Exam #2 Study Guide
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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Zyda Culpepper-Baldwin on Friday March 6, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to SOC101 at a university taught by Dr. Lesley Reid in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 263 views.
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Date Created: 03/06/15
Exam GUide zyda culpepper baldwin 1 Social Inequality a The Stratification Process i social differentiation ii social inequality iii social stratification 1 basic definition is a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy 2 the four principles of stratification systems a Principle 1 Social stratification is a trait of society not simply a reflection of individual differences b Principle 2 Social stratification carries over from generation to generation i Example parents passing their social positions on to their children this is a societal trait rather than an individual trait ii Some especially those in high income societes experience social mobility a change in position within the social hierarchy c Principle 3 Social stratification is universal but variable i social stratification is everywhere but what is unequal and how unequal it is varies from one society to another d Principle 4 Social stratification involves notjust inequality but beliefs as well i just like how inequality varies between societies so does the explanation as to why people should be unequal vary between different societies b Basis of Stratification Systems i formal versus informal stratification ii closed caste versus open class stratification systems closed caste systems allow for little change in social position and open class systems which permit much more social mobility 1 The Caste System a caste system is a system by which a society ranks categories of people social stratification based on ascription or birth i Example a traditional Indian system recognizes four major castes colors Brahma Kshatriya Vaishya and Sudra From birth the caste system determines the person s direction in life Second the caste system demands that people marry others of the same ranking Third caste guides everyday life by keeping people with their own kind Fourth caste systems rest on powerful cultural beliefs In this case lndia s Hindu tradition 2 The Class System a class system is a system by which a society ranks C categories of people social stratification based on both birth and individual achievement more open than caste systems so people who earn schooling and skills can experience social mobility the concept meritocracy refers to a system by which a society ranks categories of people social stratification based on personal merit which includes a person s knowledge abilities and effort iii ascribed status versus achieved status ascribed status is the social status someone is assigned at birth Achieved status is the social status achieved based on personal merit it reflects personal skills abilities and efforts c Theories of Stratification i functionalist theories the DavisMoore thesis 1 What needs does stratification fill in society It plays a vital part in the smooth operation of society 2 factors that determine rank of occupations a b functional importance the greater the functional importance of a position the more rewards a society attaches to it This strategy promotes productivity and efficiency because rewarding important work with income prestige power etc encourages people to do the jobs longeh i basically unequal rewards benefit society as a whole scarcity talented and trained individuals are scared because acquisition of training and skills requires people to be sufficiently motivated to pursue them 3 Several critiques of the functionalist perspective a b How we assess the importance of a particular occupation Melvin Tumin claimed that Davis and Moore ignore how caste elements of social stratification can prevent the development of individual talent i Example those that are born rich aren39t given the opportunity to develop their talents like poor children do c Living in a society that places so much emphasis on money we tend to overestimate the importance of highpaying work d The DavisMoore thesis ignores how social inequality may promote conflict and even outright revolution ii conflict theories 1 Marx a dichotomous class structure and how it is determined by one s relationship to the means of production most people have one of two basic relationships to the means of production they either own productive property or labor for others i bourgeoisie in industrial class systems they own the factories also called capitalists ii proletariat workers that labor in the factories b Marx s labor theory of value the economic value of a good or service should be decided by the total amount of labor that was required to produce it 2 Weber a What does Weber mean by life chances Theory of opportunities each individual has to improve their quality of life These opportunities refer to the extent that someone has access to resources food school shelter health care etc b Weber felt that Marx s economicbased dichotomous class structure as too simple lnstead Weber claims that social stratification involves three distinct dimensions of inequality i three dimensions of inequality 1 class economic inquality 2 status social prestige 3 party power d Some additional terms to know i social mobility a change in position within the social hierarchy Social mobility goes upward or downward Example Jay Z didn t graduate high school but still ended up with fame and