Stratification Studying Social Stratification What is stratification? How does stratification affect a person’s life chances? Who gets ahead and why? Who are the rich? Who are the poor? Social Stratification
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“The division of a large group or society into ranked categories of people, each of which enjoys different levels of access to scare and valued resources.”
When the Titanic sank in 1912, 60 percent of the first class survived, compared with 40 percent of the second class and only 25 percent of the third.
1) Social class relates to health, life expectancy, and mental health.
2) Poorer people seem more exposed to stressful events leading to emotional distress and health-related problems.
3) Middle-class people are more tolerant than the working-class due to a greater eco. security.
4) The middle class emphasizes conformity to conventional beliefs and practices.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 2002. Money Income in the United States: 2001. from http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p60-218.pdf
Source: Facts and Figures (October 8, 2001). Adapted from Table No. 1. Retrieved May 27th, 2003, from http://www.inequality.org/factsfr.html
The old rich—several generations of wealth
Strong in-group solidarity (class consciousness)
WASP, prep and ivy school educated
A culture of entitlement
The Nouveau Riche
Larger than the establishment and in many instances wealthier
Their class position has more to do with achievement rather than ascription
Characterized by conspicuous consumption
Show symbols of their status more openlyThe Establishment & The Nouveau Riche
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Poverty Definition, Thresholds and Guidelines: Poverty Thresholds 2002.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey: Historical Poverty Tables Adapted from Table No. 2 ,
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey: Historical Poverty Tables Adapted from Table No. 15 , from http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html
Focus on the individual
Argue that the poor are lazy or immoral
Claim the poor are to blame for their own plight
Culture of Poverty
Focus on economic and social conditions
Does not ignore individual or cultural influence but emphasizes structure as more explanatory
Deindustrialization beginning in the 1970s and the decline in real wagesExplaining Poverty