SOC 1001 Exam 2 Study Guide
SOC 1001 Exam 2 Study Guide SOC 1001
Popular in SOC1001
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Department
This 36 page Study Guide was uploaded by Anika Mian on Wednesday March 9, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOC 1001 at George Washington University taught by Dr Osborne in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 150 views.
Reviews for SOC 1001 Exam 2 Study Guide
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 03/09/16
SOCIOLOGY MODULE 2 STUDY GUIDE Chapter 5: Social Interaction, Groups, and Social Structure Social Interaction involves the ways in which people respond to one another, whether face-to-face or over the telephone or on the computer. Social Structure is the way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships. The two concepts of social interaction and social structure are central to sociological study. They’re closely related to socialization, the process through which people learn the attitude, values, and behaviors appropriate to their culture. Social Interaction and Reality Herbert Blumer (1969:79) “The distinctive characteristic of social interactions among people is that human beings interpret or define each other’s actions instead of merely reacting to other’s reactions. “ o AKA ~ Our response to one’s behavior is based on the meaning or relevance we attach to the action. Interactionalist emphasize that reality is constructed from social interaction (Berger and Luckman 1966). An example of a social reality is the outlook of tattoos in the United States. They once were viewed as “rebellious” or “punk” but now a great majority of people- including celebrities- have “ink”. As a result of increased social interaction with tattooed people, tattoos are generally accepted wherever. The nature of social interaction and what constitutes reality varies across cultures (Schaefer, 105). The ability to define social reality reflects a group’s power within a society (Schaefer, 105). William I Thomas (1923) recognized that the “definition of the situation” could mold the thinking and personality of the individual. o Observed that people respond not only to the objective features of a person or situation but also to the meaning that person or situation has for them. An important aspect of the process of social changes involves redefining or reconstructing social reality (Schaefer 106). Elements of Social Structure All social interaction takes place within a social structure. Statuses Status refers to any of the full range of socially defined positions within a large group or society, from the lowest to the highest. Types of Status Ascribed status is assigned to a person by society without regard for the person’s unique talents or characteristics. Usually assigned at birth; taking the form in regards to a person’s racial background, gender, and age. o Although they are biological traits, they are significantly mainly because of the social meanings they have in our culture. We can do little to change an ascribed status, but we can attempt to change the traditional constraints associated with it. Achieved status is a status that comes from individual accomplishments and efforts. We must do something to acquire an achieved status—go to school, learn a skill, establish a friendship, invent a new product, etc. Ascribed status heavily influences our achieved status. o Men would not necessarily consider being nannies. o Women would not necessarily consider being construction workers. Master status dominates others and thereby determines a person’s general position in society. Our society gives such importance to race and gender that they often dominate our lives. In the United States, the ascribed statuses of race and gender can function as master statuses that have an important impact on one’s potential to achieve a desired professional and social status. Social Roles A social role is a set of expectations for people who occupy a given social position or status. o For e.g. In the US, we expect that cab drivers will know how to get around a city. Roles are a significant component of social structure. Viewed from a functionalist perspective, roles contribute to a society’s stability by enabling member of anticipate behavior of others and to pattern their actions accordingly. o Yet, social roles can also be dysfunctional if they restrict interactions and relationships. REMEMBER: You occupy a status, but you play a role. Role Conflict Role conflict occurs when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social positions held by the same person. o Fulfillment of the roles associated with one status may directly violate the roles linked to a second status. A newly promoted supervisor will most likely experience a sharp conflict between her social and occupational roles. o Another type of role conflict occurs when individuals move into occupations that are not common among people with their ascribed status. For i.e. male preschool teachers and female police officers Role Strain Role strain describes the difficulty that arises when the same social position imposes conflicting demands and expectations. Role Exit Role exit describes the process of disengagement from a role that is central to one’s self-identity in order to establish a new role and identity. o For e.g. A divorced couple goes from a partner role to a single role. Helen Rose Fuch Ebaugh developed a four-stage process of role exit. 1. Doubt- The person experiences frustration, burnout, or simply unhappiness with an accustomed status and the roles associated with the social position. 2. Search for Alternatives- A person who is unhappy with his or her career may take a leave of absence or an unhappy couple may begin what they see as a temporary separation. 3. Action Stage/Departure- Identifying a clear turning point that makes one feel that it is essential to take final action and leave jobs, end marriages, or engage in another exit. a. 20% of respondents saw their role exit as gradual—with no turning point. 