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46 terms

Sociology Ch. 7: Global Stratification

Social Stratification
A system in which groups of people are divided into layers according to their relative property, power, and prestige; A way of ranking large groups of people into a hierarchy according to their relative privileges
The Three major systems of social stratification
1. Slavery 2. Caste 3. Class
Causes: 1-debt 2-crime 3-war; Conditions: sometimes temporary, not necessarily inheritable, not necessarily powerless and poor; Still in Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Niger, and Sudan, and sex trafficking of women and children
Beliefs that justify social arrangements; U.S. colonists developed the ideology that slaves were inferior
Formally abolished in India in 1949, but the practices still remain part of everyday life; Status determined by birth and is lifelong; Someone who is born into a low-status group will always have a low status, not matter how much that person may accomplish in life; 1. Brahman (Priests/teachers) 2. Kshatriya (Rulers/soldiers) 3. Vaishya (Merchants/traders) 4. Shudra (Peasants/laborers) 5. Dalit (untouchables; outcastes; degrading or polluting labor)
Marriage within their own caste/group and prohibit intermarriage
Ritual Pollution
Touching an inferior caste contaminates the superior caste-keep contact between castes to a minimum
Racial Caste System
When slavery ended in U.S., this replaced it; All whites, even if they were poor and uneducated, considered themselves to have a higher status than all African-Americans
Based primarily on money or material possessions, which can be acquired
Social Mobility
Movement up or down the class ladder
The Global Superclass
One which wealth and power are more concentrated than ever before; only 6,000 members and the richest 1,000 of them have more wealth than the 2 1/2 billion poorest people on this planet
What Determines Social Class?
Marx-depends on a single factor: people's relationship to the means of production (tools, factories, land, and investment capital used to produce wealth) Weber-depends on property, power, and prestige
Capitalists; Marx
Workers; Marx
People living on the margin of society such as beggars, vagrants, and criminals; Marx
Class Consciousness
A shared identity based on their position in the means of production
False Class Consciousness
Workers mistakenly thinking of themselves as capitalists
The three p's that determine one's place in the social stratification system
Weber; 1. Property: wealth 2. Power: the ability to control others 3. Prestige: an admiration for the wealthy and powerful
Stratification of Society is inevitable Because....
Kingsley Davis, Wilbert Moore; 1. Society must make certain that its positions are filled 2. Some positions are more important than others 3. The more important positions must be filled by the more qualified people 4. To motivate the more qualified people to fill these position, society must offer them greater rewards
Why is Social stratification universal?
The people who contribute more to society are paid more, while those who contribute less are paid less
The major flaws in the functionalist position
Melvin Tumlin; 1. How do we know that the positions that offer the higher rewards are more important? EX: garbage collectors are thought of as less important, but they prevent contagious disease and save many more lives than heart surgeons 2. If stratification worked as Davis and Moore described it, society would be a meritocracy 3. If social stratification is so functional, it ought to benefit almost everyone, yet social stratification is dysfunctional for many
Positions would be awarded on the basis of merit
What is Mosca's argument against functionalists?
1. No society can exist unless it is organized: leadership is required in order to coordinate people's actions 2. Leadership requires inequalities of power: Some are leaders and some are followers 3. Because human nature is self-centered, people in power will use their positions to seize greater rewards for themselves
Marx's argument against functionalism
The elite seduce the oppressed into believing that their welfare depends on keeping quiet and following authorities like sheep and all workers will revolt
Current applications of conflict theory
Groups within the same class compete with one another for a larger slice of the pie; EX: union will fight against union for higher salaries, shorter hours, and more power
Lenski's Synthesis
Surplus is the key to reconciliation between conflict theorists and functionalists
How do elites maintain stratification?
1. Controlling people's ideas 2. Controlling speech and information: stifle criticism and control information 3. Big Brother technology: monitoring citizens without anyone knowing
Divine right of kings
The king's authority comes directly from God; To disobey the king means to disobey God; "King gods"
Social Stratification in Great Britain
A tiny upper class, 1%, is wealthy, powerful, and highly educated; Like Americans, they recognize distinctions on the basis of the type of car a person drives or the stores someone patronizes; education is the primary way by which the British perpetuate their class system from one generation to the next
Social Stratification in Soviet Union
Socialism describes the intermediate step between capitalism and communism, in which social classes are abolished but some inequality remains; Communist party-low level: spying on fellow workers, middle level: bureaucrats who were given better than average access to resources and privileges, top level: small elite of party members that enjoyed not only power but also limousines, imported delicacies, vacation homes, and even servants and hunting lodges; criminal groups-headed by gangsters, corrupt government officials (former KGB, now FSB), and crooked businessmen, police force, prosecutors, and judges
Global Stratification
1. Most Industrialized Nations 2. The Industrializing Nations 3. The least Industrializing Nations
The Most Industrialized Nations
U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand; Capitalistic; 16% of people
Industrializing Nations
Former USSR and their former satellites in eastern Europe; Lower incomes and standards of living than do those who live in the Most Industrialized Nations; 16% of people
The Least Industrializing Nations
Most people live on small farms or in villages, have large families, and barely survive; 68% of people
Stresses that the countries that industrialized first got the jump on the rest of the world; the purpose was to establish economic colonies
Economic Colonies
exploit the nation's people and resources for the benefit of the mother country
World System Theory
Industrialization led to four groups of nations; 1. core nations, semiperiphery nations, periphery/fringe nations, and external area nations
Core nations
Countries that industrialized first
Semiperiphery Nations
The economies of these nations stagnated because they grew dependent on trade with the core nations
Periphery/Fringe Nations
Eastern European countries which sold cash crops to the core nations
External Area nations
Most of Africa and Asia; left out of the development of capitalism altogether
Culture of Poverty
A way of life that perpetuates poverty from one generation to the next
How Did the World's Nations become Stratified?
1. Colonialism 2. World System Theory 3. Culture of Poverty
Maintaining Global Stratification
1. Neocolonialism 2. Multinational Corporations 3. Technology and global domination
Michael Harrington; Most Industrialized nations turned to the international markets as a way of controlling the Least Industrialized nations
Multinational Corporations
Companies that operate across many national boundaries; help to maintain the global dominance of the Most Industrialized Nations