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Chapter 10

Sociology 2152B Chapter 10.docx

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Sociology 2152A/B
William Marshall

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Sociology 2152B Chapter 10 • Social Stratification o All countries have stratified societies o In every nation, people are ranked in a social hierarchy that determines their quality of life o The social hierarchy includes jobs, income, schooling, and other resources which in turn affect people’s decision about and where they live o Some countries have more inequality than others o In rural communities, within any country is somewhat more homogeneous, therefore, have fewer social levels than in cities where people differ more in terms of occupations, incomes, and schooling o 2 classical social theories:  Karl Marx = claim that inequality in wealth and power provides some people with so many greater advantages over others that conflict between social classes are not avoidable  Max Weber = Weber agrees with Karl Marx but thinks his theory is too simple, Weber added status to wealth and power o Social Stratification = hierarchical ranking within a society of various social class groups according to wealth, power, and prestige o Social-economic status (SES) = a composite ranking based on various dimensions of social inequality = a ranking results from comparison of how many status symbol possessions one accumulates o Residence the ability to live in a particular place, where voluntary or non- voluntary is an excellent illustration of social stratification o People in all social classes are living in both city and suburbs o W. Lloyd Warner (Yankee City, 1930s) = first study of social stratification  Used income, occupation, along with reputational method (in which people compared others to themselves in terms of status)  Identified 6-tier class systems  Upper Upper  Lower Upper  Upper Middle  Lower Middle  Upper Lower  Lower Lower  Found a significant relationship between an ethnic group’s length of residence in the U.S and its class status (still holds true today) o Social Class Distinctions  Upper Class = The main distinction between upper upper and lower upper is that of “new money” (Bill Gates) or “old money” (inherited).  Upper class constitute 5% of total population  Upper class creates a social divide between the 2 levels = rich and poor (they don’t have the same memberships to clubs and organizations)  Live in expensive neighborhoods, enjoy high prestige and wield considerable political clout, and have the same membership to clubs/organizations (send their children to the same private school, vacationing at the same elite resort..etc.)  Fairly cohesive group, interacting with each other at right social events  Upper class women are in charge of hosting entertainments at home for guests and often do volunteer work for charitable and civic organizations, both locally and nationally  Men often are active in community service organizations  Middle Class  40-45% of society and more diverse both racially and ethnically (most often portrayed in media and target for advertising firms)  About half are upper-middle class = earning themselves above average salaries (100K – 200K annually)  This income enables them to own an expensive co-op or townhouse in a decent neighborhood. This income can allow them to participate in local politics, send their children to university, and invest in stocks, bounds, and properties  Upper middle class women might or might not work, some are in reputable professions while others prefer to be a stay at home mom. Many will be active in local charitable church, or civic organizations  Lower middle class work either in less prestige white-collar occupations (office workers, middle managers, sales clerk) or highly skilled blue collar jobs (electrical work, and carpentry)  Family income usually around 50k-90k = national average  Saved some money for retirement  Half of their children will graduate from university  Will also participate in social charity  Both middle class (upper and lower) will likely participate in their children’s activities such as sports program and scouting  Working Class (sometimes called lower middle class)  1/3 of society  Family income around 30K-50K (below national average)  This level of incomes gives them no opportunity to save wealth  Esp. vulnerable to financial crisis  They are the classic Marxian model of workers in closely supervised jobs with no creativity/control over how they work  Their jobs offer little to no benefits (usually non-union jobs)  About 1/3 of their children will go to college  Women work only when single and will become housewives once married (but often they are forced to work = because no money)  Many men organize sports for themselves and their children  Lower Class  About 20% of the population = poor whites/poor racial and ethnic minorities  They are usually located in the inner cities/rural areas  About 40% of this class own their own homes  No Medical insurance = long term illness can get them in serious trouble = government funding (12-13% of population receive government welfare assistance)  Researchers have found that men and women in this social class have separate social worlds  Women will be involved in organizational activities (church) and interact in more confined areas  Men will go out and about, interacting with friends to drink, talk, and enjoy sports  Hyperghettos = urban neighborhoods that have extreme poverty and unemployment, over 40% can live in poverty, unemployment rate = 67%. Contain rental units where people who have low levels of education/job skills and high level of single parent. ***Hyperghettos are usually racial/ethnic minority***  In U.S and Canada, poverty rate = 11-14%, unemployment rate = 6-7% o Best measurable indicators of social stratification  1) Income  2) Wealth  3) Poverty o Income Distribution Nationwide  There is a difference between the rich and poor in the proportionate share of total income that each socioeconomic group possesses and in how each group’s income situation changes from year to year  If money was distributed equally across the population, each 20% of th people will receive 1/5 of the total amount of money  U.S has the most unequal distribution of wealth = top 20% of all U.S households earning more than 100,000k per year holds 50.2% of all income  Lowest 20% of households hold 3.3% of all income in the U.S  Canada = highest 20% hold 39% of total income, lowest 20% hold 7% of total income  Income gap has widened in both U.S and Canada o Incomes Within and Outside Cities  Research has found that those who live outside central cities are better off than those living within central cities o Wealth and Net-worth  Wealth includes all assets = 1) Marketable assets (real estate, property, stocks), 2) financial assets (everything minus owner occupied housing)  Net Worth = Asset minus liability  Net worth is a more accurate indicator of economic well-being  Home-ownership is the single largest component of individual wealth  Housing financial crisis from 2007-2012 = 2/3 of American Families endured financial damage with the median family losing 1/5 of its net worth  As house value plummeted, Hispanic families were esp. hit hard = 66% drop in household wealth for Hispanic families. (53% for blacks, and 16% for whites)  At the same time, there were disparities within the Hispanic community = the top 10% of Hispanic held 72% of all Hispanic total wealth  Suburbs contain the majority of these highly prosperous families  In 2007, the top 1% held 49% of total wealth, while the 2 19% held 50% of total wealth, leaves 7% for the rest (90% of population) o Poverty Nationwide  U.S official poverty rate was 15% (46.2 million Americans) = largest number in 52 years  In Canada, 9.6% poverty rate = immigrants constituted a higher proportion of those in this category compared to Canadian born citizens  Length of residence was a factor, shorter = poorer  Immigrants who live in Canada less than 5 years have 2.5 times the poverty rate as Canadian born but low income rate falls quickly as years goes on (improve in English, networks in new country) o Poverty within and outside Cities  Greater strain is put on cities resources to assist those living below the poverty level  More U.S city residents (19.7% or 1 in 5) live in poverty than those living outside the city (11.8% or 1 in 8)  More concentration of people in poverty in cities because of the greater number of foreign born residents in cities. More than two-fifths of foreign born (44%) live in a city in the U.S  In Toronto, between 2001-2006, low income families increased by 7%  Low income households are usually in the inner suburbs  New York City has a large amount of poor people (20.1% or 1 out of 5 residents) compared to 15.1% nationwide o Urban Social Class Diversity  Urban Life = tremendous human variety = happens in all of North America o Upper-Class Urban Neighborhoods  The upper class typically have several homes and alternate where they live at different times a year  They will live in the most fashionable neighborhoods  Upper East Side  Most expensive real estate in the U.S  The appeal of this neighborhood extends beyond the elegant living spaces and retail establishments. The upper east side is also where you can find such world class cultural institutions (Museums and such)  Central Park rd  Over 1/3 of those households living in Upper East Side report incomes more than 200,000 U.S dollars, yet the area only contain 4% of households in NYC o
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