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Test 101, Week 1 Notes

by: Kendall Notetaker

Test 101, Week 1 Notes Test Course 101

Kendall Notetaker

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Kendall Austin
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kendall Notetaker on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Test Course 101 at Michigan State University taught by Kendall Austin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.

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Date Created: 09/15/16
Chapter 1 Patterns and Processes – Social Inequality  Basis of sociologists’ assertions is empirical substation, they are subject to inspection and investigation. Founded on data collected by research, can be verified by others; fundamental principle of the scientific approach  Objectives of Inquiry: Sociologists pursue questions that involve description, explanation, and prescription. o Description – describing characteristics of a particular social phenomenon, rely on empirical data, precise terminology “How much of the society’s wealth is owned by what percentage of the population?” o Explanation – explains various levels of social inequality, objective is to go beyond describing the extent of inequality and try to account for it. (Why Questions) “Why are the Poor poor and the rich rich?” o Prescription – involves policy application of sociological knowledge, this level addresses issues of what should be done to bring about social change. “Should taxes be raised or cut?”  Social Stratification o Social resources – the way people are rewarded, wealth etc. o Stratification dimensions  Wealth  Prestige  Power o Stratification forms  Class  Race and ethnicity  Gender  Age  Changes in Systems of Inequality – individuals can change their position if the stratification hierarchies and may change their rank  Equity versus Liberty o Equity – distribution of the society’s rewards – if all citizens see themselves are part of a unified nation that they are thereby required to engage in some collective acts like paying taxes o Liberty – freedom to pursue one’s interest as one desires and to reap the benefits of one’s efforts. Such personal freedom naturally produces inequality; a competitive free-market system some are bound to get more than others  Sociologist work at three different levels of analysis: o descriptive level – they describe the actual nature and extent of inequality o explanatory level – efforts are made to explain why o prescriptive level – policy applications  Major forms of stratification in a modern society: class, ethnicity/race, gender, and age Chapter 2 – Theories of Social Class and Social Inequality  All theories of social class and social inequality focus on two basic issues: why there is social inequality in societies? Is inequality inevitable?  Karl Marx one of the founding fathers of modern social science 2 o Mode of production – when people provide for their material existence o Means of production – Inequality arises as a result of control of productive resources, those things that are necessary to supply the society’s economic needs. o Essentially two classes in all societies: owners of the means of production and the workers  In capitalist societies these two classes are: the bourgeoisie or capitalist class, and the proletariat (or industrial working class)  The capitalist class is a ruling class o Societies in different stages of social and technological development create different productive systems. o In all societies, a class division occurs. Those who own or control the society’ productive resources (means of production) are inevitably in conflict with those who do not. In this conflict, the owning class controls key economic, political, and ideological institutions o Class struggle is the generator of societal change o Failure of Marx’s plan?????/  Erik Olin Wright  Max Weber – peoples class positions are not only based on their relation to the means of production but also a number of interdependent variables: Class, Status, and Party o Class – people with common occupations, earning approx. similar incomes, make up a class o Status – differences in prestige that derive from a particular lifestyle not from purely economic factors o Party – one’s standing in a collectivity or organization whose action id oriented towards the acquisition of social power toward influencing a communal action 3 o Weber and Power –  Ralf Dahrendorf – (neo – Marxian and neo – Weberian) o Believes classes are not in conflict because of ownership or no ownership of property but instead different degrees of authority that makes for class divisions and conflict  Emile Durkheim – society is held together and social order maintained through a consensus of values among its groups and through imperatives of fundamental independence  Summary o Marx – inequality is not part of human condition but part of capitalist society it is fundamental, end of capitalism inevitable o Weber saw modern forms of social inequality forming from modern society’s. As long as societies were complex none could avoid the need to be bureaucratically organized, and those bureaucracies would be controlled and directed by power elites o Functionalists believe that inequality is not only inevitable but necessary o Lenski believes the two opposing viewpoints by suggesting that social inequality may, under different conditions be both functional and conflict inducing Chapter 3 – Class Systems  Social class – groupings of people who share roughly similar incomes and wealth, similar occupations and similar levels of education o Classes share similar lifestyles  2 Figures represent the U.S. Class system: 4 o one: (popular view) diamond-shaped