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What is stratification?

What is stratification?


School: Louisiana State University
Department: Engineering
Course: Introductory Sociology
Professor: Danielle thomas
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: sociology
Cost: 50
Name: SOCL 2001, Exam 3 Notes
Description: These notes cover Chapters 7-9 / Exam 3 for SOCL 2001 with Gremillion.
Uploaded: 04/07/2016
8 Pages 183 Views 2 Unlocks

SOCL Exam 3 Notes  

What is stratification?

CH 7: Stratification 04/08/2016


Talking about in a very abstract matter

Not in the perspectives through people who are living in poverty and  such

We will be talking about it through social structure and what solving  this problem could look like  


systemic inequalities between groups of people

systemic b/c influence by social structure  

Different ways to organize society and think about it

Different social groups, different countries, different ways of thinking  organize society in different ways

They are consequences to this

As a consequence of social processes, relationships  

What are organize society in different ways?

Ex: iPhones – allows you to do so much on one (media, technology,  etc.) item but all that manufacturing are not manufactured by the US and  instead in China  

No easy way to win the game. Not 1 to 1 ratio  

EX: people talk about the removal of manufacturing  

US hasn’t been a producer of alrge scale goods for the entire world  since the 1970s  

Appears as an American slogan but it is a very large amount of high  waged low scale jobs are no longer available  If you want to learn more check out What is geology in the news?

No matter how much you wish, you will not be able to bring  

manufacturing back to what it was in the 1940s  

Detroit used to be a huge place where things were made and people  could make a nice living out

Systemic does work on the individual level

What is stratification as a social concept?

This is difficult b/c it is hard to measure things like ability  

What we can measure our things like education, job experience,  parents’ socioeconomic status, etc. We also discuss several other topics like Is steve more likely to be a librarian or farmer?
If you want to learn more check out What effect does authoritarian parenting have on a child?

Often talking about things that are immeasurable and slightly  measureable  


Viewing it as a cultural thing or state based thing

Seeing inequality as a broad concept  


            (1) Rousseau 

Not a real functionalist  

Had some Marxism values (pre-Marxism)  

He gives us one of the first definitions ( assets)  

Argues that pirate property creates social inequality, which leads to  social conflict

Ex: if you have two children present. If you give one a popsicle, the  other is upset b/c they do not have a popsicle  

Top-down perspective

The ideas that it is not an individual perspective but a cultural thing  18th century  

The time he is coming out of, the feudal system is over, but at tail end  of middle ages feudalistic perceptive where land ownership wasn’t that  common

People lease/ worked land for the king  

Every single person owning land is a relatively new phenomenon  (2) Ferguson, Millar agree, but argue inequality is good

          It means some are getting ahead, creating assets  

          By everyone not getting the same, it highlights that some individuals  are stacking and creating wealth 

 a form of income that can be stored or stacked up permanently  Capitalism inherently creates inequality  Don't forget about the age old question of Can you have proximate cause without actual cause?

What they see is this notion that the ability to create assets provides  an incentive to work harder to increase their wealth  

Inherently going to improve society by inspiring individuals to work  harder  

When someone succeeds, they are creating inequality at the same  time which will inspire or push people to work harder  If you want to learn more check out What are animal methods?

Two similar perspectives so far

One has analytical tone

One works wit ha philosophical point of it  

          (3) Malthus 

            1st social demographer 

study society not in a subjective way but as a game of pure numbers Ex: every few years after a census, the state will publish an estimate of what the next census will be  

Taking the temperature of society based on how the population  movies, shifts, changes

Study where people are moving in the country  

He thought inequality is a good thing  

He was super concerned about population overgrowth

          Viewed inequality favorably, as a means of controlling population Equal distribution of resource’s would increase world population to  unsustainable levels  

Mass starvation


Malthus was writing at a time where there was actual famine There is famine now, it’s just not in our city  

He was concerned about population control

If we equally distributed resources, the population would grow in  unsustainable levels

What he did not foresee is that we would produce so much food that  we would throw it away or fuel our cars with it when others do not have  anything to eat  We also discuss several other topics like What are disadvantages of being landlocked?

