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Week 1 notes for assigned reading guide (inequality, social stratification, class approaches, multidimensionalism, etc)

by: Kristena Notetaker

Week 1 notes for assigned reading guide (inequality, social stratification, class approaches, multidimensionalism, etc) 373

Marketplace > University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign > Sociology > 373 > Week 1 notes for assigned reading guide inequality social stratification class approaches multidimensionalism etc
Kristena Notetaker
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These notes cover week 1 of Social Stratification (SOC373) and could also help for other classes such as social issues or any classes covering inequality. There is a quiz every week for this class,...
Sociology: Social Stratification
Class Notes
sociology, social, stratification, inequality, rewards, class, social stratification




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kristena Notetaker on Thursday March 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 373 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taught by Cragoe in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Sociology: Social Stratification in Sociology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Date Created: 03/17/16
Week 1 Notes Assignment: GRUSKY: “The Questions We Ask About Inequality” (pp 1-16) GRUSKY: “The Stories We Tell About Inequality” (pp 17-27) On Moodle: “Americans Have Smaller Hopes for the American Dream” Things to learn:  Nomothetic vs. Idiographic Phenomena Nomothetic phenomena is the law-like behavior of frequently repeated events. These events are systems, processes, and structures that are fixed and here to stay. It is a mechanism of social inequality. An example is the military. An idiographic phenomena is the way in which the singular entities, such as the U.S stratification system, are evolving. It represents the events, actions, and decisions that happen outside of the fixed structures. An example would be the overthrowing of a dictator.  8 Types of Assets in Stratification Research 1. Economic (wealth, income, and ownership) Advantaged peoples are billionaires, professionals, and capitalists. Disadvantaged peoples are the bankrupt worker, laborer, and the worker. 2. Power (political power, workplace authority, household authority) Advantaged: politician, manager, and head of household. Disadvantaged: Disenfranchised person, subordinate worker, child. 3. Cultural (knowledge, digital culture, “good” manners) Advantaged peoples are intelligent people, Silicon Valley residents, and Aristocracy. Disadvantaged peoples are uneducated people, residents of other places, and commoners. 4. Social (social clubs, workplace associations, informal networks) Advantaged people: country club members, Unions members, Washington A-list. Disadvantaged: nonmembers, nonmembers, and the social unknown. 5. Honorific (occupational, religious, merit-based) Advantaged peoples are judges, saints, and Nobel prize winners. Disadvantaged peoples are garbage collectors, excommunicates, and non-winners. 6. Civil (right to work, due process, franchise) Advantaged people: citizens….Disadvantaged peoples: illegal immigrants, suspected terrorists, felons 7. Human (on-the-job training, general schooling, vocational training) Advantaged peoples: experienced workers, college graduates, law school graduates. Disadvantaged peoples: inexperienced workers, high school dropouts, unskilled workers 8. Physical (mortality, physical disease, mental health) Advantaged peoples: person with long life, healthy person, healthy person. Disadvantaged peoples: those who die prematurely, persons with AIDS or asthma, and people who are depressed or alienated.  4 Main Parameters of Inequality o Amount of Inequality The dispersion or concentration of any given resource, such as income among individuals in a population. Some types of rewards are distributed more than others. o Rigidity The continuity in the social standing of its members- A system is rigid if the current wealth and power of individuals can be accurately predicted based on their prior statuses or the statuses of their parents. o Ascriptive Processes These are conditions present at birth such as having wealthy parents, sex, and race. These things influence the subsequent social standing of individuals. Our society is more oriented towards ignoring ascriptive processes (although not in the past) in the workplace and rather possesses a stratification system that focuses on virtue of individual achievements. There are antidiscrimination laws which enforce this as well as move us away from focusing on ascriptive processes. o Crystallization Correlations among things that are valued (income, wealth, education) – if these correlations are strong, then the same people (upper class) will consistently appear at the top of the hierarchies while other people (lower class) will appear at the bottom of the stratification system. Less crystallized societies have a weaker “us vs. them” rhetoric. Example of crystallization: There is a neighborhood that has a high level of crystallization due to education and income having a lot to do with each other, and in order to live in this neighborhood, you need a lot of money. Therefore, you need a high education level as well in order to have this money in the first place. People who have low education levels and therefore probably far less money cannot live in such a neighborhood. The wider society values education to make money which influences this crystallization. *For more, see page 5  Class-based vs. gradational approaches to stratification Class-based approach claims that inequality takes on a class form. It is argued that the main advantage of this approach is that conventional class categories (professional, manager, clerk, laborer, and farmer) are institutionalized within the labor market and are more than purely nominal or statistical constructions. Gradational approach used to treat occupations as the fundamental units of analysis. Now, it also assumes that occupations may be ordered into one dimension of a socioeconomic prestige scale. The gradational approach therefore focuses on income inequality or inequality through a socioeconomic lens.  Equality of rewards (aka, equality of condition) vs. Equality of opportunity Equality of rewards refers to the equality of condition and social rewards. Equality of opportunity refers to the distribution of opportunities for securing rewards. It is regarded as problematic if there is inequality of opportunity. Examples of this are hiring procedures given the right credentials and promotional procedures. Antidiscrimination legislation moves us in the direction of equality of opportunity, not inequality. Although, it is important to note that equalized opportunities do not specifically mean equal outcomes.  Three Main Phases of Stratification Theory o Structuralist Phase o Culturalist Phase o Postmodernist Phase  Multidimensionalism The inequality beyond economic, socioeconomic, and cultural dimensions- Inequality takes on many different forms or dimensions even within categories of the 8 assets of inequality. Inequality takes on a multidimensional space and the 8 assets help to examine one’s position of space.


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