AllNotesbeforeExam1.pdf ISS 215
Popular in Social Difference and Inequality
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Lecture 1 Inequality Inequality present everywhere in society and impacts everyone labels that reveal inequalities are targeted at people because of race ethnicity sex sexual orientation class status etc Some phrases that reflect inequality not from our side of the tracks not our kind team light skin team dark skin Forms of Inequality Institutionalized inequality structured inequality between categories of individuals that are systematically created reproduced legitimated by sets of ideas and relatively stable scholars argue that economic inequality is not inevitable and is largely the byproduct of a system s structure and not the result of major differences in individual or group talents characteristics and motivations ex an individual s economic incomestatus changes as a result of downsizing people losing jobs in the 2010 era gt not the person s fault Individual Inequality natural or biological differences between individuals inequality is always going to be present because of personal differences among individuals either in the form of basic differences in their own makeups race religion ethnicity etc or differences in the amount of effort they expend hard work is the way economic success suggesting everyone starts at the same place ex some argues there are differences bas on sex resulting inevitably in inequality Individual vs Structural Inequality capitalism s ideal conditions assume equality of opportunity regardless of sex race or any other category is the same for everyone assumption individual talents and motivations are the prime determinants of how far a person goes in the system ex high executive salaries are earned thru individual motivations characteristics only Capitalism perpetuates the individual view of inequality Inequality is Seen in politics economic status race class sex sexual orientation treatment of nature and animals food globalization Definitonal and methodological issues Social Class different categories of people in which individuals in the same category happen to have similar levels of education incomes and occupational prestige ex stay at home moms country club members professional athletes politicians lifestyle as the key factor that differentiates classes Poverty being poor means more than not having money it also means a lack of status and power when money is used to measure poverty there is a disagreement about whether it should be gross or net income include income from government programs and if it should be current or long term income Race innate and biological differences socially constructed a manufactured product resulting from social conflict and power arrangements in society Gender denotes the definitions assignments and behaviors that different groups and cultures assign to the sexes and in that way they are cultural constructs social definitions or roles often socially ranked and culturally assigned to males or females occupations are often gendered Firefighters are more likely to be men Sex while sex is also a product of culture in your text the authors have chosen to use sex when speaking of it in terms of biological female vs male this includes such discussions such as income differences between men and women Tension of Inequalities in Movie Asian women blames the white woman for the accident white woman mimics the Asian s accent about blake rights Asian stereotypes men not letting foreign American guy buy a gun because he doesn39t speak english well gives the women with the foreigner the gun instead of the man 2 black men are ignored by waitress getting coffee because black men don39t tip white woman grabs her husband s arm in a welllit city when she sees the 2 black men who are dressed normally the 2 black men car jack at gunpoint to the white women and white man which proves the stereotype to be true they carjacked since the one guy felt like the white women was discriminating by grabbing her husband s arm when she saw them MexicanAmerican is hired to change the locks on the white couples home and the white women wants the locks changed again in the morning since she thinks the worker is a gang member with prison tattoos white husband says an Iraqi firefighter looks black a different white man white police officer is on the phone with healthcare about his father and criticizes that since her name is Shaniqua which is a black name it s not a surprise that she can t do anything to help him make sure his father isn39t in pain at night white police officer pulls over a black couple who is blowing him in the car and makes the man get out of the car and accuses him of being drunk even tho he is clearly not the black wife gets mad and says that the only reason they were pulled over was because he thought he saw a white women with a black man they get arrested and frisked and then only let go if the black man apologizes the black couple inside the home have an argument over whether or not they are considered black since they grew up with a white lifestyle most of their wife the husband thinks they should just accept what happened and the wife is upset that her husband didn39t do anything when the police officer frisked her when they were arrested the black men call the Chinese man a Chinaman the black leutendent at the police office An Introduction to the Study of Social Inequality An Introduction to the Study of Social Inequality Hurst class differences show no sign of disappearing the gap between the top and the bottom economically has increased since 1970swhile class mobility has been at a stand still the past few decades climbing up or down the economic latter based on the social class you were born into is unlikely 2009 143 44 million of US population was classified as poor over 14 million were children under 18 median household income 49777 less than what it was 10 years earlier companies are doing much better than workers economically the earning gap is an indicator of the increasing polarization of incomes in the US economic inequality thrives in the US to strengthen economic position companies have been passing off their pension obligations to the federal gov therefore workers only get a small part of originally promised pensions workers become upset blue collar workers were hit hard when factoriesmanufactoring plants moved or shut down Ohio 13 population living below poverty line white collar workers feel economic struggles when companies downsize to meet completion or maintain profits 2009 28 million workers applied for unemployment insurance due to layoffs 27 were S manufactoring workers advances in computer and information technologies create opportunities to become very rich ome Controversial Issues of Substance inequality and its effects are all around us impact of inequality possessions places wealth experiences bodies races genders and power Are social inequalities inevitable individual inequality structured inequality between categories of individuals that are systematically created reproduced legitimated by sets of ideas and relatively stable if social inequality is linked to conditions inherited in nature groups of individuals or society will be very hard to eliminate always be present because our personal differences among individuals own make ups or amount of effort to expand open society people vary in talents and motivations gt social inequality is inevitable some unavoidable biological differences physical skill mental capacity personality gt natural differences between individuals men having more dominance and higher achievement because of biological makeup Aristotle Goldberg social inequality of rewards among individuals is needed to motivate people inequality can t be eradicated without endangering the society if social inequality is from conscious freely willed actions of individuals then it can be changed inequality is part of a system s structure Rousseau gt linked it to private property political economy amp labor markets determine income and wealth it s the individual that ends up on the ladder of economic inequality ls Inequality Desirable or Undesirable functionalist view inequality in rewards is a way of making sure that critical occupations are filled with the most qualified person structure of inequality is an incentive system which helps the whole society survive economic with other types inequality create division between the have and havenots men women minoritiesmajorities gt don t believe the system is fair inequality is likely to instigate conflict than to strengthen cohesion of a society American s don t know what to do about social inequality some ways attracted to inequality but other ways view inequality as justified meaning of equalityinequality is not selfevident Turner 1986 4 Basic Kinds of Equality 1 equality of human beings we are all the same and equal 2 equality of opportunity access to valued ends is open to all 3 equality of condition all start from the same position equality of results or outcome equality of income most likely to incite controversy 4 Are There Classes in the United States discourage the traditional American value system stresses individualism liberty and notion that all can get ahead with hard work Clues of Absence of Classes lack of agreement if there is or is not classes few reliable and clearcut physical cues to class position class is usually invisible gt less confronted by it makes it easier to createmanipulate ideas of class existence privacy and personal security isolated people from one another gt hard to recognize class differences if we live in shells some theorists say social classes do not exist in