fortune 1 intergenerational mobility changes in social status between different within the same family 2 intragenerational mobility social movement between social classes and occupations the change occurring within an individual s lifetime meritocracy a system by which a society ranks categories of people based on personal merit status consistency the degree of uniformity in a person s social standing across various dimensions of social inequality 1 A caste system has limited social mobility and high status consistency is the degree of uniformity in a person s social standing across various dimensions of social inequality The greater mobility of class systems produces less status consistency social hierarchies endure is ideology cultural beliefs thatjustify particular social arrangements including patterns of inequality 1 For example the idea that rich people are smart and poor people are lazyis ideological to that extent that it supports inequality by defining it as fair Kuznet s curve shows that greater technological sophistication is generally accompanied by more pronounced social stratification As an economy develops market forces first increase and then decrease economic inequality 2 Social Class in the US a Contemporary Models of Social Class in the United States b Conventional class model orange diamond in class 5 of the United States population is upper class 45 of the United states population is middle class 30 is considered working class and 20 is lower class the double diamond model Privileged class 20 superclass are owners and employers credentialed class are managers and professionals New Working class 80 comfort class is filled with highprestige careers like physicians engineers lawyers contingent class are wageearners and the self employed and the excluded class which are the working poor 1 four types of capital that determine position in the model a investment capital command over economic resources b social capital based on group membership relationships networks of influence and support c skill capital forms of knowledge skills education and advantages that a person has d consumption capital value based on age wear andor market lncome equality i income is earnings from work or investments explain how income inequality can be measure using shares of aggregate income The highestpaid 5 percent of US families earn at least 205000 or 213 of all income which is more than the total earnings of the lowestpaid 40 The richest people now receive a much larger share of all income In 1978 the 01 of all earners received 27 of all income by 2010 these people took home a share that was three times the amount in 1978 statistics to know 1 51 of income accrued by the top 20 of earners as of 2013 2 Minimum annual income forthe top 1 is 370000 Minimum annual income for the top 20 is 116000 3 Income share of the top 1 was at it s peak in 1928 with income share at around 25 Then these numbers declined up until about 1988 and the numbers have been increasing ever since As of 2013 a little under 20 of income share c Wealth Inequality wealth is the total value of money and other assets minus outstanding debts 1 Wealth assets reflects the value of homes cars investments personal properties and other bets When financial assets are balanced against debts the lowestranking 40 of US families have little to no wealth at all Negative wealth means that the families are actually living in debt Those living in negative wealth also are at the bottom of the income distribution explain how wealth inequality can be measured the top 1 own 35 of the nation s private resources The top 5 own 63 of all private property and the top 20 own roughly 89 of the country s wealth statistics to know 1 889 of wealth controlled by top 20 in 2011 Top 1 controlled 398 in 2011 2 minimum wealth threshold for the top 10 is 3964000 and top 1 is 20561000 3 Trends in wealth inequality over the last 100 years Wealth share of the top 1 was at it s peak in 1928 with wealth share over 50 The numbers declined up until around 1988 and the percentage has increased ever since with over 40 of wealth share in 2013 wealth matters determine life chances because wealth is an important source of power The small proportion of families that controls most of the nation s wealth also shapes the agenda of the entire society It provides opportunities and it lessens vulnerability 1 Some say that the political system serves the interests of the super rich Wealth High prestige is given to occupations such as physicians lawyers etc and less prestige to jobs like waiters and janitors 3 Poverty a measuring poverty i the historical development of federal poverty line 1 Johnson s War on Poverty 2 Politics involved in setting the standard 3 ETLBD and the development of the Standard ii Five major problems with measurement 1 Inadequate baseline 2 Only adjusted for inflation 3 no inkind income 4 arbitrary threshold 5 No regional adjustments iii differentiate between relative and absolute poverty 1 relative poverty is the lack of resources of some people in relation to those who have more have basic needs but not as much as others have those basic needs 2 absolute poverty a lack of resources that is lifethreatening basic needs food clothing water health care b Statistics and Trends in Poverty i Current poverty line for a family of four is 23624 ii overall rate of poverty and know the breakdown of the poverty rate by age All time high in 1958 declined rapidly was 173 in 1964 until about 1979 where it increased and decreased in 2000 the poverty rate was 113 rose to 145 in 2013 and is now declining By