SOC1 Chapter 8 - Social Stratification

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Definition of stratification

A system by which a society ranks and categories of people in a hierarchy.
Stratification is a trait of society.
It persists over generations.
It is universal, but variable.
It involves not just inequality, but beliefs

Type of society that is the most egalitarian (found on the kuznets curve)

Hunting and gathering

Caste Systems

Social stratification based on ascription or birth.
Birth alone determines one's destiny.
There is little opportunity for social mobility. (closed social mobility) An example of this is in India.

Very Rigid
People placed in system by social status
Based on ascribed status
Ideology: must follow caste rules
Some movement allowed: Horizontal—(movement of equal positions)

Open Mobility

Found in a Class System. It is very fluid.
People placed in system by wealth/income
Based on Achieved Status
Ideology:
EDUCATION
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
AN "EVEN PLAYING FIELD"
Social mobility either vertical or horizontal

Best example of a Class system

United States

Davis Moore Thesis

Stratification has beneficial consequences for the operation of a society.
Certain jobs can be performed by almost anyone.
Other jobs demand the scarce talents of people with extensive training.
The greater the importance of a position, the more rewards attached to it
(Social inequality plays a vital role.)

How does Marx feel about social class? (stratification and conflict)

From the lecture: (with a little bit of editing)
Stratification is based on economic inequalities and shaped by status and power differentials. Stratification provides some people with advantages over others. Karl Marx explained you can either own property, or work for others and that capitalism makes class conflict inevitable.In time, oppression and misery should drive the working majority to overthrow capitalism.
Why did Marx's Revolution not occur?
People have more stake in the system
There is a higher standard of living
The working class are organized with unions
Workers have legal protection
Legal protection to workers

Titanic Example

Only 705 of 2,223 people on board survived.
Total Saved
First class 60% (199 saved/130 died)
Second class 44% (119 saved/116 died)
Steerage 25% (174 saves/536 died)
Crew 24% (214 saved/685 died)

Overall: 1,347 men (80%) & 103 women (26%)
& 57 Children

Five dimensions of class in the US

1. Income:
2. Wages and other investments
3. Wealth/Net Worth
4. Value of all monies and assets minus debt
5. Social Power
6. The ability to control
7. Occupational Prestige
8. Job-Related Status
Education
Key to job, income, and better opportunities

Nickel and Dimed example

People cant get by on minimum wage. They work just as hard sometimes harder then everyone else.

Relative poverty

Being poor compared with the standards of living with the majority

How do people in the US view homeless people?

Culture of Poverty Theory
Blame the poor themselves for their situation
Those who are poor simply elect to be poor
Society offers opportunity to all who wants to work hard
America is the only Society that considers our homeless lazy
It is where we get the saying "you lazy bum"

No Precise Count
500,000 on any given night
Causes
They are poor
Lack of affordable housing
1/3 substance abusers
¼ mental illness

Reasons why social class matters

Health- Type of Healthcare
Marriage & Family- Lower class more likely to divorce
Occupations- Lower class tend to be more dangerous
College- Lower class less likely to attend college
Happiness- Lower class less likely to be happy
Death- Even in death, the riches legacy lives on
Go read article "sex lives of the super rich" found on BB under course docs. No article questions.

CEO Packages (videos)

video

Class Systems

Social stratification based on both birth and individual achievement.
Even blood relatives may have different social standings.
Meritocracy - based on personal merit and achievement. (Open social mobility)

Closed Mobility

Found in a Caste System
Very Rigid
People placed in system by social status
Based on ascribed status
Ideology: must follow caste rules
Some movement allowed: Horizontal—(movement of equal positions)

Absolute poverty

Life can be threatened.
Lack of necessities of life (food shelter etc)

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