4. Creation of a new identity- Leaving behind the role of offspring and taking the role of a somewhat independent college student living with peers in a dorm is a decent example of creating a new identity. a. Ira Silver (1996) studied the central role of material objects and how they play in this transition. i. Objects that students leave at home (like stuffed animals) are associated with their prior identities. Attachment is still there but they do not want to be seen as part of their new identities at college. Groups A group is any number of people with similar norms, values, and expectations with interact with one another on a regular basis. Groups play a vital part in a society’s social structure because social interaction is influenced by that group’s norms and sanctions. Primary Group: a term coined by Charles Horton Cooley that refers to a small group characterized by intimate, face-to-face association and cooperation. For e.g. The members of a family; “Sisters” in a sorority Secondary Group: refers to an impersonal group in which there is little social intimacy or mutual understanding. For e.g. the workplace Distinction between primary and secondary groups is not always clearly defined, but some clubs may become so large and impersonal that they no longer function as primary groups. In-Group: defined as any group or category to which people feel they belong; comprises everyone who is regarded as “we” or “us”. Can be as narrow as a teenage clique or as broad as an entire society. Out-Group: group or category to which people feel they do not belong In-group members typically feel distinct and superior, seeing themselves as better than people in the out-group. Reference Group: composed of any group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behavior. For e.g. a high school student who wants approval of a certain crowd will begin referencing that group’s characteristics to follow it. Reference groups may help with the process of anticipatory socialization. We essentially shift reference groups as we take on different statuses during our lives. Coalitions: the temporary or permanent alliance geared toward a common goal. William Julius Wilson (1999) has described community-based organizations in Texas that include Whites and Latinos, working class and affluent, who have branded together to work for improved conditions in their communities. Social Networks: a series of social relationships that links a person directly to others, and through them indirectly to still more people. In the mid-1990s sociologists studied romantic relationships at a high school with about 1,000 students. They found that 61% of the girls had been sexually active over the past 18 months. Among the sexually active respondents, the researchers counted only 63 steady couples, or pairs with no other partners. A much larger group of 288 students-- almost a third of the sample-- was involved in a free-flowing network of relationships (Bearman et al. 2004). o This research on high schoolers' sexual activity, an example of applied sociology, has clear implications for public health. Networking is valuable in finding employment--- contacts can be crucial in establishing social networks and facilitating the transmission of information. Social Institutions/Organizations Social institutions/organizations are organized patterns of belief and behavior centered on basic social needs, such as replacing personnel (the family) and preserving order (the government). 1. For e.g. the institution of religion adapts to the segment of society that it serves. Church work has a different meaning for ministers who serve a skid row area and those who serve a suburban middle-class community. Functionalist Perspective: If a society is to survive, it must accomplish five major tasks. 1. Replacing Personnel- Any group or society must replace personnel when the die, leave, or become incapacitated. a. The task is usually accomplished through means of immigration, annexation of neighboring groups, acquisition of slaves, or sexual reproduction. 2. Teaching New Recruits – No group or society can survive if many of its members reject the group’s established behavior and responsibilities. a. The group, or society, must encourage recruits to learn and accepts its values and customs. 3. Producing and Distributing Goods and Services- Must provide and distribute desired goods and services to its members. 4. Preserving Order- Failure to preserve order and defend against conquests leads to the death not only of a people, but a culture as well. 5. Providing and maintaining a sense of purpose- People must feel motivated to continue as members of a group or society. a. Patriotism, tribal identities, religious values, or personal moral cords can help people to develop and maintain such a sense of purpose. i. If an individual does not have a sense of purpose, he or she has little reason to contribute to a society’s survival. No matter what its particular strategy, any society must attempt to satisfy all these functionalist prerequisites for survival—If it fails even one condition, the society runs the risk of extinction. Conflict Perspective: Belief in that the present organization of social institutions is no accident. Major institutions help to maintain the privileges of the most powerful individuals and groups within a society, while contributing to powerlessness of others. Interactionalist Perspective: Belief that social institutions affect our everyday behavior and that behavior is conditioned by the roles and statuses we accept, the groups to which we belong, and the institutions within which we function. Understanding Organizations Formal Organization: Groups designed for a special purpose and structured for maximum efficiency. For e.g. USPS, McDonald’s, etc. Although organizations vary in size, the specificity of goals, and the degree of efficiency, they are all structured to facilitate the management of large-scale operations. Formal organizations fulfill enormous variety of personal and societal needs, shaping the lives of every one of us. They have become so dominant that we must create organizations to supervise other organizations. Characteristics of a Bureaucracy A bureaucracy is a component of formal organization that uses rules and hierarchal ranking to achieve efficiency. Max Weber emphasized that perfect bureaucracies do not exist. Rather, Weber says that ideal bureaucracies display five basic characteristics. 1. Division of Labor a. Trained incapacity—workers become so specialized that they develop blind spots and fail to notice obvious problems 2. Hierarchy of Authority 3. Written rules and regulations a. Goal displacement—term coined by Robert Merton to describe a displacement of goals due to rule regulation 4. Impersonality a. Bureaucratic norms dictate that officials perform their duties without giving personal consideration to people as individuals. 5. Employment based on technical qualifications Bureaucratization is a process by which a group, organization, or social movement becomes increasingly bureaucratic. Oligarchy: Rule by a Few Iron law of oligarchy describes how even a democratic organization will eventually develop into a bureaucracy ruled by a few, called an oligarchy. Bureaucracy and Organizational Culture Scientific management approach—workers are motivated almost entirely by economic rewards o This theory stresses that only the physical constraints on workers limit their productivity. Human relations approach—emphasizes the role of people, communication, and participation in a bureaucracy. o Reflects the interest of interactionist theorists in small-group behaviors o Focuses on worker’s feelings, frustrations, and emotional need for job satisfaction Social Structure in Global Perspective Durkheim’s Mechanical and Organic Solidarity Durkheim ( 1933) argued that social structure depends on the divisions of labor in a society aka the manner in which tasks are performed. Mechanical solidarity—all individuals perform the same tasks. Organic solidarity—a collective consciousness resting on the need a society’s members have for one another. Tonnies’s Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Gemeinschaft