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Canada (161,812)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)

10. Social Stratification.docx

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Shelly Ungar

 Social stratification – Refers to the way in which society is organized in layers or strata which is the study of Social Inequality  Social Inequality – People of different class, gender, race, and power all gets treated differently  Economic Inequality – The economy distribution is not equal where the top 1/5 of the earners in Canada consists of almost 45% of the Canadian economy. (The rate is slowly increasing also)  Economic Inequality is the worst in the United States, Canada is average  The Government works towards changing that by taxing the people of the higher quartile stronger and distributing to the others  Human Capital – Is the sum of useful skills and knowledge that an individual possesses (Higher human capital = Better jobs leading to more money)  Social Capital – Refers to the networks of connections that an individual possess (People are more likely to succeed if they have strong bonds with well positioned individuals)  Cultural Capital – is the stock of knowledge, tastes, and habits that legitimate the maintenance of status and power (Social skills to influence others, and set of belonging into the culture)  These three are the key to economic success  There is no official definition of poverty because it’s hard to class people as poor  The best they can do is having a Low-income cut-off: An Income threshold below which a family devotes 20% or more of its income to necessities like food, shelter and cloths  Myths about being poor:  Myth #1 People are poor because they don’t want to work (people are disabled, provide child-care)  Myth #2 Most poor people are immigrants (When they just come to Canada yes, but improves longer as they stay)  Myth #3 Most people are trapped in poverty (92% of people escapes from poverty over 2 years)  Individual characteristics describe very little about poverty (lack of motivation and low ambition)  Social organization of society is more a cause of poverty. (Ex. Economy is a big cause, low minimum wages. The Canadian tax system isn’t progressive, meaning that people all get charged around the same amount  Theories of stratification  Conflict Perspectives  Karl Marx – People started to become aware of membership in a class: Class consciousness  Feudalism – Peasants were to land and harvest for their landlords, in protect from marauders (bandits) and provide food and shelter if crops failed (Like a communist system)  Marx came up with these following terms:  Class – is determined by the source of his or her income  Bourgeoisie – Capitalism society where the owner does not do any physical labour, incomes comes from profits  Proletariat – People part of the working class, who does not own the means of production, and earns wages (Not a new thing, and still is around) (Reviled ethnic conflicts because mostly black workers)  Max Weber – sees people in economic categories  Status Groups – differ from one another in terms of their prestige or social honor they enjoy and also in terms of their style of life. (Immigrant may have high income but poor status)  Because of their high prestige they don’t even care if they ran over a pleasant with a horse  Lawyer = High Prestige, Janitor = Low Prestige  Parties – not just political groups but some people who want to impose a will on others  Functionalism (Davis, Moore)
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