the US but do in Europe Italy amp France Positions of Social Classes in the US social classes as fullfledged antagonists do not characterize present US society fairly distance classes exist at the extreme of the inequality hierarchy but not in the middle distinct classes have always existed and continue to exist Max Weber believes Power can take on each of these forms and the amount of power is based on one s gender sexual orientation raceethnicity Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist capitalism an economic system based on private ownership competition and open markets capitalism has been linked to democracy in both a positive and negative manner capitalism s ideal conditions need equality of opportunity regardless of sex race etc if competitive capitalism happens in the US then economic inequality is unavoidable political democracy everyone has the right to vote or run for government power should be equally distributed during economic crisis some say capitalism and democracy are antagonistic to one another in contrast the Supreme Court s decision to allow corporate funding on political campaigns has open the door to greater political power based on amount of money you have Conservatives praise open capitalism and emphasize it s benefits for the individual view social inequality as inevitable Liberals view capitalism as destructive to human beings and stresses the linkage between economic and political power believe inequality is neither inevitable or desirable Does Globalization Reduce or Increase Inequality weakening of national boundaries for globalization has allowed nations to trade borrow and transport goods and services more easily there s greater flowinterchange of currencies peoples and influence free trade and exchange of ideas and technologies encourage the leveling out of differences and inequalities among nations open exchange fosters the growing of technology and medicine to nations in need of help which leads to a larger middle class open markets favor the powerful used by economic powers to strengthen and deepen their hold on global operations more negative outcomes freedom and open borders advantage wealthy countries but disadvantage poorer countries traditional corporations and international organizations can bypass strengths and regulations gt weakens the power of national governments ovetyopening of border markets and labor supplies gives corporations more leverage over local governments and workers impact of globalization is not purely economic has politicalsocial and cultural consequences globalization s rapid expansion has made international relationships more complicated because of variances in histories traditions and cultures power can feed worries about danger like terrorism to push policies to help maintain power more restrictive immigration and trade policies not yet decided if globalization reduces or increases inequality Issues of Methodology questions about definitions and measurement of concepts levels of analysis and the relative impacts of race class sex and gender on individual lives Definitional Problems social classes different categories of people in which individuals in the same category have similar levels of education income and occupational prestige different classes and organized groups in conflict with each other lifestyle as the critical factor that distinguishes social classes Hollingshead s Two Factor Index of Social Position objectively rating a person from 1 to 7 on an occupational and educational scales Wright uses exploitation as its defining characteristic and consequently separates different types of exploitation that individuals use or are exposed to while they work poverty being poor means more than not having money means lack of status and power when money is used to determine poverty there s a disagreement whether it should be gross or net income include money from government programs or if it should be current or longterm income the federal government sets income thresholds to determine one s poverty gt uses gross income from all sources as the measure of one s income race a concept that has been socially constructed over time seen as a manufactured product resulting from social conflict and power arrangements in society sex referring to the biological status of being female or male product of culture used when focusing on the inequalities between males or females gender behaviors that different groups and cultures assign to the sexes used when focusing on social definitions of roles often socially ranked and culturally assigned to males or females power power in decisionmaking processes in the political institution power inequality can exist in employment relationships between menwomen bosses workers BlacksWhites Introduction to Total Liberation The Nature of Inequality and its Consequences goal expand understanding of inequality by making sense of tense and violent relationships among humans ecosystems and animal species achieve a better grasp of inequalities ratifications deepening our understanding of the nature of inequality inequality if you are on top of or higher on the social ladder than someone else then you possess have access to greater resources wealth and social privileges your life is of greater value than others living within that social system you likely own or control more of that planet a means of ordering the human and nonhuman worlds for the relative benefit of some and the detriment of others unnatural gt does not just happen takes labor and effort to produce imbalance of resources or power unearned privileges made possible by domination and injustice life expectancy morbidity morality and wellbeing are highly correlated with human inequality working class people people of color women immigrants and Indigenous persons are more likely to face health risks as a result of environmental racism and inequality Extending Environmental Inequality socioecoogical inequality SEI ways in which humans nonhumans and ecosystems intersect to produce hierarchies within and across species and space that ultimately place each other at great risk builds upon environmental inequality focuses on hierarchical relationships among humans ecosystems and animals that produce harm across each sphere has concepts of Environmental Justice Paradigm EJP New Ecological Paradigm NEP 3 Primary Vectors Which a Relationship Can be Expressed humans exploiting ecosystems harm to both animals and hums especially those dependent upon living in ecosystems ex constructionoperation of hydroelectric dams gt damage to the river system threatening livelihoods of human communities that rely on the rivers ex industrial coal gold and cotton mining gt destroy rivers threaten nonhuman species and have unhealthyviolent working conditions humans exploiting other humans harm to both human and animal ecosystems ex oil extraction gt hazardous working conditions and production and distribution of hazardous effluence humans exploiting nonhuman animals harm to both humans and ecosystems ex industrial ranching and farming to harvest livestock or plant crops gt cause humans to settle which intern leads to deforestation and water pollution What does it mean to be human to have the right to dominate all other species and ecosystems no matter the consequences gt leads to environmental inequality to participate in various systems of hierarchy that rank and sort people by categories nationality class gender etc and distribute power unevenly rising inequality most of us are losing control over our ability to influence our own destinies and protect the people and nonhuman relations we care about environmental inequality links between threats to humans and ecosystems with emphasis on human wellbeing construction and persistence of ideas is what maintains these inequalities total liberation sees inequality as a threat to life itself for pressed peoples species and ecosystems and is organized around the struggle for life the emergence of the total liberation framework is a response to socioecological inequalities Lecture 2 lntersectionality List examples of social Inequalities from Crash Asian women drivers assumption that she is a bad driver based on ethnicity White undercover cop shoots Black undercover cop due to racial assumptions Black people don t tip get bad service from waitstaff Ethnic slursname calling Sandra Bullock stereotyping Hispanic tattooed locksmith Various derogatorysuggestive comments Gunshop owner making comments toward female buyer Racial assumptions surrounding personal safety Police officer using power to harass Ethnicity a concept referring to a shared culture and way of life can be reflected in language religion material culture such as clothing food and cultural products such as music and art ex ethnic groups of Italian Americans Mexican Americans Arab Americans Chinese Americans Race although there are innate and biological difference genetically we are all the same no race gene responsible for our racial differences national origins ex Puerto Rican in Crash Socially constructed a manufactured product resulting from social conflict and power arrangements in society Inequality is NOT natural inequality is unnatural it does notjust happen it requires a great deal of energy labor and institutional effort to produce and maintain unequal society What is inequalityexpanding boundaries it means that if you are on top of or higher on the social ladder than someone else then you possess or have access to greater reasources wealth and social privileges ex using power as a police officer to arrest the two black couple when bringing in nonhuman animals and nature it means your life is of greater value than