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Social Class and Families. Upper class: 1-2%. As much of their income from investments as wages. Exclusive neighborhoods, schools, clubs. Elaborate social code. Key challenge: social reproduction (passing position to next generation) Amerco: top managers Little good research: why?.

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Social Class and Families

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Social class and families l.jpg

Social Class and Families

  • Upper class: 1-2%. As much of their income from investments as wages. Exclusive neighborhoods, schools, clubs. Elaborate social code.

  • Key challenge: social reproduction (passing position to next generation)

  • Amerco: top managers

  • Little good research: why?

Sociology 1201


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Upper middle class

  • Professional and managerial positions, mostly in large bureaucracies. College and professional degrees.

  • 20-25% of the population.

  • The rest of Amerco’s management class

  • Key challenge: social reproduction and upward mobility

Sociology 1201


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Lower middle class

White collar jobs that do not require a college degree

Small business

25-30% of population.

Amerco support staff

Key challenges

Working class

Blue collar and service jobs that do not require a college degree

25-30% of popul.

Amerco factory workers

Often just one lay-off or one divorce away from poverty

The working class majority

Sociology 1201


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Poverty class

  • Government poverty line around $18,000 for family of 4

  • Majority work full-time, although very vulnerable to layoffs

  • High proportion of single parent families

  • Key challenge:

Sociology 1201


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Income Fifths: 2001

Sociology 1201


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Trends

  • Top fifth has dramatically increased its share in the last 30 years and especially the last 15

  • Second fifth holding its own

  • Other 3/5 losing income share and it would be much worse were it not for the growth of two-wage earner families

Sociology 1201


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Inequality

  • Wealth is even more unequally divided than income

    • 1/3 of wealth belongs to the top 1%

    • 1/3 to the next 9%

    • 1/3 to the other 90%

  • Globalization and deindustrialization (2.7 million factory jobs lost from 2000-2003)

Sociology 1201


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Inequality II

  • Do we need this very high level of inequality to motivate the most able people to train for and conscientiously fill the most important positions? (functionalism)

  • Or is it that wealthy Americans have so much power that they can just keep adding more privilege for themselves and their children? (conflict theory)

Sociology 1201


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Social class & parenting

Annette Lareau: Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life

Qualitative research: interviews

plus 60 hours of observation with

12 families, upper middle class and working class, black and white

Concerted cultivation vs. natural development

Sociology 1201


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Work vs. home

  • Context for the patterns Hochschild discovers at Amerco

  • Family values, but not really

  • Increased hours of work per week not only at Amerco but through much of the economy. Why?

  • Why does home seem like work and work like home, for many of these workers?

Sociology 1201


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