Inequality
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INEQUALITY. How do you make sense of our differences?. How unequal are we?. Median Family Income-2007. U.S. Census. Individuals Living in Poverty - 2007. Whites – 8.2% Blacks – 24.5% Hispanics – 21.5% Asians – 10.2% Native Americans – 25.7% U.S. Population – 12.1%

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INEQUALITY

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INEQUALITY

How do you make sense

of our differences?


How unequal are we?


Median Family Income-2007

U.S. Census


Individuals Living in Poverty - 2007

Whites – 8.2%

Blacks – 24.5%

Hispanics – 21.5%

Asians – 10.2%

Native Americans – 25.7%

U.S. Population – 12.1%

Poverty Rate: $21,203 per year for 4 people


The suburbs are wealthy…right?

2004

  • 38.5 percent of poor Americans lived in the suburbs (13.8 million people)

  • 40.6 percent of poor Americans lived in central cities (14.6 million people)

    1970

  • 20.5 percent of nation’s poor lived in the suburbs


Wealth in the U.S. - 2002(per capita)

  • Whites:with home = $79,400

    without home = $22,566

  • Blacks:with home = $7,500

    without home = $1,166

  • Latino/as:with home = $9,750

    without home = $1,850

  • All Households:with home = $55,000

    without home = $13,473


The early

1980s

rocked the

house!


Home Ownership and Race

  • White – 75.8%

  • Black – 48.2

  • Asian/PI – 60.1

  • Hispanic – 49.5

  • American Indian – 58.2

  • Other – 59.2

    SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau (2005)


Education (% graduating from High School) - 2004

Whites – 85.5%

Blacks – 72.3%

Latino/as – 52.4%

Asians – 80.4%

Native Americans – 70.9%


2005 Gap in Graduation Rates Between Urban-Suburban Districts

Average High School Graduation Rate of fifty largest cities: 53 percent

Average High School Graduation Rate of the suburban districts of those fifty cities: 71 percent


Education (% graduating from College) - 2004

Whites – 27.0%

Blacks – 14.3%

Latino/as – 10.4%

Asians – 44.1%

Native Americans – 11.5%

U.S. Population – 24.4%


Explain the root cause(s)

of these differences


Can biology explain the inequalityof ancestral groups?


BIOLOGICAL: cause of inequality is related to people’s genetic differences

SOCIO-PSYCHO COGNITIVE: cause of inequality is related to people’s choices

SOCIO-STRUCTURAL: cause of inequality is related to people’s socioeconomic differences


BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONSome (ancestry) groups “dominate” other groups because they are biologicallymatched for particular social conditions.


1. PHYSICAL FEATURES: size, strength, etc.2. GENETIC PSYCHO-COGNITIVE FEATURES: emotional temperament, tenacity, I.Q., etc.


GENETICS AND RACE

  • 99.99% of human genome is the same in everyone

  • .01% of our genes are reflected in our external appearance

  • 88-90% of genetic differences between people occur within the local populations

  • 10-12% of genetic variations are a result of different populations living in different parts of the world


What genetic-based inequality would look like:All members of particular ancestry groups are disposed to some advantage that leads them to have more sociological power (e.g., income, wealth).


Problems:

1. What constitutes a “racial group”?

2. What is the direct link between social or economic “advantage” and genetics?

- size?

- intellect?

3. Perhaps this can occur to small degrees…


AFRICAN SPEED: 16 of the 16 runners the men's and women's 100 meter sprint finals traced their ancestry to West Africa.


Example of a more tangible measure:

We can measure this: we can easily time a sprint and measure legs and torsos.

HOWEVER, there are still sociological variables to account for.


Baseball and Race

Black Hispanic

Mestizo Hispanic


Example of a less tangible measure

  • Major League Baseball is increasingly dominated by players from Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Hockey is dominated by people of European Ancestry

  • Basketball in the U.S. is dominated by African Americans?

  • Rugby is dominated by mentally ill people.


WHAT ABOUT OTHER INTANGIBLE CHARACTERISTICS OF PEOPLE?Genetic Psycho-Cognitive Factors

  • I.Q.

  • Moral Character

  • Ambition or Personal Drive

  • Contentment

  • Education

  • Income and Wealth


How can evolutionary theory explain the inequalityof ancestral groups?


Two ways to conceptualize evolutionary theory:1. Linear2. Branching Bush


What do you notice about these images?


Where do these guys fit into the evolutionary map?


We’re all just monkeys


How does sociology explain the inequality of ancestral groups?


BIOLOGICAL: cause of inequality is related to people’s genetic differences

SOCIO-PSYCHO COGNITIVE: cause of inequality is related to people’s choices

SOCIO-STRUCTURAL: cause of inequality is related to people’s socioeconomic differences


Psycho-Cognitive Explanation

Based on the Free Will-Libertarian Position

  • People are always free to think/act other than the way they do

  • Our economic and political circumstances are PRIMARILY shaped by our individual choices


ACHIEVEMENT IDEOLOGY

  • Every American has an equal chance of “making it”

  • Every American can succeed if they work hard enough


Psycho-Cognitive Explanation

Based on the Free Will-Libertarian Position

  • People are always free to think/act other than the way they do

  • Our economic and political circumstances are PRIMARILY shaped by our individual choices


BIOLOGICAL: cause of inequality is related to people’s genetic differences

SOCIO-PSYCHO COGNITIVE: cause of inequality is related to people’s choices

SOCIO-STRUCTURAL: cause of inequality is related to people’s socioeconomic differences


Determinist-Communitarian Position

  • Material conditions (education, wealth, urban/rural, etc.) shape all aspects of our lives

  • Personal choices only partially shape our socioeconomic circumstances


What about economic and political differences between ancestry groups?

2007 Median Family Income – U.S. Census


What is the “sociological perspective”?


Would YOU join the KKK?

Might

this child?


How do sociologistsexplain cutting behavior?

determined?

free?


How would sociology explain why some people attend college and others don’t?


Which explanation do you draw on to answer the question: “Why do some people go to college?”

FREE-WILL: people choose the majority of their actions & thoughtsvs.DETERMINISM: people’s actions & thoughts are shaped by factors and forces largely outside of their control


FAMILY INCOME

Above $85,000 = 51.3%

$61K – 85K = 26.8%

35K – 61K = 12.7%

Below $35K = 6%

21-24 yr. olds Graduating From College -- 2002


Nationwide, nine in 10 high school graduates from families earning more than $80,000 a year take college classes by age 24.VS.Six in 10 high school graduates from families earning less than $33,000 a year take college classes by age 24.


At the nation's 146 most selective colleges, only 3% of students come from the lowest socioeconomic quarter. By contrast, 74% come from the top quarter.


State and local money account for more than 90 percent of all education spending.High poverty districts typically receive less per student when compared to low poverty districts.(Illinois: $2,026 less!)


So how is ancestryrelated to SAT scores?


Which explanation do you draw on to answer the question: “Why do some people go to college while others do not?”

FREE WILL

~ or ~

DETERMINISM


The school sponsored by the Penn State Chapterof Asha-Free the Slaves

KhadharawanPhattupur

in Eastern U.P., India


School in Nicaragua


What is the likelihood that Panjy can “pull herself up by her sandals” fulfill her dreams?


RACISM: three definitions

1. ACADEMIC: belief that people are superior or inferior on the basis of biological characteristics

2. FOLK: prejudice and acts of discrimination are (often labeled as) racist

3. STRUCTURAL: any system of advantage based on race


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