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Canada (161,660)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 7

Sociology Chapter 7.doc

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Chapter 7 Social Stratification Canadian and Global Perspectivesshipwrecks used to illustrate patterns of social inequality social conventions of power and privilege are erased in these circumstances wealth and power are unimportantexample Robinson Crusoe man marooned on deserted Island but his hard work and will turn the island into a thriving colonySwept Away man and women shipwrecked of unequal status get together and fall in love but when escape Island women returns to her higher status and the man to his lower one4 messages dont have to work hard if you can inherit wealth hard work doesnt always make you rich something about structure of society causes inequality and inequality interrelated dimensions including class sex and race in which they are shown in different contextsTitanic shows class difference important Ex when sinking highclass passengers given lifeboatat another level shows optimistic story where class difference dont matter where 2 lovers of different statuses fall in loveEconomic Inequality in Canadathere is a market for body parts or bodies people can purchase organs for transplantationpeople selling body parts are usually poor while people buying them are usually wealthy take organs to foreign countries with own surgeons in order to save themselvesIn North America especially the US poor people more likely than rich people to suffer illness that can be prevented by organ transplant but less likely to be offered opportunities to do soparticularly in US where there isnt widespread health insuranceMaterialism satisfying needs by buying products or experiences is characteristic of societyeconomic growth has happened in Canada after WWII average incomes of Canadian households has increased misleading bc inflation has increased prices of products as wellpurchasing power of family incomes what you can get for a dollar also rose after WWII bc of greater economic productivitygreater productivity generated substantial real increases in family income in 60s and 70s but have increased recently in 80s and 90s at a slower rate and purchasing power of family earnings has not grown muchled to several debates such as demand for reduced taxes despite working harder and longer family incomes have not grown proportionatelyaverages simplify reality but economic prosperity and materialism are not equally sharedex there are rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods but most people live in bw Social scientists come up with way to display patterns of inequality quintiles if there are 5 quintiles numbered 15 quintile one would have highest number of earnings and quintile 5 would have least even though they could have an equal number of people in themcompletely unequal distribution would mean top quintile would have 100 of moneycompletely equal distribution would result if each had 20 of the moneyconcept of share of incomes held by quintiles is used to investigate income inequality by looking at how share of income changes over time allows researchers to see if inequality is incredecrealmost half of all income held by richest 20 of individuals and families in Canada this can be seen in 2 ways compared to US is slightly less and income inequality distribution has changed relatively little in the past 5 decades in CanadaCanada often considered welfare state bc of high taxes like Robin Hood robbing rich and giving to poor But in reality this is not entirely true When income of highest quintile was redirected there income dropped slightly and aftertax incomes of other quintiles rose only modestlythredistribution efforts declined in later part of 20 century income inequality grew more rapidly in latter half of 90sExplanations of Income Inequalityfor some principal reason for success is natural talent ex tiger woods in golf while others cant be economically successful for medical reasons such as down syndromefor most genetic factors dont determine economic success that greatly they have some effect but in comparison to other factors have only modest effect
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