Soc 220H1: Social Stratification. Josh Curtis Department of Sociology University of Toronto Fall 2013. Goals of Today ’ s Class. Introduce the course Introduce your T.A., myself, and give contact information What is this course about? State of Inequality in Canada today
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Soc 220H1: Social Stratification Josh Curtis Department of Sociology University of Toronto Fall 2013
Goals of Today’s Class • Introduce the course • Introduce your T.A., myself, and give contact information • What is this course about? • State of Inequality in Canada today • Important material from the course syllabus • Required readings • Requirements and expectations
Contacting your TA • Office Hours: Friday 11:15-12:15pm • Office: Room 333, 725 Spadina Ave • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting Me • Office Hours: Wednesday10:00-12:00pm or by appointment • Office: Room 333, 725 Spadina Ave • Email: email@example.com • Homepage: http://joshcurtispolisoc.com • I will only address questions on the material face-to-face during office hours or by appointment (I will not do it over email). Email is the best way to arrange appointments, however.
Course Objectives (1) • Concerned with how both achieved and ascribed characteristics are related to social class and related economic outcomes • Primarily about the causes and consequences of social and economic inequality • How it has changed, who it has affected, and how governments and public opinion have responded and influenced it.
Course Objectives (2) • We will be concerned mostly with large scale societal patterns rather than the inequality within small groups • Some material is general to modern democracies, but the course will concentrate largely on Canadian society
Three important themes: • How has income inequality has changed in Canada? • Who has been most affected? • Why has income inequality changed so dramatically?
Question for Class Discussion (1) • Has income inequality improved in Canada? • How does Canada compare to other modern economies? • Compared to similar countries, the level of income inequality in Canada has become relatively high since 1980. • Gini coefficient grew from 0.37 in 1980 to 0.45 by 2009.
Question for Class Discussion (2) • Who has been affected by rising inequality? • The largest gains in incomes occurred at the very top of the income distribution. • The top 20 percent: Their share of total income increased from 40.4 percent to 46.3 percent during this 30-year period. • Overall, those in the middle of the income distribution were relatively unaffected. • There were greater consequences for the poor, however.
Income Gains by Social Class • Class Differences: • The top 20 percent increase in their average income by $49,400 between 1980 and 2009 (from $128,500 to $177,900). • The bottom 80 percent saw an average increase of only $5,450. • The bottom 20 percent gained only $1700.
Question for Class Discussion (3) Why has income inequality grown? • Overall market inequality has risen. -globalization and the loss of high paying manufacturing jobs. 2) Top earners have experienced substantial gains. - Top 1% doubled their share of the market. 3) Changes in family structure. -the ‘traditional’ family has changed. The rise of dual income families. 4) Household debt has increased significantly. -From 86 to 149 % percent of household after tax income 5) Social policies have not keep up with market inequality.
To summarize: • Inequality has risendramatically since the 1980s. • The rich are getting richer. • It is largely affecting the lower classes, but there are also implications for the middle, too. • Government taxes have failed to keep pace with the rise in market earnings inequality. • Government initiatives have not matched public demand.
Required Texts Grabb, Edward and Neil Guppy (eds.). 2009. Social Inequality in Canada: Patterns, Problems, and Policies, 5th Edition. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall. SOC220H1 Coursepack. Posted On-line • Text is available in the University of Toronto Bookstore • The syllabus outlines the required readings for each week. I recommend that you do them before attending class.
Course Requirements (1) • You will be evaluated on three requirements: • First in-class test (October 25th) • Worth 40% of your final grade • 110 minutes to complete it • Mostly (if not all) multiple choice questions but perhaps some short answer • Covers material from Sept. 13-Oct. 18. • Second in-class test (November 29th) • Worth 30% of your final grade • 110 minutes to complete it • Mostly (if not all) multiple choice questions • Covers material from Nov. 1-Nov. 22
Course Requirements (2) • Short Essay (Due November 22th IN-CLASS) • Worth 30% of your final grade • Must be on one of the weekly topics for the course (see syllabus) • Must cite at least 15 academic sources • 6-8 pages (no less than 6; no more than 8) in length • Hard copies only—I will not even open an electronic file • Some advice: start early, ask for advice during office hours, have a clear research goal (support arguments with evidence), make sure the paper is clear and straight to the point. • http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/writing-centres/arts-and-science
Course Requirements (3) Opportunity for bonus marks: Up to a 3% increase on your essay grade. By November 1st, present a well thought through paper outline to your T.A. (during office hours). Specific requirements T.B.A.
Guest Lectures • Every other week I will try to organize a guest lecture. • Goal: (1) Give you a sense of how sociologists study inequality; and (2a) help with you paper ideas; (2b) Show you how to approach a lit review/research project.
Course Schedule • Be sure to consult the course schedule for weekly readings • If you lose your syllabus, another one can be obtained at: http://joshcurtispolisoc.com • Next week: The Welfare State: Theories and Implications. Readings are posted on Blackboard.