others living within that social system Differences in the Study of Inequality traditional framework race class gender etc humancentered important for understanding how social systems work to the benefit of some groups and to the disadvantage of others focus only on humancentered inequality we miss a great deal with regard to how far and wide inequalities actually extend forget about animals and ecostystems Extending Social Inequality an unconventional approach to the study of inequality is gaining more impetus this perspective includes nature and nonhuman animals the intersectionality of humans ecosystems and nonhuman animal species Defined as Socioecological Inequality the hierarcial relationships among humans ecosystems and nonhuman animals that produce harm across each sphere ex humans and nonhumans humans ecosystems and nonhuman animals are intertwined in the production of inequality and violence and that relationships might privilege humans in the short run may also place them in jeopardy in the long term ex run out of oil varied and multiple forms of inequality and hierarchy exist that drive our socioecological crises revealing the importance of intersectionality lntersectionality in everyday life individuals accumulate simultaneous experiences as members of partial races classes and gender groups the meaning of intersectionality plays in because a person is all of these things at the same time in other words these qualities are not separate but are nested into each other ex race and class position both impact one s income race impacts occupation and therefore the earnings and class position if you live in the slums you most likely won t be a senator Conventional Definition of lntersectionality this definition just discussed is when a person is a member of a particulate races classes ethnic and gender groups at the same time lntersectionality the emerging approach expands this definition because the current definition is restrictive That is it begins and ends with humans Eviornmental Justice The intersection ecosystem and human inequalities usually includes working class people people of color women immigrants indigenous people these groups usually face health risks as a result Brown sc lntersectionality Book Notes lntersectionality Hurst pg187193 The Intersection of Class Race Sex and Gender society and the lives of real individuals are interconnected interaction of class race and gender at the socialsocietal level are considered as separate variables that affect each other at the group level ex relationship between the class measures of occupation and earnings and race on the other can be understood by using references to racial compositions of occupations group stereotypes and interethnic relationships intersection of race and class can be understood at the level of individual experience how race and class interact in the lives of individuals people experience race and class in their lives individuals accumulate simultaneous experiences as members of particular races classes and gender groups a person is all of these things at the same time gt intersectionality The Relative Significance of Race and Class racial discrimination and economic factors affect the everyday living conditions of blacks William Julius Wilson argues that class has become more important than race in determining the life chances of blacks political and economic changes have opened up more potential opportunities for blacks which have helped create urban joblessness historically racism has had a major effect on the lives of blacks that continues today historical discrimination has a more significant impact on blacks lives today than contemporary discrimination since 1986 increasing gap between the middle and poor class of blacks 40 feel diversity in the black community is so great that they aren39t anymore considered a single race class operates as a decisive force in the black community while race still has a cohesive effect blacks continued to score lower on measures of happiness life satisfaction and health and were more mistrusting than whites the interaction of race and class factors is complex blacks receive less of a return on their educations than whites race and class position both affect one s income Class Color Race races are socially constructed how one identifies with a given race and is placed in a racial category can depend on one s class position increased multi ethnicity immigration and globalization are the forces leading the US into 3 tiered racial system White and Honorary Whites include Japanese Americans Arab Americans Asian Indians Collective Blacks African Americans poorer East Asian immigrants darkskinned poor Latinos reservationbound Native Americans Collorism the discriminatory treatment of individuals falling within the same racial group on the basis of skin color blacks with darker skins have lower educations incomes poorer jobs and are less likely to own their own homes lighter skinned blacks have higher positions than darker skin blacks the shading of one s skin is significant in the US throughout history socially important in countries around the globe skin lighteners are in demand in Southeast and East Asia Latin America and Africa Black high society uses the brownbag test used to screen potential members of these organizations meaning that one s skin should not be darker than a brown grocery bag Class Divisions Among Blacks 3 Major Classes developed as a result of broader economic changes an underclass living below poverty an abovepoverty class just getting by a relatively welltodo class with high education levels and professional occupations the black middle class is more dependent on chance than the white middle class because of the generally lower stability of their jobs and smaller amounts of saved money for future expenses wealthy blacks are not as rich as wealthy whites poor blacks are generally poorer than poor whites racial factors may be more important than wealth in explaining the rate of black movement into heavily white neighborhoods as blacks move into the middle class a greater percentage vote in a problack manner and more liberally than other classes on issues of central important to blacks there are classrelated pressures the division between the traditional married couple and the increase in the number of single people who live alone as a segment of the black middle class individuals who often view marriage as a hindrance to the attainment of middleclass status the economic middle class consists of both lawabiding and criminal elements the conflict between traditional dominate lifestyle values and subgroup values also is found in school settings ex elite prepschool vs black poor children taught at home gt found black students can effectively combine the methods and lessons taught at home with those taught at school to successfully navigate their way through the elite school middleclass parents regardless of race use concerted cultivation a method of child rearing named by Lareau parents worked hard to provide crucial tools and intentionally prepared their children for successful adulthood greater monitoring and control of the everyday schedule of their children enrolled their children in numerous activities taught their children how to accomplish their goals this parenting style provided the children with advantages that helped them later in life and fostered a sense of entitlement within the middle class children workingclass and poor parents both races used natural growth a method of child rearing children were left on their own most of the day children were not treated as equals children engaged in fewer formal scheduled activities the research showed significant lifestyle and class differences among blacks Gender Race and Class Asian Americans and whites are more likely than other ethnic and racial groups to have completed high school Asian Americans have higher rates of college completion than other groups More black women than black men have college educations Race and gender have an influence on income earnings and the distribution of occupations blacks and women have increased their representativeness in professional occupations but are still seriously underrepresented in professions dominated by males many black women do not identify with the feminist movement because they associate only white middleclass women with it since white women s needs and interests differ from black women s race vs gender is unfortunate because it hinders black women from working agains both racism and sexism black women are often left to fall between the cracks in discussions of blacks usually meaning black men and women usually meaning white women Theories of Racial and Ethnic Inequality the high demands for intelligence and education has made the elite into highpaying and high prestige occupations and left the rest of the population behind gt the result is greater social inequality intelligence has been shown to be significantly linked to a wide array of social effects wages poverty crime dropping out of school having an illegitimate child racial groups vary on intelligence those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder are also those who score low on intelligence intelligence has become more significant for the class placement of individuals that intelligence has a strong genetic component the US is moving toward a more volatile class stratified society based on intelligence where classes are isolated from each other Reasons why Herrnstien and Murray s work has been criticized its reliance on intelligence tests given later in life whose results might thus reflect both generic and environmental influences the omission