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PURDUE / Sociology / SOC 10000 / What are the views of inequality?

What are the views of inequality?

What are the views of inequality?


School: Purdue University
Department: Sociology
Course: Introductory Sociology
Professor: Dan weiss
Term: Fall 2015
Tags: sociology
Cost: 50
Name: Chapter 7 Study Guide
Description: A complete study guide for chapter 7 based on class notes and the book.
Uploaded: 03/27/2016
4 Pages 8 Views 15 Unlocks

Sociology Exam II Study Guide

What are the views of inequality?

Chapter 7-Stratification:  

∙ Stratification: stratified societies are those where human groups within them are ranked hierarchically into strata,  along one or more social dimensions.  

∙ Views of inequality:

o Jean-Jacques Rousseau argues that private property creates social inequality and that this inequality  ultimately leads to social conflict

o Ferguson and Millar agreed with Rousseau. They  believe that private property leads to higher  

degrees of social organization and efficiency.  

o Thomas Malthus

 Saw inequality as good, or at least necessary  Theory that suggests that a rising number of  people on the planet will eventually use up all  

the available resources and bring about mass  

What are the standards of equality?

starvation and conflict

 Overpopulation would create more and more  human misery  

 Malthusian population trap: a situation in  

which population growth leads not to  

abundance but increased poverty.  

o Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel  

 Master-slave dialect: the slave is dependent on  the master because the master provides food,  shelter, and protection. The master is also  

dependent on the slave, who performs the  

basic duties of survival until the master can no  longer function on his own. (mutual  


 Optimistic view of history, he thought that  

eventually notions of inequality would  

eventually lead to equality for all

What are the patterns of income inequalities?

∙ Standards of equality:

o Equality of opportunity Don't forget about the age old question of voh efficiency variance

 Idea that everyone has equal chance to  

achieve wealth, prestige and power because  

the rules of the game are the same for  


 Some people have more wealth and income  than others, but the rules of the game are still  fair  

 Bourgeois society: a society of commerce in  which the maximization of profit is the primary  business incentive

 Everyone who is willing can compete to  

become a heart surgeon, and eventually the  

most talented will rise to fill the most  

demanding position

o Equality of condition

 Idea that everyone should have an equal  

starting point  

 Affirmative action: when a person or group in a  gatekeeper position actively selects some  

applicants who haven’t faced and even playing  field due to racism or sexism in society

o Equality of outcome

 Most radical form of equality  

 Idea that each player must end up with the  

same amount regardless of the fairness of the  “game”

 Everyone contributes to society and to the  

economy according to what they do best  

 Nobody earns more power, prestige and wealth by working harder

∙ Forms of stratification:

o Estate system: politically based system of  

stratification We also discuss several other topics like cfc exam study guide


o Caste system: system of stratification based on  hereditary notions of religious and theological purity o Class system: an economically based hierarchical  system of stratification  

o Karl Marx divided society into: the employing class  (bourgeoisie or capitalist class) and the working  class (proletariat)

o Erin Olin Wright developed the concept of  

contradictory class locations which is the idea that  people can occupy locations in the class structure  that fall between the two “pure” classes  

o Max Weber argues that classes are based on  grouping people according to the value of their  property or labor in the commercial marketplace  If you want to learn more check out christian hatcher

o Status hierarchy system: a system of stratification  based on social prestige, not in political, religious or economic factors  

o Elite-mass dichotomy system: a system of  

stratification that has a governing elite, a few  

leaders who broadly hold power in society

∙ How is America stratified today?

o Socioeconomic status: an individual’s position in a  stratified social order  

o Huge income gap between high-income and low income individuals which has increased dramatically over the last 30 years  

o Poverty: state that families usually shift in and out  of throughout their history, and often a clear  

distinction does not exist between the working class and the poor  

∙ Patterns of Income Inequalities  

o 1974- the top 5th households earned 9.8 times more than the bottom 5th 

o 2001- the top 5th earned more than half of all  national income We also discuss several other topics like chem271


o the rich have been getting richer, middle-income  earners and the poor have been getting poorer ∙ The American dream

o We are all taught that if we work hard and  

persevere, we can become anything If you want to learn more check out cs 159 purdue
We also discuss several other topics like What is the scientific study of interactions between organics and their environment?

o We can become one of those millionaires

o We are striving for vertical social mobility  

∙ Social mobility  

o Social mobility: Movement between different  positions within a system of social stratification in  any given society

o Structural mobility: mobility that is inevitable from  changes in the economy

o Exchange mobility: mobility in which individuals  trade jobs not one-to-one but in a way that  

ultimately balances out  

o Status-attainment model: approach that ranks  individuals by socioeconomic status, including  income and educational attainment, and  

characteristics of people who end up in more  

desirable occupations.  

∙ Myths about the poor

o Poor people are trapped in poverty

o Welfare encourages married women with children to divorce so they can collect welfare, and it  

encourages single women on welfare to have more  children

o Welfare is a strain on the federal budget


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