sociology ch7

  1. Social stratification
    refers to how individuals and groups are layered or ranked in society according o how many valued resources they possess
  2. Three main assumptions underlie the concept of stratification
    People are divided into ranked categories

    There is an unequal distribution of desired resources

    • The criteria societies uses to rank others depends on:
    • •The society’s history
    • •Its geographic location
    • •Level of development
    • •The society’s political philosophy
    • •The decisions of those in power
  3. Cultural capital
    knowledge and access to important information in society
  4. Social capital
    networks with others who have influence

    Individual qualities also influence cultural and social capital
  5. Meso-Level Access to Resources
    The family reinforces status though the socialization process

    Educational organizations treat children differently according to their social status

    • Religious affiliation reflects one’s social status
    • Political systems reinforce the stratification system thought laws, courts, and policing

    Access to healthcare depends on one’s position in the stratification system
  6. Macro-Level Factors Influencing Stratification
    • The economic system
    • The geographic location of nations
    • Resources
    • Strong educational system
    • Well-paying jobs
    • Productive land
    • Ample supply of water
    • Access to technology
  7. Symbolic Interaction (micro)
    • Individuals learn their social position through socialization
    • •Cultural capital influences children’s school and home environments
    • •Symbols also often represent social positions
  8. Conspicuous consumption
    is displaying goods in a way that others will notice and that will presumably earn the owner respect
  9. Structural-Functional Theory
    • Stratification within societies is an inevitable—and probably necessary—part of the social world
    • The stratification system provides each individual a position in the social world
    • The stratification system motivates individuals to carry out their roles
  10. The Davis and Moore Thesis
    • Some positions are more highly valued because people feel they are very important to society
    • •Societies must motivate talented individuals to occupy the most important positions
    • •Differential rewards must be offered to attract the most qualified individuals into the most valued positions
    • –As a result, stratification is inevitable
  11. Marxism
    • Marx saw four possible ways to distribute wealth:
    • •According to each person’s needs
    • •According to what each person wants
    • •According to what each person earns
    • •According to what each person can take
  12. marxism part 2
    Marx thought there were two economically-based social classes
  13. bourgeoisie
    • are the capitalist class; the haves
    • •Control the means of production, or the necessary resources to create capital
    • •Control the norms and values of society
    • •Use their power to make the distribution of resources seem “fair” and justified
    • •Use social control to maintain their control in society
  14. proletariats
    • are the working class; the have-nots
    • •The proletariats will remain exploited as long as they do not develop a class consciousness, or a shared awareness of their poor status in relation to the means of production
    • •Intellectuals in society could help the proletariat develop a class consciousness and to mobilize to overthrow the bourgeoisie to create a classless society where all wealth is shared
  15. Recent conflict stratification theorists argue that there are 5 social classes
    • Capitalists – own the means of production
    • •Managers – sell and manage their labor to capitalists
    • •Petty bourgeoisie – own some means of production but control little labor of others
    • •Workers – sell their labor to capitalists; low in all three Ps
    • •Underclass – virtually no property, power, or prestige
  16. Evolutionary Theory of Stratification: A synthesis
    • The basic assumptions of evolutionary theory are:
    • •To survive people must cooperate
    • •Conflicts of interest occur over important decisions that benefit one over another
    • •Valued items are always in demand and in short supply
    • •There is likely to be a struggle over these scarce goods
    • •Customs and traditions determine the distribution of scarce resources
  17. Evolutionary Theory of Stratification: A synthesis (part 2)
    • Evolutionary theory draws from:
    • •Structural functionalism
    • –Talented individuals need to be motivated
    • •Conflict theory
    • –Individuals will attempt to control as much wealth, power, and prestige as possible, resulting in potential conflict
    • –The importance of exploitation in creating inequality
    • It posits that only some amount of inequality may be useful in highly complex societies. Extraordinary amounts of differential access to resources may undermine productivity.
  18. Individual Life Changes and Lifestyles:
    • Life chances refer to one’s opportunities, depending n their achieved and ascribed status in society
    • Important institutions that impact life chances are:
    • •Education
    • •Health, social conditions, and life expectancy
    • •Family life and child rearing patterns
    • •Lifestyles
    • •Attitudes toward Achievement
    • •Religious membership
    • •Political behavior
  19. Social mobility
    refers to the extent and direction of individual movement in the social stratification system

