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Sociology 1101 Midterm #2 Study Guide Highlight = Key Terms Highlight = Key People Highlight = Key Concepts
Chapter 6—Social Control and Deviance
What is Social Deviance?
-- Deviance: behavior that violates social norms in a given society or group. Vary from society to society. Very few behaviors are universally deviances. It’s NOT always negative (e.g. civil rights movement). --Informal deviance = minor violations of rules that most people follow (ex. picking your nose) --Formal deviance = crime, violation of laws enacted by society (ex. murder)
--Punishments may vary based on the context (ex. soldier killing an enemy = heroic, soldier killing his wife = heinous and punishable by long prison sentence)
--Social control: techniques and strategies for preventing deviant behavior
--sanctions: penalties and rewards for conduct related to social norm… Two types: 1. Formal Social Sanctions: rules or laws prohibiting deviant criminal behavior (e.g. murder, rape, theft, etc.)
2. Informal Social Sanctions: usually unexpressed but widely known rules of the group (e.g. belching loudly in public, answering phone in lecture, etc.)
--Can be informally enforced by “the eyes and ears of the street” meaning that enforcing social norms and control is implicitly woven into daily life. Don't forget about the age old question of What is verbs?
--Stigma: negative images that devalue members of social groups. Lead to behavior being labeled as deviant. Also, the opposite of prestige: positive images that increase value members of society (e.g. the Saints and the Roughnecks—who was stigmatized and given prestige?). --Conformity and Obedience… necessary for societal function. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the structure of DNA?
--Conformity is powerful and pervasive. It’s following the norms.
--Obedience to authority is the default condition (think back to Milgram experiment, which ordinary people go into this default mode in response to commands from authority figures). --Punishments in modern society
--Punitive… usually the death penalty for extreme violations (NOTE: still legal in many US states) --Rehabilitative… circumstantially triggered crimes such as stealing to support a drug addiction may result in punishment of court-ordered rehab in hopes of reintegrating the criminal into the productive mainstream.
--Restitutive… attempting to restore the status quo that existed prior to an offense or event. Ex. Tort law… using payment to reestablish social equilibrium to make up for what was lost (ex. company that causes accidental death of a loved one because of something preventable is sued and pays money to the family for emotional damages)
--All are found in societies, but one form usually is more common than the other. --Social Forces and Deviance
--Robert Merton (Functionalist)…Strain Theory aka “means-end theory of deviance”… deviance occurs if a society doesn’t give all members equal ability to achieve socially acceptable goals. --Social deviant: Someone who doesn’t match up to the expectations/goals of society. Types of deviants:
--Conformist: accepts both the goals and strategies to achieve those goals that are considered socially acceptable (e.g. going to college and then working hard to achieve the “American dream” of getting a big house, a few kids, and a nice car). If you want to learn more check out Delusions
--Ritualist: person who rejects socially defined goals but not the means of meeting their personal goals (e.g. going to college, but to just barely get by and not wanting to reach the “American dream”)
--Innovator: person who accepts the socially acceptable goals, but rejects the means of achieving those goals (e.g. selling drugs to get rich instead of working hard)
--Retreatist: person who rejects both the means and the goals of society by not participating in society (e.g. moving off into the woods and not participating)
--Rebel: rejects both traditional means and goals but also wants to change/destroy the social institution from which he/she is alienated. (e.g. physically fighting against government rather than formally proposing new legislation) Don't forget about the age old question of What are the three types of pigments?
Main Theories Overview
1. Social Disorganization—basically, lack of attachment & break down of norms ???? deviance a. Chicago Sociology (1910s)--There was a decline in social organization relative to rural and old country. There was a lack of attachment, bonds, commitment, and values to families, communities, and the country… lead to more deviance. Chicago school soon observes that it is NOT an adequate explanation because people make NEW BONDS quickly.
b. Relevant to “Inside Job?” People were more attached within the financial sector rather than to their country’s economy.
2. Anomie/Structural Strain Theory—basically, legitimate goals being pursued by non-legit means. A functionalist theory.
a. Durkheim defined anomie (normlessness) as a breakdown of norms. Typical of societies experiencing rapid change.
b. Merton alters the definition to fit stable situations: “Anomie arises where there is a discrepancy between socially defined goals and available means of achieving them.” c. Relevant to “Inside Job?” Disclosing financial conflicts of interest—a We also discuss several other topics like What is Hebbian rule?
NEED/EXPECTATION but not practiced as a norm b/c of outside goals.
3. Cultural Transmission Theory—basically, being socialized to be deviant through subculture. A symbolic-interactionist theory.
a. Deviant behavior is learned through differential association (e.g. who your friends are). b. Factors: intensity of contacts, age when contact occurs, frequency, duration, number c. People may be socialized into a deviant subculture (e.g. gang culture). Don't forget about the age old question of Who are Aronson & Mills?
d. Relevant to “Inside Job?” Wall Street has a “thrill-seeking” mentality = drug, sex, and money all stimulate the same part of the brain… creates a culture. Money and luxuries trained people to fall into this culture, and convincing non-business people into the industry to allow easier control over them.
4. Labeling Theroy –Symbolic-interactionist theory
a. “Social construct” of deviance… deviance is only real when the label is placed. b. Important sorting goes on between initial act and punishment
c. An act becomes deviant when the LABEL of deviance is successfully applied… it’s only deviant if people care enough to label it as deviant.
d. Stages of labeling…
i. Initial act occurs (primary deviance)
ii. Definition of the act is applied because of societal concern
iii. Deviant identity is taken on as a primary role… it’s conferred on people at least as much as it results from their actions. It’s socially-constructed… do people
agree enough to apply it?
e. Relevance to “Inside Job?” Have bankers’ been successfully labeled deviant??? NOPE. These members are still regarded as upstanding members and incredible businessmen. 5. Conflict Theory
a. Even when there is broad agreement about conduct violating social norms or laws, the powerful are treated differently:
i. Differential justice: the different treatment of misbehavior and deviance based on social standing.
ii. Less likely to be criticized, investigated, or prosecuted
iii. If prosecuted, sentences are often more lenient than for less powerful people. b. Relevance to “Inside Job?” How have the bankers avoided punishment?
i. Cultural Power… the occupational prestige that comes with any economic
profession, allows them to have power and society assume that they are
crimeless. Especially when compared with normal people on the street corner.
ii. Political power… Wall street makes huge contributions to both parties, and don’t want to prosecute these powerful execs and have their money flow cut
off. The financial sector makes nearly 40% of US profits… tons of economic
--What’s missing/unexplained by these theories?
--The organizational aspects of deviance and fraud… The financial sector deviance was systematic and highly organized, not individual based.
--Organizations pursued business models that were deviant with respect to cultural mores and laws – so they were more serious levels of deviance!
--Sociology tends to study “down”—focusing on deviance of the less powerful, crime is “street crime.” Also, they assume crime is more of an individual than organizational behavior.
Functionalist approach to Deviance and Social Control
--If society = body and organs, then the state = brain ???? decision and rule-making center. --Believe it’s the state’s job to help organize and direct social life.
--Emile Durkheim… The Division of Labor in Society… social cohesion: the way people form social bonds, relate to each other, and get along on a day-to-day basis. Deviance is necessary because it policies the boundaries of social behavior???? promotes social stability. Two basic ways society can hold together/cohere:
1. Mechanical/Segmental Solidarity… based on the sameness of the individual parts. People who have similar characteristics group together (ex. all tribe members, all car builders, all Caucasian, etc.). Characterizes pre-modern society.
2. Organic Solidarity… social cohesion based on interdependence of the members because each is specialized and all of the members working smoothly together to ensure society functions well as a whole. Characterizes modern society.
--Specialization ???? greater efficiency in society. BUT, people are more alienated from one another because they have less and less in common, making social bonds more difficult to form.
--Deviance (according the functionalist)… offending the “collective conscience,” meaning the set of common assumptions about how the world works (social norms). Deviance is punished???? restore “moral unity” aka collective conscience, so that chaos doesn’t ensue. Durkheim, says that deviance occurs because of sudden social changes that lead to feelings of helplessness.
--In order to realign the social order, collective vengeance is taken out on the criminal by the community for the act of offending the collective conscience.
--Paradox: DEVIENCE HELPS KEEP OUR SOCIETY TOGETHER because it reinforces norms. --Suicide…Durkheim believes suicide, at its root, is an instant of social deviance… developed the normative theory: hypothesis that the social norms of a particular group generate variations in group suicide rates.
--By plotting social integration (the degree to which a person is a part of the society) on the y axis and plotting social regulation (how many rules guide on a daily basis) on the x-axis, you can theorize about how social forces influence suicide rates. ``
--Reasonably integrated + reasonable guidelines = low risk of suicide/deviant behavior. Too much or too little in either direction results in increased deviance.
--Group solidarity can trickle down to the individual levels and stave off suicide rates.
Symbolic Interactionist Theories of Deviance
--Symbolic interactionists focus on how deviance is learned from associates and through social networks, reflects symbolic messages about neighborhoods and social groups, and is created by stereotypes and images/stigmas of social groups.
--Labeling theory: individuals subconsciously notice how others see or label them, and their reaction to those labels over time form the basis of their self-identity. See above. --Wrongdoers are made as a consequence of how other people apply rules & sanctions.
--Howard Becker argued that social groups create deviance, first by setting rules for what is right and wrong and second by labeling rule breakers
--Deviant labels are believed to stick under any circumstances, leads to more deviance. --Primary deviance… the first act of rule breaking that may lead to “deviant”
label and thus influence how people think about and act towards you.
--Secondary deviance… subsequent acts of rule breaking that occur after the
primary deviance and as a result of your new “deviant” label and people’s
expectations of you.
--Psychiatric study… normal patients sent to psychiatric institutions for “schizophrenia,” once admitted they didn’t change their behavior, but the staff had different perceptions of their behavior simply because of the label of being “schizophrenic”
--Marijuana study… it’s a social event, you must learn the highs and feelings and how to feel and act in an appropriate way according to the groups standards.
--Broken Windows theory: Explains how social context and social cues impact whether individuals act deviantly, specifically, whether local, informal social norms allow deviant acts. --Zimbardo (1976)… left one car in the Bronx and one in a rich California neighborhood. The one in the Bronx was immediately ransacked, and the one in the rich neighborhood wasn’t ransacked until after its windows and hood were smashed. The smashed/decay setting signaled that the abandoned car was fair game for abuse.
--Crime: a more formal sort of deviance that is not only subject to social sanction but also punishable by law. There is a range in the type and degree.
--Street crime: crime committed publically. Usually associated with gangs, disadvantaged minority groups, and poverty. There are different theories as to why street crime exists:
1. Differential Opportunity Theory: Street crime rises and falls in relation to the amount of opportunity w/n a legitimate economy and illegitimate economy (Cloward and Ohlin, 1960) --Reduce crime by raising the costs in the illegitimate economy (e.g. making a “three strikes” law to deter repeat criminal offenders, and to incarcerate habitual offenders) --Reduce crime by raising opportunity in the legit economy with entry-level positions (e.g. raising minimum wages)
--White-Collar Crime: usually committed by professional(s) against a corporation, agency, or other professional entities.
