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OLEMISS / Sociology / SOC 427 / What is the relevance of the assessment to school?

What is the relevance of the assessment to school?

What is the relevance of the assessment to school?


School: University of Mississippi
Department: Sociology
Course: Social Stratification
Professor: James thomas
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: sociology, soc, 427, thomas, stratification, and final
Cost: 50
Name: Social Stratification (Soc 427) final exam study guide
Description: I included information about everything on Dr. Thomas's study guide except the steel ring of St. Louis. I couldn't find anything on that; sorry!
Uploaded: 12/01/2016
14 Pages 121 Views 1 Unlocks

Sociology 427 – Social Stratification

What is the relevance of the assessment to school?

Fall 2015: Final Exam Study Guide

1. Interactive effects of neighborhood, family, and school on intergenerational inequality. ​(Page numbers are from The Long Shadow) 

Family, neighborhood, and school are clearly important for transmitting both advantage and disadvantage for youth. 

● “For children, family is the launching pad and the focus of this volume… [resources affecting life trajectories are] personal and academic at the start, and extending later to prospects for achieving success in adulthood.” (1)

● “Family conditions early in life cast a long shadow.” (13)

● “The bridging imagery works well from a stratification perspective also: the transition to adulthood carries young people from an identity rooted in family socioeconomic origins to one anchored in their own socioeconomic destinations as adults.”

Who benefits from alienated labor?

● Family accounts for more of life trajectory at younger age--59% of predictive factor for black women, 57% for black men, 61% for white women. All negative impacts. (134) ● “The institutional backdrop to children’s development--family social capital, neighborhood, and school--together accounts for more than 33% of the influence of SES origins on SES destinations. Because family determines neighborhood and school, this risk exposure is one way family casts its long shadow.” (146) If you want to learn more check out Differentiate genotype and phenotype.

● “Neighborhood and school context thus are consequential beyond their relevance for access to resources in support of children’s schooling from first grade through high school, including test scores, grades, and so forth.” conditions that stand out include level of neighborhood violent crime and the school’s academic profile. “Socioeconomic makeup of a school’s enrollment is the most consequential school quality factor.” (147)

what are the circumstances that supposedly lead to an increase in production?

● “School characteristics are shaped by the social and economic makeup of neighborhoods.” explains why “the urban disadvantaged so often find themselves enveloped in a web of disadvantage.” (147)

● “Weak family support for children’s schooling early in life depresses status attainment nearly a quarter century later.” (145)

2. Marx’s theory of capitalist mode of production

● Mode of production: relationship people have with each other and nature ● Capitalist society: people work for wages instead of just creating what they need for themselves. Surplus belongs to the person who owns the means of production. Surplus means wealth Don't forget about the age old question of What are the steps in conducting scientific research?

● Marx’s general argument: Fundamental basis of society is mode of production ● Social consciousness-people know where they fit in society and the mode of production

 Superstructure determines social consciousness.

● Workers will come into conflict with


○ Because of increasingly unequal

wealth distribution

● Revolution only comes from an organized group

● You have to destroy the state structure to change the mode of production Don't forget about the age old question of Give a function of carbohydrates.

3. Alienation

Estranged or alienated labor from…

1. The objects labor produces

a. Workers don’t make the objects for themselves

b. The objects workers make don’t belong to them

c. Workers can’t decide the value of objects they produce

d. The products aren’t created freely; they’re a means to an end for the workers 2. Labor

a. Workers aren’t creating freely

b. Our labor doesn’t belong to us

c. We’re alienated from our creativity

d. Forced labor

3. Our “species-being”

a. We don’t have time or resources to create freely as our species intrinsically wants to do, and our desire to create is what separates us from animals

b. We can’t even create what we want to; we produce what we’re forced to for survival

4. Each other

a. If we see ourselves as objects/ alienated from our labor, we will see other people the same way

Who benefits from alienated labor? The relations of production (the owners). ● Objects the productive forces (workers) create belong to the owners

● Not the gods, only man can control thisDon't forget about the age old question of Who is paul strand?

● This creates a conflict

Where is alienated labor located in the capitalist mode of production?

● Social consciousness; it changes how we see ourselves and each other and how we fit into society

● This social consciousness is derived from the economic base and is supported by the superstructure

Example of how workers are alienated from labor in capitalist society: We also discuss several other topics like Who is sigmund freud’s nephew?

● Creating cabinets by hand and selling them in the local area with a great connection to the products you make; working when you want to; each product is unique


● Working on an assembly line and creating millions of identical pieces for Ikea cabinets; you will feel no connection to the final product Don't forget about the age old question of What is the study of economics of media industries?

