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Week 3 notes for assigned readings

by: Kristena Notetaker

Week 3 notes for assigned readings 373

Marketplace > University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign > Sociology > 373 > Week 3 notes for assigned readings
Kristena Notetaker
GPA 3.6

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About this Document

These notes cover week 3 of Social Stratification (SOC373) and could also help for other classes that cover work by Blau and Duncan, social mobility, social class, ascribed and achieved status, and...
Sociology: Social Stratification
Class Notes
sociology, social stratification, blau and duncan, social mobility, mobility, class, ascribed status, achieved status, status, inequality, opportunity
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kristena Notetaker on Friday March 18, 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 10 views. For similar materials see Sociology: Social Stratification in Sociology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Date Created: 03/18/16
Week 3 Reading Guide Assignment: GRUSKY: “The Process of Stratification” (pp 506-516) On Moodle: “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, & Intergenerational Mobility” On Moodle: “Social Mobility?” On Moodle: “Social Mobility & Education” Things to Learn: Blau & Duncan – “The Process of Stratification” Definition of stratification Achievements such as educational achievement and other things such as skills and abilities determine an individual’s position or ranked job in a society; these skills, achievements and abilities determine the distribution of jobs and status attainment, which is also influenced by circumstances of a person’s birth (traits they are born into). Ascriptive Status vs. Achieved Status An ascriptive status is a status a person is born with- they are born into this status (sex, race, family name, amount of money parent’s have). An achieved status is something a person achieved and worked for to maintain (occupation, spouse, college degree) The three main questions of the study 1. How far is a society willing to go in the direction of the achievement principal/model (which enhances equal opportunities)? 2. How and to what degree do the circumstances of birth condition subsequent status? 3. How does status attained (whether by ascription or achievement) at one stage of the life cycle affect the likelihood for a subsequent stage? The five components of Blau and Duncan’s status attainment model 1. Father’s education 2. Father’s occupational status 3. Respondent’s education 4. Respondent’s first occupational status 5. Respondent’s occupational status in 1962 (when the study was done) Does education help or hamper economic mobility? Education helps economic mobility because it is an achievement, which at the same time helps you to acquire certain skills and abilities for certain jobs that require this achievement and skills/abilities. Corak – “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, & Intergenerational Mobility” How Americans define the “American Dream” It is the freedom to say and do what you want and to succeed regardless of any circumstances. There is equality of opportunity with the freedom of expression. The equality of opportunity is the biggest notion of the “American Dream.” Note: The things that lead with the equality of opportunity are equality of condition and equality of outcome. Intergenerational mobility When a person moves higher on the hierarchy than their previous family members “prospect of upward mobility” hypothesis Relationship between inequality and mobility Higher inequality tends to indicate less mobility in a society. The three main questions addressed in the paper: 1) Why America differs from other countries? 2) How intergenerational mobility will change in an era of higher inequality? 3) How the process of mobility is different for the top 1 percent? Human capital Something that someone has within themselves (level of education, skills, personality traits) that are desirable in the job market/capitalist society. Education is the ultimate human capital. Gini coefficient The measure of income inequality in a society. It is the most common way to look at inequality in different societies. What are the three main institutions that drive intergenerational income mobility? 1. Families 2. Labor markets 3. Public policy What does Corak want from public policy? He wants changes to be made for the promotion of human capital of children in a way that offers relatively greater benefits to the relatively disadvantaged. He wants changes in public policy so that mobility can be more leveled. Equality of Opportunity vs. Equality of Outcome Equality of opportunity means everyone has equal access to the opportunities in a society, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have equal outcomes from these opportunities. “American Dream” vs. “Canadian Dream” Very similar views and ideas, except one major difference. The difference is that Americans were more likely to view the government as doing more harm than good in their pursuit of the American Dream. Americans also viewed possible policy interventions of having the possibility of being effective in order to promote economic mobility. Social Mobility? (Understanding Society article) Definition of “social mobility” The likelihood that a child will grow up into adulthood and attain a higher level of economic and social wellbeing than his/her family of origin. Definition of “social class” A sub-population within a society in which parents and their adult children tend to share similar occupations and economic circumstances of life. Meritocracy Society that is based on abilities and merit. It is a functionalist ideal. Plutocracy People in society get where they are based on their family in terms of the amount of money and power their family has- so, this society is basically ruled by the rich and powerful. Caste system Your position in society is assigned to you based on your ascriptive status, and you cannot move up in the hierarchy if yours is undesirable. Social Mobility & Education (World Bank article) Socio-economic status (SES) An individual’s economic and social position in relation to others which is based on income, education, and occupation. This article shows a graph which suggests children with parents who have low socioeconomic statuses have lower math test scores, and children with parents who have higher socioeconomic statuses do better on math tests. Higher SES= more money Two relationships explaining the role of education in mobility: Mincerian earnings function: More education leads to more income. This is broadly true, but not in all cases. Richer parents  Better school performance Wage inequality vs. general socioeconomic inequality Wage inequality is the unequal amount of money people make on a typical day at their jobs. General socioeconomic inequality includes inequality in education, property ownership and income, and income. Wage inequality is the root cause of overall income inequality and the quality of education an individual can acquire.


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