--Corporate crime: offenses committed by officers (CEOs and other execs) of a corporation. --White collar costs the US nearly $300 billion each year, Street crime only $15.5 million… but we tend to focus more on the street crimes.
--Ex. Justice department settlements with the nation’s biggest banks to resolve allegations of fraud related to the 2008 financial crisis. Totaling near $40 billion in settlements. Many banks didn’t admit to fault, but paid the settlements to get the justice apartment to go away. Criticism: the banks get away with huge payoffs and no one gets prosecuted and goes to jail. --Epidemic of white collar crime… the run-up to the financial collapse and recession of 2008 was characterized by widespread fraud by the biggest US financial institutions and large-scale fraud and corruption by mortgage brokers, lenders, loan services, investment banks, rating agencies, academic economists, and government regulators.
--Interpreting Crime… Kai Erikson… Wayward Puritans… demonstrated how even America’s most upstanding, God-fearing communities still had problems with deviance. His central thesis was that a relatively stable amount of deviance is to be expected, but what counts as deviance evolves depending on the society.
--Overall crime rates do not accurately show the rates of crime in a society because people do not always report crimes, the classifications of crime often change, etc. So criminologists usually use the murder rate to make statements about the overall health of a society (can’t fake it). --Word of caution, though… survival rates of violent crimes are much higher now, so even the murder rates can be inaccurate if they don’t account for “almost murders.”
--Deterrence Theory of Crime Control… Spohn & Holleran… philosophy of criminal justice arising from the notion that crime results from a rational calculation of its costs and benefits. So if you make the cost of being deviant outweigh the benefit of being normal, then you deter the criminal acts.
--Specific deterrence: targeting and monitoring known criminals to prevent more crime --General deterrence: making the consequences of an action well known to deter the crime --Recidivism: when an individual who had been involved in the criminal justice system reverts back to criminal behavior once released. Usually occurs because the criminals have a lack of job stability, home security, and lack of strong social bonds when they are released???? revert back to old habits that make ends meet.
--Also, by cracking down on crime, more technical slipups under the strict standards, which makes it very hard for the criminal to recover and return as a functioning member of society. --Total institutions… Goffman (interactionist)… these are places where all aspects are conducted in the same place and under the same authority. Goffman theorized that these institutions (e.g. prisons and mental health hospitals) are often breeding grounds for secondary deviance. People who enter the institution lose their sense of self and become helpless. Guards/authority also feel the need to play a new role that will get respect and obedience from the inmates/patients.
--Modern penal system… Michel Foucault… the system represents a transformation in social control from targeting the body???? targeting the soul, focusing on correcting the individual’s characteristics/behaviors.
--Panopticon: a circular building composed of an inner ring and an outer ring, designed to serve as a prison in which the guards (housed in the inner ring) can observe the detainees (in the outer ring) without them knowing whether they’re being watched.
--US Justice System… More people are incarcerated at an alarmingly increasing rate. Nearly 6% of Whites, 10% of Hispanics, and 12% of African Americans are expected to be incarcerated at some point in their life time. In terms of penal executions, race is a huge factor in terms of the victim and the criminal, and influences if they will be given the death penalty for equal crimes.
--In the US, the correlation between parent-child “social classes” is about .84, meaning that what your parent does education and career wise, you are 84% likely to follow a very similar path. --Paradox: Inequality is a result of surplus.
Views of Inequality
--Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1750-1782)… influenced the political ideas of the French Revolution and development of socialist thought… humankind = naturally good and pure… private property = idea people had the right to own something. According to Rousseau, this is the primary source of social problems. Social equality = a condition in which no differences in which no differences in wealth, power,
prestige, or status based on non-natural bases exist.
--Two types of inequality:
1. Physical (natural): a difference in age, health, bodily strength, and the qualities of the mind or of the soul.
2. Social: a difference in wealth, honor, power, or authority over others.
--Both lead to prejudices, discriminations, and, ultimately, social conflict.
--Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)… The Scottish Enlightenment… saw inequality as necessary. The establishment of private property leads to higher degrees of social organization and efficiency. People will work harder and work to build up society as they try to gain personal wealth and assets ???? improving society as a by-product.
--Basically social inequality ???? social progress ???? development of civilization = good! --Inequality also keeps the population in check… with less resources, less likelihood of reproduction and overpopulating… more overpopulation = more social conflict. Therefore, having less population = good. Malthusian population trap: a situation in which population growth leads to increased poverty, not to abundance (e.g. Africa… huge population growth???? extreme poverty).
--Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)… German philosopher… viewed history in terms of master slave/servant relationships.
--Dialectic: a two-direction relationship, following a pattern in which one person creates an idea/thesis and the other person points out flaws with the idea and creates an antithesis, and then the first responds, and so on, hopefully leading to a compromise made of elements of both positions and views.
--The slave is dependent on the master for necessities, and the master is dependent on the slave for basic duties of survival. Still exist today, estimate ~27 million people considered slaves. Exploited in terms of work and sex in exchange for safety and basic needs.
Standards of Equality
--Equality of opportunity: the idea that everyone has equal chance to achieve wealth, social prestige, and power because the rules are equal for everyone. Lose or win based on luck and skill/choices. --Equality of condition: using affirmative action, which involves preferential selection of those underprivileged, in order to equal out the playing field in terms of relative starting positions in society.
--Affirmative action: when people or a group in a gatekeeper position actively select some applicants who haven’t faced an even playing field, often due to sexism or racism (e.g. college admissions counsel selects minorities based on their race)
--Equality of outcome: the idea that each player must end up with the same amount regardless of the fairness of the “game.” Similar to Marxist (Communist) ideology, the idea that everyone contributes to society in the way they can, and yet everyone still receives the same reward. Individual incentives are replaced by altruistic incentives.
--Free rider problem: the notion that when more than one person is responsible for getting something done, some may shrink their responsibilities and hope someone else may take on the extra load (e.g. group projects). This is a possible problem of the equality of outcome.
Forms of Stratification
--Can be based on age, birth order, gender, race, and ethnicity.
1. Estate system: a politically-based system characterized by limited mobility. Laws separate rights and duties of separate individuals and distribute power unequally (e.g. landowners = nobility in feudal Europe during the medieval era)
2. Caste system: a religion-based system characterized by NO social mobility (e.g. India’s “Varna” system composed of four main castes). Social closure: having little to no individual mobility in a social system. Sanskirtization: having the entire caste level move up in the hierarchy of a social system. 3. Class system: an economic-based system characterized by cohesive, oppositional groups and somewhat loose social mobility. Problems with class… the definitive lines are blurred, you can’t tell what class someone is just by looking at their income, corresponds more with the role rather than the person.
--Karl Marx’s ideas… capitalistic society boils down to two classes that inherently conflict. --Proletariat: sells its labor to the bourgeoisie in order to receive wages for survival. --Bourgeoisie: employ the proletariat class, extract surplus from them in an exploitative manner. Not repaying them enough for the value of their work.
--Erik Olin Wright… modern Marxist theorist…
--Contradictory class locations: suggests that people can occupy locations in the class structure that fall between two “pure” classes (e.g. managers are laborers AND “owners”). Also, can apply to multiple class locations (multiple jobs), mediated class locations (impact of relationships with family in other class locations), and temporarily distinct class locations (e.g. manager works on the floor before becoming full manager).
--Max Weber… functionalist… argues that a class is distinguishes based on the similar value that have in the commercial marketplace in terms of selling their own property and labor. 4. Status Hierarchy system: based on the social prestige of a group. Max Weber. Basically that class is defined based on similarities in lifestyles and consumption manners, not just income. 5. Elite-Mass Dichotomy system: a governing elite, a few leaders, who broadly hold power in society. --Vilfredo Pareto… The Mind and Society… believes if the individuals in power are the most able = better society in the end. Need a mix of “lions and foxes”—both the strong and decisive with the innovative and intelligent. Pareto Principle: ~20% of people cause a disproportionately large influence in policy as if they were ~80% of the population. Meritocracy: a society where status and mobility are based on individual attributes, abilities, and achievements.
--C. Wright Mills…The Power Elite… believes elite-mass dichotomy is not natural or beneficial because the elite do not govern the way Pareto claims they do. Argued the following three major institutional forces in American societies have been too centralized:
1. Economic institutions… a few hundred GIANT corporations holding the keys to economic decisions.
2. Political order… the increasing concentration towards the central gov. and away from the states and localities.
3. Military order… the largest and most expensive form of government
--These institutions are shaping what we consider “modern life” and the people in power here are elite because they have the most money, power, and prestige.
--Elite come to power based on their relationships and positions with others, not on their skill and knowledge and qualifications. Furthermore, the elite exchange positions of power among themselves, making it harder for others to come to power because the relationships within the group of the elite are too strong.
--Money is the underlying dimension of this kind of stratification
--Income: based on how much you’re making
--Wealth: Net assets (including debts)
--Economic inequality: refers to the magnitude of distance between the bottom and the top in terms of wealth distributions
--Poverty: refers to the actual hardship at the bottom.
--NOT same concepts… growing inequality doesn’t necessarily mean poverty is growing, too. --The current context… (just recognize the facts, not necessarily memorize the % and #s specifically) --The “Great Recession” and its aftermath aka “the Lesser Depression” (2008—present) --Based on the graph, the Great Recession has seen the deepest loss of employment and longest recovery time since WW2.
--Unemployment spiked to ~10% and took much longer to recover from, and now is currently ~5% which isn’t too bad… these people are actively looking for work.
--# job seekers/opening during the beginning of recovery was nearly 6:1… can’t find work. Recently its ~1.4:1…. Much better.
--Middle-wage jobs were the ones mostly lost… and had hard time recovering… creates “job polarization” meaning that most jobs came back in form of high-wage and low-wage jobs. This is contributing to economic inequality.
--Unemployed for 6 months of longer during the recovery peaked around ~45%, but even now it’s ~25% of people being out of work for 6 months or longer.
--The percentage of civilian employment-population ratio is still very low (~59%). NOT GOOD. --It’s hard to get employed based on… current employment (if you’re not employed, it’s harder to get reemployed) and age (older workers = more expensive).
--From 1947—1979, as Americans become more productive, wages and salaries increased. BUUUUTTT, 1980—present, as American production is growing exponentially, wages and salaries have become almost stagnant. Top fifth percentile still increasing exponentially, though. --Key point: The benefits of the growing economy & the income growth isn’t going towards the average worker, but towards those at the top.
--Now even during the recovery, the bottom 90% are experiencing extreme DECLINE in average income growth, and the top 10% are expanding even more!! Leading to a huge redistribution of wealth within our economy.
