Social Inequalities, Week 1, Lecture 3
Social Inequalities, Week 1, Lecture 3 BL_STU 2200/SOCIOL 2200
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabbie Scott on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BL_STU 2200/SOCIOL 2200 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Mike Sickels in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views.
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Date Created: 10/05/16
Lecture 3 August 29, 2016 “Explaining Inequality” covering a few major perspectives and why it is necessary to have theories of inequalities Social Stratification - A ranking system in which social resources are differentially distributed across groups and positions in society - Upper class, upper middle class, lower middle class, working class, lower class o Example: Feudalism (king, noble, knights/vassals…) Social Mobility: the ability to move across social strata - Almost every society has social stratification - Thought: Is stratification inevitable or necessary for a society? How and to what extent should a society be stratified? What negative consequences/dysfunctions are produced by a stratified society? o Explanations (conflict theories): 1. structural functionalism 2. Marxist/critical theory 3. social construction Structural Functionalism argues: - “Society is a complete system made up of interrelated parts (structures) with different jobs (functions) working in unison to establish equilibrium and sustain the needs of all involved. Institutions with particular purposes are populated by people who fulfill necessary roles for society to be successful. - “Starting from the proposition that no society is “classless”, or un-stratified, an effort is made to explain, in functional terms, the universal necessity which calls forth stratification in any social system” (Davis & Moore 1945). Some Principles of Stratification (Davis and Moore 1945) - Society must: 1. Fill important social positions 2. Motivate Members: a. …to get necessary training for the position b. …to perform expected tasks of each position - Some positions 1. Are more/less desirable than others 2. Require more skill or training 3. Are functionally more important - Thought: how do we encourage people to fulfill these positions o In order to encourage qualified members to fill functionally necessary positions, a society must provide rewards built into these positions that compensate for sacrifices made for training - Rewards Include: 1. Sustenance and comfort (material needs) 2. Leisure and consumption (material wants) 3. Self-respect and ego expansion (prestige) “If the rights and prerequisites of different positions in a society must be unequal, then the society must be stratified… social inequality is thus an unconsciously evolved device by which societies insure that the most important positions are filled…”
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