Chapter 7 Stratification
Chapter 7 Stratification SO 1003
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Date Created: 10/11/15
Chapter 6 Deviance and Crime As a culture39s norms and laws shift so too does its de nition of deviance I Deviance Deviance is a socially de ned construct and refers to any action belief or human characteristic that members of a society or a social group consider a violation of group norms for which the violator is likely to be censured or punished From a sociological perspective no act belief or human characteristic is inherently deviant because deviance is always socially de ned Thus if powerful groups want a form of behavior de ned as deviant it is likely to be de ned as such Powerful groups can also de ect deviant labels by resisting Deviance is always in uenced by power relationships Shifting De nitions of Deviance De nitions of deviant behavior change over time from one geographic location to another one culture to another and from one group to another As a culture39s norms and laws shift so too often does its de nition of deviance Global Flows and Deviance deviance can be seen as a global ow both people and de nitions of deviance ow easily from society to society Global trends toward normalizing that which was de ned at one time and in some places as deviant are clear and pronounced Figure 61 This is particularly the case with changes in the acceptability of various forms of sexuality Deviance and Consumption de nitions of what is deviant consumer behavior are frequently in dispute i The connection between deviance and consumption revolves rst around the use of goods and services that are illegal or considered deviant It involves committing deviant or illegal acts in order to be able to afford to consume and purchase items ii Poverty drives some to commit illegal deviant acts in order to be able consume items deemed necessary for survival iii De ning Deviant Consumption i De nitions of what is deviant consumer behavior are frequently in dispute Much of the debate about de nitions of what is deviant consumer behavior revolves around the fact that the deviant de nitions supported by laws are not consistently enforced Violators are rarely arrested and if they are their punishments are minor at the least There is some variance those that consume the quotwrongquot drugs are more likely to be considered deviant than those that consume the quotrightquot drug alcohol ii quotDangerous Consumersquot a Dangerous consumers refer to a population of individuals who rst do not consume enough This population includes the unemployed the poor dropouts those seek to simplify their lives and those who save rather than spend their money b This population poses a threat to consumer success their insuf cient consumption pose a threat to the success of consumer society and to an economy that had come to depend on high levels of consumption c More broadly consuming the wrong product is also identi ed as dangerous consumption secondhand merchandise receiving charity Similarly the use of public or welfare services can be viewed as a deviant form of consumption because it constitutes a drain on government monies and on the national economy d After the Great Recession 2008 those who came to be de ned as deviant or dangerous were those who consumed too much and who went too deeply into debt Those who consume too much and accumulated large amounts of debt were deemed deviant ll Theories of Deviance a StructuralFunctional Theories Structural functional theories beginning with Durkheim suggest that because deviance and crime are common in all societies they are quotnormalquot and serve positive functions for society and social structures Without periodic violations of standards of conduct those standards would become less clear to all concerned less strongly held and less powerful Deviance and crime are quotfunctionalquot because it de nes and clari es collective beliefs reaf rms norms and values and creates social solidarity among conforming people Deviance reaf rms cultural boundaries and is an identifying marker allowing us to identify those who are quotnormalquot from those deemed quotabnormalquot Strain i Strain theory Strain is said to occur when the culturally prescribed goals of a society are unattainable through legitimate means ie when the culture values one thing but the structure of society is such that not everyone can realize that value in a socially acceptable way When all people can39t achieve those culturally prescribed goals through culturally legitimate means strain occurs Strain theories are concerned with structures that provide the institutionalized means to cultural goals Second it deals with structural relationships between those goals and institutionalized means ii Many of the socially desired goals revolve around material items and successes The legitimate means to achieve the goals revolve around educational economic and occupational structures iii Adaptations to Strain a Robert Merton suggests that strain leads to the ways people relate to the institutionalized means needed to achieve cultural goals This meansends assessment revolves around economic success Some adaptations are highly functional conformity allows the social system to continue to exist without disturbance innovation is functional because innovations are often adaptations to social change rebellion is functional because sometimes radical change is necessary Ritualists and Retreatists can be seen as dysfunctional for society the unchanging behavior of Ritualists contributes noting to an everchanging society and Retreatists are uninvolved in the larger society b Merton identi ed 5 ways people adapt to strain a Conformists accept both cultural goals and the traditional means of achieving those goals b Innovators accept the cultural goals but reject the conventional means of achieving them c Ritualists realize they will not be able to achieve cultural goals but continue to engage in the conventional means to achieve them d Retreatists reject both cultural goals and the traditional means to achieve them e Rebels reject both cultural goals and the traditional means to achieve them but they substitute nontraditional goals and means to achieve those goals v Recent Developments