--Since 1979 to 2010, the top 1% have been the ones of the top 5% actually gaining the income growth while the top 5-3% LOST income growth. And the top 2% barely had a growth in income.
How is the US stratified today?
--Socioeconomic status: an individual’s positions in a stratified social order.
--Income: money received by a person for work or from returns on investments. --Wealth: a family’s or individual’s net worth (total assets minus total debts.
1. Upper Class… the economic elite. The group at the top of the socioeconomic food chain. Make their money more from returns on investments, rather than wages.
-- ~1% of US fall into this category. These were the people whose incomes were ~263 times greater as a CEO than the average American worker.
--This group also has extreme power and prestige… they can promote their personal agendas and influence a lot of other categories in the economy.
2. Middle Class… a term commonly used to describe those individuals with non-manual labor jobs that pay significantly above the poverty line. Hard to define.
--~90% of Americans consider themselves middle class.
--Post WW2, the manual jobs boomed, and the manual labor jobs like firemen, plumbing, etc. became well paid enough to send kids to school and well-provide for families. This is known as the expansion of the working class into the middle class.
--Also, the development of the service sector and the decline in the production sector has further eroded the traditional manual--non-manual distinction between the working and the middle class. Factory jobs declined, service jobs (e.g. waitress) rose.
--Income inequality and income insecurity also have risen in the middle class, meaning the incomes vary more greatly within the class and the likelihood of having their salaries cut in half from one year to the next rose from 7% to 17%.
3. The Poor… the poverty line for a family of four was $23,550 (in 2013). Made of the “working poor” (those who deserve our assistance) and the “nonworking poor” aka the “underclass” (those who don’t work and therefore have lower claims on receiving assistance).
Why is the US so unequal?
--There is a huge amount of disproportionate distribution of wealth, even more than Americans think there is.
--1% of America has 40% of the American wealth. The bottom 80% only make 7% of America’s wealth. The poorest of the poor have negative wealth.
--Why is inequality increasing?
--Job polarization: middle-income jobs are outsourced, automated. New jobs added at the bottom and the top (but more at the bottom).
--De-unionization: jobs are being outsourced, the companies are union-busting, the sectoral change of growth of new industries that are less-likely to unionize, and incomes have shifted upward within the firms and away from the workers. De-unionization has contributed to nearly 1/3 of the inequality growth since the 1970s.
--Financialization: deregulation and growth of financial service --Tax reforms: favoring the wealthy with a huge reduction in top marginal rates.
--How much is functional?
--Moderate economic inequality CAN be functional—it provide incentives and rewards talent and initiative.
--Extreme economic inequality, however, can be highly dysfunctional.
--Common arguments about why growing US inequality might NOT be dysfunctional… --Yes, the top 1% have a huge growth in income, but they pay the most taxes too (and too much) --Are we under-taxed? Federal revenue from taxes is at an all-time low… so no. Also, the top 20% share nearly 60% of US income, but only about 65% of all taxes that get paid. Corporate tax has also largely declined, while the payroll tax has largely increased.
--Also, the top 1% avoid taxes by stashing money on non-taxed islands, lowering your salary, make donations they can write-off, set up non-profit leagues, change inheritance methods, etc. --We have lots (too many?) social programs to compensate for inequality.
--The amount of social program spending hasn’t changed since nearly 1980 to counteract the new inequality in economic growth and wealth.
--The US has the most inequality in terms of income inequality when compared to other countries.
--Inequality isn’t a problem as long as we have healthy rates of social mobility.
--Social mobility: the extent to which people are able to move up or down in the income distribution during their lives.
--Intergenerational mobility: the extent to which people end up on different points in the income distribution from their parents.
--Currently, the probability of changing from the top 40% to the bottom 40% or vice versa, is only about 4%... meaning most people don’t change social class.
--The advantage of wealth in college… the low-income college student with top math scores has the same chance (41%) of graduating with a bachelor’s degree as a rich student with mediocre scores. Low-income students are more likely to work during school, lower their aspirations during college, etc.
--4 Arguments suggesting that current inequality is dysfunctional…
1. Slower economic growth… stagnating incomes of the bottom 90% is a drag on consumption growth. People rely more heavily on debt and borrowing.
2. Economic destabilization…. Top 1% share most income, but have trouble spending it. They make risky speculation while trying to make even more money and leads to economic collapse. Making a more equal economy will make a more stable economy.
3. It corrupts politics and institutions… increased political responsiveness to interests of the interests of the rich, rather than the ordinary people. Criminality at the top often goes unpunished (see: Inside Job). Watch: video RepresentUS, regardless whether Americans fully support or fully oppose a law, the likelihood of it becoming law is ~30%. For the rich, it’s almost and exact direct graphing line (if they want it, it will be a law… if not, no law will pass). 4. Economic inequality ultimately undermines capitalism itself… it snuffs out competition, market discipline, and incentives. Capitalism is based on the idea of taking entrpreunural risks. US is in danger of becoming a corrupt financial oligarchy. The corporations are winning when they win, and their losses are socialized: “Heads I win, tails you lose.” Aka “looting.”
Status: Evaluative ranking of people
--Many criteria used: money, education, race, etc.
--Influences interactions, mate selection, political beliefs, etc.
--Define a status group by differences in group and some ranking on some criteria --Not status groups = blue eyes v. brown eyes… red shirt v. yellow shirt.
--Status group = race/ethnic group, education groups, Lexus owner v. Nissan versa owner. --These groups are easily taught and learned
--Globalization: the rise in the trade of goods and services across national boundaries and the increased mobility of multinational businesses and migrant laborers.
--Development is believed to have occurred first in Europe because of the differences between the tropical and temperate zones. Tropical zones have different lengths of growing seasons, higher variability in the water supplies, types of crops that are viable, a lack of coal deposits, and suffer from more disease because of the warmer climates.
--Geographic limitations can affect ability to revolutionize (e.g. African region’s geography just isn’t good for agricultural revolution because it’s so hard to irrigate)
--Social institutions also influence economic development of a civilization. If a country lays down a strong foundation or maintains good relations with a colony ???? colony more likely to develop.
Social Reproduction v. Social Mobility
--Social mobility: the movement between positions within a system of social stratification. --Horizontal social mobility: a group or individual transitioning from one social status to one that is more or less the same as before (e.g. secretary changes firms, but still has same occupation) --Vertical social mobility: a group or individual that rises (ascends) or falls (descends) from one social stratum to another (e.g. promotion from floor cashier to regional manager—ascending individual movement).
--Mobility table… showing the jobs of the fathers vs the jobs of the sons… shows that many children do similar or the same jobs as their parents.
--Structural mobility: mobility that is inevitable from changes in the economy (e.g. decline in farming leads to the children of farmers searching for other jobs).
--Exchange mobility: if we don’t change the job market, individuals will still exchange jobs, just not evenly (some too far ascending, other too far descending), but it will balance out in terms of shared wealth and opportunity in the end.
--Status-attainment model… ranks individuals by socioeconomic status including income and education, and seeks to attribute characteristics of the people who end up in more desirable jobs. --Permits study of intervening processes that influence occupations (e.g. education, other jobs, IQ, etc.)
--Net worth and parental education best predict children’s educational and other outcomes.
Class-Based Affirmative Action
--Affirmative action: increasing selections of a minority group to make up for past mistreatment.
--Class–based affirmative action is calling for action to even out the playing field for students that don’t or may not have as many opportunities to succeed as others.
--Blau & Duncan, 1967… the American Occupational Structure… perverse equality: no matter what the occupation of the father of a black man, the man was most likely to end up in the lower, manual sector of the labor market. Tokenism: used to describe the dynamic of random groups of blacks emerging into professionals rather than lower, manual laborers.
--By mid-1970s, parents’ class background was more of a predictor of economic success for whites and minorities, showing that discriminations as an explanation for racial inequality in terms of economic and social statuses has declined.
--Paradox: The biological categories of sex strongly influence the social dynamics of gender; however, the social categories of gender can sometimes determine the biology of sex.
--“Individual fixed effects” = comparing an outcome across time as some factor changes (e.g. Does having kids make people happier and more fulfilled? Ask before first child, and then after birth). --Donald McCloskey ???? Deirdre McCloskey... man changed to woman, experiences many personality changes. Why?
Mars and Venus
--John Gray… sociologist who argues that men and women differ so fundamentally in their values, attitudes, thought processes, and behavior planets they may as well be from separate planets. Says men & women have distinct biologically & physically driven styles of communication, feeling & action. --Many other sociologists though argue that this can’t explain concepts like sex, sexuality, gender, and the social patterns/exceptions/complications that come with them. The differences between men and women can actually be pretty fluid.
--Feminism: a consciousness-raising movement to get people to understand that gender is an organizing principle of life. Also, the underlying belief is that women and men should be accorded equal opportunities and respect in all aspects of life.
--Sex: the biological differences that distinguish males from females.
--Sexuality: desire, sexual preference, and sexual identity and behavior. May vary by time and place. --Gender: a social position; the set of social arrangements that are built around normative sex categories… what people do with the physical materials of sex.
Sex: A Process in the Making
--The biological world of sex and bodies doesn’t exist outside of a social world.
--Dr. John Money… John/John story of David Reimer… botched circumcision of David left him with almost no penis, so Money suggested a sex reassignment surgery. David ???? Brenda. Money claimed that Brenda was a success story of dealing with intersex children (those born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of male and female).
--Consequences: Brenda never feels comfortable as a girl. We she learns the truth as an adolescent, she attempts many suicides. Eventually changes back to a man.
--Intersex Society of North America (ISNA)… a group that advocates reform in the medical practice of sex reassignment. 1 or 2 of every 1,000 live births is estimated to undergo secretive sex reassignment
surgery. Doctors and parents basically believe they are saving the boy from shame of having a micro penis, by giving him a vagina instead and calling him female.
--Ancient Greeks believed in the “one-sex” model of human body types. Everyone had a male body, but the female body was regarded as a male body whose parts were flipped inside rather than hanging on the outside. Women weren’t so radically different from men.
--Essentialism: a line of thought that explains social phenomena in terms of natural ones. “Born that way.” Fixed and absolute. BAD THOUGHT PROCESS.
--Biological determinism: a line of thought that explains social behaviors in terms of who you are in the natural world. E.g. If you are born with male parts, absolutely a man ???? only sexually attracted to women. Dimorphic/binary ideal = either male OR female. Two categories. That’s it.
--Elizabest Grosz (1994)… feminist philosopher who proposes that we view the relationship between the natural and the social as existing on a Mӧbius strop (an old math puzzle that looks like a twisted ribbon loop, yet it has just one side and one ede). She suggests that the behavior doesn’t only come from nature, but they affect each other.
--Gender difference isn’t a natural cleavage between a man and a woman. Essentialists will say men and women are naturally (biologically) different, so they behave differently. It’s actually much more fluid and ambiguous than we care to admit.
