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SOCIAL STRATIFICATION

SOCIAL STRATIFICATION

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SOCIAL STRATIFICATION

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  1. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION DOES THE SYSTEM WORK FOR YOU, OR ARE YOU WORKING FOR THE SYSTEM?

  2. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION A SYSTEM BY WHICH A SOCIETY RANKS CATEGORIES OF PEOPLE IN A SOCIAL HIERARCHY. • IT IS A TRAIT OF SOCIETY • DOES NOT REFLECT INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, BUT SOCIETY’S STRUCTURE • IT PERSISTS OVER GENERATIONS • SOCIAL MOBILITY HAPPENS SLOWLY • IT IS UNIVERSAL • WHILE UNIVERSAL, IT VARIES IN TYPE • IT INVOLVES INEQUALITY IN BELIEF SYSTEM • IDEOLOGIES JUSTIFY EXISTENCE OF STRATIFICATION

  3. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION BASED ON ASCRIPTION HOW DO I LIKE MY WORK? WELL, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE? • BIRTH DETERMINES SOCIAL POSITION IN FOUR DISTINCT WAYS • OCCUPATIONS • ENDOGAMY IS PRACTICED • SOCIAL LIFE IS RESTRICTED • BELIEF SYSTEMS ARE OFTEN TIED TO RELIGIOUS DOGMA • LACK OF MOBILITY • HIGH STATUS CONSISTENCY

  4. THE AMERICAN CLASS SYSTEM OF STRATIFICATION A SYSTEM BASED ON INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT, NOT ASCRIPTION

  5. THE MOST “OPEN SYSTEM” IN THE WORLD I DON’T THINK YOU ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU DESERVE! • INEQUALITY AS IN CASTE SYSTEM, BUT SOCIAL MOBILITY IS POSSIBLE • EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO • EDUCATION • JOB OPPORTUNITIES • AN “EVEN PLAYING FIELD” • SYSTEM IS BASED ON THE IDEALS OF “MERITOCRACY” • YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE • LOWER STATUS CONSISTENCY

  6. THE DAVIS-MOORE PERSPECTIVE • THESIS • STRATIFICATION HAS BENEFICIAL CONSEQUENCES (IT’S FUNCTIONAL) FOR THE OPERATION OF THE U.S.. • KEY POINTS • MEMBERS OF SOCIETY HAVE NEEDS • SOME STATUSES IN SOCIETY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS WHEN IT COMES TO SEEING TO NEEDS • TO ATTRACT THE BEST QUALIFIED AND TO GIVE OF THEIR TIME, EFFORT, AND ENERGIES, REWARDS MUST BE SUFFICIENT IN NATURE (INCOME, PRESTIGE, POWER) • KEY CONCEPT • MERITOCRACY AND GETTING WHAT YOU “DESERVE” • DOES EVERYONE IN AMERICA GET WHAT THEY DESERVE?

  7. WHAT ABOUT THE IDEA OF MERITOCRACY? ASSUMPTIONS: • EVERYONE HAS FAIR CHANCE • NOT EVERYONE HAS THE SAMEABILITIES OR POTENTIALS • YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE • ARE SOCIAL REWARDS ALWAYS BASED UPON • THE IDEALS FOUND IN MERITOCRACY? • MELVIN TUMIN SAYS NO! • Some jobs are not more intrinsically more important than others • Social stratification creates conflict

  8. ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE KARL MARX BELIEVED THAT CAPITALIST SYSTEMS OF STRATIFICATION WOULD ALWAYS BENEFIT A FEW AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MANY • ONE’S PLIGHT IN LIFE IS TIED TO A PERSON’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION • A PERSON EITHER CONTROLS MONEY AND EQUIPMENT, OR WORKS FOR THOSE WHO DO • THROUGH INHERITENCE LAWS, SOCIAL CLASSES THEN REPRODUCE THEMSELVES OVER GENERATIONS • EVENTUALLY, YEARS OF CLASS OPPRESSION WOULD LEAD TO CAPITALISM’S DEMISE • SOCIALISM REPLACES CAPTIALISM

  9. FRAGMENTATION OF THE CAPITALIST CLASS • WE CAN ALL HAVE A PIECE OF THE PIE THESE DAYS • WHITE-COLLAR JOBS AND A GENERAL RISING OF THE STANDARD OF LIVING • MORE PRESTIGE • INCREASE IN UNIONS • BETTER WAGES AND BENEFITS • ACCESS TO LEGAL PROTECTION • COURTS ARE SUPPORTING WORKERS’ CLAIMS • HOWEVER, MAJOR CLASS DIFFERENCES REMAIN

