Sociology Ch. 4/9: Social Structure & Stratification

Social stratification
Division of society into categories, rank, or classes
Social inequality
The unequal sharing of scarce resources and social rewards
Open stratification system
A stratification system in which there are few obstacles to social mobility, positions are awarded on the basis of merit, and rank is tied to individual achievement
Closed stratification system
A social class system which it is difficult or impossible to move up the social hierarchy
Caste System
A closed system of social inequality in which status is determined at birth; scarce resources and rewards are distributed on the basis of ascribed status
Class System
An open system in which scarce resources and rewards are determined based on achieved status; talent and individual effort allow movement up and down ladder
Social class
Grouping of people with similar levels of wealth, power, and prestige
Made up of assets and income
The ability to control the behavior of others, with or without their consent
Respect, honor, recognition, or courtesy an individual receives from other members of society
Socioeconomic status (SES)
Rating that combines social factors such as educational level, occupational prestige, residence, income, used to determine an individual's relative position in the stratification system.
Functionalist Theory of Stratification
Max Weber's Theory that says stratification is necessary to help society run smoothly and ensure that certain roles are performed
Conflict Theory of Stratification
Karl Marx's Theory that says groups compete for scarce resources, which causes social inequality; Those with power shape policy to keep power
upper class
1% of population; Old Money and New Money; Attend prestigious universities; owners of large businesses, investors, heirs to family fortunes, top business executives
middle class
40% of population; professional jobs, college educated, white-collar
working class
30% of population; manual labor or blue-collar workers, high school education; vocational training. Examples: electrician, factory workers, clerical workers, truck driver
working poor
13% of population; Some high school; minimum wage laborers, housecleaners, service workers
3% of population; Generations of poverty and unemployment; undesirable low paying jobs, unemployed, on welfare
pink collar Jobs
"women's" jobs such as nanny, waitress, bank teller, meter maid, florist, hairstylist, receptionist, personal shopper, dental assistant, travel agent
social mobility
The movement between or within social classes or strata
horizontal mobility
Movement within a social class (ex: job transfer)
vertical mobility
Movement between social classes (ex: promotion)
intergenerational mobility
Status differences between generations in the same family
intragenerational mobility
status difference within a person's lifetime
A standard of living that is below the minimum level considered adequate by society, a relative measure
poverty level
Defined by the U.S. Bureau of Census, the minimum annual income needed by a family to survive; the income level below which the government considers poor
life chances
The likelihood that individual will share in the opportunities and benefits of society; includes health, length of life, housing, and education
life expectancy
The average number of years a person born in a particular year can expect to live
government assistance
financial help from the government, such as welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, medicaid, free lunch programs
social structure
a network of related statuses & roles that guide human interaction
socially defined position in a group
the behavior assigned to status
A type of social interaction taken in an effort to receive a reward in return for actions; involves reciprocity
A type of social interaction when people deliberately attempt to oppose, harm, or control another person by force; purpose is to defeat the opponent
A type of social interaction that is the state of balance between cooperation and conflict; give a little - take a little
A type of social interaction that occurs when two or more persons oppose each other to achieve a goal that only one of them can attain
Social interaction when two or more people work together to achieve a common goal
ascribed status
status that is assigned according to things outside your control, not earned
achieved status
status acquired through your own effort
master status
One's dominant status -- the status a person most identifies themselves at a given point in their lives.
reciprocal roles
when people of 2 related statuses interact with each other, like husband-wife, doctor-patient, athlete-coach, student-teacher
role performance
a person's actual role behavior
role expectation
socially determined behaviors attached to a role
role set
the different behavior, rights, and obligations expected fr​om someone with a certain status
role conflict
the conflict between 2 statuses; fulfilling the role expectation in one status makes it difficult to fulfill the role expectations in another status
role strain
conflict within a status; when a person has difficulties fulfilling the role expectations of a single status
social institution
system of statuses, roles, values, & norms that is organized to satisfy basic needs of society. Examples: family, religion, education, economic institutions, political institutions
A form of accommodation when two parties both give up something to come to an agreement
A form of accommodation which brings a temporary halt to a conflict until a compromise is reached
A form of accommodation that involves calling in a third party who acts as an advisor/counselor to help the two parties reach an agreement
A form of accommodation where a third party makes a decision that is binding on both parties
poverty line
The minimum level of income deemed adequate; currently it is $25,100 for a family of 4
absolute poverty
The absence of enough money to secure life's necessities
relative poverty
A measure of poverty that is unique to each society; standard of living as compared to the economic standards of living for other people within their society
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
a welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy California families
SNAP (CalFresh in CA)
A welfare program that provides food stamps for purchasing nutritious food
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
a program that provides help for nutrition and health care to low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5
Social Security
Federal program of disability and retirement benefits that covers most working people
unemployment assistance
A program that pays benefits to workers who have lost their job
Marx Theory of Social Stratification
Defines social class in terms of who owns the means of production. Society is divided into two groups - the bourgeoisie (owners) and the proletariat (labor)
Weber's Theory of Social Stratification
Social class consists of three factors: wealth, power, prestige.