in Strain Theory i Robert Agnew focus on what happens to those who experience strain Anger and frustration lead people to commit more deviant and even criminal acts He focused on the strain associated with the failure to achieve positively valued goals such as economic success added 2 other types of strain a The loss of something such as the termination of a romantic relationship b Experiencing an adverse situation such as living with an abusive parent or spouse ii Stephen Messner and Richard Rosenfeld macroscopic approach to strain where the concern is with the relationship among largescale structures On the one side are cultural and social structural pressures to succeed on the other are social institutions that are supposed to reduce these pressures If the latter institutions are weak or exert weak controls people are more likely to engage in deviant behavior to achieve succeed iii Social Control Social control theory Travis Hirschi focuses on the reasons why people do not commit deviant acts People are less likely to commit deviant acts if they have a variety of social bonds and more likely to commit such acts if those bonds are weak or absent Social control involves the structures of society families schools workplaces and the people who act on behalf of those structures The social control mechanisms are social in nature Social control is a way for a group or society to enforce conformity to its demands and expectations Rule creators are typically elite members of society who have the power to create societal rules norms and laws Rule enforcers enforce the rules Suggests there are two important factors of social control the degree of social control exercised over people and the stakes that people do or do not have in conforming iv Sampson and Laub expanded on Hirschi39s control theory to focus more on the formal aspects of social control while preserving the discussion of informal constraints They are interested in the interpersonal bonds that serve to control what people do and prevent them from engaging in deviance and crime They also deal with the relationship between control and deviance over the full course of peoples lives because informal social control also plays an important role in adulthood and in uencing whether or not adults engage in deviant and criminal behavior v Broken Windows Wilson and Kelling in public places people tend to be disturbed by a variety of dangerous forms of urban disorder This disorder is perceived to stem from a variety of types of people beyond muggers and other criminals such as panhandlers prostitutes loiterers the publicly intoxicated and other disturbing people The perception is that authority doesn39t care about order including the disorder of graf ti and broken windows and thus crime is allowed to ourish The goal then becomes making an area more orderly through formal social control vi SelfControl Gottfredson and Hirschi focus on the selfcontrol instilled in individuals those with low self control are more likely to engage in deviant and criminal acts Selfcontrol is instilled by parenting and those with low selfcontrol rather than being able to resist temptation are unlikely to resist and unlikely to be able to foresee the negative consequences of action on temptation b Con ictCritical Theories Structuralfunctionalists trace the source of deviance to the larger structures of society and the strains they produce or the fact that they do not exercise adequate social control over people Con ict and critical theories although they also focus on structures and their effects on people explain why those in power do not experience the same harsh sanctions for deviant behavior as those with less power Focus is on the inequality that exists in the larger structures of society and the impact that inequality has on individuals This perspective suggests inequality causes those with little power to engage in deviant behavior From the con ictcritical perspective the type of crimes committed are based on power i Those with power are more likely to commit corporate crimes due to their positions in corporations ii Those in power create laws and rules that de ne behaviors as deviant doing so to maintain their social standing and the status quo Deviance and the Poor C Some con ict theorists especially those in uenced by Marxist theory suggest deviance is created by a capitalist economic system Today39s de nitions of deviance serve the interests of the capitalists and they adversely affect the proletariat De nitions of deviance are created to serve the interests of the capitalists and adversely affect the poor It is because of the laws created by societal elites that the actions of the havenots are singled out for sanction iv Deviance and the Elite Great efforts are made to legitimize elite crimes and acts of elite deviance and failing that to pay little or no attention to them Because the elite or those in power create laws and de nitions of deviance there is a suggestion that elites get away with deviant and criminal behavior because they can hide the deviantcriminal act while performing job responsibilities Elites can also create scapegoats to blame for their deviantcriminal behavior lnteractionist Theories Focus is placed on the ways processes by in which people quotdoquot deviance a deviant is simply someone to whom a deviant label has been successfully applied The label can be accepted to some degree or efforts can be made to resist reject or shed the label a Labeling Theory at least 2 things are needed for deviance to occur Symbols or the labels created by those in power to identify deviants These labels are negative and can tarnish the public image of those receiving that label b The interaction between a person or group and the social control agents doing the labeling and the person or groups receiving the label Those who do the labeling are known as social control agents Primary and Secondary Deviance a Primary deviance involves early random acts of deviance that rarely if ever lead to the successful application of a deviant label b Secondary deviance or deviant acts that persist become more common and eventually cause people to organize their lives and personal identities around their deviant status iii Key ideas in the labeling