is typical of rural life Small community in which people have similar backgrounds and life experiences. o The commitment to the larger social group and a sense of togetherness is present. Maintained through informal means such as moral persuasion, gossip, and even gestures. Gesellschaft is an ideal community that is characteristic of modern urban life. Most people are strangers who feel little in common with other residents. Social control must rest on more formal techniques, such as laws and legally defined punishments. Types of Societies Preindustrial Societies Food production is the main economic activity. Divided on the basis on how they produce food and their level of technology. Hunting and Gathering Involves the collection of wild plants and hunting of animals Characteristics: o NOMADIC o No permanent villages o Groups were smaller; 60-100 people—Family is the main social unit Pastoral Domesticated herd animals were the main form of food production Characteristics: o Moved around to new pastures for animals o Can support larger populations o Food surpluses led to division of labor Specialization of tasks by individuals Horticultural Fruits and vegetables grown in gardens were the main form of production Characteristics: o Size of society depends on land available for farming o Food surpluses led to division of labor Inequalities in wealth and power Agricultural Domesticated animals used to plow fields to grow crops are utilized Characteristics: o Use of irrigation techniques o Can support very large populations o Development of cities and more-advanced technology Industrial Societies Emphasis shifts from food production to the production of manufactured goods o Food production is carried out with the help of machines, which can produce goods quicker o Industrialization can lead to urbanization of population in cities o Competition for social position is established Postindustrial Societies Economy is centered around the providing of information and services o In the United States, roughly 73% of the population is involves in these fields. Postmodern Societies Emphasis on mass media and mass consumption Characteristics: o Standard of living and quality of life improves o Emphasis on science and education o Social equality and democracy emerge Research Today 5-1 Disability as a Master Status Drawing on the earlier work of Erving Goffman, contemporary sociologist have suggested that society attaches a stigma to many forms of disability, a stigma that leads to prejudicial treatment. In Japan, more than 16,000 women with disabilities were involuntarily sterilized with government approval 1945 to 1995. Although discrimination against the disabled occurs around the world, attitudes are changing. Research Today 5-2 Social Networks and Obesity The people we network with have a powerful effect on our behavior, for better or worse, and that effect includes our health. Researchers identified networking as a factor in the course of a long-term heart health survey, during which they tracked the weight of 12,067 respondents. A person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57 percent if a friend became overweight during the same period. o This association, they found, was attributable solely to selectivity in the choice of friends—that is, to people of a certain weight seeking out others of roughly the same weight. Researchers concluded that: Weight gain in one person is often associated with weight gain in his or her friends, siblings, spouse, and neighbors. Chapter 7: Deviance, Crime, and Social Control What is Deviance? Deviance is the behavior that violates the standards of conduct of expectations of a group or society. Alcoholics, compulsive gamblers, and people with mental illness are classified as deviants. On the basis of sociological definition, we are all deviant from time to time. Involves the violation of group norms, which may or may not be formalized into law. A comprehensive concept that includes not only criminal behavior but also many actions that are not subject to prosecution Deviance is hardly objective or set in stone; rather, it is subject to social definition within a particular society and at a particular time. Deviance and Social Stigma A person can acquire a deviant identity in many ways. Physical or behavioral characteristics can be one way— “Short people”, “Redheads” Erving Goffman coined the term--- stigma—the labels society uses to devalue members of a certain social group. Stigmatization also impacts people who look different from others in the eyes of their peers. For e.g. Prevailing expectations about beauty and body shape may prevent people who are considered “ugly’ or “obese” from advancing rapidly as their abilities permit. Deviance and Technology Technological innovations such as pagers and voicemail can redefine social interactions and the standards of behavior related to them. Social Control Social control refers to the techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in any society. Occurs on all levels of society. In the family, we are socialized to obey our parents simply because they are our parents. Peer groups introduce us to informal norms, such as dress codes, that govern the behavior of their members. College institutions establish standards they expect of students. In bureaucratic organizations, workers encounter a formal system of rules and regulations The government of every society legislates and enforces social norms. The behavior of mindlessly obeying the instructions of law enforcement and day-to-day rules at jobs, reflects the effective process of socialization to the dominant standards of a culture. The challenge to effective social control is that people often receive competing messages about how to behave. Functionalists maintain that people must respect social norms if any group or society is to survive. Believe that societies could not function if massive members of people defied the standards. Conflict theorists contend that the successful functioning of a society will consistently benefit the powerful and work to the disadvantage of other groups. Conformity and Obedience Techniques for societal control operate both the group level and the societal level. Stanley Milgram made a distinction between the two levels: Conformity vs Obedience Conformity means to go along with our peers—individuals of our own status who have no special right to direct our behavior. Obedience means compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchal structure. Students conform to the drinking behavior of their peers and obey the requests of campus security officers. Informal and Formal Social Control Informal social control are used to enforce norms—they are carried out or signified as a smile, laughter, raised eyebrow, and ridicule. Formal social control is carried out by authorized agents, such as police officers, judges, school admins, employers, military officers, etc. o Can serve as a last resort when socialization and informal sanctions do not bring about desired behavior. Law and Society Law