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Class and Stratification in the United States Race and Ethnicity Population and Urbanization

Social Stratification

the hierarchical arrangement of large social groups based on their control over basic resources.

social mobility

the movement of individuals or groups from one level in a stratification system to another.

caste system

a system of social inequality in which people's status is permanently determined at birth based on their parent's ascribed characteristics.(ascribed status with no social mobility; a closed system)

class system

a type of stratification based on the ownership and control of resources and on the type of work that people do. (achieved status open system with social mobility)

Intergenerational mobility

the social movement (upward or downward) experienced by family members from one generation to the next.


the value of all of a person's or family's economic assets, including income, personal property, and income-producing property.


the respect or regard with which a person or status position is regarded by others.


according to Max Weber, the ability of people or groups to achieve their goals despite opposition from others.


the economic gain derived from wages, salaries, income transfers (governmental aid), and ownership of property.

absolute poverty

a level of economic deprivation that exists when people do not have the means to secure the most basic necessities.

relative poverty

a condition that exists when people may be able to afford basic necessities but are still unable to maintain an average standard of living.


a category of people who have been singled out as inferior or superior, often on the basis of physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, and eye shape.

race signifiers

skin color
hair texture and color
facial features

ethnic group

a collection of people distinguished, by others or by themselves, primarily on the basis of cultural or nationality characteristics.

ethnic markers

country of origin


a negative attitude based on faulty generalizations about members of selected racial and ethnic groups.


actions or practices of dominant group members (or their representatives) that have a harmful effect on members of a subordinate group or their property.


the spatial and social separation of categories of people by race, ethnicity, class, gender, and/or religion.


a process by which members of subordinate racial and ethnic groups become absorbed into dominate culture. (complete change abandoning your culture(what wants to happen))


occurs when members of an ethnic group adopt dominate group traits, such as language, dress, values, religion, and food preferences. (Not a complete change or abandoning your culture, but changing enough to "fit in"(what actually happens))

ethnic pluralism

the coexistence of a variety of distinct racial and ethnic groups within one society. (allowing people to be themselves without having to abandon or change culture(what the government allows))


a subfield of sociology that examines population size, composition, and distribution. (the study of population)

population pyramid

a graphic representation of the distribution of a population by sex and age.

Crude Birth Rate (CBR)

the number of live births per 1,000 people in a population in a given year.

Crude Death Rate

the number of deaths per 1,000 people in a population in a given year.


Movement into a place


movement out of a place

demographic transition

the process by which some societies have moved from high birth rates and death rates to relatively low birth rates and death rates as a result of technological development. (three stage process)

Stage 1 of demographic transition

Preindustrial- CBR is high = Stability
CDR is high =

Stage 2 of demographic transition

Industry Growth Period- CBR is high = Increasing Population
CDR is low = Growth Rate

Stage 3 of demographic transition

Post Industry- CBR is low = Stability
CDR is low =

restrictive policy

policies set forth in an attempt to control or make stable the population growth.

expansive policy

policies set forth in an attempt to increase population growth.

total fertility rate

the actual level of childbearing for an individual or a population.
Based on the average number of kids the females of a population birth during their childbearing years.

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