Log in to StudySoup
Get Full Access to UB - Study Guide - Midterm
Join StudySoup for FREE
Get Full Access to UB - Study Guide - Midterm

Already have an account? Login here
Reset your password

UB / Sociology / SOC 101 / What is social class?

What is social class?

What is social class?


School: University at Buffalo
Department: Sociology
Course: Introduction to Sociology
Professor: Christopher mele
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: sociology, Introd to Soc, Introduction to Sociology, and soc101
Cost: 50
Name: SOC 101 TEST#3 Study Guide
Description: These notes will cover what will be on the next exam.
Uploaded: 11/12/2018
4 Pages 126 Views 10 Unlocks

brookehackbarth98 (Rating: )

siyigu (Rating: )

kmcrisci (Rating: )

aadams02 (Rating: )

taylanak (Rating: )

SOC 101 Test#3 Review  

What is social class?

Covers Chapters 8, 10, and 11 (sections 11-1 to 11-3a only) and all lectures  from Oct. 30 to Nov. 13.

Chapter 8: Social Class and Social Stratification (INEQUALITY) 

What Is Social Class?

-According to Weber, social class can be defined as a large group of people  who rank close to each other in wealth, power, and prestige.  -Wealth consists of property (what we own) and income (money we  receive/earn)

-Concentrated wealth exists in U.S. (few very rich people own most of the  wealth)

-Social stratification is a system of structured social inequality.  -Complex societies often stratify according to social class.

-Stratification systems are usually categorized 1 of theses 3 types: 1. Estate is a system in which a small elite group (owners of property  and power) has total control over resources.

What are the terms used to analyze social class?

2. Caste is a system where status is assigned based on ascribed status. (from birth)

3. Class is a system based on ascribed and achieved statuses.  

Terms Used to Analyze Social Class

-Socioeconomic status (SES) is derived from certain factors: income,  occupational prestige and education.

-Occupational prestige is the perceived, subjective rank assigned to an  occupation. (typically associated with years of education)  If you want to learn more check out Which is the brightest star?

The U.S. Class System

-Capitalist class- (1% population) is composed of investors, heirs, and a few  executives; it’s divided into “old” and “new” money.

-Upper middle class-(15% population) is composed of professionals and  upper managers, almost of whom have attended college or university and  frequently have post graduate degrees.,

Who is erik wright?

-Lower middle class-(34% population) is composed of lower managers,  craftspeople and foremen. They have at least a high school education. -Working class- (30% population) is composed of factory workers and low  paid white collar workers. Most have high school education. -Working poor- (16% population) is composed of relatively unskilled blue  collar and white collar workers, and those with temporary and seasonal jobs.  -“Underclass”- (5% population) is concentrated in inner cities and has little  connection with job market. Welfare is their main support. We also discuss several other topics like What is hallucinogens?

-The homeless is considered even lower than the underclass.  

Sociological Models of Social Class

-Two main models- Weber and Marx

-Erik Wright realizes not everyone falls into Marx’s 2 broad classes  (capitalists and workers). So, he regards some people as members of more  than 1 class., which he called contradictory class locations.  -Wright identified 4 classes:

1. Capitalists- owners of large enterprises

2. Petty bourgeoisie- owners of small businesses

3. Managers- employees who have authority over others

4. Workers

Media and Social Class Inequality

-Class is a taboo subject in the U.S. and the working class is a stigmatized  class.

-Many workers internalize this stigma, reject their class status and do not  generally have a sense of class consciousness. (aware)

-The U.S. government classifies the poverty line as being families whose  incomes are less than 3 times a low cost food budget. (fixed) -This official measure is inadequate b/c cost of living is higher in some states  than others, salary, food costs...

-Certain social groups are disproportionately represented among the poor  population. Don't forget about the age old question of What are the differences between secular and political time?

1. Spatial- the poor tend to be clustered in the South.  

2. Race- the majority of poor in the U.S. is comprised of whites. 3. Gender- most poor families are headed by women. The major cause  of this occurrence, called the feminization of poverty, are divorce, births to  unwed mothers and the lower wages paid to women.  

4. Children are more likely to live in poverty than are adults or the  elderly.  

Theories of Poverty

-“Culture of poverty”- it is suggested that the poor get trapped in a culture of poverty as a result of having values and behaviors that make them  “fundamentally different” from the other U.S. residents. (Neoliberalism->  shifts responsibility to individual)

-Moynihan said family structure is responsible for poverty.  --In trying to explain poverty, the choice is between focusing on individual  explanations or on social structural explanations.  