process a Social control the process by which a group or society enforces conformity to its demands and expectations often through the creation and application of rules and labels b Rule creators usually elite members who devise rules norms and laws Usually distinct from rule enforcers agents of social control c Moral Entrepreneurs Moral entrepreneurs refers to individuals and or groups who come to de ne lead campaigns to have certain behaviors de ned as deviant and made illegal thus subjected to law enforcement a Moral entrepreneurs can cause moral panics which refers to widespread disproportionate exaggerated reactions to a form of deviant behavior that has been proposed as a threat by moral entrepreneurs iv Stigma focus is on the symbolic nature of the stigma and the interaction with others especially those deemed quotnormalquot A stigma is a term coined by Erving Goffman used to refer to a characteristic that has been de ned or labeled as unusual unpleasant or deviant a Discredited stigma refers to differences readily visible or evident symbolic nature of stigma is visible b Discreditable stigma refers to differences not immediately recognizable or unknown to the public meaning that symbolic nature of stigma is not visible Passing deliberately hiding an identity or characteristic that could be discrediting Stratificatin Social Stratification Social stratification involves hierarchal differences associated with economic positions social status and political power Social stratification has a significant effect on how valuable resources are allocated in society Inequality refers to those societal positions that yield the greatest benefits money status and power specifically to some and not others Dimensions of Stratification There are 3 dimensions of social stratification class status and power Social Class refers to economic position in the stratification system based on income One s social class position strongly determines and reflects one s income and wealth Dimensions of Social Class Status relates to the prestige attached to one s position in society Power is the ability to get others to do what you want them to 0 Those who have lots of power tend to rank high in the stratification system while those with little or no power are near the bottom 0 Greater income is generally associated with more power especially in a moneybased economy Economic Inequality The stratification in the United States and most of the world is based on money In a social structure where money is defined as valuable and desirable the occupational structure is characterized by a payment system in which those in higher level positions are rewarded with higher pay Economic Inequality Income 0 The amount of money a person earns job business returns on assets 0 Usually measured year to year Wealth 0 Total amount of a person s financial assets less total liabilities Economic Inequality Income Inequality 0 Since the 1970s there has been a substantial increase in income inequality in many countries including in the US o In 2007 the top 1 earned 235 of all income and the top 01 earned 6 of the nation s total income it was 2 in 1988 0 The Occupy Wall Street social movement begun in 2011 was a response to the income disparity in the United States Graph 3 Share of Aggregate Income by Quintile United States 1967 1979 and 2010 1967 1979 2010 I Lowest fth I Second fth Third h LT Fourth fth I Highest fth Source US Census Bureau Ehange in REE Family llnsma by uinfil and Tiap 3 33333333 wana mama Ham 1133 1 39 441 Hmi Emmi11mg magma Fw h 3333 T123333 1p 5 mm 323 a a 34 E14 333313 3113333 and 3333333 and 3331333 343314 333333 3113343 up up lity Wealth Inequality greater than income inequality 0 80 of the wealth gain in the US between 1983 and 2009 went to the wealthiest 5 the poorest 60 save a 75 decline in its wealth in the same period Economic Inequa Great wealth brings great advantages 0 It can be invested to generate more wealth 0 It can purchase material comforts o The wealthy can achieve a high level of material security 0 Wealth purchases freedom and autonomy I Where i h I 39 Hui l 1 li39Ll Jill 11lll39 391i FI s the Wealth quot quot i e iii in 033 I 2011 I 2005 2000 Top 20 of 630754 households by 39quot 776225 networth 569375 r 1 205985 Next20 187552 68839 Middle 20 106591 1 U 391 73911 Net Worth wealth is de ned as the sum of the market value of assets owned by every member of h 57 263 the household minus liabilities owed 16645 Key assets include the value of a household39s home retirement accounts stocks and mutual fund 5143 19 shares and interesteaming assets interestearn ing checking accounts savings accounts etc I 6029 Key liabilities include mortgages on a household39s Bottom 20 915 home credit card debt student loan debt and A I medical debt not covered by Insurance 3 7 5905 Next 20 1 i ii States US Department of commerce Source US Census Bureau Survey of Income and Economics and Statistics Administration Program Participation 1996 2004 and 2008 Panels US CENSUS BUREAU Bureau censusgav Bottom 80 percent 7 of fin wealth Next 10 percent 10 of n wealth Neat 5 percent Top 1 percent 11 of n weal l 43 of n wealth Neal 4 percent 29 of n wealth httpinequalitvorgweaIthinequalitv america Status Power and Wealth Wealth is an important factor in gaining similar positions in the other dimensions of stratification The wealthy have access to many forms of power and control that are not accessible by others 0 They control charities and other philanthropic organizations 0 They can manipulate the political sphere 0 They can use their money to directly gain control of political offices 0 For example Super PACS httpswwwyoutubecomwatchvoy7TUtquk The PerpetuatiOh of Wealth Wealth and upperclass position is passed from one generation to another which makes wealth selfperpetuating A lack of wealth is also selfperpetuating because there is nothing to pass to the next generation to spur a rise from poverty 0 httpswwwvoutubecomwatchvBTa4RYkYaR8 Poverty Poverty is a great concern to sociologists and to society in general due to the many problems associated with it The great disparity between the rich and the poor is considered by many to be a moral problem for society as a whole Some argue that the poor are a drag on society