may be defined as governmental social control. Sociologists see the creation of laws as a social process Laws are passed in response to a perceived need for formal social control—through a sociologist’s view, law is not merely a static body of rules, rather it is continuously changing based on what is perceived to be right and wrong. Socialization is the primary source of conforming and obedient behavior, including obedience to law. It is not external pressure from a peer group or authority figure that makes us go along with social norms—we have internalized such norms as valid and desirable and are committed to observing them. Control theory suggests that our connection to members of society leads us to systematically conform to society’s norms. Travis Hirschi, a control theorist, claims that our bonds to family, friends, and peers induce us to follow the mores and folkways of our society. Socialization develops our self-control so well that we don’t need further pressure to obey social norms. Sociological Perspectives on Deviance Functionalist Perspective Emile Durkheim: The punishments established within a culture help to define acceptable heavier and this contribute to stability. o If improper acts were not sanctioned, people might stretch their standards of what constitutes appropriate conduct. o Anomie is the loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective. It’s the state of normlessness that typically occurs during a period of profound social change and disorder, such as a time of economic collapse. Merton’s Theory of Deviance Anomie theory of deviance—Merton posits five types of behavior or basic forms of adaptation. 1. Conformity to social norms, the most common adaptation, is the opposite of deviance 2. Retreatist has withdrawn from both the goals and the means of society. i. For e.g. Drug Addicts and Vagrants 3. Innovator accepts the goals of society but pursues them with means that are regarded as improper. 4. Ritualist has abandoned the goal of material success and become compulsively committed to the institutional means. i. For e.g. Work becomes simply a way of life rather than a means to the goal of success. 5. Rebel feels alienated from the dominant means and goals and may seek a dramatically different social order. Deviance is a socially created behavior rather than as the result of momentary pathological impulses. Interactionalist Perspective Cultural Transmission Term coined by Edwin Sutherland Cultural transmission emphasizes that one learns criminal behavior by interacting with others. o Such learning includes not only the techniques of lawbreaking but also the motives, drives, and rationalizations of the criminal. Can be used to explain the behavior of those who habitually abuse alcohol or drugs. Differential association is the process through which exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts leads to the violation of rules. Social Disorganization Theory Theory coined by Shaw and McKay Increases in crime and deviance can be attributed to the absence or breakdown of communal relationships and social institutions, such as the family, school, church, and local government. Labeling Perspective Theory by Chambliss Labeling theory attempts to explain why certain people are viewed as deviants, delinquents, bad kids, losers, and criminals, whereas other whose behavior is similar are not seen harsh terms. Societal-Reaction Approach is another name for labeling theory and it reminds us that it is the response to an act, not the behavior itself, that determines deviance. o For e.g. Studies have shown that some school personnel and therapists expand educational programs designed for learning-disabled students to include those with behavioral problems. A “trouble-maker” can be improperly labeled as “learning-disabled” and vice versa. Labeling and Agents of Social Control Social constructionist perspective—deviance is the produce of the culture we live in. o Focus specifically on the decision-making process that creates the deviant identity. Conflict Perspective Conflict theorists point out that people with power protect their interests and define deviance to suit their needs. Richard Quinney believes that crime is a definition of conduct created by authorized agents of social control in a politically organized society. o Argues that lawmaking is often an attempt by the powerful to coerce others into their morality. Conflict theory helps to explain why our society has laws against gambling, drug use, and prostitution, many of which are violated on a massive scale. Differential justice is the differences in the way social control is exercised over different groups. Feminist Perspective Chesney Lind Suggest that many of the existing approaches to deviance and crime were developed with only men in mind. o For e.g. in the United States, for many years any husband who forced his wife to have sexual intercourse—without her consent and against her will—was not legally considered to have committed rape. o Domestic violence and rape are the top two things that will happen to girls and women. Crime: A Sociological Approach Crime is a violation of criminal law for which some governmental authority applies formal penalties. o Represents a deviation from formal social norms administered by the state. Can overlap but they are all unique Victimless Crimes Sociologists use the term victimless crime to describe the willing exchange among adults of widely desired but illegal goods and services, such as prostitution. o Against the law to you but no one is really getting hurt Professional Crime Professional criminal, or career criminal, is a person who pursues crime as a day-to-day occupation, developing skilled techniques and enjoying a certain degree of status among other criminals. o Burgulary, safe-cracking, hijacking of cargo, pickpocketing, and shoplifting Organized Crime Organized Crime is the work of a group that regulates relations among criminal enterprises involved in legal activities, including prostitution, gambling, or drugs. o Hierarchy in system of crime. White-Collar and Technology Based Crime White collar crimes are illegal acts committed in the course of business activities, often by affluent, “respectable” people. o High class people with high sass against society Hate Crimes Hate crime is when the offender is motivated to choose a victim based on race, religion, ethnic group, national origin, or sexual orientation, and when evidence shows that hatred prompted the offender to commit the crime. Transnational Crime Transnational crime is crime that occurs across multiple national borders. Crime Statistics Index Crimes and Victimization Surveys Index crimes are the eight types of crime tabulated each year by the FBI. o Murder, rape, robbery, and assault—burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft Victimization surveys question ordinary people, not police officers, to determine whether they have been victims of crime. o Helps to record crime data involving underreported crimes Domestic violence and rape are the top two most underreported crimes. 