-Sociologists look to such factors as inequalities in education; access to  learning job skills; racial, ethnic, age and gender discrimination; and large scale economic change to explain patterns of poverty in society.  --In 1996, federal welfare reform was enacted under Bill Clinton. There are  caps on welfare assistance and recipients are required to look for work. -In the aftermath, welfare rolls dropped.  We also discuss several other topics like What is evolutionary theory?

Chapter 10- Race and Ethnicity 

Laying the Sociological Foundation

-An ethnic group is a social category of people who share a common culture:

1. a common language or dialect  

2. a common nationality/national origin

3. a common religion

4. common norms, practices, customs, and history

-Ethnic groups develop b/c of their unique historical and social experiences.  -Assimilation-process by which a minority is absorbed into the mainstream. 1. Forced assimilation occurs when the dominant group prohibits the  minority from using its own religion, language or customs.  2. Permissive assimilation is when the minority adopts the dominant  group’s patterns in its own way and/or at its own speed.  

-Assimilation is the process by which a subordinate individual or group takes  on the characteristics of the dominant group and is eventually accepted as  part of that group. Don't forget about the age old question of What is rent subsidy?

-Multiculturalism, also called pluralism permits or encourages ethnic  variation. (ex. Switzerland)

-Pluralism implies that various groups in a society have mutual respect for  one another’s culture, a respect that allows minorities to express their own  culture w/o suffering prejudice or discrimination.  If you want to learn more check out What is bacterial flagella?

-Whereas the assimilationist or integrationist seeks the elimination of ethnic  boundaries, the pluralist believes in maintaining many of them.  


-A race is defined as a group with inherited physical characteristics that  distinguishes it from another group.  

-Race is both a myth and a reality. It’s a reality in the sense that humans  come in different colors and shapes. It is a myth b/c there are no pure races. -Races are social classifications, not biological categories.  -Race refers to inherited biological characteristics, while ethnicity refers to  cultural ones.  


-when some social category, such as a social class or nationality, takes on  what is perceived to be racial characteristics. (ex. black neighborhoods,  white sports, Latino clothing...)

-It’s an expression of power. Racialization is then the process by which  people, things and places are assigned meanings and are valorized or de valorized on the basis of prevailing race constructs.  

-Racial formation- process of how a group is racialized in different historical  times

-Minorities- can be ethnic or racial (or sexual preference, age, religion or  class status)

-Sociologists refer to those who do the discriminating as the dominant group; they have greater power, more privileges and higher social status. The  dominant group attributes its privileged position to its superiority, not to  discrimination.

Racial Stereotypes

-over simplified beliefs about members of a social group/social stratum -end result of racialization  

Prejudice and Discrimination

-Discrimination is unfair treatment directed toward someone. When based on race, it is known as racism. It also can be based on many features such as  weight, age, sex, politics...

-Prejudice is prejudging of some sort, usually in a negative way

Understanding Racism

-Institutional racism refers to the systematic distribution of power, resources, and opportunity in ways that benefit whites and disadvantages minorities. -redlining=deprived financing

-Racism is more than an attitude; it is systemic, multidimensional and  institutionalized in society

-Racial profiling is an example of institutional racism in the criminal justice  system

-Aversive racism- represents a subtle, often unintentional form of prejudice  exhibited by many well-intentioned white Americans who view themselves as non-prejudiced.  

-Modern racism- involved the rejection of traditional racist beliefs but  displaces negative racial feelings onto more abstract social and political  issues.

Sociological Perspectives

-To functionalists- the social environment can be deliberately arranged to  generate either positive or negative feelings about people. Prejudice is  functional in that it creates in-group solidarity and out-group antagonism, but dysfunctional b/c it destroys human relationships.  

-To conflict theorists- the ruling class systematically pits group against group; by splitting workers along racial ethics lines they benefit, b/c solidarity  among the workers is weakened.  

-Racial-ethnic divisions at work are also encouraged and exploited. This  weakens workers’ bargaining power.

-To symbolic internationalists- the labels we learn color our perceptions,  leading to selective perception- we see certain things and are blind to others. (racial and ethnic labels are especially powerful b/c they are shorthand for  emotionally laden stereotypes). They stress that we learn racist attitudes and prejudices in interactions with others.

Page Expired
It looks like your free minutes have expired! Lucky for you we have all the content you need, just sign up here