--Judith Lorber (1994)… gender is a social construct that establishes patterns of expectations for people. Orders our daily lives, and is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. Set up acceptable boundaries and teach kids to behave according to their assigned gender.
Gender differences in other cultures
--Navajo society of Native Americans… recognize three genders: masculine men, feminine women, and the nadle. The nadle are people who might be born with ambiguous genitalia or declare this later on as an identity, choosing to perform/dress/act in both masculine and feminine ways and can marry whomever without a loss of status.
--Indian Hijras… Serena Nanda (1990) and Gayartri Reddy (2005)… Hijras are phenotypic men who wear female clothing, renounce sexual desire, and undergo a sacrificial emasculation (excision of the penis and testicles). They dedicate themselves to the goddess Bedhraj Mata, may enter into prostitution, communal living, self-sacrifice, and poverty. See the change as a master status not related to gender, even though many books use them as an example of an in-between gender.
Gender Differences across History
--What counts as a “good” or “bad” man or woman has changed over time. E.g. Women’s beauty standards… 1600s, plump women = favored, showed good health, wealth, and attractiveness. Today, skinny women = favored, having disposable income to remain skinny even with excess food available. --Medical advancement determined “good” body standards based on weight and height. --In 2010, Americans spent almost $12.7 billion on cosmetic procedures trying to reach the “ideal” beauty standards.
--Hegemonic Masculinity: the condition in which men are dominant and privileged, and this dominance and privilege is invisible. Men’s definition of ideal standards has changed, but typically goes unnoticed. --Gender roles: sets of behavioral norms assumed to accompany one’s statuses as male or female.
--Gender roles “deceptive distinctions” because they grossly exaggerate the actual differences between men and women.
The Woman Question
--“What explains the nearly universal dominance of men over women?”
--Patriarchy: a system involving the subordination of femininity to masculinity. --Gayle Rubin (1975)… proposed the “sex/gender” system in which every society participates in transforming the raw materials of biological sex into asymmetrical gender statuses. Because of the taboo against incest, women must leave their families of origin and go belong to another man ???? women = valuable property, trade them to strengthen relations between patriarchal families. This “traffic of women” gives men certain rights over their female kin ???? sex/gender system, which is the result of human interaction.
--Michelle Rosaldo (1974)… suggested that because of women’s universal association with the private sphere (e.g. child birth and rearing children) ???? identified with domestic life, men assume dominance in the public sphere of work and politics. This leads to the apparent male over female dominance. --Sherry Ortner (1974)… claimed that women are identified with the chaos and danger of nature because of bodily functions like lactation and menstruation.
--Structural Functionalism: the theoretical tradition claiming that every society has certain structures that exist to fulfill some set of necessary functions (e.g. the family ???? reproduction of the species) --Talcott Parsons (1951)… Sex Role Theory: theory that men and women perform their sex roles as breadwinners and wives/mothers, respectively, because the nuclear family is the ideal arrangement in modern societies, fulfilling the function of reproducing workers to meet the demands of a capitalistic society. Social structures, like gender and the division of labor, are held in place because they work to ensure a stable society.
--Shortcomings of the theory… the argument explains the existence in terms of function, it assumes that the need for the function preexists the function itself, and it doesn’t offer the possibility that there may be alternative structures that could fulfill the same functions. --It also doesn’t explain how and why structure change occur throughout history. If it’s so functional, why does it change so dramatically?
--Gender roles appear to be voluntary (e.g. choosing to be the breadwinner), and sex and gender are being regarded as dichotomous roles when they’re actually flexible and variable.
--Sigmund Freud (1856—1939), “Anatomy is destiny.” Believes that biological determinism and family socialization develop the ideas of gender.
--Boys = “oedipal complex.” All experience heterosexual love for their moms, but distance themselves to avoid conflict with the father.
--Girls = “penis envy.” Girls can’t have sexual relations with their mother, and experience penis envy toward her father. However, realizes that one day she can have a child, too and experiences feminine gratification.
--Nancy Chodorow (1978)… applied Freud’s theory and reasoned that parent’s unequal involvement in child rearing leads to girls learning that mothering is their expectation, and boys are expected to work. --Carol Gilligan (1982)… adapted Freud’s psychology to say that men and women think differently. Women view the world as composed of human connections and relationships, make decisions based on
“ethics of care”. Men view the world as governed by impersonal, abstract rules and notions of justice, make decisions based on adhering to a system of rules.
--Melanie Klein (1882—1960)… claimed boys suffer “breast envy.”
--Jacquline Stevens (2006)… claimed that boys focus on the acquisition of property and territory because they have “pregnancy envy” of women because they can’t have a baby.
--Shortcomings of Freudian’s theories… lacked empirical evidence, based on the model of a two-parent nuclear family, and support the binary sex-gender system, when we know the categories are much more fluid in real life. They also have essentialist thinking (assume biologically determined behaviors). Also, some of the feminists failed to recognize that not all women adopt the “ethics of care” or relational orientation, and make everything women do sound “superb.”
--Claimed that gender, not class, as the driving force of history. Socialist (radical) feminists claimed that the root of all social relations, including production, stemmed from unequal gender relations. --Heidi Hartmann (1981) and Catharine MacKinnon (1983)… both analyzed how capitalism combines with patriarchy to make women economically dependent on men’s income. Women have a disadvantaged position in the job market and within the family, while men reap all the benefits of this subordination of women.
--Shortcomings: basically divide the world again into men and women, and say these two groups are pitted against each other in a struggle for resources, with women always losing. Another variation of essentialism.
--Marxist feminists argue that sexuality in America is an expression of unequal power balance between men and women… male-dominated societies always have men on top and women on the bottom (literally and figuratively).
Micro-interactionist Theories: “Doing Gender”
--Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman (1987)… “Doing Gender” article… argued that gender is not a fixed identity that we take with us into our interactions, but is a PRODUCT of those interactions. Gender is a matter of active doing, not simple natural being. You perform masculinity or femininity constantly. --Argue that people create their social realities and identities through interactions with one another. People have open-ended scripts, and may change the way they behave based on social locations.
--Believe that liberal feminism effaces all of the lines of fragmentation and difference between women of different races, ethnicities, classes, etc. and assumes their all in the same oppression boat. --Many women who were arguing for feminism and calling for more women in the work force ignored the thousands of working-class and nonwhite women who were already working. --The definition of a “woman” is not a stable or obvious category and holds different meaning based on location, race, age, sexual orientation, ability, etc.
--Black women especially face other oppressions than white women, (e.g. more discrimination) --Oyeronke Oyewumi… The Invention of Women (1997)… did research of the Yoruban society in West Africa, which she claims was once a genderless society that got statuses based on seniority, not gender, prior to colonization. Termed the system of distinction between males and females as “bio-logic,” meaning it acts as a filter through which all knowledge of the world runs through.
Sociology in the Bedroom
--The social construction of sexuality gives a lot of information on what is considered “normal” in the bedroom and behaviors associated.
--B/c sexuality is a social construct ???? sexual expression in bedroom is variable culture to culture. --In ancient Greece, homosexual relationships were accepted and supposed to be patterned on an active-passive distinction (the active partner was to be older or higher in status than the passive partner). It was considered shameful for a younger man to penetrate a master or noble. --US prisons use rape as a sign of power. It’s not necessarily about seeking sexual gratification, but more for identifying as who is in charge.
--Some tribes view homosexuality as necessary because it’s practical in keeping down birth rates or acts as a rite of passage from boy to man.
--Homosexual: the social identity of a person who has sexual attraction to and/or relations with other persons of the same sex. It’s treated as something that we acquired at birth, as though it’s in our genes (despite other evidence (e.g. identical twins where one is gay and the other straight)). The identity of homosexual didn’t emerge until the 1850s.
--Michael Foucault (1926—1984)… The History of Sexuality (1978)… French philosopher who made the case that the body is controlled by our cultural practices. He argued that our bodies are linked to power, and knowledge and power go hand in hand. “Bio-power” is the observation and management of populations by influencing patterns in births, deaths, and illnesses. --Homosexuality was listed as a mental illness in the US until 1973.
--Normalization: the process of self-surveillance over and against oneself.
--Now your sexuality and what happens in the bedroom defines how others see you and how you define/see yourself. But it lies on a continuum—not just distinct categories. --Your sexuality is different from your gender identity… Ex./ Brazilian transgender prostitutes called travesti believe it’s impossible for a man to try and become a woman. They dress as females, inject silicone, use female names and pronouns, yet they identify as males. They define gender based on what you do with the sexual anatomy (i.e. if you penetrate ???? male).
--Kinsey… 1948… found high rates of bisexuality in teens—as many as 46% of males and 6—14% of females engaged in it. The study was biased, because the people decided to partake in the study. --“Hooking-up” is becoming more common among teens before they even go on a date. It doesn’t always mean intercourse, but there is some sexual action. Dating is much more serious now, and monogamy is taken more seriously, but people put it off longer by hooking up, etc.
--They usually are servicing male pleasure. Reciprocation usually only occurs during dating. --STI’s are extremely prevalent because most teens are unaware they have them, and hook-ups are occurring so frequently and with different partners.
--Virginity pledges delayed the time when sex occurred and decreased the number of sexual partners, BUT made the teens more likely to not use a condom when it happens.
Growing up, Getting Ahead, and Falling Behind
--Sexism: occurs when a person’s sex or gender is the basis for judgement, discrimination, and hatred against him or her. Sex may matter more than the person’s performance or merits. --Women outnumber men in the amount of college enrollments, yet women are overrepresented in traditionally feminine fields of study. Women are outnumbered at elite colleges where men are groomed for high-power positions in finance, law, or politics.
--Occupation may be giving way to explain the differences statistically that exist between men and women. The traits of men and women are distinct because their jobs demand it. Regardless of gender, physicists peak in more abstract terms and teachers in more relational ones. Making gender differences a product of gender inequality, not the cause. The jobs make the person, not vice versa. --Married women have moved in huge numbers into the labor force beginning in the 1970s. -- 1950—1980, women wages nearly 60% of what men made because it was considered “pin money,” not enough to support a family, just for fun. Today, women make about 81 cents/ every 1 male dollar.
--Women make less money than men today because it’s a cumulative process… --Older women make a lower % of wages than younger women.
--All women are earning more, but the gap between young & old women hasn’t changed. So, the disadvantaged increases over the lifespan of a woman.
--Men and women are concentrated in different occupations.
--Legal barriers removed by Civil Rights Act and subsequent legislation. Yet women still routinely face sexual harassment: an illegal form of discrimination, ranges from inappropriate jokes, to outright sexual “barter”—all intended to make women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, particularly on the job. --Women allowed in combat roles, 1994. People against this legislation claim women are weaker, can jeopardize the mission by becoming pregnant, or serve as a distraction from the mission. Women are also more likely to experience PTSD. Women are at much higher risk for rape by the enemy & their own comrades.
