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30 terms

Social Inequality

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Weber
anthropologist that suggested there are three basic criteria by which one can measure the level of social inequality:
1. access to wealth
2. access to power
3. access to prestige
Fried
anthropologist that distinguished 3 types of societies based on levels of social inequality:
egalitarian
rank
stratified
egalitarian
type of society in which there are few differences in status/wealth/power recognized;
no person/group has more than another; high esteem is earned/not able to be transformed into wealth/power/cannot be transferred to heirs

found in highly mobile foraging societies (!Kung, Inuit, Hadza of Tanzania)
rank
type of society in which people have unequal access to prestige/status but not to wealth/power;
fixed high status positions (chief hereditary, but standard of living not very diff)
stratified
type of society characterized by considerable inequality in power/wealth/prestige

the more complex the society, the more complex the stratification

2 main forms: class and caste

related to status/position (ascribed and achieved)
status
aka position
ascribed
type of status; a person's standing in society based on qualities that the person has gained through birth; associated with the caste system/divisions on race/ethnicity/caste
achieved
type of status; a person's standing in society based on qualities that the person has gained through action; associated with the class system
class
tied with economics; class and status do not always match (getting money in disreputable ways); generally informal; generally thought to be achieved by means of attaining wealth
Marx
theory on class; separate groups into the have and have-nots...scarcity of resources causes conflict > downfall of capitalism
durkheim
theory on class; class is a basis for social solidarity;
2 main forms of solidarity:
1. mechanical - cohesion among similar groups/less enduring because they don't need each other as much (less complex society)
2. organic - cohesion among groups with different abilities/resources; more enduring relationships created due to need
caste
a rigid form of social stratification in whcih membership is determined by birth/social mobility is basically nonexistent

Hindu Caste System (4 varnas) originated from the body of primeval man (purity)
priests/scholars from mouth
warriors from his arms
merchants from his thighs
cultivators/laborers/servants from his feet

untouchables - spiritual contamination
jatis
"birth groups" among the four main varnas
Simpson and Yinger
anthropologists that suggest 6 main forms of intergroup relations, from most to least humane (by racial/ethnic groups):
1. pluralism
2. assimilation
3. legal protection of minorities
4. population transfer
5. long-term subjugation
6. genocide
pluralism
1 of 6 forms of intergroup relations; 2+ groups live in harmoney with one another; each retains its own heritage/pride/identity
assimilation
1 of 6 forms of intergroup relations; when a minority group is absorbed into wider society
3 stages:
1. cultural (language/values)
2. social (joining churches)
3. physical (intermarriage)
legal protection
of minorities; 1 of 6 forms of intergroup relations; government steps in to protect minority group; occurs where there is hostility
population transfer
1 of 6 forms of intergroup relations; involves the physical removal of a minority group to another location; causes hardship for both the people moving and the host population
long-term subjugation
1 of 6 forms of intergroup relations; minority groups being politically/econimically/socially repressed for indefinite periods of time
genocide
1 of 6 forms of intergroup relations; the mass annihilation of groups of people; often for political advantage
civil society
the social domain of diverse interest groups that function outside of the gov to organize economic/political/etc aspects of life
RG Scale
The Registrar General's scale of occupations. Used by the Gov until 2000 to categorise people into social classes in the UK.
NS-SEC
National Statistics-Socioeconomic Classification. Based on employment relations, employment/market conditions. Takes into account the decline of manufacturing and increase of women in the workplace.
Postmodernism
Rejects meta-narratives of social inequality. Capitalist society now post-industrial. Based on production of knowledge. Service sector now more important in terms of employment.
Post-modern societies are characterised by diversity, plurality and consumption. Subjective individuality more important than obejective collective identity.
Waters
Social Class is in terminal decline as a source of identity. Consumption is now the central driving force of how people organise their lives.
Baudrillard
As we consume more we are buying images, moving away from social relationships to relationships with what we consume. Inequality is about the different lifestyle choices people make not about old economic devisions of labour.
Inequality: Pakulski & Waters
Class is dead! To be middle class in the 21st century for some is the house they live in, others the holidays they take, or the clothes they wear. People are no longer interested in social economic relationships of class.
Bradley
New identities created by globalisation. We are exposed to a wide range and can choose to be any one of them. People no longer see class as their main identity; it interects with gender and ethnicity.
Lansley - Upper class
Despite self-made super rich (celebrities, tycoons) birth is still the main determinant for being upper classs. The upper class is not in decline.
Boundary problem
The problem of deciding who should or should not be included in the 21st C middle class.