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Sociology Test 2
Terms in this set (80)
a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy
the process by which different statuses develop in any group, organization, or society
rank or position in social hierarchy
Ascribed vs. Achieved status
ascribed (assigned at birth)
achieved (earned based on merit)
What are social categories ranked by?
Open system of stratification
you can achieve a change in status through your choices
Closed system of stratification
there is little or no chance for you to move to another level in society
changes in people's position in a system of social stratification; can be upward, downward, or horizontal
Systems of stratification
Estate, Caste, Class, Status Hierarchy, Elite-Mass Dichotomy
A politically based system of stratification characterized by limited social mobility.
-Elites are more likely to own property and have control over resources.
-Rights and duties separate individuals and distribute power unequally - most often legally defined.
-Passed down generationally.
Ex. Medieval Europe
Social stratification is based on ascription and birth, with heavy emphasis on religion.
-Caste largely determines occupation.
-Caste systems generally mandate endogamy.
-Caste systems limit outgroup social contacts.
-Powerful cultural beliefs underlie caste systems.
Ex. Apartheid in South Africa
Economically based hierarchical system with some social mobility - resultant from birth and individual achievement.
-Class as related to position in the economic market or access to resources: wealth, power, property, and prestige
-Class identity corresponds with roles in accordance with an individual's status.
Ex. American Society
Status Hierarchy systems
Based on social prestige.
-High degree of social mobility
Elite-Mass Dichotomy systems
Pareto - Optimistic
-Governing elite; few (capable) leaders who hold power in society
-Leadership based on meritocracy: status is based on ability and achievement.
Mills - Pessimistic
-The Power Elite: decision making power has become centralized
-The elite are those that have the most money, power, and prestige
an individuals position in the stratified social order
Wealth vs. Income
Wealth: a family's or individual's net worth (total assets minus total debts)
Income: money received by a person for work, from transfers (gifts, inheritances, or gov't assistance), or from returns on investments
capitalists who owned the means of production
workers who sold their labor for wages
Structural functionalism and social class
argues that social inequality is a necessary part of society
Weberian theory and social class
He argued that class status was made of three components: Wealth, Power, Prestige
Symbolic interactionism and social class
examines the way we use status differences to categorize ourselves and others
a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement; leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria
Relative vs Absolute Deprivation
Relative deprivation: a relative measure of poverty based on the standards of living.
Absolute deprivation: an objective measure of poverty that is defined by the inability to meet minimal standards
The culture of poverty
poor people adopt certain practices, which differ from those of middle-class, "mainstream" society, in order to adapt and survive in difficult economic circumstances
the poor are not only different in their inability to take advantage of society's resource, but are also increasingly deviant and even dangerous to the rest of us
Perverse incentive of welfare
welfare regulations are too attractive, discourages work efforts, and thus has the opposite results than originally intended
Who does poverty affect most?
-About 15% (47 million people) in the U.S. were classified as "living in poverty" in 2012.
-22% of children (more than 1 out of 5) live in poverty.
-Children, female headed households, and the racial categories of "black" and "Hispanic" are most likely to live in poverty.
Standards of Inequality
Equality of opportunity: every individual has an equal chance to obtain wealth, social prestige, and power
Equality of condition: everyone should have an equal starting point in life
Equality of outcome: every individual must end up the with the same amount of wealth, regardless of their occupation
ascribed; the physical and biological differences that distinguish males from females
achieved; a social position; the set of social arrangements that are build around normative sex categories
desire, sexual preference, and sexual identity and behavior
nature - gender roles are genetic or biological in origin, or fixed
what you do in the social world is a direct result of who you are in the natural world
Constructionist approach to gender
nurture - notions of gender are socially determined; gender is not fixed or "natural"
expectations regarding the expression of gender
Ex. Boys like trucks, girls like dolls
the process by which a person learns expectations of larger society
Gender role socialization
the process by which people learn to be masculine and feminine
the exaggeration of male stereotypical behavior, such as an emphasis on physical strength, aggression, and sexuality
the ideal womanish figure, actions, looks
Childhood socialization and gender
dependent on age and education; largely enforced through these agents of socialization: parental socialization, media socialization, and peer socialization
Parental socialization and gender
variation in parenting practices dependent on the sex and gender of the child in question
Media socialization and gender
advertisements geared toward a specific gender
imbalance in access to political, economic, educational, and social arenas based on sex/gender
discrimination against mothers and/or potential mothers in the workplace
The glass ceiling
an invisible barrier to moving up in your occupation
The glass escalator
the propensity for men entering traditionally female occupations to get promotions at a higher rate
The gender gap in pay
the difference between men and women's earnings in the workforce
Human capital theory
Women have "lower human capital"; weaker attachment to their work
-Blue collar: manual labor
-Pink collar: work primarily done by women
-White collar: professionals; office workers
The "second shift"
the term coined by sociologist Arlie Hochschild to describe how working women typical must work both outside the home for wages and inside the home doing domestic management and child care
a nearly universal system involving the subordination of femininity to masculinity
the idea that women and men should be accorded equal opportunities and respect
Structural functionalism and patriarchy
Each sex is assigned role these roles are played as they lead to the society to function as a whole
Parson's Sex role theory
the nuclear family is the ideal arrangement as it reproduces workers
Conflict theory and patriarchy
men have historically held more access to resources and privileges and have sought to maintain their dominance
Symbolic interactionism and gender inequality
gender is learned through socialization and a product of our interactions; gender inequality is reproduced through interaction with family, peers, schools, and the media
reproducing ideologies of masculinity and femininity
we "do" a lot more than gender
Postmodernism and patriarchy
questions how we are supposed to study gender
Consequences of gender inequality
a socially defined category based on real or perceived biological differences between groups of people
a set of beliefs about the superiority of one racial or ethnic group
Foundations of racism (individual versus institutions)
-Individual discrimination: one person practicing negative behavior towards another(micro).
-Institutional discrimination: social institutions' policies and/or practices that systematically disadvantage certain groups(macro).
Race as a social construction
the concepts and identities associated with race and ethnicity change over time and space
the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own ethnic group or culture
a socially defined category based on common language, religion, nationality, or culture
Why is the distinction between race and ethnicity important?
because ethnicity can be displayed or hidden while racial identities are always on display
negative attitudes towards members of a specific group
a widely held image or idea of a particular type of person or thing
ex. Asians are bad drivers
unequal treatment of individuals because of their social groups
one person practicing negative behavior towards another (micro)
social institutions' policies and/or practices that systematically disadvantage certain groups(macro)
How is social construction of race maintained?
ethnic identity that is only relevant on specific occasions and does not significantly impact everyday life
an ethnic identity that can be either displayed or concealed depending on its usefulness in a given situation
Minority vs. Majority
A minority group is a social group that is systematically denied the same access to power and resources available to dominant groups of a society.
-Not necessarily fewer in numbers than the majority groups.
social systems generate inequality, which is manifested over the life course through various social institutions
Theoretical perspectives of race
Structural Functionalism: race creates social ties and strengthens group bonds—even if they lead to violence and social conflict
Conflict Theorists: focuses on the struggle for power and control over scarce resources
Symbolic Interactionism: focus on the ways that race (sometimes in correlation with class and gender) produces an individual's identity
Consequences of racism
violence, anger, harassment, social conflict, etc.
People Like Us: Social Class in America
documentary that teaches us about social classes in America
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