Sociology 1004: Unit 2 Study Guide: Class, Race, how groups divide pies
Sociology 1004: Unit 2 Study Guide: Class, Race, how groups divide pies Sociology 1004
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Sociology Study Guide: Class, Race, and how groups divide pies Patrimonial Alliances and Failures of State Penetration: • One of the biggest shifts in history was the movement of patrimonialism to bureaucracy • What are patrimonial organizations? Well, there are two subtypes… o 1. Patrimonial households o 2. Patrimonial alliances Patrimonial Households: Patrimonial Alliances: § grow internallby the addition of § do NOT emphasize households non-kin Bigger households = § a group of people that are recruited more power for things like: raiding, conquering, § Loyalty was based on ritual, and migrating. Ex: The Vikings) sentiment, and material § they didn’t have bonds like kinship dependence holding them together so they had § Leaders were male kin more flexibility in new coalitions, leaders, and aristocracies. § grow externallyby maintaining § They were formed around an personal alliances with other household leaders ancestor or mythical hero from who they all “descended from” Ex: Hoover Crips gang from Larry Hoover • The main cause of the shift of patrimonialism to bureaucracy was the military-fiscal revolution and the ensuing penetrance of states into society (decline of patrimonialism is discussed in further detail on the next page). o Patrimony is largely diminished,except in a few societies in which states “fail to penetrate”/make an impact § Gangs are an example of patrimonial organization, they are resistance to bureaucratic penetration and efforts at control. § “Much of what we regard as crime, especially in its more organized forms, looks a great deal like patrimonialism” (Collins, 17). • What is patrimonialism? Originally, it was an organization based around private households and the alliances that are formed among them. o Patrimonialism wields its political power fpersonal loyaltIt has strengthened through tradition. o Bigger households = more power! Some households can expand far beyond kinship and grow in size by including “alliances” like servants, guards, retainers, hostages, and guests. This allows household leaders to have power over a greater number of people. o Key characteristic of patrimonialism: it is centered around male lineages. Since males had all of the power, this made it almost impossible for feminism to rise. Patrimonialism had to fall in order for feminism to rise. • A little bit about patrimonial politics…. o It usually involved strategic formations of relationships, like marriage to link important families together. It could also use divorce and remarriage to its advantage too. o It wasn’t “all about family” because let’s face it, not everyone in our family is that useful, right? Like your little brother Billy who does anything but sit around all day. This is why forming personal network was so important. “Servants and friends, and the relationships of patrons and clients, sponsors and protégés, were more flexible and more useful than kinship per se, and it was these kinds of personal networks that are essential to patrimonial power” (Collins, 17). • Loyalty was maintained through ritual and sentiment, but also through material dependence. Loyalty was formed because households were the only organizations around, people needed someone to attach to in order to have their needs met—in order to be fed, clothed, and protected. o “…alliances always center on someone who inherits the material wealth of a household and its attached estate—literally the patrimony” (Collins, 18). o “…in an era where military force was organized by households with their store of weapons, one could only be safe, let alone powerful, by belonging to a big household” (Collins, 18). • Decline of patrimonialism:Even when bureaucracies existed alongside patrimonial households, the patrimonial households STILL continued to exist. It wasn’t until the military fiscal revolution that patrimony largely disintegrated. o States were penetrating into society by, “…inscribing individuals on state rolls asoldiers …and eventually as citizens subject to taxations and beneficiaries of public education, health, and welfare” (Collins, 19). o Households no longer needed to protect themselves, there was a government controlled army for that. o It further brought individuals into direct relation with the state through things like taxes, health, welfare, etc. o This whole process of state-penetrance didn’t happen overnight; it took several hundred years. • S hift of Patrimony to Bureaucracy: Patrimony: Bureaucracy: Togetherness of a Separate home and work household, everything by the creation of special revolves around the house work building like offices. and takes place in the People are leaving the house house more! Household punishment Government prisons Ex: the cellar in ya basement Replaced with an Based on triodni“what adherence to abstract duties and goals of organization we’ve been doing and what we will continue doing” and one’s poonsii it Centered around written rules and records to keep Personal loyalties everything organized and official The Rise of the Super Rich: • The distribution of income has grown increasing unequal in the past 30 years. The Rise of the Super Rich investigates the factors that affect income distribution. • The two factors affecting income distribution: o 1. Market o 2. Partisan politics (left party power) • The Power Resource Theory (PRT): explains the link between class-based political power with income distribution o PRT assumes that working and middle class individuals have difference distributional preferences. The lower the class of an individual the more egalitarian preferences they have than those at the top. Egalitaria: of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. o PRT says that working and middle class individuals