--Male-dominated: construction, electricians, truck drivers, groundskeepers, etc. --Mixed: retail, food service, post-secondary teachers, finance managers, etc.
--Female-dominated: RN, LPN, receptionists, secretaries, Pre-K teachers, etc.
--Manual jobs (34% female)… stereotypes: fragile, weak, don’t like to get dirty. “Too dangerous or too heavy” jobs.
--Clerical jobs (75% female)… glass ceiling: an invisible limit on women’s climb up the occupational ladder.
--Professional jobs (53% women)… this is changing. More women becoming doctors, etc. --Managers (30% female)… must be tough-minded, analytic, not emotional = men characteristics. BUT you need social skills = favor women. And it’s harder for women to effectively exercise power if NOT ACCEPTED in the role.
--When too many women enter into an occupation there is a “male fleeing” where men leave and find new jobs. These jobs then lose their autonomy, job security, and importance ???? leading to lower paying jobs, lower prestige, and lower benefits.
--Glass escalator: the accelerated promotion of men to the top of a work organization, especially in feminized jobs.
--Women are destined to become equals because it is inefficient to have women discriminated.
Six-Moments in the Life Course
1. Socialization… to certain skills and preferences by family and friends
2. Occupational Steering… based on the “natural” tendencies of men vs women 3. Majors in college… women are clustered into a few majors.
4. Decision to limit career… family plans, limited options. Jobs not shaped to adapt to family changes… women take off paid work to take care of young children, men don’t.
5. Family duties… who takes more care of the house? Dramatic decline in the housework gap since 1965. Lots of progress toward gender equality. Happened because women just basically do a lot less in the house—the standard for clean houses has dramatically dropped (that’s fine).
6. Discrimination… in hiring, pay, and promotions (laws only address this one aspect). Case studies in which resumes involving women and men names were sent… women chosen less in male dominated fields, and chosen more often in female-dominated fields.
--Paradox: race as we know it has no deterministic, biological basis—that said, race is so powerful that it can have life-or-death consequences.
--Race is a social phenomenon that seems natural but isn’t. It’s a real social distinction, but isn’t a real, natural boundary that defines a person.
The Myth of Race
--Race: a group of people who share a set of characteristics—typically, but not always, physical ones— and are said to share a common bloodline.
--1790, Congress passed the first rights of citizenship to “free white persons,” but as ~25 million Europeans arrived between 1880 and WWI, the notion of what was “white” had to change. --Racism: a belief that members of separate races possess different and unequal traits. Characterized by three key beliefs—
1. Humans are divided into distinct bloodlines and/or physical types.
2. These bloodlines/physical traits are linked to distinct culture, behavior, personalities, intellectual abilities, etc.
3. Certain groups are superior to others.
--In the ancient worlds of Greece, Rome, and Egypt, they saw physical appearance as the result of differences in environment. The true test of a person (a man) was in his civic actions.
Race in the Early Modern World
--The modern racial concepts developed in the mid-seventeenth century in parallel with global changes such as the Protestant Reformation in Europe, The Age of Exploration, and the rise of capitalism. --The biblical story of Noah and his son Ham was used to justify European colonial exploitation and slavery of the black African societies. Ham cursed his future generations to serve his brothers forever, so the countries said blacks were the descendants of Ham.
--Scientific racism: nineteenth-century theories of race that characterizes a period of feverish investigation into the origins, explanations, and classifications of race.
--Francois Bernier… 1684… proposed a new geography based on the human body, from facial lineaments to bodily configurations. Here’s the scheme:
1. Europe, South Asia, North Africa, and America: people who shared climates and complexions. 2. Africa Proper: people who had thick lips, flat noses, black skin, and a scanty beard. 3. Asia Proper: people who had white skin, broad shoulders, flat faces, little eyes, and no beard. 4. Lapps (Finland and Russian communities): people who were ugly, squat, small, & animal-like. --Anyone who was different from #1 ???? (clearly) considered a deviation from the norm.
--Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s own culture or group is superior to others and the tendency to view all other cultures from the perspective of one’s own (i.e. what that society does is gross because my culture tells me it is improper).
--Johann Friedrich Blumenbach…. On the Natural Varieties of Mankind, 1775… he is widely considered the founder of anthropology. He cataloged variation by race, including differences in head formation ???? phrenology): classify the world based on the different types of bumps he could measure on people’s skulls (not an actual science).
--Five principal varieties of humans: Caucasian, Mongoloid, Ethiopian, American, and Malay. Blumenbach decided the Caucasians were superior b/c of the excellent skull qualities. --Johann Caspar Lavater (1741—1801)… Swiss theologian who popularized physiognomy: correlating outside appearances to inner virtues. Light skin & small features = high intellect and worthy character. --Reverend Minister Samuel Stanhope Smith… 1787… Said that dark skin should be considered a “universal freckle,” and insisted that the differences in skin shade were really just like levels of suntans. Said that if Africans moved to Antarctic, their skin would lighten over generations. This is false, because suntan is an acquired trait that cannot be passed on to the next generation… it’s not heritable. --Lamarckism: A now discredited (FALSE) belief that acquired attributes, such as language skill, flexibility, or sun exposure, can be passed down to a person’s offspring. See Reverend Smith for an example. --Social Darwinism: the application of Darwinian ideas (namely, “survival of the fittest”) to society. Many social theorists used this idea to say that some people, defined by their race, are better fit for survival and are naturally intended to dominate the other “inferior” races.
--Ontological equality: the philosophical and religious notion that all people are created equal.
--Sir Francis Galton (1822—1911)… Eugenics: literally meaning “well born,” a pseudoscience (FALSE science) that says that controlling the fertility of the populations could influence inheritable traits passed on from generation to generation. Meaning everything from criminality and disease to intelligence could supposedly be traced through bloodlines & selectively bred in & out of the population. --Monogenism: belief that humans were one species, united under God. Darwin (surprisingly) and many religious traditionalists supported this idea.
--Polygenism: belief that different races represented distinct species. Proved false. --H. H. Goddard (1866—1957)… applied the eugenics thinking and tested a handful of American immigrants and generalized their test scores to whole populations, claiming that 70% of Eastern and Southern Europe were “morons” who posed a serious threat to the good of America. --Nativism: the movement to protect and preserve indigenous land or culture from the “dangerous” and “polluting” effects of new immigrants.
--1923 Supreme Court case of Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind… he was a high-caste Hindu from India who was the first Indian Sikh to be inducted in the US Army in WWI, but was denied citizenship by the Supreme Court b/c he did not qualify as a “free white person” relying on the “common knowledge” that his skin was too dark to be considered white, even though leading anthropologists at the time uniformly
classified Asian Indians as members of the Caucasian race.
Twentieth-Century Concepts of Race
--Nazi Germany… key questions: How can Jewishness be detected? Are the Jews a race or a religious group? Both, actually: they are a religious group that has been racialized.
--The Nazi’s were unable to devise a reliable strategy for determining Jewishness, hence the yellow stars of David worn by Jews in the Nazi-occupied countries.
--One-drop rule: used in America, asserting that just “one drop” of black blood makes a person black. This developed in response to the laws passed in many states forbidding miscegenation: interracial marriage. It clumped all the “white ethnics” into one united category, and completely erased stratification within the black community that had been previously based on skin tone. --Franz Boas and Robert Park... believed race was more related to particular social circumstances. --Eventually the decline of scientific racism shifted toward cultural theories of race and ethnicity… it is now considered inappropriate to think/talk about race in terms of biology (eugenics). --Genetic variation exists and corresponds to general geographic origins called “race,” but the amount of variation is nowhere near as great as what most people believe. For example, there are African tribes that are more genetically different from one another, than one or the other is to a European group.
--Japan… Burakumin = a displaced group of people who are now homeless and identified as inferior by the Japanese population. They are a genetically diverse group, but have no physical differences with the other Japanese. They live in burakus: Japanese ghettos that score lower on the health, educational achievement, and income scales in comparison with other Japanese citizens.
--United States… post 9/11, many Muslims (people who practice Islam) are identified with Islamo terrorists. Most Arabs are seen as being Muslim (even though only 1/3 are), and are seen as a dangerous & undemocratic “other” who is inferior and hostile to Christians. Not all Muslims are Arabs, not all Arabs are Muslim, more Arabs are Christian, and Islam is practiced more by Persians and African Americans. --Racialization: the formation of a new racial identity by drawing ideological boundaries of difference around a formerly unnoticed group of people. Muslims in America are subjected to threats, violence, and harassment because of their physical appearance and dressing style. The racialization of Muslims operates on several flawed assumptions:
--Turban (a head piece worn by men) = Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. (FALSE)
--Most Arabs in the US are Muslim…. but most are Christian, and nearly 23% of US Muslims are African American.
--Media portrays Muslims as wealthy, barbaric, sex-crazed, and lazy.
Race versus Ethnicity
--Externally imposed: someone ELSE defines you as black, white, etc.
--Involuntary: you don’t decide what category you belong to, someone else does. --Usually based on physical differences
--Hierarchal: If you’re not white, you’re inferior
--Exclusive: you only belong to that group (e.g. “One drop rule”)
--Unequal: it’s about power conflicts and struggles
--Ethnicity is… one’s ethnic quality or affiliation. Similar to nationality without rights and citizen duties. --Voluntary: self-identifying with a group
--Self-defined: “I am Irish.”
--Non hierarchal: no ethnicity is superior to another—they just exist.
--Fluid and multiple: you can by many different ethnicities (e.g. Irish AND German)
--Cultural: based on differences in practices (e.g. language, food, music, etc.)
--Planar: much less about unequal power than race is.
--Herbery Gans (1979)… coined the term symbolic ethnicity: a nationality in the sense of identifying with a past or future nationality.
--For later generations of white ethnics, ethnicity is something that doesn’t constrain them, but is easily expressed, with no risk of stigma and all the pleasures of individuality.
--To be black in America = only black, because the traditions, language groups, and other ethnic identities were wiped out during the slave trade. Whites don’t care if they’re from Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia… they’re all categorized as black.
Ethnic Groups in the US
--It’s such a heterogeneous populations that there is no single numerically-dominant group. --Native Americans
--Before the huge arrival of the Europeans, the indigenous population was anywhere between 10 and 100 million. Today only ~5.2 million. Infected with disease from settlers, enslaved by the Spanish, “civilized” & displaced by the British.
--Each group was geographically, culturally, and physically diverse… but unifiably categorized. --Moved to reservations and forced to learn Anglo ways, or face harsh treatment. --Were essential in WWII… 29 Navajo men were “code talkers” used to protect American communications. They helped despite the ongoing mistreatment.
--Today, only about 1/5 living in the designated reservations… The people living on the reservation are plagued with poverty, health problems, domestic abuse, substance abuse, poor infrastructure, and high crime. Have the lowest average socioeconomic status.
-- ~35% of Native Americans die before age 45.