of other significant factors that can affect socioeconomic outcomes ex the labor market experience the belief in the fixity and rigidity of generic mechanisms and related social problems Pellow pg18 21 amp pg8388 Total Liberation The 4 Components of Total Liberation an ethic of justice and antioppression inclusive of humans nonhuman animals and ecosystems anarchism absence of authority or government anticapitalism an economicpolitical system that does not have a free market of goods and services an embrace of direct action tactics to reveal an existing problem and come up with a solution for it frameworks that seems the exploitation of ecosystems and nonhuman animals as necessarily linked to the inequalities within human society and recognizes there can be no liberation one without the other the total liberation frame speaks to key issues in ethnic and gender studies because it invokes and expands on the concept of intersectionality articulated categories race class ability gender and sexuality nonhuman animal land and nonhuman nature or ecosystems could be useful to deepen the analysis of intersectionality the total liberation frame suggests if intersectionality begins and ends with humans then that concept is unnecessarily restrictive one cannot fully grasp the foundations of racism classism ableism heterosexism and patriarchy without the concept of total liberation reveals both the complexity of various systems of hierarchy while it also suggests points of intervention transformative change solidarity and coalition building across group boundaries total liberation is a cultural force because its greatest power lies in strength and audacity of its Vision Connecting the Dots Ecosystems Nonhumans and Humans domination of nonhuman nature is necessarily linked to the domination of human beings total liberation narrative draws on ecofeminist theory from biocentrismdeep ecology from environmental justice theory and from the concept of intersectionality the unequal relationship between human society and ecosystems is reinforced and reflected in social inequalities among people humans are only one species in a larger ecological chain of being Marx refuses to separate humans from nature Only by reorganizing society along radically antihierarchal lines might we live in nature rather than above nature Bob Torres core of total liberation framework the contention that hierarchy oppression and unjust across species and ecosystems are inseparable Earth liberation activists drew direct connections between the harm visited upon ecosystems and other beings everything is connected to everything else no one is free while others are oppressed the interconnectedness of justice for ecosystems animals and humans stem from the belief that socioecological inequalities have similar root causes the same argument that allows people to objectify animals was the same argument that allowed people to objectify people of color or treat women as nothing more than property faulty lines allow people to exploit and abuse another person people who have little regard for animals often have little regard for humans too ex buying products from a slaughterhouse you are harming both the animals and the people who work there people who exploit the environment are the same people who help facilitate the exploitation women animals and workers race sex class and sexual orientation are all linked Because We Must BWM is a group of activists who refuse to restrict themselves to a single movement label their slogan Animal Earth Human Lecture 3 Class and Status lntersectionality at a social level separate variables that impact each other at the group or aggregate level class and race data from the US Census lntersectionality at an individual level individual level of analysis for a black race upper class class male sex surgeon occupation what is it like to be him how does the effects of class race and gender interact in his life at the same time what is it like to be the opposite of him poor female and white intersectionality scholars study which characteristics may be more important in determining life chances The Philadelphia Negro 1973 concludes racial discrimination and economic factors Julius Wilson argues class more important than race Example of lntersectionality race class and sex blacks more women than men have college educations leading to better jobs for Black women Expanding intersectionality total liberation framework is speaking to key issues in ethnic and gender studies expanding the concept of intersectionality various forms of inequality such as race class ability gender and sexuality interrelate and work together to produce advantages and disadvantages for individuals and groups Total Liberation Frame links oppression and privileges across species ecosystems and human populations suggests a theory and path toward justice and freedom something missing in traditional models of intersectionality Revisiting Race and Ethnicity Boundaries are often blurred Whites Japanese Americans Arab Americans and Asian lndians Collective Blacks African Americans poor East Asian immigrants darkskinned and poor Latinos and reservationbound Native Americans we can be part of more than one group Class and Race Class people who rank closely to one another on the bases of wealth power and prestige high class Bill Gates Kennedy Family in Michigan Meijer family Martha Ford Middle class white collar professionals semiprofessionals and highly paid blue collar workers firemen nurse salesperson teacher and accountant Working class lessskilled routine whitecollar and bluecollar factory workers Lower class homeless on welfare and often minorities Class Characteristics occupational positions income lifestyle Rosside s 5 Class Model upper class less than 2 of the population Upper middle class 10 of the population Lower middle class 30 of the population Working class 40 of the population Lower class 20 of the population Research on Class suggests that it is not a crystalized concept ex opinions of working and lower classes vs those of higher classes Social Status about having a particular lifestyle and set of social characteristics being viewed as a certain kind of person as a member of a specific subgroup that has attatched to a definite degree of high or low prestige Social Status Criteria the kind and source of wealth and how is wealth used the kind and place of education the kind of occupation Wealth having a particular amount and type of wealth andor can also be a basis for status reinforcements to the upper class include boarding schools marriages social activities occupations residence possessions Education place of education during school years there are social cliques cultural capital group s cultural values experience knowledge and skills is passed on from one generation to the next concerted cultivation the conscious preparation of their children in the skills and values they will need to be successful and to maintain their higher position in the social hierarchy boarding schoolselite prep schools Occupation janior and a professor have different social status characterized by education and training and behaviors prestige and earnings are not equivalent 2005 poll shows firemen scientists doctors and nurses with very high prestige and real estate brokers and stockbrokers with low prestige Social Status Examples fraternitysorority membership academic major athletic status the regions of the country they are from dormitories they live in Class and Status Book Notes Class Income and Wealth economic position has a significant impact on the prestige power and life chances The everyday Reality of Class class is not discussed or debated in public because class identity has been stripped from popular culture the meaning of class for the public is rooted in their everyday experiences and relationships awareness of class differences begins early gt kids classify individuals as rich or poor because of their wealth those at the top of the economic hierarchy often take on celebrity status old wealth are often very guarded about who is let into their group image of bottom welfare homeless and often minority status economic middle made up of whitecollar professionals semiprofessionals and highly paid bluecollar aristocrats working class lessskilled routine whitecollar and bluecollar workers most Americans feel that they are part of a class 8090 of adults classify themselves as middle or working class class position itself affects what individuals think distinguishes people in different class positions ex those in working or lower classes are more likely to see the upper class as distinguished by money but higher classes see their distinction derived from their lifestyle married men and women agree that both their incomes affect their class position equally Two Views of US Class Structure some portrayals of class structure use sets of diverse criteria following closely a socioeconomic definition of class try to be more faithful to Marxian criteria each approach attempts to identify meaningful breaks in the class system and each is useful in characterizing different aspects off economic inequality Class Structure as a Continuum social class statistically in terms of occupational status education andor income occupational status is essentially a measure of the prestige of an occupation result gt socioeconomic status measure of social class is multidimensional in that it mixes economic withs social dimensions of inequality measure does not assume any kind of necessary relationship between the classes there is no assumption that the upper and working classes are in conflict withe each other Gilbert s 2003 6 major classes Capitalist