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Chapter 13. Social Stratification in Contemporary Societies: Class, Caste and Race. Chapter Questions & key points. How do anthropologists explain social stratification? What are some differences among class-, caste- , and racially stratified societies?

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chapter 13

Chapter 13

Social Stratification in Contemporary Societies: Class, Caste and Race

chapter questions key points
Chapter Questions & key points
  • How do anthropologists explain social stratification?
  • What are some differences among class-, caste- , and racially stratified societies?
  • Degree to which individuals have equal access to wealth, power & prestige.
  • Basis:
    • Physical appearance, ethnicity, profession, family background, gender, ideology, age or skill in economic/political roles.
chapter questions
Chapter Questions
  • What are some characteristics of the social stratification system in the United States, and how does it affect the lives and lifestyles of individuals and groups?
  • How has anthropology contributed to antiracism in the United States?
  • What are some similarities and differences between the racial stratification systems of Brazil and the United States?
dimensions of social inequality stratification
Dimensions of Social Inequality (stratification)
  • Power—control resources in one’s own interest.
  • Wealth—accumulation of material resources or access to production.
  • Prestige—social honor or respect.
status types of societies
Status & Types of Societies
  • Ascribed Status
  • Achieved Status
  • Types of societies:
    • Egalitarian
    • Rank societies
    • Stratified
      • Class
      • Caste
social class in the united states
Social Class in the United States
  • Status depends on occupation, education, and lifestyle.
  • “The American Dream,” democratic principle of equality and opportunity for all.
  • Social class in the United States.
    • Homeless people
    • Welfare recipients
    • Money “whitens”
caste system
Caste System
  • System of stratification based on birth.
  • Movement from one caste to another is not possible.
  • Castes are hereditary, endogamous, ranked in relation to one another and usually associated with a traditional occupation.
hindu caste system
Hindu Caste System

Four caste categories

  • Brahmins - priests and scholars
  • Kshatriyas - ruling and warrior caste
  • Vaisyas - the merchants
  • Shudras - menial workers and artisans
  • Harijans – “untouchables”
u s racial stratification systems
U.S. Racial Stratification Systems
  • Race- social construction & biological fallacy.
  • Divides people into “blacks” and “whites”
    • Theories of stratification
      • Social inequality- a human universal?
    • Rule of Hypo descent.
    • “Melting pot” & Anglo Conformity
    • Separatism or Pluralism (Multiculturalism)
    • By year 2050- 53% Latinos
    • Immigration issues
race stratification in the u s and brazil
Race Stratification in the U.S. and Brazil
  • Two largest multiracial societies in the Americas.
  • Legacy of slavery =racial inequality.
  • Brazil: 45% of nonwhite families and 25% of white families live below the poverty line.
  • U.S.: 30% of nonwhite families and 8% of white families live below the poverty line.
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