Coldest view of them all  

He noted that inequality kept the population in check

Really functionalist perspective

Inequality that people see as political or social, he aw it as a force of  nature – doing something necessary  

Places that are already starting or having trouble feeding people have  growing population numbers

Whereas in the US, we have a birth rate declining as education  becomes a larger thing and food is more available  

(4) Hegel 

A little closer towards a Marxist perspective

Everything in social life works off a master-slave dialectic  

Most social relationships based on master-slave model  

Master becomes as dependent on the slaves as the slave is dependent  on the master

Workers went on strike b/c they were necessary in order to achieve any goal the factory worker wanted

Will die out as society gains more free people over time  

Both physically and mentally  

Ex: if you spend 300,000 on a house – unless you started out wealthy – you’ll be paying on that for a long time  

At time he was writing, there were large amounts of poverty and the  one way to get a job was to work in one of these factories  Unless you get your college degree, you will be stuck in the service  industry – you won’t have a lot of say-so in jobs  

You don’t just have to see this as one perspective.  

It is a dependency that is incredibly problematic (the word slave) Over time you become so indebted to the person who is providing  something for you, you cannot do anything without them  

Examples of master-slave dialectic

People being slaves to new technology

Lining up outside Apple Store for the new iPhone

Professor’s story:

Saw a guy get his credit card declined twice, then go to ATM and get  out cash w/ interest just to buy some games.  


How to bring equality to society  

Social theorists have come up with ideas on how to bring equality to  unequal societies  

(1) Ontological equality 

Everyone is created equal in the eyes of God  

From a social perspective, this is one of the earliest standards of  equality  

You were all equal at birth, whatever happens next is up to you

“It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, the higher power will see you  as equal”  

if inequality is an infection and you’re trying to figure out where to cut  off the food before it spreads, it says to not figure it out b/c God will sort that  out for you  

No need for intervention  

Ferguson & Miller would argue for this standard  

          (2) Equality of opportunity  

Structure society towards inequality  

Inequality is acceptable if:

Everyone has the same opportunities for advancement

It is judged by the same standards  

1960s Civil Rights is the first step in this direction

Ex: it’s okay to have a nice house as long as everyone had the same  opportunity to get there as well  

There should be intervention  

Hegel would argue for this standard  

          (3) Equality of Condition  

Everyone should have an equal starting point from which to pursue  their goals  

Hegel would argue for this standard  

          (4) Equality of Outcome  

Everyone should end up with the same “rewards” regardless of their  starting point, opportunities, contributions

None of the theorist would argue for this standard  

These are merely conversations about how we should stop inequality  and bring equality

Think about these things when people start talking about “how I will  solve poverty”


Inequality is a good thing for a couple different reasons

(1) Social inequality and its mechanisms can be used as a sorting  mechanism

Pay different people different things for different reasons

Unequal pay distribution holds values on those professions  Ex: you have to go through a lot of schooling and things to be a doctor – it’s complex so that they make sure you really want this job in order to  become such a high valued profession  

(2) Pulls people together to work harder


It’s not really that fair if you’re not an elite  

People of different skill sets working different jobs

Elites using an influence to gain what they want in society  Ex: ACT/SAT

These jobs are a way to sort people into different levels  

They are inherently biased towards elite individuals  

Ex: Supreme Court / the President

The colleges they have graduated from come from a bank of like 2 Harvard & Yale

They have all “grown up” in the same way  

Supreme Court justices have clerked for other SC Justices …  Ex: the US makes enough food to feed the world, yet that does not  happen.  



          A class 

A group characterized by common life chance and opportunities Getting away from the notion that social class is purely income Graduate students are more educated than me and have a higher  prestige, but they meet poverty wages  

One of the first sociologists to note that class is more than just how  much money we make

Very heavy critique of Marx

Marx was obsessed with who owned what and how much people made Weber says that a society purely based off of who makes how much  money is not going to work

            Status Hierarchy system 

Argues that social class is actually based solely on social prestige Instead of looking at life chances, some people have chosen to look at  it as social prestige  

How would our society be if picking jobs would be solely based on  prestige of that job instead of income??

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