7-1 Sociology on Campus, Binge Drinking About 1,700 college students die each year of unintentional alcohol-related injuries. Forty-four percent of college students indulge in binge drinking. These numbers represent an increase from 190s data, despite efforts on many campuses across the nation to educate students about the risks of binge drinking. According to a study that compared data from 22 countries, however, college students in the United States have the highest rate of drinking and driving. A national study found that over a 30-day period, twenty-nine percent of high school students engaged in binge drinking. Research Today 7-2 Does Crime Pay? In Robert Merton’s terms, innovators—people who violate social norms to achieve a commonly shared societal goal. Although the actions of innovators are criminal and potentially hurtful to others, from their own short-term perspective, their actions are functional. Sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh collected detailed data on the illegal drug trade during his observation research on a Chicago street gang and tied his analyzation with economist Steven Levitt. Their study found that less than 5 percent of even the gang leaders earned $100,000 per year. The rest of the leaders and virtually all the rank and file earned less than the minimum wage. 7-3 Sociology on Campus, Campus Crime According to a national survey released in 2008, 72% of college students consider campus safety “very important” in selecting a college. The federal law known as the Clery Act, passed in 1990, requires timely warnings of campus crime, but how they should be delivered and how specific they should be is unclear. Chapter 8: Stratification and Social Mobility in the United States Systems of Stratification Stratification rangers from its impact on the individual to worldwide patterns of inequality. o The general systems of stratification examined are: Slavery Castes Estates Social Classes Ascribed status: social position assigned to a person by society without regard for the person’s unique talents or characteristics. Achieved status: social position that a person attains largely through his or her efforts. Slavery The most extreme form of legalized social inequality for both individuals and groups. Although slavery is prohibited in the countries that are a part of the United Nations, more people are enslaved today more than any other point in world history. o In many countries, bonded laborers are imprisoned in virtual lifetime employment. Situations where illegal immigrants are forced to work in unfortunate conditions in turn of not getting deported are likely to involve transnational crime of trafficking in humans. o Each year an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are transported across international borders for slavery or sexual exploitation. Castes Hereditary ranks that are usually religiously dictated and that tend to be fixed and immobile. o Ascribed status at birth—children get the caste of their parents. Each caste is sharply defined and members are expected to marry within that caste. Generally associated with Hinduism. o Varnas are the classes in Hinduism Can be applied in recent historical contexts outside of India. o System of stratification that characterized the southern US from the end of the Civil War through the 1960s resembled a caste system. Estates Feudalism- required peasants to work land leased to them by nobles in exchange for military protection and other services. Social Classes Class system is a social ranking based primarily on economic position in which achieved characteristics can influence social mobility. Daniel Rossides (1997) uses a model to describe the class system of the United States. Upper and Lower Classes Upper class is limited to the very wealthy, who associate in exclusive clubs and social circles. o 1-2% are considered as upper class in the United States. Lower class consists of Blacks, Hispanics, single mothers with dependent children, and people who cannot find regular work or must make do with low paying work. o Lacks both wealth and income and is too weak politically to exercise significant power. o 20-25% of the population is lower class in the U.S. Both classes reflect the importance of ascribed status and achieved status. Economist, John Kenneth Galbraith (1977:44) observed that “of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least studied”. Over 2 million households in the US are worth more than $10 million each. Less than 10% of these people inherited their money, and very few of them are celebrities (Massey 2007). Middle Class The upper-middle class consists of professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and architects. o About 10-15% of the population The lower-middle class consists of less affluent professionals, owners of small businesses, and a sizeable number of clerical workers. o About 30-35% of the population The middle class is slowly being replaced by two growing groups of rich and poor. o Disappearing opportunities for those with little education. A third of adults between 35-44 have prepared themselves with a college degree. o Global competition and rapid advances in technology Workers are more easily replaced now than they were in the past. Globalization and technological advances are affecting the more complex jobs that were once the bread and butter of middle-class workers. o Growing dependence on the temporary workforce Workers who have no other jobs, temporary positions are tenuous at best, bc they rarely offer health care coverage or retirement benefits. o The rise of new growth industries and nonunion workplaces, like fast-food restaurants Lower end of the wage scale—industries may have been added employment opportunities. Working Class People who hold regular manual or blue-collar jobs o About 40-45% of the population Certain members might have higher incomes than others in the lower-middle class. Declining noticeably in size. o Service and technical jobs are replacing those involved in the actual manufacturing or transportation of goods. Sociological Perspectives on Stratification Karl Marx viewed class differentiation as the crucial determinant of social, economic, and political inequality. Max Weber questioned Marx’s emphasis on the overriding important of the economic sector, arguing that stratification should be viewed as having many dimensions. Karl Marx’s View of Class Differentiation Marx was mainly concerned with the effects of economic inequality on all aspects of 19 century Europe. o The plight of the working class made him feel that it was imperative to strive for changes in the class structure of society. Marx’s beliefs revolved around the observation that social relations during any period of history depend on who controls the primary mode of economic production, such as land or factories. Capitalism: an economic system in which the means of production are held largely in private hands and the main incentive for economic activity is the accumulation of profits. As feudal estate separated into two classes, Marx went ahead and classified