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Sociology Class Notes (Week 4)

by: Jonathan Thomas

Sociology Class Notes (Week 4) Sociology 112

Marketplace > Brigham Young University > Sociology 112 > Sociology Class Notes Week 4
Jonathan Thomas

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This week Professor Gibbs led the class into the controversial topic of poverty and wealth. We specifically went over the wealth and income inequality that exists in today's economic system. SOC...
Current Social Problems
Professor Ben Gibbs
Class Notes
Introduction to Sociology, sociology, Psychology, social, byu, Gibbs
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jonathan Thomas on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology 112 at Brigham Young University taught by Professor Ben Gibbs in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views.

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Date Created: 09/25/16
SOC 112  Current Social Problems  Professor Gibbs  CLASS NOTES (Week 4)    The structure of a society affects much more than just one isolated problem.  ­ People are shaped by ​formal (enforced, common knowledge)​ and ​informal (often  dependent on culture, not enforced)​ rules.  ­ Ascriptive Characteristics: Things that you can’t change about yourself  (race/family background/gender, etc.)    Free Market System: Anyone can compete, the people will decide who advances.  ­ Limited government involvement.    Income inequality < wealth inequality  ­ Income: amount of money earned on a yearly basis minus any debt  ­ Wealth: total amount of money held from all assets (stocks, house, etc.) minus  debt  Stratification: Hierarchy of classes in a society  ­ Unfair: People are ranked by class, gender, race, etc. (ascriptive characteristics  rather than earned characteristics)  ­ Stratification is necessary because of scarcity (the limit of resources in a society,  a.k.a. Not EVERYONE can be rich)  ­ The more qualities we use to sort people, the more they become embedded into  society.  INCOME:  ­ Top CEO’s average > $25 Million/year  ­ Top 25 Investment fund managers on Wall Street average $882 Million!  ­ Fortune 500 CEO’s earn 92 times that of their middle managers.  Some see wealth inequality as an incentive for the poor to work harder.    Progressive Taxation: Tax goes up as the income goes up.  Regressive Tax: Tax hurts the poor pore.  Culture of Poverty (Lewis): Cultural pattern that encourages poverty as a way of life and  makes it seem ridiculous to ever get out.        The process of “blaming the victim”. (Ryan ‘76)  1) Pick a social problem  2) Decide how people who suffer from problem are different than everyone else  3) Define these differences as the cause of the problem  4) Respond to the problem by trying to change the individual rather than society    Marx Internal Contradiction thought: a society with enough wealth to end poverty give  the bulk of money to a small portion of people at the top    Cultural Capital: skills, values, attitudes, schooling that increase a person’s chances of  success.    Single women and at the greatest risk of poverty:  ­ Informal Structure (sexism): Women are expected to fill less important jobs    Intersection Theory: When multiple social disadvantages combine in one person (a.k.a.  Being a hispanic woman trying to enter the workforce)    Different Political Structure​ (regarding poverty):    Conservative (Personal responsibility):   ­ Poverty is a result of personal failure  ­ Overuse of welfare programs leads to dependence from the poor on them  ­ Market system  Liberal (Society has the responsibility):  ­ Society has duty to protect the poor  ­ U.S. Economy productive, but allocates funds unequally  ­ Increase tax to fund welfare programs and reduce inequality  Radical Left View:  ­ An overhaul of the economic system is necessary for more equality of wealth  ­ Inequality is inevitable given the present system    U.S. Child Poverty Rates:  ­ 22% of all children are in poverty  ­ 38% of all African American children are in poverty  ­ 34% of all Hispanic American children are in poverty       


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