“The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces…”

An example:

● Worker: Makes 10 widgets/hour; works 8 hours/day; makes 80 widgets/day; earns $80/day

● Owner: Charges $20/widget; Makes $1600/day from one worker; makes $3200/day from 2 workers, etc.

No matter how many workers there are, each worker will make $80/day. However, the more workers there are, the more money the owner makes from them.

4. Differences between Smith and Marx concerning capitalism Smith’s thesis: wealth and prosperity can be attributed to division of labor ● What positives are attributed to the division of labor?

○ Mass production

○ Faster production

○ Lower prices

● What are the circumstances that supposedly lead to an increase in production? ○ By focusing on one task/aspect of production, dexterity can increase on that task ○ Saving time by not having to switch between tasks

○ Specialization leads to innovation in how to do task better/faster

● Division of labor increases wealth that will extend even to poorer members of society (because workers produce so much more than, for example, peasants in feudal society) ○ U.S.’s poor are better off than por in less developed countries

○ Capitalist mode of production creates more than a feudal mode of production, so even though workers get smaller percentage of wealth, they still get more than they would in a feudal mode of production

○ Workers’ share of the pie gets smaller, but the whole pie gets bigger

● Criticisms of Smith

○ Specializing people to do a simple task makes them replaceable

○ When workers only make a small part, they don’t see themselves as responsible for the end product, so they don’t see the worth in their work

○ As Marx said, this leads to alienation of labor

■ In capitalism, the state is the superstructure, above the people, with no check on it. In communism, the state wouldn’t be necessary.

5. Marshall’s conception of citizenship

Components of citizenship:

❏ Civil: rights necessary for individual freedom (freedom of speech and thought, right to own property, etc.) guaranteed by court system

❏ Political: suffrage/right to participate guaranteed by Congress, state representatives, local representatives

❏ Social: welfare and security, sharing of social heritage, living in a civilized way (you get to be a participant in the creation of culture) guaranteed by education and social services ● These components are evolutionary: you must have civil rights before political rights and political rights before social rights

○ We all have to have the basic civil rights and freedoms so that we all have the same ability to participate at the political level

○ Social rights must flow from political rights; citizens need education to understand the issues they vote for and their rights

● At the civil level, citizenship=freedom

● The 3 components became separate and evolutionary under capitalism; moving toward civil rights and inequality

Relationship between citizenship and inequality

● How might democracy pacify social consciousness?

● Democracy says we’re all equal politically, but not socially or economically. Democracy is in super-structure, but it should be in the base. If it were in the base, workers would have shares in the value of the company and roles in decision making

● If all a society does is provide the right to pursue wealth without guaranteeing economic rights and education on the issues, it’s only benefiting the elite

● Ex. civil rights movement wasn’t actually revolutionary

● Movements should focus on social (economic​) aspects/rights

● As rights evolve in capitalism, inequality increases

6. Weber’s concept of class stratification compared to Marx ● For Marx, power comes from the economic base and dominant class imposing will. For Weber, power can be independent of superstructure.

● Marx saw all laborers as the same and in the same class. Weber says those in positions that come with more social honor (for example, a professor) have more power than those in positions with less social honor (for example, a trash collector)

● Weber doesn’t agree with Marx that there is a singular class consciousness because of differences in status



Organization of society

Relations of production vs. forces of production

Party, class, status

Economic stratification

Owners vs. non-owners


Owner: rentiers,


Non-owner: service laborers (with different statuses)

Group interests driven by

Class location


7. Social structure of the power elite

C. Wright Mills

● Ordinary people feel powerless because they can’t understand or control their circumstances

● Power elite: people with power to affect ordinary folk

○ Not bound to any community

○ They create demands rather than meeting demands (by control over the media) ○ Not just that they can make decisions that affect ordinary people, they occupy these positions, so even their non action can affect people

○ They’re only aware of their power when they recognize a threat to it

○ They occupy strategic command posts

○ They are in institutions and can change social consciousness

● The 3 institutions: economy, military, politics

○ Source of interlocking power that shapes everything

○ All other institutions (family, health, education, religion, etc.) are decentralized and affected by the big 3

○ Power comes from the top down

○ Lesser institutions need to legitimate the big 3

● Power is not unidirectional

○ Unlike Marx, who said all power comes from mode of production, Mills says power comes from interactions of power elites and their institutions

○ “Power is not of man.”

● Contradictions and tensions can arise in the smaller institutions as power moves down from the top

● Movements in the 1960s were driven by ordinary folk from religion and education institutions

● How can we study the power elite?

