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Chapter 5

SOCB54H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Visible Minority, Status Attainment, Working Poor

Course Code
Julian Tanner

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Chapter 5
The Human Capital Model of Labour and Market Processes
oHuman capital theory; Jobs with specific requirements should be filled by individuals most
suited for these positions- such as having an advanced education
A job’s rewards are determined by its economic contribution to society
More dangerous jobs should be paid more
Labour market participants are all competing for jobs in a single labour market
“Get ahead”= more training and education
Delaying entry to labour market and forgoing immediate earnings
oLoss is not permanent-investment in human capital
Theory emphasizes supply side but not demand side of labour market
Due to downsizing and large-scale cutbacks youth with education are unable to
find jobs
Many rich people have normal levels of education/fortune and jobs can be passed
through family
Some groups are systematically less likely to benefit from human capital investment than
oSocial Structures and Occupational Choice
Matching individuals and jobs/some people have no choice
Socioeconomic origins influence career patterns
oEquality of Educational Opportunity
Equality of opportunity; gender, ethnicity, family background, region of residence and
other individual characteristics should not be an impediment to obtaining a good
education and through this access to good jobs and a decent standard of living.
Coming from a family with a tradition of university attendance substantially
increases chances of completing university
Intergenerational transfer of advantage; children who come from parents of
middle/upper-class have the means and the motivation to go to university
Rural youth did not value education as much as urban
oEconomic Advantage and Cultural Capacity

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parents who have graduated from university tended to have higher income in order to
financially support their children’s university fees
children from poor families go to school hungry, go to school with less resources-parents
work long hours and spend less time with children
cultural capital; why middle-class youth perform better in the educational system-schools
encourage and rewards the language, beliefs, behaviours of the more powerful groups of
Extra-credential experience; interning/ traveling abroad to study
oStatus Attainment Research
Human capital emphasized educational attainment in who gets best jobs
Differences in skills, how hard one works, determines occupational position in
theoretical perspective
Meritocracy; only skill and effort matter
Status attainment research critiques human capital theory by highlighting roles of
education and family play in determining occupational outcomes
Surveys showed most important determinant of an individual’s current job is the
status of their first job-first job heavily focused on education obtained
Effects of family background declined 1970s-1980s
Wealthier families can provide their children with social capital-useful contacts
and networks that will help them succeed
Women are less able to translate educational credentials to a job even though there are
more women than men in university
Disparity due to different jobs men and women chose
Immigrants are more likely to have higher education and experience less upward
movement in course of careers
Labour Market Segmentation
oLabour market segmentation; better and worse jobs tend to be found in very different settings
and are usually obtained in distinctly different ways
Slim chances of moving out of secondary labour market into primary labour market
oDual Economies; describes how capitalist economies changed in the 20th century with a few large
powerful firms coming to dominant key industries such as automobile, manufacturing, mining,
oil, gas, railways, airlines
Finance sector controlled by few large banks
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