can affect income redistribution through government policies and through the market. • 1. The Market:individuals can affiliate themselves with labor unions to affect market distribution of income. o A study found that unions reduce market generated income inequality (681). This is because, “As labor union membership increases, unions gain greater bargaining power, and the market distribution of income become more equal” (681). • 2. Parisian PoliticDemocratic presence in the national government reduce market inequality. o “A greater share of Democrats in Congress can limit the rent- generating effects of property rights benefiting big business and limit other governance structures used to generate profits” (682). o “Democrats may more stringently enforce labor laws such as the minimum wage, union election rules, overtime pay, and other forms of labor-related compensation” (682). o Also, left parties are more likely to supporredistribution programs by the use of taxes and benefits o Political policies influence the market: § “Political factors should not only influence redistribution through taxes and transfers but also alter economic outcomes produced in the market…we call this market conditioning” (681). § Obviously, government actions shape decision making in markets. Especially when it comes to things like payroll, taxes, government contracts, tax credits, workplace safety, environmental regulation, and more. § Example: higher taxes produce disincentives to accumulate more earned income and defer investment, thus lowering capital income. § Taxes defer inequality: “…higher tax rates provide funding for programs such as education and health care that broaden economic opportunities among middle and lower income households’ (688). o It is important to note that democratic strength in CONGRESS is what affects wealth distribution. The president has little impact on top income shares. This is because congress does the policy making. • Final Thoughts: o Shifts towards the republican party, diminishing labor unions, lower tax rates, are reasons for the rise of the super-rich in today’s day. o A decrease in labor unions decreases the bargaining power of workers and increases firms’ market value and their profitability. o Other factors the led to the rise of the super-rich include: trade openness, stock and home prices Situational Stratification:part 1 • Micro-Macro Theory of Inequality: o This section focuses on how the distribution of wealth is becoming increasingly unequal o The value of money revolves a lot around the micro experiences that are associated with it o Most attraction to money is due to the emotional energies and the symbolic membership markers: like being on the phone all day and engaging in exciting transactions. o The rich are not necessarily attracted to the buying power of money. This can be seen in tycoons that work endlessness days and nights, despite the fact that they already wield large amounts of money, they continue to work. They have already attained all of their material desires, they are working because they enjoy the micro-situational experiences associated with being rich. o Zelzier says that, “money which can be spent on prestigious or at least exciting social encounters tends to have preference over mere mundane money: immigrants…who spent money on lavish funerals because these were key social ceremonies of display within the ethnic community; men whose priority is to have drinking money to participate with the allmale group at the saloon; prostitutes’’ money which is spent on the locally prestigious “action” style of drug parties” (21). Cultural activity reinforces economic dominance • Structure of Circuits of Monetary: o The Financial Elite:participates actively in financial transactions, to the extent that they can wield large blocks of capital. They have a personal experience of financial circuits. o The Investing Class:AKA the upper middle class and the lower upper class. They get their money from high paying jobs or from business ownership. They participate in anonymous financial investments in stock markets, real estate, etc. They do NOT have access to personal circuits. o The Entrepreneurial Class:They use their money to hire employees, purchase and sell good, and participate in localor specialized circuits of exchange. Their micro situation experience is repeated bargaining . They also routinely monitor competitors. The money from this sector varies a lot: from 100’s of dollars – millions. o CelebritiesThey share a similar struggle with the financial elite in that they don’t know how to turn their wealth into consumption. They are often mislead by their own agents or brokers that encourage them to engage in outside investments. § Celebritiesdo the BEST by investing in the same industry in which they originated from. Ex: hockey player investing in a hockey team. § “Those who keep their wealth within the same Zelizer circuit in which it originated are the best able to hold its monetary value and to maximize their micro situational payoffs of experiential prestige as well” (23). o Middle/Working class: “…they are shaped by occupational markets and the networks of information and contacts which sustain them” (23). They mostly spend their money in networks of personal contact by spending small amounts of money on repetitive consumer spending in impersonal retail organizations. o Illegal Marketsincluded gray markets that are not taxed/licensed, criminal markets (drugs, sex, weapons), and robbery. “illicit circuits avoid the rake-off by which the government is normal involved in all the reputable circuits of exchange, and through which governments are usually committed to regulating and providing infrastructure in the interest of the members of those circuits. The very fact that some of these circuits are illicit means they must be kept hidden from the regulators of official circuits: the results in that the rituals and the