○ We can’t get direct access

○ Take a macro approach by studying relationships between institutions

8. The role of ‘status’ in Weber’s theory

Power is legitimized by social relations

● Economic power--who controls resources

● Naked money power--ability to buy

● Political power--create laws and make people follow your will

● Social honor-- how others view you and your position

● What does class consist of?

○ Casual component of life chances, represented by economic interest, under conditions of markets

○ Those who have and don’t have property, the kind of property one can use, or if not, the services they can provide (ex. professor vs trash collector)

○ To Marx, a worker is a worker

● Rentier: owns property and gets income from it (ex. landlord)

● Status groups:

○ Communities defined by lifestyles (consumption habits can be a marker of status); a way to achieve prestige or social honor; groups that share collective lifestyle value

○ Differs from class positions because your lifestyle doesn’t have to be directly linked to class/money

○ Restriction on social interaction with non-members

○ Rituals

○ Country clubs, secret societies, fraternities and sororities

○ Closed exchange of info, cultural/ social capital

○ Will evolve into castes/caste system

● What produces stratification by status?

○ If you can’t get in a status group, you may not be able to get resources, capital, social honor

○ Social consciousness may be separate from economic system (ex. Kardashians); honor can be separate from economic order


● Reasons status matters

○ Inequality based on control of resources is unstable; inequality would fluctuate because groups would fight over resources

○ Status fuels beliefs about differences (ex. Men hold higher positions so we believe they’re more competent); people believe inequality comes from natural order

9. Davis-Moore hypothesis

Davis-Moore Hypothesis: within any society, the most difficult jobs are the most necessary and require the highest rewards and compensation to sufficiently motivate individuals to fill them ● Jobs with low social honor will be hard to fill, so they must be paid more as an incentive (ex. Trash collector)

● High pay incentive is also necessary for jobs that take a lot of work (ex. doctor) ● In jobs where people to fill them are scarce, pay or social honor must be higher to attract people

● Organic solidarity: social cohesion where individuals are dependent on each other because of the division of labor

○ We have to make sure all positions are filled

● Mechanical solidarity: social cohesion is dependent on everyone doing the same thing (ex. hunter gatherer society)

10. Coercive labor regimes

(Page numbers are from Unequal Freedom)

● “Materially, the autonomy and freedom of the citizen were made possible by labor (often involuntary) of non-autonomous wives, slaves, children, servants, and employees.” (20) ● Labor arrangements mirrored those of England, which subjected workers to substantial control by employers. Ex. indentured servitude (60)

● Indentured servitude: people who wanted to immigrate signed contracts to work for a person for a specified period of time (usually 4-7 years) in exchange for passage, a living, and “freedom dues” when the contract ended (60)

● Redemptioners : immigrants who had to work to pay off debt for passage (61) ● Almost 50% of English and Scottish immigrants arrived as indentured servants or redemptioners

● Share sheeping/partido arrangements: merchants seized sheep from sheep owners who couldn’t pay their loans and leased them back to former owners. (156)

● In cotton farming, sharecroppers had to borrow seed, supplies, etc which put them in debt to farm owner (156)

● In mining, workers in remote locations had to buy from company store. Owners kept prices high and wages low to create perpetual debt. Coal mines in colorado paid workers in scrip that could only be redeemed at full value at the company store (156)

● Contract labor: contractors delivered work crews. They withheld 25% of a worker’s wages until the end of the season, and deducted cost of transportation and food (157) ● Workers who tried to flee from a farm would be picked up for vagrancy and sentenced to work off their fines. Vagrancy laws were also applied at the beginning of cotton picking season to round up mexicans to work in fields. Legally constraining their mobility. Texas Farm Placement Services stopped workers traveling to farms outside a territory and sent them to ones in the territory (157)

● Surplus of workers kept wages low (158)

(56-92 notes)

● Common in large scale industries that rely on heavy labor (sugar, cotton, mining) in areas with history of racial caste system

● Maintaining land and providing housing/resources for workers for money ties laborers down (sharecropping, tenant farming)

● Debt forces them to stay at work

● Idleness is criminalized as vagrancy

● Prisons contract out labor, so those who leave job may end up working at same place they left for even cheaper

(144-189 notes)

● Share sheeping, farming, etc.; Mexicans had to rent/buy supplies from owners; debt bondage

● Keeping Mexicans in a certain territory

● Segregated schools reproduced dominant ideologies

● Anglos were paid more than mexicans and men were paid more than women (154) What role do coercive labor regimes play in producing new structures and relations of race and gender meanings?