--Originally were indentured servants… became slaves as colonial labor needs arose. African Americans have been on the bottom of the racial hierarchy since the slave trade. --Make up ~14% of today’s population.
--Suffer from high rates of poverty, health problems, unemployment, and crime. --More than 9% of the black population is foreign-born (e.g. Afro-Caribbeans such as Cubans, Haitians, and Jamaicans), and they want to remain distinctly apart from the African Americans that are labeled as black… but usually are still lumped together.
--Refers to a diverse group of people of Latin or Hispanic origin.
--In 2011, Mexicans were the highest in terms of % of population and immigration. Other countries include Puerto Rico (but is a US territory), Spain, other Latin American countries, etc. --Many Latinos came voluntarily because of economic motivations.
--Hispanic or Latino is considered an ethnic identity, not a racial one.
--Encompasses people from China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
--First wave of immigration in the mid-1800s in search of labor ???? leads to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned the Chinese from the labor force…first time in US history to single out and bar entry to a group.
--Second wave occurring now, includes many higher-class, higher-educated individuals. --Even though there are a minority, they still are high in terms of average socioeconomic status. But, certain groups (Cambodians and Hmong) experience very high poverty rates. --Seen as a “model minority group” because of their “smooth” assimilation in the US… but people forget the history behind them.
--Their youth suffer from enormous pressure to achieve high goals.
--Middle Eastern Americans
--Come from diverse places such as Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, Iran, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories.
--Most Middle Easterners are from Iran, and are Persians, not Arabs.
--Although the majority of new Middle Eastern Americans are Muslim, many of them are Christian, and a small number are Jewish.
--Media portrays Arabs as wealthy, barbaric, sex-crazed, and lazy.
--Suffer from many negative stereotypes and are target of hate-crimes after 9/11.
The Importance of Being White
--Even though it seems like a natural and innate category, being white is actually a flexible label that has expanded overtime to include many formerly nonwhite groups (e.g. Jews, Irish, Italians, etc.) --There are many privileges that put white people at an advantage, ranging from the mundane to the major. Check out Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” for examples. --White Privilege: Whites don’t feel the weight of representing an entire population with one’s successes or failures.
--New pro-white heritage movements are being founded to surpass being labeled as racist and deny the privileges that whites enjoy (e.g. NAAWP)
--Minority-Majority group relations can cause: assimilation, pluralism, segregation, and conflict. --Robert Park (1920s)… came up with straight-line assimilation: the universal and linear model for how immigrants assimilate—they first arrive, then settle, and achieve full assimilation in a newly homogenous country. Park believed race relations cycled in four stages: contact, competition, accommodation, and assimilation. This model doesn’t apply to nonwhite immigrants, nor involuntary immigrants (e.g. African Americans in the slave trade)
--Milton Gordon (1964)… tweaked Park’s model by suggesting multiple kinds of assimilation outcomes, in which an immigrant population can pass through seven stages of acceptance: cultural, structural, marital, indentificational, attitude receptional, behavioral receptional, and civic assimilation. See table 9.1 in book “You May Ask Yourself” for detailed descriptions of each.
--Clifford Geertz (1973)… explained why ethnic identification didn’t go away after assimilation. Primordialism: the strength of ethnic ties resides in deeply felt ties to one’s homeland culture… ethnicity is fixed.
--Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan… Beyond the Melting Pot, 1963… argued that people kept their ethnicities because it was in the individual’s best interest to keep in, in terms of uniting for instrumental purposes (e.g. fending off job competition).
--Pluralism: the presence and engaged coexistence of numerous distinct groups (ethnic or racial) in one society. The minority groups live separately but equally. Struggle with upward mobility.
--Segregation: the legal or social practice of separating people on the basis of ethnicity or race (e.g. Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896, “separate but equal”)
--During WWII, America was fighting racist Nazi’s when their own land was hugely divided by racism and segregation ???? leads to the Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, which overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine and officially integrated all public schools.
--However, even now, it’s only minimally less segregated… most minorities go to schools that are majority nonwhite students. It’s a matter of income and racial disparities.
--Residential segregation: maintains an urban underclass in perpetual poverty by limiting its ties to upwardly mobile social networks. Suggested to inflict poverty through a “culture of segregation” meaning that the ghetto extremely isolates those in poverty because they are surrounded daily by poor health, joblessness, out-of-wedlock children, welfare, educational failure, a drug economy, crime and violence, and general social and physical deterioration.
--Ghettos and black neighborhoods have been the result of “white flight” meaning the whites move away when a black family moves into a neighborhood. Not only are blacks isolated in terms of jobs, but now also in terms of housing and location.
--The HOLC, the US Federal Housing Administration, and the US Veterans Administration furthered the residential segregation by pulling back funds from black neighborhoods and forcing blacks in poverty to move into crowded public housing projects.
--Racial conflict: possible result when antagonistic groups within a society live in integrated societies --Ex./ Tutsi and Hutu… Belgium colonized Rwanda and couldn’t give biological distinctions between the two groups who used to have great relations, intermarry, etc. However, Belgians then began to show preference and special treatment for the Tutsi ???? leads to Tutsi superiority. When Rwanda becomes self governing, the Hutu took power… a huge outbreak of violence ensued after three years. ~ 800,000 Tutsi were murdered by Hutu in the span of 100 days because of built up prejudice. Genocide: the mass killing of a group of people based on racial, ethical, or religious traits.
Group Responses to Domination
1. Withdrawl… the group leaves the place they’re being dominated in (e.g. Jews leave Poland after Holocaust, blacks moved from the Jim Crow south to the industrial north)
2. Passing… blending in with the dominant group (e.g. Michael Jackson’s drastic appearance change, change surname to blend in more)
3. Acceptance… the oppressed group feigns compliance and hides its resentment. “Play the part” in the presence of the dominant group. But in their subaltern (a subordinate, oppressed group), they present very different personalities and opinions aka “code-switching”, a term coined by Elijah Anderson to describe how African Americans function in the presence of dominant white society. 4. Collective resistance… an organized effort to change a power hierarchy on the part of a less-powerful group in society (e.g. US Civil Rights Movement)
Prejudice, Discrimination, and the New Racism
--Prejudice: refers to the thoughts and feelings about an ethnic or racial group.
--Discrimination: harmful or negative acts (not mere thoughts) against people deemed inferior on the basis of their racial category, and without regard to their individual merit.
--Active bigot: one who holds prejudices and also discriminates. Prototypical racists.
--All-weather liberals: those who are neither prejudiced nor discriminatory… walking the walk of equality.
--Timid bigot: one who is prejudiced but doesn’t discriminate.
--Fair-weather liberal: one who isn’t prejudice but does discriminate.
--Laissez-faire racism: replaces biology with culture and presumes that there is something fixed, innate, and inferior about nonwhite cultural practices. It makes racism less obvious and more easily accepted.
How Race Matters: The Case of Wealth
--Gunnar Mydral… An American Dilemma, 1944… he pointed out that blacks and whites think about equality in different but complimentary ways. Whites = cared more about maintaining personal distance from blacks. Blacks = cared more about economic, employment, and legal rights. --What’s the difference in wealth? During the recession of 2008, the median wealth for whites fell 16%, for blacks 53%, and for Latinos 66%. That´s a HUGE gap!!!
--Wealth of parent’s = strong predictor of children’s teenage and young adult outcomes. --Equity Inequality… blacks and Latinos suffer from a lack of assets, even if they make the same income as whites. They are living paycheck to paycheck and are more likely to be trapped in a job and neighborhood, and not be able to send their kids to college ???? cycle starts over.
--Property in black neighborhoods doesn’t accrue value at the same rate as in mostly white areas ???? leads to asset inequality. As blacks move in ???? property values drop ???? whites leave ???? property values drop even more ???? neighborhood quickly becomes predominantly black.
--Institutional racism: institutions and social dynamics that may seem race-neutral but actually disadvantage minority groups (e.g. minorities receive different medical treatment than whites). --Statistical discrimination: firms use race as a way to say that because minorities attended poorer schools and experienced other disadvantages, they would be less productive in performance.
The Future of Race
--Racial and ethnic diversity in America will likely increase.
--The Latino and Asian populations will triple by 2050, leading to a society composed of multiple ethnic and racial groups, not just a black and white society.
--According to Jennifer Lee, the new color line will most likely be black vs non-blacks. Blacks will most likely remain the most disadvantaged.
--Many countries ask America to welcome immigrants from their countries, but have policies that discourage Americans from moving there… but no one acknowledges this!
--We need to make it fair and have more respect between linked countries to improve relations. Adding these bilateral treaties that apply to both countries in terms of how to become a naturalized citizen and what your rights would be, could improve new-citizens well-beings and have a less non-welcome response from the indigenous people.
--Paradox: How do we help the poor without creating perverse incentives that induce more poverty in the long run?
--Poverty: a condition of deprivation due to economic circumstances; may be absolute or relative, but is thought to be severe enough that it destroys all of an individual’s dignity in society. --In 1964, Johnson passed the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in order to combat poverty and create a whole new office dedicated to fixing poverty and managing the new government programs.
The Culture of Poverty
--Oscar Lewis... The Culture of Poverty, 1966… Lewis devoted a long career to studying the lives of poor Mexican and some Puerto Ricans living in NY. Lewis described the practices of the families as “self defeating.” The culture of poverty included practices different from the mainstream in order to survive difficult economic circumstances that once adopted, people fell back into once falling from an advantageous position.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan… In 1965, wrote a controversial report on black families in which he says the cultural arrangements of a matrifocal (where the mother assumes structural prominence) and being multigenerational is the cause, not the effect, of the African American economic problems. Men won’t get involved in relationships w/ women who already have children b/c they fear the father coming back. Cannot financially support their own families b/c cycling in & out of marginal employment & prison. --Edward Banfield… The Unheavenly City… he asserted that the lower class was unable to escape their own poverty because they weren’t future-oriented. Says their “instant-gratification mentality” held them back from moving up. Basically, lower class people have specific “lower class” personality traits. --A notion about the culture of poverty… the reliance on the government ???? sense of helplessness and dependency, and hinders entry into the labor market when the economy picked up.
Negative Income Tax
--Negative income tax experiment (late 1960s—early 1970s)… government gave the experimental group a check, and then once the family reached a threshold income level, they were expected to start paying “positive” taxes.
--Results: women left their marriages and unemployment increased… basically people concluded that we can’t lift families out of poverty, but we can give them more leisure time.
--Ken Auletta… 1981… introduced the concept theory of the underclass: “not only are the poor different from the mainstream because of their inability to take advantage of what society has to offer, but they are also increasingly deviant and even dangerous to the rest of us.” Other sociologists argued that the poor weren’t actually any different from us, but that they were responding in this manner because of the lack of good long-term incentives.
--Perverse incentives: reward structures that lead to non-ideal outcomes by stimulating counterproductive behaviors (e.g. welfare is argued to actually discourage work efforts) --Some suggestions to “make work pay” including eliminating the taxes on low-income workers, raise the limits on Medicaid so workers can transition to low-wage jobs without losing health insurance, and adding components that encourage two-parent families and discourage out-of-wedlock births.
