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CHAPTER 8: SOCIAL STRATIFICATION. WHAT IS SOCIAL STRATIFICATION?. 1. A hierarchical ranking of people who have different access to valued resources Property, prestige, power, and status. Closed Stratification Systems.

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what is social stratification
WHAT IS SOCIAL STRATIFICATION?

1

A hierarchical ranking of people who have different access to valued resources

Property, prestige, power, and status

closed stratification systems
Closed Stratification Systems
  • Movement from one social position to another is limited due to ascribed statuses.
  • Slavery and castes are closed systems.

1

slavery
Slavery
  • In slavery, some people own others and have control over their lives
    • In chattel slavery people are bought and sold as commodities.
    • In domestic slavery employers force people to work for long hours and little if any pay.

1

discussion
Discussion

How is it possible for employers to enslave workers, even in the United States?

1

caste systems
Caste Systems
  • In caste systems, social categories are based on heredity.
  • India is the classic example.
  • Indian castes
    • Brahmins—priests and scholars
    • Kshatriyas—kings and warriors
    • Vaishyas—merchants and farmers
    • Shudras—peasants and laborers

1

caste systems1
Caste Systems
  • Dalits—untouchables
    • Outside the caste system
    • Poor
    • Performed the most menial tasks
    • Were considered "polluting"
  • Caste system was outlawed in 1949.
  • Social distinctions persist.

1

open stratification systems
Open Stratification Systems
  • Social classes are relatively fluid.
  • Based on achieved statuses.
  • A social class is a category of people who have a similar rank based on wealth, education, power, or prestige.

1

1

discussion1
Discussion

To what extent is mobility possible in the United States?

dimensions of stratification
DIMENSIONSOF STRATIFICATION
  • Wealth—money and economic assets
    • Includes property and income
  • Wealth is cumulative, passed on to the next generation, and produces income.
  • Income inequality is increasing in the U.S.

2

prestige
Prestige
  • Prestige—respect, recognition, or regard
    • Based on wealth, family background, fame, occupation, and leadership
    • Prestigious occupations require education, pay more, involve mental activity, and offer autonomy

2

power
Power
  • Power—the ability of individuals to achieve goals, control events, and maintain influence over others despite opposition
    • Power elite—a small group of white men who make the important decisions in U.S. society

2

application
Application
  • What happens when statuses are inconsistent?
  • What are some examples of status inconsistency?
  • What problems are associated with status inconsistency?
social class in america
SOCIAL CLASS IN AMERICA
  • Socioeconomic status (SES)—an overall rank of people's positions based on their income, education, and occupation

3

upper classes
Upper Classes
  • Upper-upper class—enormous wealth, inherited fortunes, considerable economic and political power
  • Lower-upper class—nouveau riche, engage in conspicuous consumption
  • Upper-middle class—live on earned income, professional and managerial occupations

3

middle classes
Middle Classes
  • Lower-middle class—non-manual, semiprofessional occupations, rely on two incomes, maintain comfortable lifestyle
  • Working class—skilled and semiskilled laborers, possess high school education

3

lower classes
Lower Classes
  • Working poor—work at least 27 weeks a year but live in poverty
  • Underclass—persistently poor, segregated residentially, relatively isolated, chronically unemployed, lack skills and education

3

application1
Application

Identify the class of each example:

  • Maria is a dental technician working in a large clinic.
  • Kevin dropped out of high school, works in agriculture only in the summer, has trouble making ends meet.
  • William inherited family wealth, attended private schools, and became a politician.
poverty in america
POVERTY IN AMERICA
  • Poverty is increasing.
  • 37 million people live in poverty in the U.S.

4

types of poverty
Types of Poverty
  • Absolute poverty—not having enough money to afford the most basic necessities
  • Relative poverty—not having enough money to maintain an average standard of living

4

poverty line
Poverty Line
  • Poverty line—the minimal level of income that the federal government considers necessary for basic subsistence
  • In 2006, the poverty line was $20,444 for a family of four.

