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Chapter 8.  The unequal distribution of:  Wealth  Power  Prestige  Due to meritocracy or social stratification.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8.  The unequal distribution of:  Wealth  Power  Prestige  Due to meritocracy or social stratification."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 8

2  The unequal distribution of:  Wealth  Power  Prestige  Due to meritocracy or social stratification

3  Social hierarchy  Division of society into groups  Upper  Middle  Lower

4  Criteria for Stratification:  Race  Class  Gender  Age  Whatever is socially important.

5 1. Characteristic of society 2. Persists over generations 3. All societies stratify their members 4. Maintained through beliefs (ideology)  Divine right of kings  White man’s burden  Work hard and you will achieve

6  1. Slavery  2. Caste system  3. Social class

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8  Most extreme form of stratification  People are property  Can be bought and sold  Provide labor

9  Status determined by heredity (birth)  Religious  Economic  Political  Physical characteristics  Cannot be changed ▪ Apartheid in South Africa ( )

10  4 official groups:  Black  White  Indian  Coloured

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12   System based on access to resources:  Wealth  Property  Power  Prestige  Sociologists refer to it as socioeconomic status (or SES).

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14  Upper class:  Wealthiest people in U.S.  About 1% of the U.S. population  Most of the wealth of the country  How the very rich live   Playhouses 

15 Top 10 of Forbes 400 Wealthiest in 2012

16  Professionals and Managers  Executives  Managers  Well-educated ▪ College or postgraduate degrees  14% of the U.S. population

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18  “White collar” workers  Broad range of incomes  About 30% of U.S. population

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20  “ Blue-collar ” or service industry workers  Less likely to have college degrees  30% of the U.S. population

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22  “Working poor” ▪ Unemployed  Typically have lower levels of literacy  20% of U.S. population

23 Social institution: Organizes society’s  Production,  Distribution, and  Consumption of goods and services

24 Goods: Commodities (products) Services: Activities that benefit people

25  Production: Which goods and services  Consumer goods: ▪ Food ▪ Shelter ▪ Clothing  Producer goods: Resources to create goods ▪ Cotton ▪ Steel ▪ Water

26  Educational  Communication  Transportation  Health

27  Transportation  Packaging  Storage  Advertising

28  Purchase and Use of goods & services by households  Major determinants Consumption  Income  Price

29  HENRY FORD: It is customers, not employers, who really pay workers’ wages; employers merely look after the cash.  E conomies do best when workers can afford to buy the goods that they make.

30  Drives 70% of the U.S. economy Drives 70% of the U.S. economy  We are all consumers  Things we buy every week:  Groceries, gasoline, clothing  Create the demand that keeps companies making products

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32 Two General Economic Models  Capitalism  Socialism  No nation completely one or the other

33 1. Private ownership of means of production 2. Production based on profit 3. Competition 4. Self-interest 5. Limited government influence 1. Public ownership of the means of production 2. Production based on human needs 3. Equality of all people 4. Democracy 5. Common good 33

34 U.S. considered a Capitalist system Most businesses are privately owned Government: Large role in the ec onomy  Public Ownership:  Schools  Highways  Parks  Museums

35  Sets minimum wage levels  Workplace safety standards  Provides farm price supports  Negotiates trade policies

36  Karl Marx: Two main social classes in capitalist societies: 1. Capitalists (or bourgeoisie)  Own the means of production 2. Workers (or proletariat)  Sell their labor for wages

37  Max Weber: Social Class has 3 components: 1. Class (Wealth: money, investments) 2. Status (Prestige) 3. Party (Power)

38 Social Prestige of Selected Occupations in U.S.

39 White CollarBlue CollarScore White Collar ScoreBlue Collar

40 Erving Goffman: Social class indicated by:  Clothing  Speech  Gestures  Possessions  Friends  Activities

41  Motivates people to achieve  Allocates people into jobs  Poor provide jobs for others  Social service

42 Theory in Everyday Life The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company

43  Life Chances  Consequences of belonging to a certain social class:  Education  Employment  Medical care (health)

44  Social mobility: Movement within the hierarchal system of social classes  Move up or move down  Closed system little opportunity to move from one class to another  Open system opportunities to move from one class to another  How to marry rich 

45  Intergenerational mobility  Movement between social classes  From one generation to the next  Intragenerational mobility  Movement between social classes  Over an individual ’ s lifetime

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48  Horizontal social mobility  Occupational movement within a social class  Vertical social mobility  Upward or Downward movement

49  Structural mobility : Changes in social status due to structural changes in society  Example: Creating new kinds of jobs  Industrialization—Improved social status  Increases in education  New technology ▪ Computers

50    For a family of 4, 2012 official poverty line was an annual income of $23,050  2012: 46.2 million people in poverty  15% of the population poverty

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52  Income before tax deductions  Excludes:  Capital gains  Accumulated wealth  Home ownership

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54  Social Security lifted roughly 14.5 million seniors above the poverty line.  Without SS, the number of people ages 65+ in poverty would have increased five-fold

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56  Top 1 % of wage earners had a 6 % increase in income over last year  Income at the bottom 40% basically unchanged

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58  1. How do sociologists understand poverty?  2. Is inequality a problem?  3. Is poverty a problem?  4. Can we reduce poverty?


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