owners)  Petty Bourgeoisie (small business owners)  Proletariat (large working clasmost exploited, marginally stabled laborers)  White Collar Workers (civil servants, government)  Access to distributive differences  More ability to become socially mobile/education 2) STATUS style of life associated w/ distinct social circle  “access to social honour and prestige”  First Nations, Asians, blacks, Ukrainians (ethnicity)  Jews, Muslims, Catholics (religious belief)  Manual labourers, academics, dentists, drug dealers (occupation)  The higher the income = higher social status  Clergy, the priest are respectable but not rich 3) PARTY group of ppl who collectively seek power in face of opposition (labourer unions)  Non-governmental organizations (Red Cross)  DF: Status inconsistency drug dealersoccupy several different ranked statuses at a time  “Social stratification is unavoidable and necessary” SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM: THORSTEIN VEBLEN DF: Status symbols material indicators that demonstrate a person’s social/economic position DF: Conspicuous CONSUMPTION  Ppl purchasing expensive goods just to demonstrate their wealth (show off)  Analogous to Karl Marx idea of commodity fetishism  Real Housewives of ________/Rodeo Drive/Un-boxing on YouTube DF: Conspicuous LEISURE  Demonstrations of one’s high social status through forms of leisure  People who go on extravagant trips to show off their wealth/look wealthy Facebook photos  How to display our idea of social class DF: Conspicuous WASTE  Disposable of valuable goods to demonstrate wealth  Giving ridiculous tips ($100)  Upgrading electronics FEMINIST DF: Double ghetto recognition that women who work full-time often have another “shift” when they get home (mothering) Module 7.4: Poverty DEFINING POVERTY Poverty person has no money, goods, or means of support Absolute poverty failure to meet basic needs of live, (food, clean water, shelter) Relative poverty inability to secure goods/services req’d to live a life equal to working-class standards Market Basket Measure (MBM) estimates cost of established set of goods, estimates income a family needs to get by Low income measure (LIM) calculates # of families that have incomes which are less than half median income of Canada Low income cut-off (LICO) lvl income which household spends 55% + of its gross income on basic necessities Sarlo Line absolute/what costs wherever you’re living to get your basic necessities FACTORS INFLUENCING POVERTY GENDER Women Men Glass ceiling effect Glass cellar - women still responsible for child care - men occupy most dangerous positions (firefighters, police, - facilities not lenient w/ child care military) - “ive seen the glass ceiling and its made out of golfballs” -well compensated jobs/ high social status Nanncy Rich (workplaces based on male homosocial leisure Glass escalator (golfco
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