symbols of everyday encounters within these circuits are very different in tone” (23). o The Ultimate Lower Class: many people think that they are outside all of the circuits of monetary exchange, but that is not true. Even beggars, homeless, and scavengers are involved in some sort of circuits—they receive donations, handouts, and other stolen/discarded goods. § They are largely restricted in how they do their exchanges since the currencies they use are often limited to certain expenditures. (Ex: Food stamps) § “Barter relations are highly specific, lacking the sense of symbolic honor and freedom which comes from possessing financial tokens which are more generally negotiable” (24). • Status Groups: o Status can have many meaning, this section goes about defining status in terms of the sphere of cultural honor. o Weber, Rituals, and the youth. • 1. Weber: “Weber defines status group as a community sharing a cultural lifestyle, a recognized social identity, and publicly (even legally) recognized honor or social ranking” (24). Example: medieval statuses like aristocracy, bourgeois, peasantry. o According to Weber, status groups are not the same as economic class (statistical categories) whereas status groups are a real social organization. “if status groups structure life experiences much more intimately than class in the abstract, such a historical shift would mean that class identity, conflict, and capacity for mobilized action would be considerably weakened” (24). o Status groups largely occur in sociable situations, from very focused and formal, to relatively unfocused and informal. § Highly Focused: these events are scheduled in advance, widely publicized, rehearsed, follow traditions. Ex: weddings, dances, formal dinners § Less Focused: largely improvised rituals. Ex: parties, commercial events, casual business conversations. o All ceremonies enact social memberships. Rituals imply intimate and frequently enacted commitments. • 2. Rituals: o a. Depends on how much time rituals take up in people’s lives. o b. Depends on how much enthusiasm and solidarity it generates. o (a and b) Repeated rounds of formal rituals that are highly focused involving the same people create strong group boundaries — meaning we know who’s apart of the group and who’s not. The more public an event is, the stronger and more refined the group membership is. o Weak rituals cause status group boundaries to blur to, it’s not as obvious who is a part of the group and who isn’t. Formal rituals have the capacity of being weak if they don’t enact enthusiasm. Like a lame wedding speech for example o Informal and unfocused rituals require more energy to make them emotionally intense. Successful rituals of these type have an effect on social positio. Ex: American “hot dogs” who exert a lot of effort into making noisy attention displays when they are sport events, parties, and other public occasions. o “…the more informal or improvised rituals are, the more the need to be ostentatious, to make blatant appeals to emotion and to visible or highly audible actions” (27). This is largely seen in people that are starved for institutionalized ritual. Ex: black lower class, teenagers, lower class. They tend to seek out drama for attention. Inner city kidsstage acts of intense violence to receive a sense of status. They stage these events to exert dominance over others, so no one “messes with them”. o People are known only in their local networks and invisible outside of them, no matter how much fame they have inside. § An intelligent sociology professor is honored greatly by his own community, but once he steps outside into the real world no one really knows who he is. He may be very popular within the sociology community, but not to anyone else. § Celebrities are the only people that are recognized outside of their local groups. • 3. The Youth:“Youth are one of the few groups in modern society who are singled out for subjection to special legal disabilities and restrictions, similar to legally defined medieval estates” (27). o They are excluded from drinking, smoking, they have an enforced taboo on sex, can’t go to bars or parties. o “Youth are thus the only contemporary group which is officially subjected to petty humiliations because of their categorical status, in this respect resembling black people who are unofficially subjected to similar tests; both groups are assumed dishonorable until proven otherwise. This is a reason why youth culture is sympathetic to black culture, and emulates especially its more rebellious elements” (28). Petty humiliations meaning: having to show their ID to get into clubs/bars--having to prove their age constantly. o Youth demeanor is shaped oppositely to adults. They rebel by wearing their hats backwards, wearing baggy pants, torn cloths, etc. They distance themselves from “ordinary life” o “young people as a whole are poor in autonomous economic resources; when they hold jobs, these are typically at the most menial service level; the inflation of educational credentials had expanded the length of time they stay in school, and thus they occupy a status which is outside adult occupational ranks...mass media industries take the youth culture as their target audience since they are the most active consumers of entertainment hence youth culture with its showy alienation is also among the most recognizable set of emblems in the otherwise privatized public consciousness” (28). Situational Stratification:Part 2: • More about the Black inner-city: o Deference: Respect, submission o In the black inner city there are many acts of deference that impose gestures of dominance and subordination o Because of poverty, lack of police, discrimination, there is a “code of the street” § Each individual tries to display physical toughness to convey that it is dangerous to disturb him § Dominant individuals demand control of the street space and other monitor them warily § Uncivil behavior