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Week 7 notes

by: Olivia Notetaker

Week 7 notes SO 1003

Olivia Notetaker

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These notes cover what we went over in class and the readings for week 7
Intro to Sociology
Ashley Vancil-Leap
Class Notes
Introduction to Sociology
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Olivia Notetaker on Saturday October 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SO 1003 at Mississippi State University taught by Ashley Vancil-Leap in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Mississippi State University.

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Date Created: 10/01/16
Week 7 reading and in class notes Stratification and Poverty  Stratification – systematic inequalities between groups of people that arise as intended or unintended consequences of social processes and relationships 4 types of equality 1. Ontological equality – notion that everyone is created equal in the eyes of God a. If in any case, rich or poor, it doesn’t matter because God says we are all equal 2. Equality of opportunity – inequality is acceptable so long as everyone has the same opportunities for advancement and is judged by the same standards 3. Equality of condition – everyone should have an equal starting point from which they can pursue his or her goals 4. Equality of outcome – everyone should end up with the same “rewards” regardless of starting point, opportunities, or work 5 Types of stratification 1. Estate system – limited social mobility (the ability to move up or down in ranks), power is distributed unequally 2. Caste system – hereditary notions of religious and theological purity, NO social mobility 3. Class system – loose social mobility based on the roles in the production process. Class means different things for different people, and was helped defined and influenced by a. Karl Marx – felt society was divided into two classes i. Proletariat – the working class; only have work to sell ii. Bourgeoisie – employing class; extract a surplus value from the work of the proletariat (exploitation) b. Erik Olin Wright – contradictory class locations suggest that people can occupy locations in the class structure that fall between the 2 “pure” classes Marx defined i. Ex: managers can be seen as both working and capitalist class ii. To occupy a capitalist position, you have to own capital but also not control other people’s labor c. Max Weber – groups people according to the value of their property or labor in the commercial marketplace (prestige) i. Ex: someone who graduated law school might not have any income but they hold a great deal of prestige 4. Status hierarchy system – based on social prestige a. Prestige – lifestyle, occupations, or occupational status i. Ex: doctor, lawyer, judges all have a high level of prestige 5. Elite-mass dichotomy – has a governing elite (a few members who broadly hold the power of society) a. Meritocracy – society where status and mobility are based on individual attributes, ability, and achievement b. Vilfredo Pareto – The Mind and Society – took a positive view How is America stratified?  Socioeconomic status (SES) – refers to an individual’s position in a stratified social order o Upper – top of the socioeconomic chain (identified with income, wealth, prestige) 2 o Middle – no real meaning; about 90% identify as middle class o Poor/ Poverty – there is a definition; “food insecure” o Income – money received by a person for work, from transfers, or from returns on investments o Wealth – someone net worth (assets minus debts)  The income gap between the high and low income individuals has dramatically increased and distribution is unequal Poverty  Poverty – deprivation due to economic circumstances o There are programs to tackle the “war on poverty” o Question: Does poverty cause social ills or do social ills cause poverty?  Recession – a period of economic decline lasting half a year or more o Causes poverty rates to increase  Culture of poverty theory – argues that poor people adopt certain practices in order to adapt and survive in difficult economic circumstances o People in poverty are responsible for their own lives o “welfare” taught “learned helplessness” o Difficult to transition from welfare to work Poverty amid plenty  The poverty line – estimates food costs for minimum food requirements to determine whether a family can “afford” to live o Developed in the 1960s and has not changed  Costs of living and food has increased causing it to be problematic  Relative poverty – a measurement of poverty based on a percentage of the median income in a given location o The cost of living changed depending on where you live 3  The US has a broader range of inequality and also has one of the highest poverty rates 4


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