--Susan Mayer… argued that the effects of income poverty on children were vastly overstated. In her research, she found that the income of parents during the child’s life had little effect on whether they completed high school, got good grades, etc. Also, she found that there were very weak correlations between certain purchases that were supposed to matter (e.g. books, toys, etc.), money spent on food, spacious residence, and car ownership with children’s outcomes.
--Basically, what appears to matter for children is not the money itself, so giving money to the poor parents would seem pointless.
The Bell Curve Thesis
--Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray (1994)… The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life… concluded that the same traits that make adults economically successful make them good parents—it’s in the genes.
--Basically that no matter what you buy the children in terms of educational toys, books, or Mozart CDs, doesn’t matter because they’re genetically inclined to have low IQs, which will lead to keeping them in poverty. So giving money to the families is a waste, because they won’t be smart enough to rise up.
Moving to Opportunity
--James Rosenbaum (2000) analyzed the results of the experiment in which the government dispersed 75% of the families in the public housing area of Chicago into the more affluent suburbs and then provided them with counseling and rental referral services to help them locate housing.
--Results: the families that moved into the low-poverty areas had better employment situations and their children improved on various scales.
--Problems: no real control group, the families self-selected to move out, and the researchers only were able to track down & interview 60% of the original group for a second meeting. --Moving to Opportunity (MTO)… a new study attempting to pick up where the study above left off. Had three groups:
1. Control group—received no housing voucher and no restrictions on where to move. 2. Received housing voucher, but no restrictions on where to move.
3. Received housing voucher, but had to relocate to specific low-poverty areas, and received tutorials in basic life skills.
--Results: Group 3 reported experiencing less stress and were generally happier and healthier, and their children increased their test scores, attendance rates, and improved health-wise. --Limitations: no changes in the welfare use between the control and the experimental group. Other economic factors? ???? all improved because of the economic boom of the late 90s. Also, the study only included families that enrolled in the study, so we will never know if the results can be generalized. Lastly, the results seem to support that it only produced higher tranquility in the families, and greater opportunity initially… not lifelong.
--MTO implies that social division, not income, is the main problem. Having the poor surrounding each other negatively impacts them and further influences poverty. --Imbens, Rubin, and Sacerdote (mid-80s)…. Surveyed lottery players. Modest prize = little effect on work behavior. Larger prize = reduction of ~20% in working hours. BUT, workers who had not been in the workforce at all, if they won a prize, they increased their commitment to work after receiving prize.
--Costello and others (2003)… studied the kids of Cherokee families who received more income after the legalization of gambling on Native American reserves. Results: the children’s behavioral problems decreased, largely because the parents had more time to supervise children.
War on Poverty Today
--Aspen Effect: forces families to move far away from their jobs in order to live in a good neighborhood. Causes the parents to be unable to spend as much time with children, therefore continuing the cycle of poverty in theory.
--Eviction has been a huge problem because it goes on the record as almost criminal, makes it hard to get a new home afterward, you can’t apply for assistance, 50-70% of your income goes toward a home in a horrible neighborhood because that’s all you qualify for, and you might still lose your job because you have to miss work going to court and looking for a new home.
--Tom Monaghan… one of the 400 richest Americans… said that being poor was the “greatest living [he] ever did” because he was able to survive on powdered milk, oats, vegetables, and vitamin pills. --Absolute poverty: the point at which a household’s income falls below the necessary level to purchase food to physically sustain its members. How to measure though?
--Mollie Orshanksy (1963)… Children of the Poor… estimated the poverty line based on the recommendations for min. amounts of healthy food, the variety of family types, and the household budgeting for food.
--Criticized because it doesn’t take into account regional variations of the cost of living and it’s hard to define what the actual “necessities” are for living (e.g. housing? Food? TV? AC/heat?). More recently it’s the “necessities required to live with dignity.”
--Also, poverty is measured with respect to income alone, so it doesn’t take into account the issue of debts and assets. A better measure to use would be net worth (assets minus debts). --Relative poverty: the measurement of poverty based on the percentage of median income in a given location. Really only measures the income inequality at the bottom half of the distribution.
Effects of Poverty on Children’s Life Chances
Three basics theories why poverty is bad for kids.
1. Material deprivations… lead to poor nutrition, lack of adequate medical care, and unsafe environments???? lack of physical and cognitive development. Family is responsible for getting the child out of poverty.
2. Parenting stress hypothesis… a paradigm in which low income, unstable employment, a lack of cultural resources, feelings of inferiority in social class increase household stress levels ????lead to detrimental parenting practices (e.g. yelling and hitting) which lead to poor development for children. Family is responsible for getting child out of poverty.
3. Differences in parents of low and high income… “No effect” scholars believe that the correlation between socioeconomic status and child development outcomes is an illusion. Basically, the parental characteristics (from parenting styles to genetics) that lead to low income, less education, etc. are what also lead to detrimental development for children. So you can’t measure and fix poverty by the parents.
Why is the US so Different?
--Bill Gates has a net worth of $72 billion. Average American = $69,000. And yet we also have one of the highest poverty rates in the advanced world (46.5 million in poverty).
--Economic rewards are too lopsided.
--Fragmented US political system makes it hard to develop a comprehensive safety net for poor. --“American exceptionalism”… meaning we have no history of feudalism (except the south prior to the civil war). So we don’t have the same concept of “paternalism” in which the people receive protection from the government because they work for it. We favor individualism over paternalism. --American’s also include many different races, while the Europeans effectively used colonies to segregate and initiate a more centralized thinking and running of government.
Can the Poor Save?
--George W. Bush (2006) signed the Pension Protection Act, trying to fix some problems with the employer-based retirement savings system. Hard to rely on retirement accounts when nearly half of Americans don’t have them because of frequent-job changes, etc., so we need more saving incentives.
--One way to do this is by giving them something now and then asking them to pay later (e.g. give them $1000 now and match them 50% for savings with the 3% of future wages for 15 years they give up into an IRA plan)
--But, for those who are self-employed or hold unstable jobs, we need to develop a sort of private savings account that applies for all Americans.
Sociology Videos and Concepts
Video: Inside Job – Chapter 6
--Overview: Focuses on elite deviance—criminality and corruption in the Wall Street-driven housing bubble and 2008 financial crisis and its ongoing consequences. Shows how fraudulent and corrupt practices inflated the housing bubble from 2002—2007. Explores the global consequences for ordinary people as well as for those responsible.
--Financial sector deregulation:
In 1930s banking reforms (Great Depression) including:
--FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, gov. will ensure your money in the bank—even if the bank runs out of money)
--Glass-Steagall Act (investment banks—lightly regulated, can take big risks, not covered by FDIC. Depository institutions—heavily regulated, required to avoid big risks, covered by FDIC). Made a differentiation between investment and depository institutions.
--SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)—allowed investigation by government to keep up with companies and prevent issues.
In the 1980s…
--Savings & Loans become deregulated ???? leads to crisis of the late ‘80s. Using savings accounts and loans to make crazy investments which caused huge failure and money loss, leads to imprisonment of some big investors due to fraud.
In the 1990s…
--Glass-Steagall weakened, then repealed ???? leads to merging of banks and investing companies, leading to huge groups doing both investments and deposits.
--SEC enforcement weakened
--Increasing financial sector innovation (e.g. derivatives)… pressure on the investors to make short-term money for themselves and the companies.
--Old days… house buying works in this chain:
Local bank???? borrower???? local bank…. High standards of who can lend to.
--The securitization chain (began in 1990s)
--Securitization: loans bundled together and sold to investors. Bundles called “Collateralized Debt Obligation” (CDO). Changes the chain of who you buy/borrow from.
--The investors lost the money, and the middle-men won b/c they got their fees and then handed it on down the chain.
--Derivatives: basically a bet on the performance of some underlying asset (like a mortgage-backed CDO but it can be anything). Key point: you don’t have to be involved in the asset to create and sell a derivative, or to invest in the derivative. Investment opportunities are limited by the actual # of mortgages, but investments for them are unlimited… multiplies the effects of loss!! --Leverage: Firms can invest with money they have or money they have borrowed. Borrowing makes it possible to make much larger bets. If you’re leveraged 33-to-1, it means you’re playing with nearly all borrowed money. In this case, a 3% decline in the value of your assets would render you insolvent (unable to repay your debts).
-Notes from the video:
--Deregulation by Bob Rubin and the Clinton and Bush administration of the financial market ultimate leads to corruption and failure of the market.
--Banker companies in the US began to companies they knew would fail. The insiders knew that the companies were crappy, but the investors did NOT… results in huge losses for people, and huge gains for the banks. Then they had to pay a fine/settlement when they were sued, but it was a very very very small payment in comparison to the amounts of money they gained. --Housing boom: Number of mortgage loans quadrupled from 2000-2003… because the lenders, investment banks, and investors weren’t held responsible if the borrower was unable to repay the debt.
--SEC takes no action to investigate… and in fact lifted the limit of bank leverages (amount of money banks could borrow)
--Credit Default Swaps…. Basically an insurance policy on CDO’s. AND speculators were allowed to bet on the CDO’s they DIDN’T OWN!! The credit default swipes were not regulated. Workers were paid huge cash bonuses, leaving the bank empty of money to pay back investment companies and speculators if the CDOs failed.
--Goldman Sachs bought and sold CDO’s from AIG so they could bet against CDO’s and make money off the CDO’s they knew would fail. Goldman Sachs then insured themselves against AIG in case because they were so heavily invested in AIG that it was on the verge of failure. They then continued to make deals with customers AND then bet against those SAME DEALS they made—WITHOUT telling the clients!!!
--Rating agencies made billions for giving horrible CDO’s triple A ratings. They claimed they were all “opinions” they “don’t speak to the market… or [the CDO’s] suitability for investment.” They avoid taking responsibility. Huge investment companies were still given high-quality ratings DAYS before they collapsed/were rescued.
--The recession not only affects the US…. But the ENTIRE GLOBE. In 2008, the global unemployment rates reach 10%, business transactions come to a halt, and importing/exporting drop dramatically. Development comes to a screeching halt. Foreclosures reached 6 million by 2010… expected another 9 million to lose their homes.
--The board overseeing the investing companies were hand-picked by the CEO… the board decides the payments of the CEOs and allows their decisions. The CEOs walk away from the crisis with HUGE amounts of payout from their boards.
--Key point: It’s hard to make a man understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding. Banks paid researchers and writers huge amounts of compensation to praise their banks and give them an A-plus rating…. CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
--Families of the average American, now work longer hours or go into debt after the tax cuts made by the Bush administration went into the hands of the top 1%.
--The G20 (world financial advisors from foreign countries) called for the bonus culture of the banks to come to an end. The US under Obama has made no motion to implement these changes.
