Newman: downward mobility (micro sociology)
o We don’t hear about it often, because it doesn’t happen very
drastically, but it does happen.
o When we hear about it, we don’t want to think or talk about it,
because it’s negative, it’s a failure, the opposite of the American dream.
o We don’t like to talk about things we don’t understand or have language to
o It’s like cancer, which used to be a hushhush thing, even though it’s not
contagious, people with it wouldn’t be social because of it. Now we have the
Internet and we can better understand it, and it has been incorporated into our
o Downward Mobility has not been incorporated into our everyday language, and
it’s often confused with poverty.
o These people don’t hit poverty, but they are accustomed to a lifestyle they can no
o They may regain employment, but cannot purchase or manage debt/financial
commitments they were accustomed to.
o Divorced women make much less because they were homemakers before (they
lack skill and experience needed). Their social classes drop.
o After managers’ job loss, they either got closer to their children because they had
more time to spend with them or the kids looked down on their fathers. This
o Age. The younger child adapts, the older had it and lost it.
o Gender. Boys wanted their dads to be men. Girls wanted their moms to
o Information. What children knew, how much of it they understood
(Cognitive what’s going on and how you interpret it.)
o Reagan fired air traffic controllers for striking. It was a long process to
become one and their skills did not qualify them for any other jobs. Their
experience wouldn’t transfer over. They only blamed Reagan, and didn’t
take responsibility for their job loses. The strike was illegal, but they saw
it as justifiable. They compared it to the Civil Rights Movement. They
challenged if the law was right.
o The divorced women’s downward mobility was not related to the
economy. They lost their status as a wife
Collectively vs. Individually:
o Businessmen (middle managers) lost jobs individually.
o Air traffic controllers (strike) lost jobs collectively when Reagan fired them.
o Factory workers lost jobs collectively when their factories closed.
o Divorced women experienced downward mobility on a very individual basis.
o The degree to which they thought about their downward mobility depended on
how it happened. Everyone lost something:
o Statuses, o Occupation,
o An aspect of their identities,
o Status in family and communities,
o (Divorced women lost) their families.
• Downward Mobility is like a cultural vacuum. No one wants to think or talk about
• Recession: we go through business cycles. When it is good, wages are high and
there are a lot of jobs. High wages=high prices. We can no longer sustain it.
• Demographic: baby boomers the generation before was smaller, so they were
trying to fit more people into a smaller space.
o Economic security=more babies
• Divorce: women were paid less, lower status jobs. Divorce rates went up and
there was a lack of job security.
• Industrialization and postindustrial society:
o Changing the type of job availability.
o PostIndustrialization: In a service economy, there are low and high jobs.
The middle jobs are nonexistent. Elite and service job availability.
o Industrialization: In a production/manufacturing economy, there are
more service jobs, less middle jobs, and even less elite jobs. (Union)
Theory: a set of related propositions about any observable reality not necessarily fact, but
our conclusions. We may test it over and over before we really can suggest it as a fact.
(3 grand theories grand to sociology):
• why are societies are arranged the way they are?
• Why do we do things in the patterns we do?
• Explaining why we have institutions that do things a particular way: one
generation teaches and convinces the next that their way is the best.
• Institutions have functions, which are arranged the way they are so they can
function for societies so that:
o Societies can accomplish their national goals and adapt to a changing
environment. (Natural changes and other society changes)
o Allow societies to reduce tension (internal change)
o Recruit individuals to patternedsocial roles (keep having babies).
• An answer to structural functionalism.
• They argue the overall part is the maintenance of relationships of inequality.
• Most social relations are base