● “The capitalist labor regime led to new configurations of white and nonwhite manhood and womanhood.” 2 general dynamics of capitalism that led to reconfigurations of race and gender relations and meanings: by transforming production and reproduction, it created a dialectical relationship between household (woman’s work) and labor market (men’s work); processes of capitalist production and accumulation generated new class formations and new conflicts between them--employers/workers, capitalists in different sectors, men/women, whites/nonwhites, skilled/unskilled laborers. (73)

● White male independence became anchored in “free labor” so “unfree labor” had to be defined. It came to be racialized as nonwhite (from slavery, indentured servitude, etc.) (56)

● “...capitalist industrialization was characterized by cyclical crises, new class formations, and heightened conflicts between capital and labor, between capitalists in different sectors, and between different segments of workers. The main conflict was between capital and labor, as workers resisted the new disciplinary regimes, deskilling, and and relentless downward pressure on wages. The conflicts often took the form of competition between male and female or white and nonwhite workers, as capitalists sought to drive down wages by hiring cheaper and more docile workers--those with less political leverage. Simultaneously, higher-priced workers used whatever leverage they had to keep cheaper workers out of desirable jobs and industries. Complex patterns of labor market segmentation and segregation can be seen as an unstable compromise that ultimately benefited capital by fragmenting workers into smaller interest groups and hampered coalitions across race, gender, skill, nativity, and other lines. Capitalist industrialization both incorporated existing race/gender hierarchies and reformulated and rearticulated

race/gender relationships. Despite the abolition of slavery and bonded labor, coercion persisted in the labor system. Certain regions and industries that disproportionately employed labor of color adopted debt peonage and other restrictions on their mobility. The denial of full citizenship to people of color and their subjection to coercion in the labor market were thus mutually created.” (57-58)

● Bound by common law of masters and servants, workers were required to obey employer’s directions as to how work was done. Employer could withhold payment until the end of the term of the contract. (63)

● Labor spokesmen pointed out how “the power of wealth made a mockery of choice.” in regards to people saying everyone could take whatever job they wanted (63) ● In 1859, new mexico legislature authorized peonage. Under the law, servants couldn’t leave master’s service while in debt to them. They amended it in 1859 to prevent interference with a master’s rights to correct a servant

● Post civil war amendments ended chattel slavery and indenture. All americans were legally free labor. However, rise of new capitalist industrial order meant free labor would be subjected to novel forms of control and discipline (71)

● Mexicans did dirty work/labor and white men were foremen. “...In no case should a mexican have authority over an anglo.” (153)

● Anglo women wanted separation. “Anglo garment workers in corpus christi compelled and employer to discharge mexican women by refusing to work in the same room with them.” (156)


● “Independent manhood entailed control of and ownership of wives’ and children’s labor. This meant that women were excluded from the category of free labor and therefore from economic independence.” (57)

● “Women continued to be excluded from “free labor” protections because common law marriage contract obligated wives to provide labor for their husbands.” (57) ● Masculinity was equated with activity in the public domain of the economy, politics, and the military. Those in the domestic sphere--women, children, servants, other dependents--were not considered full members of community (19)

● Work shifted to outside of home, so production is separated from

women/reproduction/women’s work. In agrarian society, home was site of production and reproduction. Capitalist industrialization moved work to factories--wage labor, now seen as more important than women’s labor because they don’t receive wages. Women are defined as dependent. 2 distinct spheres; men’s work becomes public, so they get status and recognition; women’s labor is invisible (57)

● Wife’s legal identity subsumed under husband. Wives had duty under contract to provide labor, and husband owned fruits of that labor. The practice of contracting with male heads the whole family’s labor continued to 1840s (70)


● “The Elizabethan-era obligation of the poor to work was revived in expanded vagrancy laws which subjected the poor, but especially those of color, to forced labor.” (57) ● Indentured labor was not bound for life. Chattel slavery (lifelong) had been limited to blacks, and this closely linked their racial status to the most extreme form of unfree labor (61)

● Poor whites in border states rejected labor associated with blacks (62) ● By 1800, northern states had largely eliminated indentured servitude for native men and women, limiting it to minors and immigrants (63)

● Abolitionists said that “autonomy derived not from owning productive property but from property in one’s self and the ability to sell one’s labor.” (66)