them. o Bourgeoisie – capitalist class that owns the means of production, such as factories o Proletariat—working class In capitalist societies, the members of the bourgeoisie maximize profit in competition with other firms. o In this process they exploit workers, who must exchange their labor for subsistence wages. Exploitation of the proletariat will inevitably lead to the destruction of the capitalist system, because the workers will revolt. Class consciousness—subjective awareness of common vested interests and the need for collective political action to bring about social change. o A worker with class consciousness realizes that all workers are being exploited by the bourgeoisie and have a common stake in revolution. False consciousness—attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately reflect their objective position. o A worker with false consciousness may adopt individualistic viewpoint toward capitalist exploitation. – “I am being exploited by my boss”. Max Weber’s View of Stratification Weber insisted that no single characteristics (such as class) totally defines a person’s position within the stratification system. o Instead, he identified three distinct components of stratification: class, status, and power. Class refers to a group of people who have similar level of wealth and income. o For e.g. certain workers in the US try to support their families through minimum- wage jobs. These wage earners constitute a class because they share the same economic position and fate. o The actions of individuals and groups cannot be understood solely in economic terms. Status group refers to people who have the same prestige and lifestyle. o An individual gains status through membership in a desirable group, such as the medical profession. Status is not the same as economic class standing—status’ can overlap in the sense that even though a thief is considered a low status, anyone can be a thief, including a doctor—someone of a high status. Power is the ability to exercise one’s will over others. o In the US, power stems from membership in particularly influential groups, such as corporate boards of directors, government bodies, and interest groups. o Conflict theorists generally agree that two major sources of power—big business and givernment00 are closely interrelated. Money is not what matters; the actions we take with money matters with it. Interactionist Perspective Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) noted that those at the top of the social hierarchy typically convert part of their wealth into conspicuous consumption. o The purchase of goods not to survive but to flaunt their superior wealth and social standing. o Conspicuous leisure is an element of conspicuous consumption—they may jet to a remote destination, staying just long enough to have dinner or view a sunset over some historic locale (Veblen  1964). Is Stratification Universal? Stratification is universal in that all societies maintain some form of social inequity among members. o Depending on its values, a society may assign people to distinctive ranks based on their religious knowledge, skill in hunting, physical attractiveness, trading expertise, or ability to provide health care. Functionalists maintain that a differential system of rewards and punishments in necessary for the efficient operation of society. Conflict theorists argue that competition for scarce resources results in significant political, economic, and social inequality. Functionalist Perspective Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore (1945) believe that society must distribute its members among a variety of social positions. o Must not only make sure that these positions are filled but also see that they are filled by people with the appropriate talents and abilities. Rewards, including money and prestige, are based on the importance of a position and the relative scarcity of qualified personnel. o Society must use some sort of reward to motivate people to enter unpleasant or dangerous jobs and professions that require a long training period. Stratification is universal and that social inequality is necessary so that people will be motivated to fill functionally important positions. o Even if stratification is inevitable, the functionalist explanation for differential rewards does not explain the wide disparity between the rich and the poor (R. Collins 1975; Kerbo 2012). Conflict Perspective Karl Marx argued that, under capitalism, the dominant class- the bourgeoisie- manipulates the economic and political systems in order to maintain control over the exploited proletariat. o He did not believe that stratification was inevitable, but he did see inequality and oppression as inherent in capitalism (E.O Wright et al. 1982; E.O Wright 2011). Human beings are prone to conflict over scarce resources such as wealth, status, and power. Ralf Dahrendorf (1929-2009) modified Marx’s analysis of capitalist society to apply to modern capitalist societies. o Social classes are groups of people who share common interests resulting from their authority relationships. Dominant ideology describes a set of cultural beliefs and practices that helps to maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests. o For Marx, the dominant ideology in a capitalist society served the interests of the ruling class. Main belief: Stratification is a major source of societal tension and conflict; it will inevitably lead to instability and social change. Lenski’s Viewpoint Gerhard Lenski described how economic systems change as their level of technology becomes more complex, beginning with hunting and gathering culminating eventually with industrial society. The emergence of surplus resources greatly expands the possibilities for inequality in status, influence, and power, allowing a well-defined, rigid social class system to develop. The allocation of surplus goods and services controlled by those with wealth, status, and power reinforces the social inequality that accompanies stratification systems. Stratification by Social Class Objective Method of Measuring Social Class Objective method is viewed as a statistical category—researchers assign individuals to social classes on the basis of criteria such as occupation, education, income, and place of existence. o The researcher identifies an individual’s class position. Prestige—refers to the respect and admiration that an occupation holds in a society. o Independent of the particular individual who occupies a job, a characteristic that distinguishes it from esteem. Esteem—refers to the reputation that a specific person has earned within an occupation. o For e.g. A hairdresser may have the esteem of his clients, but lacks the prestige of a corporate executive. Gender and Occupational Prestige Feminist sociologists are drawing on new approaches to assess women’s social class standing. o Focus on the individual as the basis for categorizing a woman’s class position. Multiple Measures Socioeconomic status (SES) is a measure of social class that is based on income, education, occupation. Income and Wealth