Textbook Notes (362,812)
Canada (158,056)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12 (P. 299-304).doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

Chapter 12 (P.299-304): Sociology of the Body: Disability, Aging, and Death SOCIETY AND THE HUMAN BODY The Body and Social Status Height - believing that physical stature reflects social stature, people correlated social status with height - genes are an important determinant of any particular individual’s height - however, the great majority of human populations are approximately the same genetically - a complex series of social factors determines the average height of most populations, whether the population consists of members of a country, a class, a racial or an ethnic group, and so on - moreover, a complex series of social consequences flow from differences in height - within countries there is also a correlation between stature and class position - class differences in height are smaller than they were centuries ago - even today, however, members of upper classes are on average taller than members of middle classes, who are in turn taller than members of working classes are - the consequences of stature are important too - scrutiny of many sources, ranging from U.S. Army records since the Civil war to all Norwegian X-ray records from the 1950s, reveals that, on average, tall people live longer than others do - in only three of the United States presidential elections held over the past century did the shorter candidate win - tall people also earn more than others do and tend to reach the top of their profession more quickly - one of the most thorough studies of the effect of height on income was recently conducted in Canada - Tom Perks found that an additional centimetre in height is associated with an additional $222 in annual income for men and additional $57 for women - this means that over 10 years, a man who is 10 centimetres taller than another man but like him in all other relevant respects will earn $22 200 more on average - remarkably, Perks also found that, in Canada, height has a bigger effect on income than whether one is an immigrant or a member of a visible minority group - at least part of the reason that short people tend to be less successful in some ways than tall people are is that they experience subtle discrimination based on height - it is unimportant whether the husband or the wife is taller - yet the overwhelming majority of people believe that husbands should be taller than wives - they find it odd when a husband is shorter than his wife is or even when they are the same height - this attitude is widespread because, for most people, height is an indicator of status and most people believe that men should enjoy higher status than women do Weight - overweight women tend to complete four fewer months of school than do women who are not overweight - an overweight woman’s household is likely to earn nearly $8500 less per year than the household of a woman who is not overweight does - the consequences of being overweight are less serious for men - obesity in and of itself tends to make women poorer - this conclusion seems reasonable becau
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