● “Forms of servitude considered unacceptable for white manhood were considered fitting for Native Americans, Asians, Mexicans, and other racialized minorities.” (68) ● Indenture Act of 1850: allowed any citizen to take custody of an Indian child and place him/her under apprenticeship in exchange for clothes and other necessities; vagrancy portion of law let law enforcement arrest indians for a wide variety of offenses, from loitering to drunkenness, and hire them out to the highest bidder. The act was amended in 1860 to make it easier for whites to take custody of indian minors and extended “apprenticeship” up to age 30 for indian men and 25 for indian women. They could also treat them poorly because a section in the act said “in no case shall a white man be convicted on the testimony of an Indian or Indians.” one scholar estimates upward of 10,000 indians may have been enslaved under the act (68)

11. Interaction of race, gender and labor in constructing citizenship​ ​(connected to #10)

Citizenship and labor as 2 major structures for shaping race and gender inequality in U.S. ● Historically, citizenship has shown who is worthy of recognition and respect ● Labor puts you in an economic order and decides your access to resources ● Mass culture, not just government institutions, articulates power

○ Ex. there aren’t many popular tv shows about single motherhood or working class families

● Citizenship and labor are intertwined

○ Historically, citizenship was obtained through labor

■ Ex. Germans and Italians in meat packing factories. After years of

working, they became “white”

● White landowning men did something with their land (labor)

● “Individual actors interpret and enforce boundaries.”

○ People don’t discriminate just because they feel like it; they do so because of wider ranging feelings in certain regions

● Race and gender are relational

○ Subordinate groups must exist to define the dominant group

● 3 types of citizenship

○ Civil: individual freedom

○ Political: exercise political rights

○ Social: economic and cultural

● Public-private dichotomy: public is realm of thought and citizenship, private is realm of sex and feelings; therefore, women belong in private realm; citizenship is defined in opposition of femininity

● Dependent-independent dichotomy

● In the mid-19th century, society shifted from small production to industrialization (mass production)

○ Ex. one person making cabinets and selling them locally to people making one part of a mass produced product

● Citizenship was limited to property owners in agrarian economy, but fewer and fewer people owned property after industrialization

● Economic independence=citizenship

● Discourse says working hard can advance you and society

○ In agrarian society, working the land

○ In industrial society, you still need to labor by selling your labor how you want (free labor)

How was status of women affected by economic shifts?

● Work shifted to outside of home, so production is separated from

women/reproduction/women’s work

● In agrarian society, home was site of production and reproduction

● Capitalist industrialization moved work to factories--wage labor, now seen as more important than women’s labor because they don’t receive wages

● Women’s rights are tied to husband--common law arrangements

● Women are defined as dependent

● 2 distinct spheres; men’s work becomes public, so they get status and recognition; women’s labor is invisible

How was racial inequality maintained under new economy (post civil war)? ● 13th amendment abolishes peonage (being enslaved/locked up) and 14th amendment grants black suffrage

● When work is broken down into small steps in factories, capitalist owners could replace skilled labor with unskilled laborers

● Low skilled labor is filled by those at bottom of financial caste system (blacks, European immigrants, Mexicans, or Chinese, depending on the region); drives racial wedge in working class; white workers are being replaced with the low skilled laborers

● Black women don’t get citizenship status or protection for reproducing the home like white women

12. The steel ring of St. Louis 

13. De jure and de facto housing discrimination

● Migrants lived in slums in the center of cities near work

○ Unsafe and unsanitary housing (no plumbing, overcrowded)

○ Destructive for community, but profitable for owners

● 1949 Housing Act: Govt would buy slums and rebuild better housing (“downtown renewal”)

○ The people in the slums would be displaced because they couldn’t afford the new, nicer housing

● Maintenance budget had to come from rent payments; public sector failed the residents by creating buildings that needed such specialized, expensive maintenance ● White people moved to suburbs

○ In 1949, cities were losing middle class, industrial base, taxes

○ Government committed to making suburbs affordable to middle class whites ○ No able-bodied men could live in housing projects

● Public housing=segregation tool

● Urban renewal=black removal

● Blacks paid more for worse conditions

● Black ghettos were far from where work was

14. The role of culture in shaping attitudes toward welfare

● There’s a negative view of welfare because people think it opposes the American values of self-reliance, the value of work, the primacy of family, and the importance of community

● Politicians use rhetoric that makes aid recipients look undeserving or look like they’re taking advantage of the system

● There’s more cultural support for programs aimed at the elderly and children because they “can’t help themselves”

● Worthy versus unworthy poor

● Attitudes are regional

15. Cultural value of EITC

(Page numbers are from It’s Not Like I’m Poor)

● The way people think about the EITC shapes how they spend it; is it a well-deserved repayment? A gift? Charity? (65)

● Most recipients of EITC see it as a “refund” or a “gift” like “winning the lottery” ○ They want to spend it carefully

● The EITC can only be earned by working, so it affirms the cultural value of self-reliance

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