Class 1 grads of high ranking universities who have toplevel executive positions of are heirs who have an avg income of 2 million mainly from assets Upper Middle Class 14 individuals with at least a college degree who are in higher professional or managerial positions or owners of mediumsized businesses who have incomes of about 120000 Middle Class 30 individuals who have high school degrees and maybe some college who are in lower managerial or whitecollar or highskilled highpay bluecollar occupations who make about 55000 a year Working Class 13 Persons with high school degrees who are in lowerlevel white collar or bluecollar positions whose incomes are about 35000 Working Poor 13 Those with some high school who are service workers or are in the lowest paid bluecollar and clerical positions who have average incomes of 22000 Underclass 12 Individuals with at best some high school education who work part time are unemployed or are on welfare and who have incomes under 12000 underclass used to refer to people who are poor but work and are chronically unemployed and poor for long periods of time the proletarianization argument states that a significant and increasing number of whitecollar jobs are routine and boring demand little skill and involve little worker control Status Inequality social status is about having a particular lifestyle and set of social characteristics about being viewed as a certain kind of person as a member of a specific subgroup that has attached to it a definite degree of high or low prestige it s not just about the amount of wealth but the kind and source of wealth as well as how it is used that are ranked not just about the amount of education but the kind and place of education about the kind of occupation it is not just if somebody is poor but about whether one is on welfare is about qualities People are often and evaluated based on their education religion possession of culture occupation speech patterns and clothing styles also raceethnicity fraternitysorority membership academic major athletic status regions of the country they39re from there s a systematic bases for high or low prestige Inequality includes social dimensions noticed in our contacts with others especially when their characteristics and lifestyles differ from our own social stratification alongside economic inequality there s a system of status inequality and they39re often intertwined with each other The Theory of Social Status social status an individual s ranking with respect to some socially important characteristic some are considered either high or low in status there s a difference between economic class and social status inequality Max Webber social status is depended on class position social status is a typical component of life determined by a specific positive or negative social estimation of honor status is the sum of the evaluations that are located in the minds of other people with whom one interacts claim to positive or negative privilege with respect to social prestige is based on mode of living a formal process of education which may consist of empirical or rational training and the acquisition of the corresponding modes of life the prestige of birth or of an occupation Spheres of Status in the United States Occupation occupational role associated with both social class and social status but mostly tap the prestigeesteem dimension rather than the economic one occupation a basis for deference and honor because of its association with valued goals income power etc but also because there s lifestyles associated with particular roles some have lower or higher degrees of honor occupational status groups are distinguished by the level and kinds of education and training that members undergo and the types of behavior that characterize their occupations ex musicians status community have a unique set of values that shape their lifestyles clearly separated from outsiders have regularized rituals that make the community cohesive status communities based on occupation are the most relevant and common for one s status NorthHatt scale mid1940s occupation status ranking scale with a much wider range of occupation types and relied less on the creator s judgement real estate brokers and stockbrokers are at the bottom of the list very high prestige ranking fireman scientist doctor nurse Education level of education is supposed to be related to the level of knowledge and skill one has in a particular field education prepares one for a particular status group the type of education and the place where it was received are bases for prestige ex Ivy League colleges Harvard Yale over a public university or state school Bourdieu 1977 higher education helps reproduce the class structure by functioning to reinforce the value and status differences between classes and it does this by passing the cultural capital from one generation to the next cultural capital a group s cultural values experiences knowledge and skills The experiences in school and the workplace of those in working and lower classes coupled with the general outlook and specific attitudes that have acquired because of they class milieu lead to believe that they cannot succeed in school thus lowering their aspirations to do so concerted cultivation Annette Lareau 2003 the conscious preparation of their children in the skills and values they will need to be successful and to maintain their higher position in the social hierarchy upperclass women go about perpetuating they socialclass positions principal functions of education is to prepare students for the cultural status groups they will enter after graduation US boarding schools help the established upper class isolate and reaffirm its cultural characteristics suggests social closure among the rich education for students involves learning how to hide or mask their wealth to acquire taste and prepare themselves to be soldiers for their class prep school helps foster a brick wall syndrome a belief the exclusivity should be the norm and that there is nothing wrong with the separation of this group of students from those in the outside society students that get into better colleges and university tend to obtain positions of influence in the leading political cultural legal and corporate institutions of society legacy preferences help schools maintain the integrity of their lifestyle helps students go on to the right universities appropriate clubs and societies right sorority or fraternity and helps ensure the exclusivity and survival of this highstatus group School and Lifestyle social cliques and categories are found in elementary junior high and high schools selfesteem and identity are linked to the status of one s crowd in school causes alterations in one s behavior only 37 of children in the subsidized lunch program took advantage of it while the others would spend money they don t have or not eat because they were afraid of what people would think of them lunch is the best time to impress your peers school killings in the 1990 s suggest the significance of popularity social isolation and social labeling for selfesteem identity and conflict between groups of students being part of a clique is a way of avoiding social isolation status ranking of cliques or groups in schools depend on their adherence to expectations regarding areas such as beauty athletic ability clothesstyle athletic uniformsletter jackets speech body language humor ritual and territory none of these are necessarily linked to income or class position membership in cliques can be unstable and rankings within the cliques can shift cliques represent a type of status inequality Status features there is group ranking in terms of popularity and prestige at school attempts at maintaining boundaries between insiders and outsiders bullying is a technique that tries to keep outsiders away from a specific cliquegroup lifestyle that is perceived clothing one wears exclusive places or locations are associated with different social clusters stigmatization and avoidance of social contamination individuals pick on each other and single some out for intense exclusion avoidance of outsiders Wealth and Class having a particular amount and type of wealth andor income as reflected in one s class position can also be a basis for status if only because economic resources usually serve as a control on the kind of lifestyle one can afford the use of inherited wealth family lineage club membership quality of education and general lifestyle is criteria for membership into the established upper class which helps maintain exclusivity the upper class as a status group practices a particular kind of lifestyle with particular kinds of rules associated with it children are expected to be wellbred with manners and a sense of their importance in society marrying into the right kind of family to keep the family line intact one must have an acceptable occupation ex lawyer business executive physician art collector museum director architect living in an exclusive residential area away from the middle class having a second summer home upper class families tend to be patriarchal wife s are expected to be involved in charitable functions and social events there is a division of labor between the sexes there has been attempts to separate upper and middle classes even in burial sites Lecture 4 Wealth and Poverty Wealth and Poverty Measuring economic inequality sociologist today generally employ two basic measures income and wealth to estimate the degree of economic inequality within the US Money Income money income as defined by the Census Bureau includes money from virtually all sources including wages salaries Social Security