--In 2009, unemployment was at the highest it’s ever been – 19%. And financial engineers were making up to 100x more than actual engineers.
--What needs to change: who’s in power in the government? Currently it’s all of the same people who created the financial crisis through banking and corruption.
IS INSIDE JOB BIASED? The film is a representation of a case study (meaning it can take a point of view). There are opinions input as to what happened, its interpretation, and what we should do to fix it. According to Lopez, no bias… it’s merely explaining what happened and it’s accurate because the people being interviewed are government officials who are reporting the same opinions that the filmmaker is
claiming. In conclusion, some of our biggest and most important social institutions were/are corrupt and failed us in terms of trust and finances.
The players of the financial industry:
--Mortgage brokers… wrote mortgages to people regardless of their ability to repay --Lenders (large and small)… lent money without upholding their financial obligations to review and govern the mortgages.
--Investment banks… bundled mortgages and sold them to investors as great investments, even though they were betting against them to fail.
--Rating agencies… lowered standards in pursuit of fees from investment banks. Said these ratings were “merely their opinions” so they are hard to make them accountable
--Government regulators… Supposed to be making sure fraud isn’t happening in the financial industry. They failed to investigate or take seriously the reports of widespread fraud, and still fail to amount any serious investigations for criminal fraud even after the fact. They relied on the financial industry to self regulate. Google “the secret recordings of carmen segarra” to see examples.
--Prominent academic economists… accepted sums far greater than their salaries to give “their opinions” while claiming to be objective. Provided support for financial services in exchange for $$$. They write out intellectually-bankrupt reports.
--Mortgage servicers… the companies that collect the mortgage payments and pursue foreclosures. Fraudulently concocted the documents necessary to claim ownership of delinquent mortgages so that they could foreclose the homes on the people. People didn’t have documentation to prove they owned the house because of the lack of process and documentation during the housing bubble. --National political leaders… appointed or reappointed to positions of responsibility for providing policy advising and oversight of the financial system—the same people that collapsed it in the first place!
Video: 60 Mins—Chapter 6
--Simoniac was a lawyer who investigated mortgages… found that there were banks who were foraging the mortgage documents. Many people signed different documents as “Linda Green” because they were told they were totally legal.
--“Linda Green” represented the VP of many different banking companies. People with little to no qualifications just signed documents. The company that was the forging document mill = “DOX” --The FBI is now investigating and opening up all the insanely bundled bad CDO’s that banks created.
Video: PBS –Chapter 7
--Crawford County vs. Delaware County of Ohio.
--Crawford County suffered from outsourcing and huge job loss???? economic decline. The industrial sectors that were a huge industry here, left and closed shop… people lose their jobs as the industry looks for cheaper and cheaper workers.
--Delaware County is the fastest growing county and because it’s located right next to Columbus, the county is booming in terms of jobs and wealth.
--Conclusion: Location matters in terms of jobs and wealth!!
Video: Struggles in Steel—Chapter 9
--Black workers in the US were integrated into the workforce, but still suffered huge amounts of discrimination.
--They were constantly surpassed by white co-workers, weren’t given promotions/raises, and forced to work the “unwanted” jobs such as cleaning, sanitary, etc. They were never put in positions of management, either.
--Two men who worked in the cleaning department collected paperwork, time sheets, etc. from the trash and made a case against the Steel Industry on the basis of racial discrimination… --They won some reparations, but merely $300--$1200, for almost 20 to 30 years’ worth of discrimination… and if the employees took the check, they gave up their right to sue the company in the future. Therefore, many didn’t take the money.
--The board that was in charge of managing discrimination claims only had one African American, who had to handle EVERY complaint and lacked the resources/time to address the concerns ???? many claims and issues were never resolved.
--Conclusion: do reparations make up for the discrimination? Is it worth trying anyway?
Video: Darwin’s Nightmare—Chapter 10
--A case of Dependent Development.
--Context: About Tanzania—a country in east Africa. Deals with the town of Mwanza… a pre-colonial society. A fish (Nile Perch) become infested and consume everything in Lake Victoria???? the Mwanza decide to hunt and export these fish to Europe because they’re good to eat.
--People from video:
--Eliza—girlfriend of many piolets… basically a prostitute sells for $10/night. Trying to provide for her family. Dad is sick, mom was in an accident (dead). Wants go get more education… learn about computer and technology. She was killed by an Australian client who stabbed her. --Dimond—factory owner… employs around 1000 people. Says the fish saved the economies. Leave their families to continually bring the food back. Admits the country is facing problems, but blames the issues on the draught leading to the famine.
--Russian piolets… waiting on the fish to feed their families, will be bringing TONS back for their countries. Explain how wars results in plenty of food, ammunition, etc. for the countries. Smuggling cargo (weapons) into Africa. Admit how Africa “provides life to Europe.” --Raphael—protects the institute that studies the fish… only paid $1/night. Got his job because the last guy was killed. Paid to shoot robbers with poisoned arrow when they go inside the fence. Also a fisherman by day. Used to be a soldier, fought in Uganda, and tells that the people hope for war so they can get supplies and support from other countries. “You are supposed to kill in war.”
--Kids of the city… Many of their fathers catch fish or are dead. Many don’t want to follow in their footsteps (e.g. want to be teachers). Using the fish packs to make a glue to sniff it (like a drug) in order to sleep without fear in the streets… sometimes they can’t wake up. --Reverend Kinaje… tells of the huge amounts of deaths of fisherman because of poverty and women because of STI’s ???? these women get the fishermen infected through prostitution after their husbands dies. He tries to preach the gospel and encourage fishermen to not hire prostitutes and the women to not become prostitutes… but don’t advise people to use a condom because sex is a sin according to God’s law.
--Mkono… ex-schoolteacher turned fisherman. Talks of the viscous cycle of poverty. --Prime Minister of Tanzania… wants the “beautiful” side of the lake to be shown in videos to improve sales of the fish to other countries. Ignores the devastation, doesn’t address it.
--Maiseli… works in the fish factories, shows how the people of Tanzania don’t get to eat the fish they export, but only get the scraps or ”fish frames”.
--Lake Victoria is the second biggest lake and home to Nile perch fish. Is becoming deoxygenated on top of huge change of the ecosystem of the lake.
--Mwanza is very impoverished, and relies on fishing… a huge group of men is in charge of managing the fishing daily to make sure it goes to the factory to be exported. The European planes come empty to pick up the fish. Planes from US brought clothes and food to refugees… European planes bringing weapons for the enemies of other countries.
--High mortality rates in children… suffer from starvation, violence, etc.
--Fish are processed in a huge factory where the men work to gut and clean the fish. --Nile Perch was introduced as a “little science experiment” and now may cities are completely dependent upon the fish in terms of job, food, economy, etc.
--Planes have crashed from trying to carry too much fish or bad communication with poor airports. --People are dying of disease, too much drinking, dangerous conditions, etc.
--Certain people have approach the global institutions, but the market isn’t good globally for the Nile Perch… around 500 tons of fish that can feed around two-million people daily in Europe and Russia. --Prostitutes hang out and wait for the piolets to come and give them money, food, etc. The women suffer sexual abuse and violence.
--Ito… an island that has large population of fisherman that rely on the lake and suffers from huge amounts of death. They have no medical aid or hospital. If you get a disease ???? must return home… costs more to take a dead body home than get yourself there.
--One man explains that poverty occurs because the world is scrambling for natural resources. “Stronger” in the world are the ones who own the capital and the trade (Europeans). Making them seem “superior” to the other countries that they’re destroying (Africans).
--Fish releasing dangerous gas that causes diarrhea and eye problems for the workers that are collecting and storing the fish scraps. Villages are full of rotting fish carcasses.
--The UN ambassadors are only concerned that the fisheries are up to global standards in terms of sanitation and processing.
--World Food Program… making appeals to countries to export food to Tanzania. Europe has given tons of money to ensure the fishing industry will continue to support the UN.
--Many people resorting the Christianity in hopes that Jesus will save/help their fisherman. --Cargo planes come through Mwanza to drop of weapons to other countries, and get extra money by picking up fish to take back. Europe is making money on Africa’s turmoil… getting money by curing the “disease,” not preventing it.
--Pilots bringing death to Africa, and life to Europe. “Guns from Europe for African children and grapes from Africa for European children.”
--The fish trade is just extra profit and a cover up, but the illegal arms trade is the actual business. --There are around 500 tons of fish that can feed around two-million people daily in Europe and Russia, yet African countries like Tanzania are suffering from huge amounts of famine.
--Fish factory owners and sister companies (e.g. packaging) making profit, so they don’t complain. --Consumers don’t know of these issues when buying in the store! The UN is only concerned about the sanitation and processing, not about the people’s well-being, working conditions, pay, etc. --Fishermen… the fisherman, wives, and children. All suffering from draught and famine… leaving villages to look for work as a fisherman, but still can’t provide or preserve their families. Children and
wives resort to drugs and prostitution to cope. HIV is running rampant. Unable to buy the fish their producing.
--Raphael (the guard) who hopes for a war because it paid him more money than being a guard. Many Africans hope for war so they can get supplies, food, and wages.
--Even though the country is getting richer, the people are suffering and are worse off than before.
Video: Hans Rosling’s The Joy of Stats
--Since the industrial revolution and modernization, the global scale has improved. --Life expectancy and income per person in 1810, was poor and below 40 in almost all countries. After he industrial revolution, only the western and American countries improved. Europe and others benefiting also because of extraction of wealth from the colonized countries.
--The gap between wealthy and poor countries is larger than ever… there are HUGE inequalities. --Rosling says were trending toward the healthy and wealthy corner for ALL countries.
Conclusion: But is this true?? Are we really trending?? The distance between the richest and poorest is larger than it’s ever been… even though the life expectancy has improved across the board, the income gap is still too large to applaud. There are still many complicated relationships that are causing expansion and improvement of some countries (European) at the devastation of others (African).
--“Developmental States”… these countries have come out on the better side of modernization (e.g. Japan, South Korea). They have:
--Low corruption or none
--Well-developed state bureaucracy
--Protect new industries from competition until able to compete
--Prevent child labor and prison labor
--Establish worker’s rights to form trade unions
--Enforce safety and health protections
--“Predatory States”… are having resources extracted from them (e.g. Zaire, Tanzania). Suffer from: --“Rent-seeking” corruption
--Personalism and plundering at the top
--Rule-based governance weak or absent
--Low investment in infrastructure, services, education, and/or population health --No protection for rights of works, children, or prisoners.
--No enforcement of labor standards or health/safety standards.
Video: First taste of chocolate in Ivory Coast
--Cocoa is a multi-billion dollar industry.
--The people in the Ivory Coast work to harvest the beans and get them ready, but don’t get to enjoy the chocolate products that are made in the end.
--It’s very expensive and hardly available in the coast. The workers are underpaid and don’t know what their beans are being used to make. They should be rich because we’re addicted to it!!