Quiz 2 Study Guide
Quiz 2 Study Guide Sociology 101
Popular in Introduction to Sociology
verified elite notetaker
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verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
CLA MAT 191.016
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Irvane Ngnie Kamga on Sunday October 18, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to Sociology 101 at George Mason University taught by Rutledge Dennis in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 163 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at George Mason University.
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Date Created: 10/18/15
CHAPTER 5 STRATIFICATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND GLOBAL INEQUALITY Historically societies have been divided in several ways Stratification the structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal economic rewards and differential power is ubiquitous Slavery the brutal and extreme form of legalized social inequality characterized by ownership over other human beings as if they were a property Slave status could be inherited but it was not necessarily permanent Slaves could be freed in ancient Greece but not in the US and Latin America Castes hereditary systems of rank usually religiously dictated and immutable generally associated with Hinduism in India Caste membership is an ascribed status determined at birth The untouchables category of outcastes that have no place within the system of stratification Estates feudalism system that required peasants to work land for the nobility in exchange for military protection and other services based on inheritance of one s social position like slavery and castes systems Class system social ranking based primarily on economic position in which achieved characteristics can in uence social mobility It is the only system of those discussed that offers opportunity for allgives all individuals the opportunity to climb up the social ladder still marked by unequal wealth and power distribution The 5class model of Daniel Rossides The upper class the very af uent and powerful the elite class 12 of the US pop the extremely welleducated landowning class They control the economic machinery of society and lead a life of luxury The uppermiddle class composed of highly respected professionals such as doctors lawyers and architects 1015 of the US pop The lowermiddle class composed of less af uent professionals such as elementary school teachers nurses owners of small businesses and clerical workers 3035 of the US pop The working class made up of people who hold regular manual in factories or blue collar jobs 4045 of the US pop The lower class disproportionately consists of Blacks Hispanics disabled people single mothers with dependent children and people who cannot find regular work or must make do with lowpaying work This class lacks both wealth and income and is politically very weak KARL MARX S VIEW OF CLASS DIFFERENTIATION During any period of history social relations depend on who controlsowns the primary mode of economic production land factories etc They are the ones in position of power 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 Marx viewed class differentiation as the crucial determinant of social economic and political inequality He stressed the significance of class for society and for social change 0 The bourgeoisie or capitalist class owns the means of production such as factories and machinery o The proletariat the working class The bourgeoisie exerts powerdominance over the proletariat and exploit workers in the pursuit of their own interests According to Marx the members of the working class had to develop a class consciousness to bring about social change Class consciousness an awareness of members of a same class that they have common vested interests and share a collective fate a A WEness rather than I mentality False consciousness attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately re ect their objective position in society denial of the reality of one s position in society Marc thought that the working class would ultimately revolt against their oppressor the bourgeoisie and believed that the proletariat dictatorship would rise The main idea sociologists got from Marx the economics of a society are the foundations of that society MAX WEBER S VIEW OF STRATIFICATION Unlike Marx who put a lot of emphasis on the overriding importance of the economic sector Weber identified three dimensions to stratification social status economic wealth and political power He argued that the actions of individuals and groups could not be understood solely in economic terms Class a group of people who have a similar level of wealth and income Status refers to how one is perceived by society the deference and consideration that one is given by his peers Status group group of people who have the same prestige or lifestyle Class s Status Ex a successful pickpocket and a college professor who earn the same amount of money are part of the same class however the college professor is held in high regard high status whereas the pickpocket is regarded as a member of a lowstatus group Fire ghters and police of cers don t earn a lot of money yet they are highly regarded by the members of society who are very grateful to them for what they do Power the ability to exercise one s will over others In the US power stems from membership in particularly in uential groups such as corporate boards of directors government bodies and interest groups In Weber s view one s position within a strati cation system re ects some combination of class status and power each factor in uencing the other two and the rankings on the three components tending to coincide Weber also thought that people s life chances were in uenced by the class they belonged to While occupying a higher position in society is synonym of better life chances and greater access to social rewards occupying a lower position means devoting more energy and working harder to satisfy basic human needs Wealth status and power provide additional ways of coping with problems and disappointments The Functionalist Perspective Functionalists believe that stratification is universal and functional for a society They deem social inequality to be necessary to motivate people to fill functionally important positions unequal social rewards act as incentives to motivate people to achieve more to aim higher Davis and Moore Certain positions are more valued than others which inevitably leads to inequality Functionalists logic We can t ask nor expect people to devote more time and effort than others to long studies to ultimately earn the same as those who didn t do as much However this perspective does not explain why such a wide disparity between the rich and the poor The Con ict Perspective In uenced by Marx s view who predicted a war between those who have and those who don t have con ict theorists saw inequality as caused by the competition between groups for scarce resources and stratification as a major source of societal tension and con ict Recent theorists have extended the analysis to include other con ict factors such as gender