welfare and pensions Advantages to Using Money Income as a Measure immediately quantifiable highly valued in the US society income inequalities are reflected in other economically related areas unemployment food prices and welfare Limitations to Using Money Income as a Measure income is only a partial measure of economic wellbeing if current income it does not take into account income trajectory some income estimates are based on pooled findings from several governments studies not always identical in methodology or measures US Census Bureau contends income is underreported with some sources of income being more likely to be reported than others Income Inequality ethnic groups racial groups family types married vs femaleheaded Wealth more complete measure of family s economic power consists of the value of all the family s assets minus its debts values of homes automobiles businesses savings and investments Middle Class defined according to the textbook as the percentage families in the 2500074999 category in line with this research rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods are expanding for example hard to talk about class without talking about income winding gap between rich and poor Changes in the Economic Structure technological developments employment in the field of information technology has been increasing since 2009 economic instability ex workers are often forced to find new jobs Gap between Rich and Poor shrinking middle class is due to the gap between rich and poor ex in 2007 wages and salaries between CEO and average worker pay was an average of 10 times more than it was 3 decades ago The Consideration of Wealth in the Gap between Rich and Poor average wages of middle and lower level workers have declined vast majority of the richest 400 Americans obtained their wealth in the service food and beverage manufactoring media technology or investment industries as opposed to inheriting them those on the top are more likely to have their wealth in financial or nonhome wealth as opposed to savings and home ownership financial or nonhome wealth involving only stocks mutual funds and other investments households in the middle and bottom rely almost entirely on wages and salaries to pay their bills for poorer families they are less able to provide inheritances to their children who then have little or no wealth on which to build the opposite for wealthy families Wealth and Poverty Book Notes Wealth Income Inequality money income money from virtually all sources wages social security welfare pensions advantages of total money income when assessing economic inequality more immediately quantifiable than other measures such as real estate income is highly valued in US society and serves as a base on which people are evaluated by others income inequalities saturate and are reflected in several other economically related areas income is only a partial measure of a family s individual s economic wellbeing does not include value of stocks real estate or noncash economic assets if it is current income it does not take into account the income trajectory of an individual some of the estimates of income are based on pooled findings from several government studies that are not always identical in measures of income the US Census Bureau says that income is underreported with some sources of being income being more likely to be reported than others ex tax filers usually underreport their incomes on their tax forms ex not all people are required to file income tax returns income inequality shows up clearly when comparisons are made between racial and ethnic groups Median incomes of households in 2009 Black 32584 Hispanic 38039 White 54461 incomes vary between family types households with married couples are generally better off than singleran homes regardless of race femaleheaded families have the lowest incomes within each racialethnic group Is the Middle Class Shrinking the middle class is shrinking in the size and prosperity of the middleincome groups middle shrank between 1969 and 1986 and the 1990 s due to declines in upward mobility from the bottom it s important to have a large and prosperous middle class for stability cohesiveness and productivity of a society Aristotle in the US in the past decade poor and rich neighborhoods have grown the top 10 of the population is getting more than 90 of all of the gains in income within the past 30 years Gini Ratio a ratio that measures the extent of discrepancy between the actual distribution income and a hypothetical situation in which each quintile of the population receives the same percentage of income on a value range of 0 to 1 it has risen 0468 in the past 30 years 34 of a family s income comes from employment earnings when workers are let go to increase company efficiency the company s stocks usually rise which is a major part of the CEO s earnings the decline of the middle class is linked to a heavy dependence by average individuals on wages and the market the decline of the middle class is linked to the gap between CEO and averageworker Pay 10x s more than what it was 30 years ago Longterm factors involved in income inequality and the shrinking of the middle class an increasing proportion of the national income has gone to profits and capital and less to wages and salary changes in tax policies which favored highincome groups and highunemployment rates a rise in the proportion of workers with low earning and resulting in rises in earning differences between lowskilled and highskilled workers shifts in the economy from production of goods to services market manipulations and changed in economic transactions and contracts recessionary and expansionary forces in the economy shifts in the demands for highskilled and lessskilled workers which create more temporary positions with few benefits changes in employment rates with a tighter labor market in the late 1990 s changes in the age structure of the population and labor force influx of poorly educated immigrants in the workforce and rising use of less expensive foreign labor declining unionization and power of unions industrial streamlining reengineering and downsizing governmental policies ex minimum wage changes tax reform cuts in programs for the needy effects related to globalization Wealth Inequality in the United States inequality in wealth is much greater than income inequality wealth is a more complete measure of a family s economic power since it consists of the value of all the family s assets minus its debts value of homes automobiles businesses savings and investments the amount of personal wealth gives a fuller picture of one s economic position the amount of personal wealth does not fully reflect the access of the wealth to a greater number of economic tools that serve to enhance their economic opportunities and market situations Wealth Concentration Before the Civil War if there was ever a time when equality was present it was when the United States was first being established the Founders recognized that all men are created equal and it was necessary to establish justice there was thought to be an equality of conditions but wealth was present even though no one group held a monopoly on it wealth moved around quite a bit inequality was on the rise between the Revolutionary War and Civil War before the Revolutionary War increases in inequality do not appear to be as consistent but differences in wealth were quite noticeable mid18th century to 19th century wealth concentration was high and tended to increase during that period Wealth Concentration in the Contemporary United States net worth the value of all their assets minus their debts the proportion of private wealth owned by the top 20 has grown since 1938 the middle class saw their wealth decline since 2007 financialnonhome wealth wealth involving only stocks mutual funds and other investments the top 20 had 93 of all financial wealth in 2007 the reasons for the increasing concentration of wealth in the recent years is related to the differences in the types of wealth held by various income groups their assets are distributed differently the top have most of their wealth in stocks bonds financial securities and investments the middle rely almost completely on wagessalaries to pay their bills many are heavily in debt poorer families are less able to provide an inheritance for their children wealthy inequality s accumulation has direct implications for economic inequality among the children in today s families inheritances contribute to the maintenance of wealthy inequality over generations education occupational attainment and home ownership can contribute to wealth accumulation more the case for Whites rather than Blacks Blacks do not benefit from education and occupation economically as much as Whites wealth is kept in the family which is why extended family is so important among the rich technology innovation is a much more prevalent source of wealth many start their own business or are selfemployed race and ethnicity are factors involved in the amount of wealth one has Confronting Economic Inequality the federal income and tax system and government transfers purportedly address the issue of distribution of economic resources among individuals in the United States The Effects of Taxes and Transfer Programs the tax system is supposed to be progressive to lessen income differences between income strata by taxing higherincome groups at higher rates index of income concentration shows the degree of income inequality declines when the benefits from government programs are added to the income definition declines even further when taxes are taken into account gt disposable income when