  10. WEALTH STILL REMAINS HIGHLY CONCENTRATED IN THE UPPER CLASS • A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION STILL CONTROLS OVER HALF OF THE CORPORATE STOCK • WHITE-COLLAR JOBS OFFER LITTLE TO WORKERS • JOB SECURITY IS NO LONGER OFFERED TO WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS, AND WORKERS CAN EVEN EXPLOITED MORE • PROGRESS REQUIRES STRUGGLE • CONFLICT AND DISTRUST STILL REMAIN AS OBSTACLES BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND WORKERS • LITTLE HAS BEEN WON RECENTLY • THE LAW STILL FAVORS THE RICH • ACCESS TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR THE POOR HAS BEEN SEVERED • THE “AVERAGE” AMERICAN STILL CANNOT USE THE LEGAL SYSTEM TO THE SAME AS EXTENT AS THE RICH

  11. MAX WEBER’S SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS (S.E.S.) • THREE DISTINCT DIMENSIONS • CLASS (ECONOMIC INEQUALITY) • PROPERTY • STATUS (SOCIAL PRESTIGE) • PRESTIGE • POWER (ABILITY TO CONTROL) • POWER

  12. CONFLICT PERSPECTIVES OF STRATIFICATION: • GAETANO MOSCA • SOCIETY MUST BE ORGANIZED • PRECURSOR TO CONFLICT THEORY • LATER CONFLICT THEORISTS • CONFLICT WITHIN CLASSES • Examples?

  13. LIFE-CHANCES AND S.E.S. HOW DOES YOUR POSITION IN THE SOCIAL HIERARCHY IMPACT YOUR LIFE IN THESE AREAS? ARE SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES YOU NOTED IMPORTANT ENOUGH AS TO INFLUENCE LIFE AND DEATH CHANCES? • HEALTH AND MEDICINE • ACCESS TO CULTURE • SOCIALIZATION • POLITICAL ORIENTATION • DATING/MARRIAGE • CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS • STATUSES AND ROLES • CHILD REARING • NUTRITION • SERVING IN ARMED FORCES • RESIDENTIAL LOCATION

  14. The American Class System

  15. SUPPORT FOR EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW • EQUAL RIGHTS ARE ACCORDED TO ALL • WE CELEBRATE INDIVIDUALITY • PEOPLE FORGE THEIR OWN LIVES • SIMILARITYAND ATTRACTION • BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH “OTHERS” • THE U.S. IS AN AFFLUENT SOCIETY • BELIEF THAT EVERYONE IS FINANCIALLY COMFORTABLE • THUS, IT REMAINS A TOPIC THAT MOST PEOPLE DO NOT REALLY UNDERSTAND, OR THEY ARE TAUGHT THAT IT IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE TOPIC FOR CONVERSATION

  16. DIMENSIONS OF CLASS • INCOME • OCCUPATIONAL WAGES AND EARNINGS FROM INVESTMENTS • WEALTH • THE TOTAL VALUE OF MONEY AND OTHER ASSETS, MINUS ANY DEBT • SOCIAL POWER • THE ABILITY TO CONTROL, EVEN IN THE FACE OF RESISTENCE • OCCUPATIONAL PRESTIGE • JOB-RELATED STATUS • EDUCATION • KEY TO BETTER CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  17. ANCESTRY • BORN TO PRIVILEGE OR POVERTY MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE • RACE AND ETHNICITY • SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES STILL EXIST WHEN COMPARING MAJORITY AND MINORITY GROUPS ON SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL VARIABLES • GENDER • IT IS STILL A MAN’S WORLD IN AMERICA • RELIGION • PROTESTANT RELIGIONS ARE STILL IDENTIFIED AS CHURCHES WHOSE MEMBERSHIP ARE MOST AFFLUENT IN AMERICA

  18. WAYS IN WHICH CLASS MATTERS TO YOU • HEALTH • AMOUNT AND TYPE OF HEALTH CARE • CULTURAL VALUES • TOLERANCE AND GRATIFICATION • POLITICS • DEGREE OF INVOLVEMENT AND OUTLOOKS • FAMILY AND GENDER • TYPE OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND SOCIALIZATION PRACTICES

  19. FOR MANY PEOPLE, THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS EVOLVED INTO AN AMERICAN NIGHTMARE! • EARNINGS HAVE STALLED FOR MANY WORKERS • MANY PERSONS NEED TO HOLD MORE THAN ONE JOB • MORE JOBS OFFER LITTLE INCOME • YOUNG PEOPLE ARE REMAINING AT (AND RETURNING TO) HOME