race age etc by contrast with Marx who focused primarily on class con ict The British sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf in uential contributor to the con ict approach merged Marx s emphasis on class con ict with Weber s recognition that power is an important element of stratification From a con ict perspective the most powerful groups and institutions in society control not only wealth and property but also the means of in uencing people s cultural beliefs through religion education and the media Because it is in their best interests to maintain the status quo they set society s dominant ideology the set of cultural beliefs and practices that supports powerful social economic and political interests Thorstein Veblen was neither a socialist nor a Marxist however he was very critical of American capitalism He noted that capitalists converted part of their wealth into conspicuous consumption and engaged into conspicuous leisure He criticized people at the top of the social hierarchy for displaying their wealth conspicuously without regard for the workers He feared that the workers would look up to those people as models aspire to be like them and not devote themselves to working anymore Differentiating Wealth and Income Income people s salaries and wages Wealth people s material assets such as land stocks and other property Income in the US is distributed very unevenly the top 5 of taxpayers earn 16 x more than the lowest quintile of taxpayers 186000 against 11239 Wealth is distributed even more unevenly than income with the wealth of the top 1 exceeding the collective wealth of the bottom 90 Gans Functions of Poverty Sociologist Herbert Gans argues that various segments of society actually benefit from the existence of the poor 0 They do the work no one wants to do society s dirty work at low cost 0 They support people whose occupation targets them for example social workers psychologists public health experts wardens legal as well as drug dealers and numbers runners illegal 0 They serve as a reminder of what not to do and who not to be 0 They guarantee the highstatus of those who are af uent 0 Because of their lack of political power they often absorb the costs of social change They pay the price of af uent people s programs Describing Poverty The poverty line a money income figure that is adjusted annually to re ect the consumption requirements of families based on their size and composition It serves as a definition of which people are poor Absolute poverty state of someone who doesn t even have enough to cover hisher basic needs It refers to a minimum level of subsistence that no family should be expected to live below Relative poverty state of someone who is poor compared to those around himher a oating 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 Since WW2 women have constituted an increasing proportion of the poor people worldwide h Divorces leaving them penniless disability or death of their husbands having to raise a child or children on their own This phenomenon is known as the feminization of poverty Measuring Social Class Subjective Method Method by which people are asked to determine their own social rank Objective Method SociologistsResearchers assign individuals to social classes on the basis of criteria such as income education occupation and place of residence Today sociologists measure income in a more complex and multidimensional way they use the value of homes sources of income assets years in present occupation and neighborhoods as criteria The Impact of Globalization Globalization worldwide integration of social movements cultural ideas financial markets and forms of government through trade and the exchange of ideas From the Western perspective globalization is a positive process as it enables rich countries to get even richer and accumulate profits It also constitutes a way for them to keep control on the global population by setting the tone Poor countries on the other hand tend to view globalization in a negative light and oppose to it because it causes their dependence on Western countries and multinational corporations and leads to their getting into debt to advance their country Furthermore they see Western ideas as a denigration of their own culture as their population gets more and more accustomed to the Western way of life it loses part of its culture Social mobility Social mobility the movement of individuals or groups from one position in a society s stratification system to another Capitalism has enabled social mobility In an open system the position of each individual is in uenced by hisher achieved status whereas in a closed system individuals have little to no chance of moving up the social ladder Intergenerational mobility mobility in comparison to other generations for example a change in the social position of a child relative to hisher parents Intragenerational mobility mobility within a same generation in one s life span Ex a nurse who becomes a doctor UpwardDownward mobility respectively mobility towards a betterworse social position Horizontal mobility mobility within a same prestige ranking movement of a person from one social position to another of the same rank Vertical mobility movement of a person from one social position to another of a different rank Lenski s Viewpoint on Social Inequality In his sociocultural approach Gerhard Lenski described how societies become more complex as their level of technology increases According to Lenski social inequality emerges from the uneven distribution of surplus resources resulting from technologic advances among the global population He views great inequality as dysfunctional and a source of tension and con ict in society because the elites won t give up their position of power and the poor will never stop fighting for equality Colonialism Colonialism occurs when a foreign power maintains political social economic and cultural domination over a people for an extended period of time in simpler terms when a country is ruled by outsiders European countries exerted colonial domination over much of North America North Africa and India for a long time Guided by a Eurocentric vision of the world they exploited their colonies resources and labor force and controlled all aspects of their societies Even after having obtained their independence some countries remain under the in uence of and dependent upon their former colonies because they do not have the means necessary to make it on their own This is known as neocolonialism neo like Wallerstein s World System Analysis Wallerstein views the global economic system as one divided between nations that control wealth and nations from which resources are taken It s all very unfair and unequal According to him we evolve in a world where countries are more and more interdependent in an increasingly intertwined global economy There are core nations that dominate the world s economic system Canada the US the United Kingdom France nations at the semiperiphery with marginal economic status China India Mexico Turkey and poor developing nations at the periphery Afghanistan Chad Egypt Haiti Iran Vietnam
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