4

who are the poor
Who are the poor?
  • Children
  • Women
  • African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos

4

why are people poor
Why are people poor?
  • Culture of poverty view—The poor share values, beliefs, and attitudes that are different from the non-poor.
  • Functional view—Society creates and sustains poverty.

4

social mobility
SOCIAL MOBILITY
  • Social mobility—movement in the stratification hierarchy
    • Horizontal mobility—moving from one position to another at the same level
    • Vertical mobility—moving up or down the stratification ladder

5

social mobility1
Social Mobility
  • Intragenerational mobility—the extent to which an individual experiences upward or downward mobility
  • Intergenerational mobility—the degree to which one is better or worse off than one's parents

5

application2
Application

Identify the type of mobility for each example:

  • Cameron graduated from college, left welfare, and secured a semiprofessional position.
  • Tom left his job in the factory to work in maintenance at the college.
  • Cecelia grew up with a mother who worked cleaning motels, but Cecelia is a doctor.
what affects mobility
What affects mobility?
  • Structural factors: changes in the economy, the number of available positions, immigration
  • Demographic factors: education, gender, race and ethnicity
  • Individual factors: family background, socialization, connections and change

5

why are there haves and have nots
WHY ARE THERE HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS?
  • The Functionalist Perspective
    • Stratification benefits society.
    • The Davis-Moore Thesis—Stratification ensures that important jobs are filled with the most qualified people.

6

conflict theory
Conflict Theory
  • The Conflict Perspective—Stratification hurts society.
    • Capitalism pits the bourgeoisie and proletariat against each other.
    • Corporate welfare subsidizes business rather than workers.

6

feminist theories
Feminist Theories
  • The Feminist Perspective—Women are almost always at the bottom.
    • Patriarchy benefits most men.
    • Men control a disproportionate share of wealth, prestige, and power.

6

symbolic interactionist
Symbolic Interactionist
  • The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective—People create and share stratification.
    • People socialize their children to acquire and use symbols.

6

inequality across societies
INEQUALITY ACROSS SOCIETIES
  • High-income countries have a developed industrial economy and an annual gross national income of almost $37,066 per person.
  • Middle-income countries have a developing industrial economy and a lower GNI per capita.
  • Low-income countries are the least industrialized and largely agricultural.

7

why is inequality universal
Why is inequality universal?
  • Modernization theory suggests that low-income countries lack modern, progressive cultures.
  • Dependency theory contends that low-income countries are exploited and dominated by high-income countries.

7

world system theory
World-System Theory
  • World-system theory argues that high-income countries extract raw materials from low-income countries and set export prices.

7

application3
Application
  • Identify the theory:
    • Inequality ensures that important jobs are filled by the most talented.
    • High-income countries set prices for raw materials and labor.
    • Parents teach children the habits and attitudes of their social class.
inequality
Inequality
  • Inequality exists among and within societies for a variety of reasons. No theory explains all aspects of inequality.

7

internet connections
Internet Connections
  • Many laboratories focus their attention on chemistry or biology, but the Poverty Action Lab at MIT focuses on “[improving] the effectiveness of poverty programs by providing policy makers with clear scientific results that help shape successful polices to combat poverty." The Lab was started in June of 2003 by a group of concerned MIT professors and their collaborators. Visitors to the site will note that material is divided into sections—the "Research" section is a great place to start exploring completed projects (such as the "Discrimination in the Job Market“ study).

For more information, visit:

http://www.povertyactionlab.org

internet connections1
Internet Connections
  • For policymakers and academics alike, having access to information about the global distribution of poverty is crucial. Based out of Columbia University, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network’s Poverty Mapping Project provides access to dozens of maps which document the geographic and biophysical conditions of where the poor live. In the "Maps" section, visitors can look over 300 poverty maps offered at a number of spatial scales. Persons looking for data for their own research will want to consider downloading the subnational and national poverty data sets available on the site.

For more information, visit:

http://sedac.ciesin.org/povmap