Introductory Sociology SOC 1010
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ruben Schowalter on Monday September 21, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 1010 at University of Virginia taught by Sarah Corse in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see /class/209564/soc-1010-university-of-virginia in Sociology at University of Virginia.
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Date Created: 09/21/15
Chapter 12 Book Notes 462009 31500 PM Chapter 12 Stratification and Inequality In all societies people are evaluated on the basis of some characteristics and placed into higher or lowerranking groups Social Strati cation evaluationrankingreward system Stratification is borrowed from earth sciences because it conveys the fact that society if made up of social layers or strata that are arranged in a hierarchy All stratas have three related things in common The systems tend to persist for a long time The systems are resistant to change Each system is bolstered by widely accepted legitmating rationales These rationales help to account for the persistence of particular social stratification systems Legitimating rationales are widely accepted beliefs that inequalities that exist in a particular society differences in power wealth prestige and so on are essentially right and reasonable Caste System In a caste system one s rank is determined at birth Caste systems are very strict You cannot wed eat with basically not even interact with people from lower or higher social classes than yours Dharma castebased duties Hindu believe in the four varnas or colors or grades of being Universe was born from sacrifice of the malefemale entity Purusha Was dismembered by the gods and detached parts became stuff from which the entire universe was fashioned Brahmans priests seers and philosophers Kshatriyas warriors royalty and administrators Vaishyas producers merchants farmers artisans and other skilled workers Shudras peasants and unskilled workers Scheduled castes are the untouchables Estate Systems Person s place in the hierarchy is determined at birth Very extreme marriage between people of different status is generally forbidden by law Feudal system of the Middle Ages Three estates or social strata o First Estate was made up of aristocracy or nobility 0 William the Conqueror came to power and proclaimed himself king in England o Second Estate was made up of the clergy 0 Church had a great deal of power because it owned a great deal of land o Third Estate was made up of the peasants who were sometimes called vileins or serfs 0 Were basically owned by the land owners because they were given a plot of land to live on owned by someone in the first estate 0 Peasants would pledge their loyalty to their lord and the lord would pledge to protect his serfs Third Estate came to include merchants and craftsmen as well as peasants Beginning in about the twelfth century nobles came to fear the growing power of the ambitious third estate As industrialization came to Europe the estate system broke down Class Systems Made possible by industrialization and urbanization Workers moved from farms to cities and factory positions In the class system it is commonly thought that the best people work their own way into the highest ranks o Suppose to turn on achieved rather than ascribed characteristics Hard work pays off while no work will generally make you sink to the bottom Theoretical Conceptions of Class According to Marx the most important thing about any society was its economic system especially the means by which it produced the stuff that people needed to survive People in industrial society fell into one of two social classes o Upper class made out of capitalists o Lower class made up of workers Upper class was called the Bourgeoisie Lower class was the Proletariat Weber had a different take said Marx s conception of economic class was too narrow For Weber social stratification was multidimensional and economic situation was only one dimension of social position Power is the ability to impose one s will or to get one s way even when faced with opposition from others Legitimate power which he called authority is power that is seen as justified We must also take into account the degree to which people have social status When a sociologist uses the word class they are referring to the socioeconomic standing or SES of a person or group Some Words About Slavery Extreme type of slavery where slaves are treated as possessions is called chattel slavery chattel being a legal term for movable property Slaves were either sold into slavery mostly by their parents as an alternative to infanticide or by selfenslavement if they could not overcome serious economic insecurity Slaves could be freed or manumitted but outcasts cannot lose their caste status Social Mobility and Open Versus Closed Systems Horizontal mobility refers to movement from one occupation to another in the same stratum Vertical mobility refers to movement up or down in a stratification system An open system will have both of these but a closed system will have neither Intergenerational mobility refers to changes in position in the stratification system by different generations of family members Intragenerational mobility or career mobility has to do with the mobility that occurs within a person s lifetime Hayes and swidler Marx and Wber mills
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