is typically accepted to avoid conformation: things like blaring loud music, leaving a car parked in the middle of the street, are all accepted amount inner city residents. § Middle class demeanors are seen as “timid” so if you look middle class, you are seen as weak. • This causes many “square” black residents to adopt outward signs of oppositional culture as a protective front against violence. Black youths sometimes use street code to intimidate whites—whites tend to feel extremely uncomfortable when they encounter black street style. • Power: D power and E power. o D power: deference power or order giving power. “D power is formal or ritualistic: One person gives orders, in extreme cases with an imperious tone and demeanor, while the other acquiesces verbally and in bodily posture. But it remains a question whether the order are actually carried out, and even if they are, whether the result will be what the order-giver wanted. D-power is always socially significant” (33). • Generals have a lot of D power. So do top officials. • When Beyoncé tells you to put your hands up, you put your hands up! o E power: efficacy power § “E-power is typically trans situational or long-distance; if it is real it must involve events which happen because orders and intentions re transmitted through a social network. E power is generally macro, involving actions of large numbers of people and situations…if the organization achieves an intended results, there is even more E-power; further along the continuum, the highest kind of E power is to change an entire social structure so that the patterns in which networks link people are permanently change for the future” (34). § “E power, assuming that the orders actually get carried out and that the chain of command is a way in which the will of a person “higher up” is carried out by the persons “lower down” (34). • Ex: When the kind lady in the financial aid office (who has a lower position) puts a hold on your account, it’s probably because someone higher up told her to do so. Inner City Dislocations: • Over the past several decades, joblessness, urban crime, addition, out-of-wedlock births, female led families, and welfare dependency have grown dramatically. All of these issues seem to disproportionally affect certain races. • There is a large presence of black-underclass in the cities. Blacks were discriminated against far more severely than the new immigrants from European countries. • There was a change in immigration policy that limited the migration of Asians to America, so the Japanese and Chinese were not present in high numbers like the blacks were. Since there weren’t as many Asians, whites did not feel threatened by them. Although, there was a large and continuous migration of blacks throughout America and whites felt threated by them. o Whites discontinued their discrimination to other Europeans and focused on discriminating against blacks o This flow of migrant blacks made it more difficult for blacks to follow the same path Europeans and Asians did to overcome the negative effects of discrimination. • There was also a rapid growth of Hispanics in cities. Hispanics were migrating into the citiies and blacks were migrating out of the cities. o Blacks could decrease their problems of joblessness and crime, whereas Hispanics showed an increase in prevalence of these problems. • It is also noteworthy that the increasing in young persons has an “exponential effect on the rate of certain social problems” (83). • The Federal Housing Project: noticed these problems of crime and other social problems and decided to create housing for the poor. This was a bad idea... o There was a lot of opposition from other races because they didn’t want public housing to set up near their neighborhoods o This led to segregated ghettos for minorities and the economically advantaged. o Crime flourished o Residents had little regard for their neighborhoods. They had difficulty recognizing their neighbors and were less likely to engage in guardian behavior. • It is dangerous to treat blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities as a monolith because that causes us to forget that there are counterparts to these groups that high-income minorities exist, with less social problems • “…different ethnic behavior and different ethnic outcomes largely reflect different opportunities for, and external obstacles against, advancement--experiences that are in turn determined by different historical and material circumstances and by different times of arrival and patterns of settlement” (85). o Cultural values do not determine behavior. It is the specific circumstances that individuals undergo that affect their cultural values. o “if lower-class blacks have low aspirations or do not plan for the future, this is not ultimately because of different cultural norms but because the group is responding to restricted opportunities, a bleak future, and feelings of resignation originating from bitter personal experience” (86). o All norms rise and fall with a change in situation • End migration = less racism Contact Theory: • Inter-group interaction can be seen as alleviating racial stereotypes and hostilities over time. Contact reduces hostility. This article focuses on the racism against indigenous Indians in Canada . o There are, “…four necessary conditions within the contact situation: status equality, common goals, cooperation, and support from authorities, laws, or customs” (218). o Though, not all of these conditions have to be met. As long as there is some sort of contact, hostilities are reduced in some way. • Sometimes, contact with minorities, especially in situations of competition, may be perceived as threatening, and therefore exacerbate (worsen) prejudice. o But for the most part, those who have frequent and direct positive contact with minorities are less prejudice than those who do not. • It is important to note: contact eliminated “old fashioned racism” but it does NOT eliminate the sense of white superiority over other racial groups. They may be “less racist” but they are STILL racist in some way. o The white belief of superiority is stilconsidered a form of prejudice, even if they do not have negative feelings towards a racial group. So as long as whites feel that there are better than another group, it is considered prejudice. • Laissez-faire racism: stereotypes indigenous Indians and blames them for their own problems of poverty and social issues. Structural or historical factors that have influenced this issues are not considered. o “these views are ‘rooted in perception of threat and the protection of collective group privileges’” (221). • White Canadians maintain their privileges in three ways: creating new rules, playing the victim, and through coercion. These methods used by Whites preserve white’s sense of group superiority and justifies racial inequality—even with positive contact. o 1. Subtyping: “individuals who disconfirm stereotypes are views as exceptions that prove the rule” (222). § Subtyping is based on 2. homophily —the tendency to befriend others with similar (racial) ideologies, they are seen as “less” of their race. § Whites befriend Indians who appear to be similar to them and share views. They are seen as “good Indians” and are seen as “exceptions” to their race. § Internalized Racism: Indians cope with racism by trying to downplay their “Indian-ness” in order to fit in and be accepted by the white population. § Indians who don’t challenge racism and conform to norms are accepted, whereas, someone like an indigenous tribe leader would be seen as an “extremist” and a threat. § “Good Indians” are viewed as token minorities who are proof that Indians are not oppressed, but just “too lazy”. This allows whites to continue to blame Indians for issues like poverty without recognizing other injustices. o Subtyping and homophily are reinforced by 3.political avoidance…public discussions of racism and colonialization are seen as taboo. § This allows whites to remain ignorant about racism despite their daily contact with Indians, they may assume homophily and subtype the Indians they come in contact with as “good Indians” § Political avoidance is the biggest barrier of all because it allows for laissez-faire racism to prevail even with friendly group interactions. • Many of the issues regarding racism are largely due to history. History set the conditions with its initial contact. History has shaped all of the events to come— including intergroup interactions and politics. o Ex: The Canadian government made brutal attempts to strip Indians of their culture in order to assimilate them into society. Their harsh treatment set the precedent for modern day racism. Colonization created a racial structure where whites have enjoyed a dominance over Indians in terms of wealth, power, education, land, etc. • RESULTS : Canadian whites were interviewed about their views on Indians and the results were shocking… o Whites showed less “old fashioned racism” but A LOT of laissez-faire racis, despite their regular contact with Indians. o Whites blamed Indians for their own problems: they emphasized stereotypes like laziness, alcoholism, and welfare dependence. This is considered victim blaming. o When asked about how they felt about racism, whites responded by saying things like “stop dwelling in the past”, “just move on”—this is an example of white avoiding confrontation and discussion of racism in order to maintain their superiority. o Many whites exhibited an attitude of “we know better”—as in they know what’s best for the Indian population. They assumed that Indians are incapable of managing their own affairs. o Laissez-faire or color blind racism often results in denying Indians of their rights for matters like treaties, land, etc. • Final Thought: “Overcoming racism will thus require strong institutional leadership and alternative media and political discourse” (237). The New Politics of Immigration: • This article focuses on the causes of increasing anti-immigration rhetoric • For the last two decades, the US has been undergoing a surge of nativism—focused mostly on immigrants as a tax burden o There is substantial disagreement over the impact that immigrants have on taxes. Some studies conclude that immigrants are a huge tax burden, whereas some studies conclude that immigrants bring in more money…the studies are all very conflicting. • Each new wave of immigration has experienced some sort of back lash o The illegal nature of recent immigration may add to a sense of powerlessness for natives • Illegal immigration increased in result of the termination of the Bracero program which provided work for millions of Mexican farm workers in the US. o “the guest workers of one era became the illegal immigrants of the next” (289). • Downturn also causes back lash against immigrants o “at moments of social, political, or economic crisis, nativism tends to increase as recent immigrants are singled out as the cause of the crisis” (289). • In California, an anti-immigration policy—Proposition 187 bars undocumented immigrants from attending public schools and receiving non-emergency health care. It even goes as far as requiring school and health clinic employees to report to authorities anyone they suspect is undocumented. o This had some pretty scary implications because people began thinking it was a “citizen’s duty to kick out illegals” (291). Ex: a pharmacist refusesing to fill as prescription for someone they suspected was “illegal” o This proposition won by a wide margin—it was popular among voters. Voters expressed their discontents by voting for this proposition. o Proposition 187 confirmed a predisposed belief that illegal immigrants over- burden the government and contribute to a fiscal crisis. o “proposition 187 is less a straightforward policy directive than it is a symbolic