SOC 2010 Chapter 7 Notes
SOC 2010 Chapter 7 Notes Soc 2010
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by kyle.gosland on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 2010 at Clemson University taught by Mary Barr in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Introduction to sociology in Sociology at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 03/06/16
Chapter 7: The Structure of Inequality Social Stratification: members divided into groups with particular places in a social hierarchy Characteristics of Social Stratification: Hierarchy: social groups are ranked Life opportunities depend on how someone’s social category is ranked; can depend on this as much as personal effort Ranks of different social categories change very slowly over time Social Class: people who occupy a similar economic position Practiced mostly in societies that have capitalism Most frequent concept referenced/talked about in sociology Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Life Chances (p.200-203 in textbook) Criminal Justice: jail time reduces opportunities Family: number of children, age of marriage, age of having children Work & Income: Job opportunities and income level affected by family’s status Education: attitude and access to education Health: overall health and access to healthcare, life expectancy US Class Structure Upper Class (1%): inherited wealth, own business, own stock shares Upper Middle (14%): very educated professionals (doctors, surgeons, etc.) Middle Class (30%): skilled technical workers, lower management, white collar Working Class/Lower Middle (30%): manual labor, service industry, blue collar Working Poor (20%): lower paid manual labor, lower literacy levels Underclass (5%): seasonal work or unemployed Social Mobility US system is fluid, people can move within social hierarchy More of a perception than a reality Class ranking usually remains for generations Caste System (India) has social status given to people for life Intergenerational: changes happen from one generation to the next Intergenerational: change within one generation The American Dream Explains US social system Everyone has same chance to improve their lives Success vs. failure only depends on the individual Meritocracy: people rewarded for hard work and skills “Rags to Riches” Upward class mobility based more on social factors than merit Social Reproduction: Social Classes tend to remain relatively the same because status is passed down from one generation to the next Relative Deprivation: relative poverty compared to standard of living of society Absolute Deprivation: inability to meet minimum livable standards Hypergamy: marrying up in the social hierarchy Hypogamy: marrying down in the social hierarchy Welfare started with FDR and the New Deal Culture of Poverty: people in poor communities accept being poor instead of working to change it Just-World Hypothesis: people view victims of social injustices as deserving of what happens Disenfranchisement: poor people less likely to be involved in politics so their views aren’t represented very well in elections Simplicity Movement: in opposition to consumerism and materialism Income vs. Wealth Income: salary/wages; amount earned during a period of time Wealth: assets (property, savings, investment, stocks) House is usually a family’s primary mean for gaining wealth Wealth is important for getting better life opportunities, more purchases Helps your children (especially education) Pass it down to next generation Backup fund in case of emergency (health, natural disaster, unemployment) Ability to retire Structural Functionalism Inequality serves a purpose Poorer people fill jobs that most others wouldn’t Other jobs need more talent or training; high wages attract best individuals to skilled jobs Weberian Theory Class is a person’s economic situation based on income and wealth (inherited or earned) Having power also contributes to class standing (ability to get your way) Prestige also a factor (kind of respect people have for you or influence on others) Socioeconomic Status (SES) is a combination of income, wealth, power, and prestige Symbolic Interactionism Small scale or miro-theory Meaning we get from things in the world is a social construction, resulting from social interactions Everyday interactions provide information about SES Conflict Theory Capitalists (Bourgeoisie) own means of production and workers (Proletariat) only own their personal labor Social inequality exists where capitalists have a distinct advantage over workers Wealth becomes very concentrated in the small elite population Classes will stay divided and there will be more inequality US Social Inequality Wealth, power, prestige not distributed equally Wealth very concentrated at the top 1% has 40% of wealth (tripled in the last 30 years) bottom 80% has only 7% of the wealth middle class is disappearing 47.8 million people living below livable income line in 2009 Why Wealth Gap is Growing Capitalism is profit-driven Economy changed starting in 1970s: from production to service Outsourcing jobs or automation (machines replacing workers) Less people in unions Rich don’t pay fair share of taxes Higher taxes on wages and salaries than on capital gains and dividends Coping Mechanisms More women in the workforce People working multiple jobs More borrowing money and debt Stagnant wage growth makes it harder to save money Inequality is Bad for Everyone Less purchasing power Lobbyists with money undermines the power of democracy Less tax revenue Less safety nets for unexpected problems that arise
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