others that the poor are the victims of a system that impoverishes them Analyzing Poverty The sociological perspective is that larger social forces create and perpetuate poverty for 3 basic reasons 0 Poverty is builtin to the capitalist system 0 Competition between social classes encourages those with power to enhance their position by limiting others access to opportunities resources and rewards 0 Government actions to reduce or ameliorate poverty are generally limited both by policy and by American ideology hard work success and riches Poverty in the United States Poverty line households who fall below a specific threshold are considered to be in poverty 0 Figured by the Social Security Administration by multiplying the cost of a quotnutritionally adequate food plan by 3 o 2012 23050 for a family of 4 and 11170 for a single adult 462 million people lived below the poverty line 0 In 2010 15 of the population lived below the poverty line Poverty in the U nited States lVIinorities suffer disproportionately from poverty 02010 0 NonHispanic whites 99 in poverty 0 Asians 125 in poverty 0 Blacks 274 in poverty 0 Hispanics 266 in poverty One indication of poverty and its effect on the family is the increase in families experiencing doubling up Feminization of Poverty The feminization of poverty means that those living in poverty are increasineg more likely to be women than men 0 2010 162 of American women were below the poverty line compared to only 14 of men 0 Women are more likely to live alone 0 Women have lower average earnings than men 0 More children are being born to unmarried women Social Mobility Social mobility refers to the ability or inability for society members to change their position in the hierarchy Upward mobility is the ability to move higher in the system and is the route out of poverty Downward mobility is the descent to lower levels within a social class or to lower classes Social Mobility Types of social mobility 0 IntergenerationaI the difference between parents social class position and the position achieved by their children 0 IntragenerationaI movement up or down the stratification system in one s lifetime 0 Occupational changes in work either across or within generations 0 Structural effect of changes in the larger society on the position of individuals in the stratification system Achievement and Ascription Positions based on achievement or the accomplishments andor merit of the individual are characteristic of open stratification systems Positions based on ascription being born with or inheriting certain characteristics such as race gender caste or wealth are characteristic of closed systems of stratification Caste and Slavery Caste is the most rigid and closed stratification system it is associated with ascription where individual mobility is severely restricted and there is very little possibility for changing status of the group as a whole Slavery is system associated with ascription where people are defined as property involuntarily placed in perpetual servitude and not given the same rights as the rest of society Theories of Social Stratification StructuralFunctional Macrolevel approach 0 All societies need to be stratified 0 Certain positions require more education and expertise and have more responsibility 0 For society to fill such positions more wealth and prestige have to be attached to them oThe implication is that without high rewards highlevel positions would remain understaffed orun Hed Theories of Social Stratification ConflictCritical Macrolevel approach 0 Argue that stratified social structures promote inequality 0 Focus on the control that those in the upper levels exercise over culture and how the deployment of cultural ideals hard work serve to perpetuate an unequal system 0 Question whether lower higherlevel positions are less pleasant than lower level positions Theories of Social Stratification ConflictCritical social rewards and status 0 Accept that some positions lawyer require more education than others garbage collector but argue the some lower level positions garbage collector are more important than some higher level positions lawyer 0 Feminists focus on gender as the determinant of social stratification 0 Critical theories of race argue that race is the determinant of position in the system of stratification Theories of Social Stratification Interactionist Theory 0 Social stratification is product of microlevel actions and facetoface interactions 0 Stratification involves interaction between people who occupy different positions 0 People struggle over things that are symbolically important at various positions in the stratification system 0 Thus stratification is fluid process so focus on the struggle over symbols of success and status Consumption and Stratification Different positions in the stratification system involve differences in consumption The nature of consumption itself forms a stratification system The consumption of certain sorts of things accords a higher position than does consumption of other kinds of things Consumption and Stratification Stratified Consumption 0 Those in higher levels of the stratification system seek to distinguish their consumption from those below them Simmel Conspicuous Consumption 0 People wanting others to see what they consume which communicates an elite status Veblen Social Class distinction and taste 0 Elites seek to distinguish themselves from others by their good taste Bourdieu Globalization and Stratification The Global North and South oThe global north northern hemisphere nations are the wealthiest and most powerful and they dominate control and oppress the nations in the global south southern hemisphere The Bottom Billion 0 Have incomes of only about one fifth of those in other developing countries 0 Low life expectancy high infant mortality rate high malnutrition Globalization and Stratification The Race to the Bottom oThose near the bottom of the global system must offer lower prices than the competition which are gained by reducing costs which negatively impacts their own workers The Global Digital Divide 0 Many people in the world do not have access to computers PDAs high3speed internet or the English language
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