statement of fear, anger, and frustration emanating from the economic uncertainty that drives balanced-budget conservatism” (285). o Why California? Immigrants in other states like New York, Texas, Florida, had more political clout (power) than the ones in California do o “…proposition 187 is thus an expression of nativism in response to increased economic insecurity and the balanced-budget conservatism onto which that insecurity is deflected…economic and ideological conditions is not straightforward…it was a political statement, supported primarily to send a symbolic message. The content of that message is closely related to the balanced-budget ideology, with its dual hostilities towards immigrants and government” (297). • This can be explained from the “crisis of Fordism” o Historically, majority of the people immigrating to the US join the industrial workforce o Fordism has principles of mass production with internal job ladders for workers, integrated sectors, and a system of income maintenance of social security. Fordism had a connection between profit and compensation. Fordism jobs provided security for Americans!!! o The Fall of Fordism: “line-balancing problems, labor resistance, corporate taxation policies, and a generally rigid structure of production, jeopardized profitability and the system began to unravel” (292-293). § A result was to cut labor costs and many jobs were exported out of the country in search of even cheaper labor § A new system of “contingent” workers emerged. These workers did part time work on short term contracts, they had no seniority, and no benefits. § Illegal immigrants were seen as good for contingent work § Even when the economy was doing well, wages were the same. There was a disconnection between profits and wages—this allow for wealth distribution in the US to polarize. § Unlike the earlier European immigrants, new immigrants were seen as “slaves”, “paupers”, “serfs” and among the “lowest beings” (287). § “the alleged racial inferiority of immigrants became the explanation for depressed wages, labor strife, and the emerging sweatshop system” (287). American Cronyism: • American corporations have crony capitalism. “Business leaders are connected by an expansive network that makes their companies receptive to ideas and practices promoted by analysts, consultants and influential companies” o There is a lot of communication between various employees regarding what’s best for the company • Corporations focus on creating value for their shareholders. • Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH): states that the price of a company’s share is indicative of the company’s future success. o High stocks = the company is likely to be successful and vice versa • American corporations have dispersed ownership, not even the company managers own dominant stakes. EMH states that managers act in the company’s best interest by basing decision on share prices. o They make decisions without considering the “bottom line” effects—they look at short term assets • Market value also depends on what others think it should be priced at o For example, “when home buyers avoid unusually designed houses not because they dislike them per se, but because they fear that other buyers may dislike them” (36). • EMH is uncertain. The future price of a company’s share is largely random. They can’t be predicted by prior price changes. • Social factors influence judgements… “ studies find that financial analysts…often do little than mimic the judgement of their peers. In deciding which companies are worth following, analysts commonly choose companies that other analyst have recently added” (37). • “man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships…markets detached from social ties are highly artificial and rare, typically requiring exhaustive governmental efforts to sustain” (38). • Furthermore, most US corporations share at least 1 director with another company (38). o As a result, corporate decisions are similar due to the closely connected board of directors o American companies are involved in very strong social connections among important decision makers. Precarious Work: • In the past several decades, precarious work has been on the rise—this type of work is uncertain, unpredictable, and risky from the point of view of the worker o 1. Neoliberal Globalization: intense economic integration, increased competition, lots of outsourcing of jobs, and new labor pools opened up from immigration. o 2. Unions began to decline—there was no more protection for workers. This disturbed the balance of power and shifted more of the power to employers o 3. Political policies: welfare system was replaced with workfare programs—it forced people to participate in employment, this was typically low paying jobs. § These macro changes allowed employers to have greater flexibility with their workers. The job ladder was diminishing § This also resulted in an increase in a diverse labor force—woman, immigrants, and the elderly • Most of the jobs by the end of the great depression were precarious • Pre-carity Today: o Technology increased which allowed for goods, capital, and people to be moved easily across borders o There was a decline in blue collar jobs as a result o There was an increase in white collar, low and high wage occupation o There was a privatization of activities that were done in the house—like child care, cleaning, cooking…this was turned into jobs o Layoffs were prevalent and employers often laid off employees for nothing other than short term profits o “Precarious work has contributed to greater economic inequality, insecurity, and instability” (8). This threatens the middle class because they are unable to buy what they product (a primary element in fordism) o All of these effects have changed the way people make decisions—things like marriage, children, and education are affected.
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