Income in the U.S. is distributed unevenly. o If we made an income pyramid out of building blocks, with each layer portraying $500 of income, the peak would be far higher than Mt. Everest, but most people would be within a few feet of the ground (Samuelson and Nordhaus 2010:324). In describing the average, or typical, income the mean is less useful because the mean is driven up by higher incomes. Over the past 30 years, federal and state tax policies have tended to accentuate this trend toward income equality. o During a 25-year period, the top 1% of income earners after taxes saw their incomes rise by 228% compared to only 21% for households in the middle quintile. Globalization is often blamed for this growing inequality, because it has forced less skilled workers to compete with lower-paid foreign-born workers. o Research suggests that the number of displaced workers who are reemployed at similarly paid or even higher-paid jobs roughly equals the number of works whose earnings drop (S. Zimmerman 2008a). Poverty About 15% of the people in the U.S. live below the poverty line established by the federal government. o In 2012, no fewer than 46.5 million people were living poverty. Economic boom of 1990s shows that one in five households has trouble meeting basic needs, from paying for bills to buying dinner. One contributor to the U.S. high poverty rate has been the large number of workers employed at minimum wage. Studying Poverty Absolute poverty: refers to a minimum level of subsistence that no family should be expected to live below. o Poverty line: a money income figure that is adjusted annually to reflect the consumption requirements of families based on their size and composition. Serves as an official definition of which people are poor o This definition determines which individuals and families will be eligible for certain government benefits. Relative poverty: a floating standard of deprivation by which people at the bottom of a society, whatever their lifestyles, are judged to be disadvantaged in comparison with the nation as a whole. Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) is a relative poverty measure that is based on a broad range of changing household resources and expenses. Who Are the Poor? 40% of poor adults work outside the home Who is over-represented among the poor? o Mostly children ** Feminization of Poverty Feminization of poverty is the trend when female householders become accountable for a large percent of the nation’s poor. o Major factor is the increase in families with women as single heads of the household. Ideological shift when a woman takes over a job. The job then becomes “less prestigious”. The Underclass William Julius Wilson (1996, 2012a, 2012b) used the term underclass to describe the long-term poor who lack training and skills. o 10.3 million people live in extremely impoverished areas. Living in such disadvantaged neighborhoods means limited educational opportunities, greater exposure to crime and health risks, reduced access to private investment, and higher prices for goods and services. The overall composition of the poor changes continually, because some individuals and families near the top edge of poverty move above the poverty level after a year or two, while others slip below it. Explaining Poverty Herbert Gans applied functionalist analysis to the existence of poverty, argues that various segments of society actually benefit from the existence of the poor. o Presence of poor people means that society’s dirty work will be performed at a low cost o Poverty creates jobs for occupations and professions that serve the poor o Identification and punishment of the poor as deviants upholds the legitimacy of conventional social norms and mainstream values regarding hard work, thrift, and honesty. o Existence of poor people, in a relatively high hierarchal society, guarantees the higher status of the rich. o The poor, because of their lack of political power, often absorb the costs of social change. Poverty and the poor actually satisfy positive functions for many nonpoor groups in the United States. Life Chances Life chances are opportunities to provide one selves with material goods, positive living conditions, and favorable life experiences (Gerth and Mills 1958). o Reflected in measures such as housing, education, and health. Occupying a higher social class in a society improves your life chances and brings greater access of social rewards. People in lower social classes are forced to devote a larger proportion of their limited resources to the necessities of life. Social Mobility Social mobility refers to the movement of individuals or groups from one position in a society’s stratification system to another. Open System Implies that the position of each individual is influenced by his or her achieved status. o Such a system encourages competition among members of society. Closed System Allows little or no possibility of individual social mobility. For e.g. Slavery or Caste systems. o Social placement is based on ascribed statuses. Types of Social Mobility Horizontal mobility is the movement of one social position to another of the same rank. o For e.g. if a teacher becomes a police officer Vertical mobility is the movement of one social position to another of a different rank. o For e.g. if a teacher becomes a lawyer. o College education is the single most important factor associated with upward mobility in the U.S. Intergenerational mobility involves changes in the social position of children relative to their parents. o A plumber whose father was a physician provides an example of downward intergenerational mobility. Intragenerational mobility involves changes in social position within a person’s adult life. o A woman who begins work as a teacher’s aid and eventually becomes a superintendent of the school district experiences upward intragenerational mobility. Social Mobility in the United States Occupational mobility is most common among males. o 60%-70% of sons are employed in higher-ranked occupations than their fathers. People who reach an occupational level above or below that of their parents usually advance or fall back only one or two out of a possible eight occupational levels. The Impact of Education The impact of formal schooling on adult status is even greater than that of family background o However, the impact of education has diminished somewhat in the past decade o An undergrad degree serves less as a guarantee of upward mobility now than it did in the past, simply because more and more entrants into the job market hold such a degree. The Impact of Race and Ethnicity The class system is most rigid for African Americans. Cumulative disadvantage of the discrimination plays a significant role in the disparity between two groups’ experiences. The Impact of Gender Women’s employment is much more limited than men’s. o Women whose skills far exceed the jobs offered them are more likely than men to withdraw entirely from the paid labor force. The American Dream is nearly impossible for minorities that are born in lower classes because they are limited in the resources and life chances that they are offered. Chapter 10: Racial and Ethnic Inequality Minority, Racial, and Ethnic Groups Racial group describes a group that is set apart from others because of physical differences that have taken on social significance. Ethnic group is set apart from others primarily because of its national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. o An example of ethnic groups in the US are people who are considered Puerto Ricans, Jews, and Polish Americans. Minority Groups A numerical minority is any group that makes up less than half of some larger population A minority group is a subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than the members of a dominant or majority group have over theirs. Sociologists have identified five basic properties of a minority group: 1. Unequal treatment—Minorities experience unequal treatment compared to members of a dominant group. 