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Chapter 11

SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Social Stratification, Meritocracy, Social Inequality

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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Sociology: Chapter 11 – Social Class in Canada
Plus pages 224-227, 234-235, 282
Social stratification: a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy
Social mobility: a change in position within the social hierarchy
Caste System: social stratification based on ascription or birth
Class system: social stratification based on both birth and individual achievement
Meritocracy: social stratification based on personal merit
Status consistency: the degree of consistency in a person’s social standing across various dimensions of
social inequality.
Income: occupational wages or salaries, earnings from investments, and government transfer payments
Wealth: the total amount of money and other assets, minus outstanding debts
Intragenerational social mobility: a change is social position occurring during a person’s lifetime
Intergenerational social mobility: upward or downward social mobility of children in relation to their
Relative poverty: the deprivation of some people n relation to those who have more
Absolute poverty: a deprivation of resources that is life-threatening
Feminization of poverty: the trend by which women represent an increasing proportion of the poor
Social Stratification
1. is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences
2. carries over from generation to generation (social mobility)
3. is universal but variable (what is unequal, how unequal is it)
4. involves not just inequality but beliefs as well
Caste and Class Systems
Caste System – system is closed because birth alone determines a person’s entire future
Class System – system depends on developing people’s talents
Meritocracy – based on birth and merit – person’s knowledge, abilities and effort
Status Consistency
Caste & Class – The United Kingdom
- Aristocratic England
Box on page 234-235 ~ Salaries: Are the rich worth what they earn?
Box on page 282 ~ “Happy Poverty” in India: Making Sense of a Strange Idea
Dimensions of Social Inequality
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