structure with tiny upper and lower classes and a gigantic middle. o Six-Part Model – Small portion of underclass, little bit bigger working poor, large working, smaller lower-middle, comparable to upper- middle, small portion of upper o No possible way to identify where the lines of division are, (where one class ends and the other begins)  Upper Class – this class’s income and wealth far exceed the other classes. The bulk of their income comes from investments (stocks, bonds, and real estate) o Capitalists class – corporate executives own large shares in their own company, very high in power, prestige  Upper-Middle Class – “run the society” these are the people whose skills and expertise are critical to the functioning of the society’s major institutions: government, corporations, mass media, medicine. o College educated o Members drive their wealth not only from wages and salaries but from investments o This class has expanded more than any other during the last several decades o 36% are part of the workforce compromised of professionals, managers, and technicians  Lower-Middle Class – most diverse and most unidentifiable class o Occupationally, these are middle managers, semiprofessionals (nurses), service workers (retail and sales persons) o Earn incomes close to the society’s median 5 o Education – all high school graduates, some college degree o “Middle America”  Working Class – manual laboring jobs, (was known as blue collared jobs), since the decline, they have been replaced by service jobs o Usually require high school diploma o Incomes fall below the society’s median o Able to maintain a standard of living that is adequate to provide the basic necessities of life o Upward class mobility is very difficult  Working Poor – poor but are part of the working population o May drift in and out of poverty as they experience unemployment or income may be so low they cannot rise out of poverty  The Underclass – abjectly poor and who remain chronically in poverty and who are dependent of the government’s welfare of some kind o Possess few skills that would enable them to be apart of the work force o Disproportionately African American, inner city areas  Post World War II – 1950s US experienced a growth in the economy, consumer goods increased, production of automobiles, houses, refrigerators, electric goods this stimulated more jobs and higher wages o Family income grew from 1949-1973  Post 1973 Era – changing conditions stopped, median family incomes began to decline  Family Incomes – consisting of two or more person who live in the same housing unit and are related by marriage or blood 6  Household – consists of both families as well as persons who live by themselves, with roommates or with unmarried partners  US class system is highly developed  The richest 20% of families earn more than half of all income and own over 80% of all wealth. This expanded in the 1980s, the trend in the gap between the top and rest of the class hierarchy widened  The gap between the rich and the poor in the US is wider than in any other society with comparable economic and standard of living situations  Richest 10% own more than 85% of the worlds wealth while the 1% owns more 40% alone Chapter 4 – The Elite  This class has been growing  Old upper class and new upper class o Old upper class – inherited their money, old fashion o New upper class – acquired great wealth in their lifetime more so in technology and new developments  Upper class and Power Elite o Wealthiest are not the most powerful however they have big influence over the decisions made o Upper-class are not the most powerful, the power elite consist of the society’s most important institutional positions of authority these positions are found in the corporate offices or in the government 7 o The relationship between the power elite and the upper class are very strong but they are not the same  Therefore, some individuals may be part of the upper class but not the power elite and vice versa  Separation between the rich and the remainder of the U.S. population has widened during the last three decades  Those who hold leadership positions are generally replaced by people with similar origins  Usually, those who hold high positions get there from ‘knowing somebody’ and they will be apart of the upper middle class or the upper class Chapter 5 – The Middle Classes  Upper-middle, lower-middle, and working class  Each differs in income, occupation, education, and lifestyle  Before the industrial revolution, most people were farmers but after, it gave rise to blue-collar jobs until about the 1970s then white collar jobs predominated o Currently, most workers are providing survives, not producing things  Upper-middle class is made up of those with high- status jobs with much power and authority  Lower-middle class made up of small business owners and white collar workers  Working class are blue collar workers  1950s and 1960s these classes in the middle expanded greatly 8 o rising wages and general prosperity led to the fulfillment of the American Dream  1970s global economy emerged, millions of jobs in manufacturing sector were eliminated and replaced by poorer paying jobs  American workers now had to compete with foreign workers, new technologies that replaced with machines and computers  The upper-middle class thrived in the new economy, however, this class finds themselves in a precarious economic situation due to “new consumerism” peoples materials and standards and aspirations continually rise as they observe the lifestyles mainly through televisions of those more affluent than themselves Chapter 7 – Social Stratification & Social Mobility  9


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