    • Four issues dominate the ability of mobility:
    • Types of social mobility
    • Methods of measuring social mobility
    • Factors that affect social mobility
    • Whether there is a “land of opportunity”
  20. Intergenerational mobility
    refers to change in status compared to your parents’ status, usually resulting from education and occupational attainment
  21. Intergenerational mobility
    refers to the change in position in a single individual’s life
  22. Vertical mobility
    refers to movement up or down in the hierarchy, which sometimes involves changing social classes
  23. Factors Affecting an Individual’s Mobility
    • Mobility depends on micro-level factors
    • Socialization
    • Family background
    • Education

    • Mobility depends on macro-level factors
    • Occupational structure and Economic Vitality
    • Population Trends
    • Gender and Ethnicity and other ascribed status’
    • Interdependent Global Market and International Events
  24. Opportunities for upward mobility have changed significantly with globalization
    • •Manufacturing jobs have moved to developing countries
    • •Upward mobility is taking place among those who come from small, highly educated families with “get-ahead” values
  25. What are your chances of mobility
    • College education is the most important factor in moving up
    • •The value of education increases as the new jobs are created
  26. ascribed stratification systems
    characteristics individuals are born with determines ones position in society
  27. achieved stratification systems
    individuals are allowed to earn positions through their ability and effort
  28. Caste systems
    • are the most rigid ascribed systems and are maintained by cultural norms and social control mechanisms that are deeply imbedded in religious, political, and economic institutions
    • Importance of socialization
    • Stability maintained by ideology
  29. Castes predetermine
    occupational positions, marriage partners, residences, social associations, and prestige levels
  30. Castes are recognized though
    Clothing, speech patterns, family name and identity, skin color, r other distinguishing characteristics
  31. Estate systems
    • are ascribed systems characterized by the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of a small minority of political-military elite, with the peasantry tied to the land
    • Peasants receive protection and enough food to survive from the nobility
    • Estate systems are based on:
    • •Ownership of land
    • •Position one is born into
    • •Military strength
  32. Social class systems
    • of stratification are based on achieved status
    • Members of the same social class have similar income, wealth, and economic position
    • They share comparable styles of living, levels of education, cultural similarities, and patterns of social interaction

    Social class position is based on three main factors: property, power, and prestige
  33. Power
    • is the ability to control or influence others
    • •Power elite – power is held by top leaders in corporations, politics, and military
    • •Pluralism – power is not held exclusively by an elite group but shared among many power centers, each having its own self-interests
  34. Prestige
    involves the esteem and recognition one receives, based on wealth, position, or accomplishment
  35. Characteristics of the middle class
    • Makes up about 30% of the population
    • Wages and salaries in the middle class have declined since the 1980s
    • Upper-middle class families have high income, high education, high occupational level, and high participation in political life and voluntary associations
    • Lower-middle class families include small businesspeople and farmers; semi-professionals; middle management personnel; and sales and clerical workers
  36. Absolute poverty
    or not having resources to meet basic needs, means no prestige, no access to power, no accumulated wealth, and insufficient means to survive
  37. Relative poverty
    refers to those whose income falls below the poverty line, resulting in an inadequate standard of living relative to others in a given country
  38. The feminization of poverty
    single females, increasingly younger and with children, make up a growing proportion of those in poverty
  39. Individual consequences of poverty include
    poor physical and mental health, inadequate nutrition, higher mortality rates, obesity, low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, daily struggle to survive, dependence on others
  40. Social costs of poverty to larger society
    • Loss of talent and abilities
    • •Financial cost of addressing needs of and regulating the poor
    • •Cultural contradiction of values
Card Set
sociology ch7
chapter 7