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by: Ashley hughes
Ashley hughes
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About this Document

These notes cover everything that we have learned up to now that will be on the test
Introduction to Sociology
Dr. Richman
Study Guide
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Ashley hughes on Sunday February 28, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOC 200 at West Chester University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Richman in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


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Date Created: 02/28/16
Social Class: an ordering of all persons in a society according to their degrees of economic resources, prestige, and privilege. 3 forms of stratification that can exist: estate system, class system, and cask system. Socioeconomic status (SES) SES: refers to an individual’s position in a stratified social order.  Influenced by theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber  Wealth is an important component but Weber also included social status and power.  Measured by four common variables: income, wealth, occupational prestige, and education. Income: annual salary, weekly/monthly earnings. Amount of money being made in a certain amount of time. Wealth: assets (house, stocks, savings account) you possess minus any debts or loans. Occupational prestige: Europe and the United Kingdom. Rank is more important over there. Education: highest level of education completed. How many classes are there? Depends who you ask. According to Professor Dennis Gilbert, there are six social classes in the US:  Upper class> 1% of the population  Upper middle class> 14%  Middle class> 30%  Working class> 30%  Working poor> 13%  Underclass> 12% More related to the source of income rather than the amount of income. Mobility Structural mobility: the mobility that is inevitable from changes in the economy  Ex: the expansion of high-tech jobs in the past 20 years Social mobility: the movement between different positions within a system of social stratification in any given society can be either horizontal or vertical and can take place on the individual or group level. Ex: the recession. Inequality: not just a financial issue; it is linked to so many other challenges, such as poverty, environmental degradation, persistent unemployment, political instability, violence, and conflict. Case study: Syria Inequality is not just a financial issue; it is linked to so many other challenges, such as poverty, environmental degradation, persistent unemployment, political instability, violence, and conflict. Summary: growing inequality in U.S. Earnings  Since the early 1970’s, wages have more or less stagnated, and the distribution of wages has become increasingly unequal. Income  Those at the middle and bottom of the class structure have seen their incomes grow at a much slower rate since the 1970s.  Those at the top have seen their incomes soar. Wealth  Wealth has become increasingly concentrated at the top of the class hierarchy. Growing Inequality Poverty  There has been no appreciable reduction in the poverty rate in nearly 40 years  The poor are less likely to be over 65 and more likely to be under 18 than they were in 1960 and are much more likely to live in female-headed families. Social Life  Residential neighborhoods are increasingly segregated by class, which has resulted in decreased levels of interclass association. Political Power  Power has shifted away from the working class and working poor and toward the privileged classes- in particular, the upper class. Conclusion Social mobility  Although intergenerational upward social mobility is still pretty common, it has slowed since the 1970s. Why the age of growing inequality?  Changes in the economy have been amplified by the decision of corporations, families, and government. Wage disparities have widened  Industrial vs. post-industrial economy  Downsizing and outsourcing  Advanced education and skills  Institutional mechanisms weakened ex. Union declines Gender Gestation  Genetic sex is determined at moment of conception  Sex organs develop in the 2 ndtrimester  Hormones: o Male: high levels of androgens o Female: low levels of androgens Sex vs. Gender  Sex: the biological characteristics that distinguish males and females o Biologically based  Gender: the social and cultural characteristics that distinguish men and women o Socially constructed Gender Continuum  Realistically, we are not 100% feminine or 100% masculine o “Male” and “female” characteristics can overlap o We can vary in different circumstances (work, home, alone) Gender Development  Why do gender differences exist? Some approaches: 1. Biosocial 2. Socialization 3. Interactionist 4. Structural Biosocial Perspective (1.)  Definition: gender identification and behavior are based in part on people’s innate biological differences. o Emphasis: Biological and social factors interact. o Examples: aggression, nurturing behavior. o Question: The biosocial perspective suggests that gender differences are completely biologically based. True or false? False. Socialization Perspective (2.)  Definition: the processes by which we learn and adapt to the ways of a given society or social group so as to adequately participate in it. o Sources of socialization: parental, peer group, media. Interactionist (3.)  Definition: gender identification and behavior are based on the day-to-day behavior that reinforces gender distinctions o Doing/undoing gender o Emphasis: gender is the product of social interactions –not a set role of trait o Example: clearing the table, diaper changing, door opening, heavy lifting. Structural Perspective (4.)  Definition: the fundamental set of positions that organize society as a whole o Emphasis: men tend to have material resources that place them in positions of power over women.  Cultural frames of the characteristics of men and women are a part of the social structure. o Example: men have more access to money (more likely to work for pay and earn higher wages)  Women are under-represented at all levels of government Feminism and Gender Inequality  Feminism: an intellectual, consciousness-raising movement based on the idea that women and men should be accorded equal opportunities and respect. o Gender structures social relations on unequal ground, and thus power is fundamentally at play when we talk about gender differences.  Gender inequality: unequal treatment between men and women in terms of power, wealth, income, status, and other socially valued resources. o Examples: pay, occupations, housework and childrearing, violence, etc. Gender Inequality in the Workplace  Relates to: o The o Discrimination o The “” jobs o Unequal pay o To certain types of jobs o Penalty The Motherhood Penalty  Definition: being a o The o Mothers penalized for:  Perceived  Recommended starting Social Policy  Equal Pay Act of o Requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same o Made it illegal for employers to pay  Fairness Act (ongoing-reintroduced in 2014) o Extension of the Equal Pay Act o First introduced in 1997 and reintroduced to congress many times since. o Makes wages more o Requires employers prove wage discrepancies


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