compared to other industrial countries the effects of taxes and transfers in the United States on inequality and poverty are small the direct effect or taxes on reducing economic inequality in the US is minor but they do have an indirect effect because they are used to fund government transfer programs which have a greater impact on inequality part of the reason for the lower effect of taxes on reducing inequality has been the recent decline in the progressive nature of the federal tax system as indicated by declines in the number of tax brackets and cuts in tax rates for wealthy individuals the wealthy provide most of the individual tax payments received by the Internal Revenue Service in 2009 almost half of all Americans paid no income tax most were from lower income groups who receive federal tax credits which cancel out their tax liability the official tax rates are higher for those in higher income brackets tax rates have declined most precipitously for the highestincome groups in the past two decades since most of the wealth of the wealthiest is in the form of stocks a much higher percentage of the incomes of the wealthy derives from capital gains which are taxed at a lower rate than earnings from employment capital gains are the principal source of income for those in the middle and working classes gt the percentage of their incomes that is paid in taxes by the wealthiest is generally lower than the percentage that is paid by those whose incomes are derived largely from job earning the higher amount paid by the wealthy is testament to the large size of their incomes the proportion of total federal government revenue that comes from corporate taxes steadily declined throughout the 20th century the inequality of economic resources is not reduced by either corporate or estate taxes both of which allow the wealthy to keep more of their wealth Poverty and Welfare the design of poverty policies is affected by the cognitive and emotional pictures that policymakers and the public have of the poor Historical Roots of US Poverty Perspective images that we have of the poor are bound up with our explanations for their poverty a clear distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor developed in the late fifteenth century deserving pregnant women seriously ill and the elderly undeserving individuals who are capable of working but don t less eligibility the idea that any relief given not be great enough to discourage work the amount of relief was not expected to be higher than the wages of the lowest worker in the community 1601 Elizabethan Poor Law ablebodied poor required to work and refusal to do so meant punishment and nonpoor citizens were forbidden to aid them impotent poor disabled deaf blind elderly and mothers with small children given indoor relief placed in an institution of almshouse or given outdoor relief allowed to stay in their own homes but given food clothing or other needed goods dependent children children who could not be supported by their families sent to be apprentices taught trades and were expected to serve in this way until early adulthood to be eligible for aid a poor person was expected to have been a stable member of the community and without family support many believed that any relief would discourage the motivation to work an weaken character poor houses were an early attempt to take care of the poor sought to eliminate the undeserving from help by requiring work and banning alcohol for residents encouraged children and the deserving able poor by stressing work education and discipline in the hopes that such treatment would set them on the path out of pove y poor houses did not work out very well discipline and useful work for inmates was not enforced Explanations amp Racialization of Poverty and Welfare how groups among the poor are classified and viewed depends on the perceived cause of their poverty the composition of the subgroup whether they are believed to be on welfare who is doing the categorizing the categorization of a group by the public heavily depends on whom or what they think is responsible for the group s poverty some believe that most poverty is caused by an individual s own attitudes behavior or flaws gt they blame the individual conditions beyond a person s control such as economic recession or illness divine intervention the majority of people who think being poor is due to individual failings and view them as undeserving are white Republicans who live in an area where most of the poor are Black people with less education higher occupational status and that are politically and religiously conservative are more likely to blame poverty on the poor themselves liberal and highly educated individuals attribute poverty primarily to structural or sHua onalcauses those on welfare are viewed as undeserving while those who reject welfare but are homeless or are among he working poor are defined as deserving those on welfare are perceived as being poor by choice and others are seen as poor by circumstance negative portrayals of welfare by the media have helped to perpetuate opposition to welfare especially in areas where high levels of racial prejudice and large numbers of Blacks are present poverty is believed to be a largely urban Black problem seen to be lazy and responsible for their own lack of economic progress rather than seeing them as victims of discrimination therefore welfare recipients are believed to be underserving of government aid Cultural Values and the Poor central US values that have had a significant impact on our views of the poor individualismautonomy the belief in work intertwined with its moral character lndividuals Independence pioneers someone who s confronted by rigors of frontier life and worked hard and took individual responsibility for is or her own fate the image of a heroic American physically and psychologically independent individual achievement is sought despite difficult obstacles achievement even under difficult circumstances means that anyone an succeed if he or she tries those who do not make it either lack the ability or are lazy and therefore immoral the possibility of material gain is needed to motivate people intelligent individuals can do almost anything for themselves as well as society the inefficient poor were to die off through natural selection The Moral Character of Work individuals are responsible for their own destinies calvinism a puritanical religion that stresses the importance of the individual and his or her own work as an indication of whether he or she is among the elected the most individualistic development out of the most individualistic wing of the most individualistic part of the JudeoChristian heritage every man should have an occupation through which he contributes to society otherwise he cannot expect anything from society the work ethic is at the heart of the rationale for current welfare policies only the deserving poor should receive help Myths About the Poor Myth the poor are presented as lazy and poverty is too often interpreted as a solely urban phenomenon truth nonHispanic whites 43 blacks 23 and Hispanics 28 Myth the majority of those receiving aid are ablebodied middleaged men who are too lazy to work truth 43 of the poor are either below 18 or are over 65 years old roughly 14 of the nonage poor have a disability of some sort 10 of poor families are headed by a female parent Myth the undeserving has a significantly greater number of children than the non poor truth there is only a slight difference between average size of poor and nonpoor families Myth poor mother have children including illegitimate ones to increase their benefits truth welfare benefits are quite low which makes it uneconomical to have more children to receive more benefits Myth the poor waste their money on frivolous purchases truth the poor spend most of their incomes on basic needs phantom welfare many nonpoor receive governmental welfare as well as middle class and some wealthy The Poor and Incentive to Work a significant proportion of the poor work many of then full time in 2009 the minimum wage of 725 would provide a household income of 14500 this is only 23 of the amount needed to sufficiently raise a family of four 2 parents and 2 children major factors behind the recent rise in poverty low wages a weak labor market declining governmental support increased income inequality many poor individuals work but despite their efforts and the difficulties they face they remain poor most Americans want to work Who are the Poor the Census Bureau decides if a person or family is poor or not depends if their income falls below a given threshold thresholds carry by one s age family size and family composition ex under 21756 is the gross income a family of 4 2 parents 2 kids under 18 years old must make to be classified poor geographically poor a slight majority of the poor actually live outside major cities poverty rates are high in rural areas and in the core central cities poverty rates are higher in the South and West Mississippi Alabama Arkansas Kentucky and West Virginia poverty rates are lower in the Northeast and Midwest poverty rates are lower in Alaska Connecticut Maryland and New Hampshire Measurements of how far an individual s or family s income falls below their poverty threshold ratio compares their actual income with their poverty threshold on a 100 ratio if the ratio is at 100 gt income is exactly the same as the threshold if ratio is less than 100 gt shows how far below the income falls income deficit the difference between a family s income and its poverty threshold Lecture 5 Race and Ethnicity Race and Ethnicity The Meaning and Creation of Race race