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Chapter 12. Stratification: Class and Caste. Chapter Outline. Explaining Social Stratification Criteria of Stratification: Power, Wealth and Prestige Ascription and Achievement Caste. Explaining Social Stratification.

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chapter 12

Chapter 12

Stratification: Class and Caste

chapter outline
Chapter Outline
  • Explaining Social Stratification
  • Criteria of Stratification: Power, Wealth and Prestige
  • Ascription and Achievement
  • Caste
explaining social stratification
Explaining Social Stratification
  • No culture has ever devised a successful means of organizing a large population without stratification and inequality.
  • From a functionalist perspective, inequality and the promise of economic and social rewards motivate people to engage in difficult, jobs.
  • Although social stratification may be and of some benefit, it is also a source of conflict and instability.
explaining social stratification1
Explaining Social Stratification
  • In the view of the conflict theory, social stratification is a result of the struggle for scarce goods and services.
    • Inequalities exist because individuals and groups who have acquired power, wealth, and prestige use their assets and their power to maintain control over the apparatus of the state, particularly its institutions of coercion and ideology.
theories of stratification
Theories of Stratification
  • Functionalism specifies that specific cultural institutions function to support the structure of society or serve the needs of individuals in society.
  • Conflict theory focuses on inequality as a source of conflict and change.
question
Question
  • If one looks at how social stratification may benefit a state-level society and/or its members, one is taking a(n) ________ perspective.
      • anthropological
      • functionalist
      • historical
      • evolutionary
      • psychological
answer b
Answer: b
  • If one looks at how social stratification may benefit a state-level society and/or its members, one is taking a functionalist perspective.
dimensions of stratification
Dimensions of Stratification
  • Power is the ability to control resources in one’s own interest.
  • Wealth is the accumulation of material resources or access to the means of producing these resources.
  • Prestige is social honor or respect.
ascribed vs achieved status
Ascribed Vs. Achieved Status
  • Ascribed StatusSocial position into which a person is born. (sex, race, kinship group)
  • Achieved StatusSocial position that a person chooses or achieves. (professor, criminal, artist)
social class in the united states
Social Class in the United States
  • Status depends on occupation, education, and lifestyle.
  • “The American Dream,” is based on the democratic principle of equality and opportunity for all.
  • Social class in the United States correlates with attitudinal, behavioral, and lifestyle differences.
stratification systems
Stratification Systems
  • Closed system A system of stratification based primarily on ascription.  
  • Open system A system of stratification based primarily on achievement.
  • Class systemA form of social stratification in which the different strata form a continuum and social mobility is possible.
social mobility
Social mobility
  • Movement from one social class to another.
life chances
Life Chances
  • Opportunities people have to fulfill their potential in society.
  • Include:
    • chance of survival and longevity
    • opportunities to obtain an education
    • opportunities to participate in cultural life
    • opportunities to live in comfort and security
social classes as subcultures
Social Classes as Subcultures
  • Many studies demonstrate that social class correlates with differences in attitudes, behavior, lifestyle, and values.
  • A social class has aspects of a subculture:
    • its members tend to share similar life experiences, occupational roles, values, educational backgrounds, affiliations, leisure activities, buying habits, religious affiliation, and political views.
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”
question1
Question
  • Which of the following is not characteristic of caste systems?
      • based on birth
      • marriage is exogamous with respect to caste
      • caste is hereditary
      • ranked with respect to one another
      • a person cannot move from one caste to another
answer b1
Answer : b
  • That marriage is exogamous with respect to caste is not characteristic of caste systems.
changes in the caste system
Changes in the Caste System
  • There have been important changes in the caste system in the past 50 years.
    • Caste ranking appears to be less sharply defined within the higher caste categories.
    • Caste is less relevant for occupations.:
    • Differences in caste are now referred to in public as cultural differences, rather than as a hierarchy based on spiritual purity and pollution.
slide21
1. The view that social stratification and inequalities in a state result from competition for scare goods and services, and that the elite classes attempt to maintain control over the state apparatus is called

functionalism.

evolutionary theory.

conflict theory.

cultural relativity.

structuralism.

answer c
Answer : c
  • The view that social stratification and inequalities in a state result from competition for scare goods and services, and that the elite classes attempt to maintain control over the state apparatus is called conflict theory.
slide23
2. Social scientists refer to the opportunities that people have to fulfill their potential in society as

social statuses.

roles.

social mobility.

life chances.

random.

answer d
Answer: d
  • Social scientists refer to the opportunities that people have to fulfill their potential in society as life chances.
slide25
3. The example of poor whites in the American south who did not join with poor blacks to work for a desperately needed improvement of their economic situation illustrates ________ observation that people may often value prestige more than economic self-interest.

Margaret Mead's

Karl Marx's

Max Weber's

Emile Durkheim's

Wilhelm Lang's

answer c1
Answer : c
  • The example of poor whites in the American south who did not join with poor blacks to work for a desperately needed improvement of their economic situation illustrates Max Weber's observation that people may often value prestige more than economic self-interest.
slide27
4. Social class in American society can be described by all except which one of the following statements?

People of a social class share cultural patterns, so a class can be also seen as a "subculture."

Members of a social class associate with one another, more than with people in other social classes.

Friendship and marriage generally occur between people of the same social class.

One's social class is determined almost exclusively by one's income level and amount of accumulated wealth.

People born into higher social classes work hard to maintain their position, often trying to keep others from upward mobility.

answer d1
Answer: d
  • Social class in American society can not be described by the following statements:
    • One's social class is determined almost exclusively by one's income level and amount of accumulated wealth.