age in 1959 elderly were the poorest then children and then those between the ages of 1864 Over time children rose in poverty and the elderly dropped in poverty with those between 1864 sitting in the middle as of 2013 1 Poverty among elderly has declined because of better retirement programs offered by private employers and the government Now 48 of the poor are young people no older than 24 years old c Variations in Poverty i 2 chronicity 43 severity 12 concentration 1 43 of the poor are considered severely poor 2 2 of the poor are considered chronically poor 4 Race and Ethnicity a MajorityMinority Dichotomy i minority groups any category of people distinguished by physical or cultural difference that a society sets apart and subordinates ii six characteristics of minority groups shared physical or cultural characteristics does not have to be a numerical minority endogamy involuntary membership unequal treatment relatively high solidarity 1 identify a group as a minority group on the basis of these characteristics 2 differentiate race and ethnicity a race a socially constructed category of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider important b ethnicity a shared cultural heritage 3 differentiate between prejudice stereotyping and racism a prejudice a rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people b stereotyping a simplified description applied to every person in the same category c racism the belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another b ColorBlind Racism i What is race 1 ignoring legitimate racialethnic cultural and other differences and insisting that the race problems in America will go away if only race is ignored altogether accompanying this belief is the opinion that race differences in America are merely an illusion and that race is not real 2 race is neither an essence or an illusion It is a sociohistorical process according to Omi and Winant s racial formation theory a racial formation theory instead of race being something that is concrete due to biology and upbring are what construct their identity Omi and Winant suggest instead that race is fluid and is based on the person s individual interactions with other people and the social structures and common ideologies of a society ii Colorblind racism and its consequences it is the disregard of racial characteristics when deciding if someone will participate in certain activites or receive certain services An example is college processing admissions without knowing the racial background of the applicants Some consequences are people using colorblindness as a way to avoid the topic of racism and racial discrimination Colorblindness operates under the assumption that we are living in a postrace world when in fact race is still an issue Colorblindness undercuts the legal foundation of integration and affirmative action c Statistics and Trends in RacialEthnic Inequality patterns of income by race and ethnicity Asian families have the highest median income whites are under asians then fall hispanic families and black families have the lowest median income Since 1973 all incomes have slowly increased The average wealth holdings for blacks is 80000 with a median wealth of 2000 The average wealth holdings for white is 483000 and the median wealth is 98000 trends in poverty by race and ethnicity including children Since 1973 white poverty has been the lowest poverty group Black poverty started as the highest with hispanic underneath around 1993 hispanic poverty overlapped black poverty which eventually crossed again leaving black poverty as the highest poverty group around 27 and hispanic coming close at around 23 Child poverty White child poverty continues to be the lowest poverty group and in recent years has declined along with asian child poverty intertwining with white poverty s percentage Black child poverty is the highest with hispanic close behind between 19931995 black and hispanic combine but eventually separate still leaving black child poverty as the highest and increasing Like White and Asian child poverty hispanic child poverty is decreasing as of recent years patterns of social mobility by race Blacks are more likely to experience downward mobility than whites For example 54 of black adults in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom fifth or experience downward mobility versus white adults where only 31 in the bottom fifth stay in the bottom fifth or experience downward social mobility d Some additional terms to Know de jure segregation versus de facto segregation 1 de jure segregation by law discrimination 2 de facto segregation in actual fact segregation assimilation the process by which minorities gradually adopt patterns of the dominant culture Assumes that to become fully fledged members of society minority groups must adopt as much of the dominant society s culture as possible Assimilation can involve changing modes of dress values religion language and friends lnvolves changes in ethnicity not in race institutional racism bias built into the operation of society s institutions Negative conditions against identifiable groups on the basis of race and ethnicity salience principle we categorize people on the basis of what appears initially prominent and obvious about them Ex skin color gender age stereotype interchangeability stereotypes especially negative ones are often interchangeable from one social class to another from one racial or ethnic group to another from a racial or ethnic group to a social class or from a social class to a gender
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