is a slippery term earliest attempts classified individuals by their ancestry rather than their physical features ethnicity nationality and physical characteristics as the social economic and cultural positions of groups changed so did their race ex with assimilation Jewish Irish and Italian immigrants once defined as non white became defined as white racial formation is a sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created inhibited transformed and destroyed Native Americans and Blacks were separated out from others because their political status but it was not until 1820 that race or color was used in the census states often defined a person as Black if they had only one drop of Black blood gt used this definition as a means to prevent and outlaw racial intermarriage the term Hispanic is still used today but is more of a description of ethnicity than race since Latino is a race and is considered a minority group by the government because of increased recognition of the mixed backgrounds of individuals the Census Bureau made it possible for people to identify themselves as belonging to more than one race 25 of individuals in the United States identify themselves as multicultural most Whites do not think of White as a race whiteness is invisible in this sense there is an illusion that being white is normal race is usually used to reference nonwhite people humanity allows whiteness to be a central basis for power and privilege in society US Racial and Ethnic Relations A Historical Sketch the unequal treatment of racial minorities in the United States goes back to the early years of colonization AngloSaxons contact with a visibly different group was Native Americans interaction was cooptative since both groups were interested in trade and barter between 18801930 over 65 of the 138 million acres that was held by Native Americans was moved to white ownership gt early instance of a group using an ideology to justify the taking of economic resources from another 1890 s Native Americans were on reservations where they couldn t practice their religions and their children were forced to go to boarding schools ran by whites the Constitution had never actively incorporated concerns for the rights of these groups and not until the 1920s that American Indians were granted citizenship early 2000s New York and LA had the highest Native American populations the economic status of Native Americans is way below the economic status of whites in the last 2025 years there has been a dramatic increase in post secondary education among Native Americans 19th and early 20th century immigrants from Europe wee victims of economic injustice Jews Irish Italians Polish and Greeks initially categorized as nonwhite and suffered the consequences concerns about maintaining purity of the white race fascinations with eugenics and Social Darwinism and the Red Scare in the early 20th century heightened fear of immigrants who were considered aliens gt led to the restrictive immigration policies of the 1920 s racial classifications were closely linked to the power and economic status of the groups involved BlackWhite Relations early English viewed Blacks as evil animalistic uncivilized and unChristian early colonies passed laws banning sexual mixing and intermarriage between 17901860 about 90 of the Black population in each Census were slaves the caste system took place between the days of slavery and the Civil War Laws forbid Blacks to intermarry with whites vote testify against whites in legal cases own firearms use abusive language against whites own property unless permitted by a master leave the plantation without permission or disobey a curfew make a will or inherit property have anyone teach them to read or write or give them books the end of the Civil War Emancipation and Reconstruction id not end the misery for the Blacks and did little to change their caste relationship with the Whites the Jim Crow Laws in the south and beliefs about the inferior nature of Blacks along with increased labor competition from an increased amount of white immigrants from all over Europe conspired to keep Blacks in a lower socioeconomic position Other Minority Groups in History Mexican Americans have been exploited for their land and labor frequently had their land taken away by AngloSaxons the use of Mexican workers was waxed and waned depending on the demand for labor Operation Wetback took place during WWII which included illegal raids threats and expulsions of Mexican Americans Asian Americans end of the 19th century Japanese immigrants had laboring jobs but were disliked by unions and employees Japanese were lumped in with the Chinese during the time of the yellow peril and Americans feared that yellow races would overtake the White race Hispanic Immigration and Arizona s Law Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority group in the country 15 of the population and expected to increase the presence of foreign groups in US cities has led too debates about what it means to be an American and about personal safety ex arguments for and against the proposal to build a mosque a few blocks away from the site of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center increased Hispanic immigration has led to severe interethnic competition for lowskill jobs in the agricultural manufacturing and construction sectors which has led to increased Black unemployment and violence the border between Mexico and Arizona has led to the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act requires police to question an individual if they suspect that the person is in the United States illegally law being argued in court immigration is a federal not state matter profiles certain kind of people so it violates civil rights laws enforcement might undermine any trust minority groups have in the police Racial and Ethnic Inequality Today Whites Blacks and Hispanics make up 95 of the US population Wealth and Income data from 2000 24 of White households and 11 of Black households received an inheritance sometime during their lives the mean baby boomer s lifetime inheritance at age 55 whites 125000 Blacks 16000 Blacks tend to be given less information about loans be denied loans more often and charged higher interest rates loan denials are especially likely when seeking housing in higherincome predominately White areas the Federal Housing Agency along with other agencies make it hard for Blacks to obtain loans and mortgages gt the lack of opportunity to take advantage of the wealth accumulation benefits of lower capital gains taxes home mortgage deductions and Social Security benefits consequently 75 of Black children grow up in families with no wealth assets Black families put in about 500 more work hours than highincome White families Earnings and Occupations the median weekly earnings of Blacks and Hispanics working fulltime are lower than this of Whites among both men and women the earnings gap increased dramatically during the 1980 s BlackWhite wage differentials appear to be greater in highearning occupations part of the reason for the differences in earnings between racial and ethnic groups relates to the differences in their occupational distributions blacks are segregated into jobs that are often dominated by other blacks jobs in which there is a high concentration of minority employees have lower wages attached to them regardless of the qualifications of the workers or the characteristics of the place of employment minority workers tend to lose ground in wages to White workers as they get older and move through their careers Black s job changesdistribution cause shifts to the US economy culture and polity the shift away from agriculture since 1990 a decline in the centrality of unskilled work the movement toward a serviceoriented economy the movement of industry out of central cities into suburbs different regions of the country or even different countries attacks on unions and the general weakening of the power of labor relative to corporate management retrenchment of civil rights enforcement Women s Jobs among women the greatest concentration of White women is in managerial professional occupations most Black women are in managerial professional or office positions 23 of Hispanic women are in office or service positions like Blacks Hispanics are underrepresented in many professional highauthority occupations and are overrepresented in manual labor agricultural and personal service positions White Privilege and the Relational Nature of Racial Inequality while whiteness is invisible to Whites it is a position from which Whites view themselves as well as others it is a privilege of which whites are unaware society and culture norms are organized in ways that privilege whiteness from a criticalrace perspective viewing racism as an individual phenomenon masks its structural nature and prevents it eradication defining racism as individualistic rather than structural terms has allowed traditional views to avoid the institutional context within which individuals of different races are embedded and to deflect attention from the issue of White privilege Micro inequities and Microagressions Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities one reason for stereotypes is the lack of personal concrete familiarity that individuals have with persons in other racial or ethnic groups the media has perpetuated stereotypes of African Americans that has been learned in other contexts Blacks or nonwhite have either been absent from the media or been portrayed in negative terms ex Blacks lazy slow thinking subservient ex American Indian savage hostile
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