SOCEXAM2NOTES

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Poverty Pages: 17 (4382 words) Published: March 3, 2015
Chapter 6-SOCIAL STRATIFICATION, CASTE SYTEMS, CLASS SYSTEMS

How big is your piece of the American dream?

Social Stratification:
A system by which a society ranks categories of people in social hierarchy. IT IS A TRAIT OF SOCIETY
DOES NOT REFLECT INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, BUT SOCIETY’S STRUCTURE IT PERSISTS OVER GENERATIONS
SOCIAL MOBILITY HAPPENS SLOWLY
IT IS – UNIVERSAL
while universal, it varies in type.
IT INVOLVES INEQUALITY IN BELIEF SYSTEM
-Ideologies justify existence of stratification.

CASTE SYSTEMS:
Social Stratification based on ascription.
BIRTH DETERMINES SOCIAL POSITION IN FOUR DISTINCT WAYS
Occupations
Endogamy is practiced
Social life is restricted
Belief systems are often tied to religious dogma
LACK OF MOBILITY

CLASS SYSTEMS OF STRATIFICATION
A system based on individual achievement, not ascription.

KEY PRINICPLES
The most “open system” in the world.
INEQUALITY AS IN CASTE SYSTEM, BUT – social mobility is possible. EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO
EDUCATION
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
AN “EVEN PLAYING FIELD”
SYSTEM IS BASED ON THE IDEALS OF “MERITOCRACY”
You get what you deserve.

WHY STRATIFIED?
The Davis-Moore Perspective
THESIS
A stratification has beneficial consequences (functional) for the operation of the U.S. KEY POINTS
MEMBERS OF SOCIETY HAVE NEEDS
SOME STATUSES IN SOCIETY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS WHEN IT COMES TO SEEING TO NEEDS TO ATTRACT THE BEST QUALIFIED AND TO GIVE OF THEIR TIME, EFFORT, AND ENERGIES, REWARDS MUST BE SUFFICIENT IN NATURE (INCOME, PRESTIGE, POWER)

THE CLASS SYSTEM

THE UPPER CLASS
5 % OF THE POPULATION
THE MIDDLE CLASS
45% OF THE POPULATION
THE WORKING CLASS
30% OF THE POPULATION
THE LOWER CLASS
THE REMAINING 20% OF PEOPLE

THE UPPER CLASS

THE UPPER-UPPERS
THE BLUE BLOODS
MEMBERSHIP ALMOST ALWAYS BASED ON ASCRIPTION
THEY HAVE “OLD MONEY”
THEY ARE SET APART BY THE AMOUNT OF WEALTH THEIR FAMILIES CONTROL MUCH TIME DEVOTED TO COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
THE LOWER-UPPERS
The working rich people
The “new rich” by “old money” standards
Can still find themselves excluded from certain organizations and clubs

MIDDLE CLASS

UPPER-MIDDLES
50,000 TO 100,000- YEARLY INCOME
EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT
HIGH OCCUPATIONAL PRESTIGE
INVOLVEMENT IN LOCAL POLITICS
AVERAGE-MIDDLES
LESS PRESTIGE IN OCCUPATION
FEW WHITE COLLAR, OR HIGH-SKILLED BLUE COLLAR JOBS
Income provides modest security
Involvement in local politics
35,000 to 50,000 per year

WORKING CLASS

THE TRUE “INDUSTRIAL PROLETARIAT”
15,000 to 35,000- ANNUAL INCOME
ROUTINE TASKS AND LESS SATISFACTION
FEWER CHILDREN GO TO COLLEGE (ONLY ONE-THIRD)
SENSE OF FATALISM TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES
MUST LOOK DOWN TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES
“AT LEAST I HAVE A JOB”

THE LOWER CLASS

LACK OF FULL-TIME WORK; LITTLE INCOME
1996: ALMOST 40 MILLION
2014: ALMOST 80 MILLION
LIMITED SCHOOLING: NEARLY FUNCTIONALLY ILLITERATE
CHILDREN FEEL IMPACT OF LABEL AND SEE LITTLE HOPE FOR FUTURE WELFARE MAY BE VIEWED AS ONLY HOPE

HAVARD PROFESSOR CONDUCTED A SURVERY OF HOW AMERICANS THINK WEALTH IS DISTRIBUTED.
-TOP 20% HAD 85% OF WEALTH
-TOP 90% $31,244
A Harvard business prof and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable. The top one-hundredth of one percent, now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.

WAYS IN WHICH CLASS MATTERS TO YOU

HEALTH
AMOUNT AND TYPE OF HEALTH CARE
CULTURAL VALUES
TOLERANCE AND GRATIFICATION
POLITICS
DEGREE OF INVOLVEMENT AND OUTLOOKS
FAMILY AND GENDER
TYPE OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND SOCIALIZATION PRACTICES

Chapter 7-SOCIAL MOBILITY, GLOBALIZATION, INDUSTRIALIZATION, POVERTY

SOCIAL MOBILITY:...
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