2. Physical or cultural characteristics—Minorities share physical or cultural traits that distinguish them from the dominant group. 3. Ascribed statuses—Membership in a minority (or dominant) is not voluntarily; people are born into the group. Race and ethnicity are ascribed statuses. 4. Solidarity—Minority group members have a strong sense of group solidarity. 5. In-Group Marriage—Minority groups generally marry others from the same group. Race There are no systematic differences between the races that affect people’s social behavior and abilities. o Instead, sociologists use the term racial group to refer to those minorities (and the corresponding dominant groups) Social Construction of Race The process of defining races typically benefits those who have more power and privilege than others. o People in the US learn informally that the differences in skin color have a dramatic social and political meaning, whereas differences in hair color do not. Given current population patterns, it is clear that the nation’s diversity will increase. o In 2011, census data revealed that all children ages three and under are now either Hispanic, or non-White. This turning point marks the beginning of a pattern in which the nation’s minority population will slowly become the majority. o By 2050, the majority of all school-age children in the United States will belong to racial or ethnic minority groups (Frey 2011). Michael Omi and Howard and Winant (1994) have labeled racial formation as a crystalized racial definition. o Racial formation is known as a sociohistorical process in which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed. Those who have power define groups of people according to a racist social structure. For e.g. creating of reservation systems for Native Americans in the late 1800s Recognition of Multiple Identities W.E.B. DuBois predicted that the “color line” would become the foremost problem of the 20 century. The color line has blurred significantly since 1900. Interracial marriage is no longer forbidden by law and custom. The statistical finding of millions of multiracial people obscures how individuals are often asked to handle their identity. o For e.g. the enrollment forms for government programs typically include only a few broad racial-ethnic categories. This approach to racial categorization is part of a long history that dictates single-race identities. Ethnicity An ethnic group is set apart from others because of its national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. o The distinction between racial and ethnic minorities is not always clear-cut. Some members may have significant cultural differences from other racial groups but some members also may have obvious physical differences. Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice Prejudice is a negative attitude towards an entire category of people, often an ethnic or racial minority. o Idea or belief o Prejudice tends to perpetuate false definitions of individuals and groups. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to assume that one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others. o Ethnocentric people judge other cultures by the standards of their group, which leads quite easily to prejudice against cultures they view as inferior. Racism is the belief that one race is supreme and all others are innately inferior—is an important and widespread ideology that reinforces prejudice. o In 1990, the concern mounted about racist attacks helped Congress pass the Hate Crimes Statistics Act; as a result, hate crimes are tried just like others. Stereotypes are unreliable generalizations and it also grows prejudice. o The dominant or majority group creates these stereotypes through the process of racial formation. Interactionalist William I. Thomas (1923) noted, the dominant group’s “definition of the situation” is often so powerful, it can mold the individual’s personality. People respond not only to the objective features of a situation or person, but to the social meaning that situation or person carries. Thus, the false images or stereotypes created by the dominant group can become real in their consequences. Color-Blind Racism Color-blind racism is the use of the principle of race neutrality to defend a racially unequal status quo. o Proponents of race neutrality claim they believe that everyone should be treated equally. The way it is carried through is anything but neutral—proponents of this approach oppose affirmative action, public welfare, and government- funded health insurance, which are seen as favors to minority groups. Color blind racism has also been referred to as “covert racism”. o Although its proponents rarely speak of racism, other indicators of social status, such as social class or citizenship, tend to become proxies for race. Economically-disadvantaged groups such as African American and Latinos have become so closely associated with urban decay, homelessness, welfare, and crime that those problems are now viewed as racial issues, even if they are not labeled as such. o The tendency to blame the victim of these social ills complicates their resolution, especially at a time when government’s ability to address social problems is limited by recession, anti-tax initiatives, and concern over terrorism. The color line is still in place, even if more and more people refuse to acknowledge its existence (Ansell 2008; Bonilla-Silva 2006; Coates 2008; M. King 2007; Quillian 2006; Winant 1994). Discriminatory Behavior Discrimination is the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of prejudice or other arbitrary resources. o It is an action against people because of a prejudice. For e.g. If an employer does not hire someone because they HATE their group, then it is discrimination. Discrimination still persists even for the most educated and qualified minority group members from the best family backgrounds. o They encounter attitudinal or organizational bias that prevents them from reaching their full potential. Glass ceiling refers to an invisible barrier that blocks the promotion of a
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'