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Chapter 9 – Social Stratification The American Class System & Poverty.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 – Social Stratification The American Class System & Poverty."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 – Social Stratification The American Class System & Poverty

2 The American Class System… SOCIAL CLASS CATEGORYDESCRIPTION UPPER CLASSTop 1% of the population that controls majority of the nation’s wealth. “old money” has more status than “new money”; very powerful/influential; tend to be conservative politically UPPER MIDDLE CLASSHigh income business people/professionals; college educated; career oriented; politically active yet not as influential as the upper class LOWER MIDDLE CLASS“white collar” workers – educated but not as well as above; comfortable in terms of wealth but must work very hard to maintain their status. WORKING CLASSManual laborers (“blue collar”); limited financial reserves (“paycheck to paycheck”) so a precarious position… WORKING POORLowest paid workers (minimum wage & seasonal workers); many must depend on gov’t. support to make ends meet; many are high school drop outs UNDERCLASSFamilies that have experienced unemployment & poverty for several generations; chief source of income is public assistance.

3 Determining Social Class REPUTATIONAL METHOD: SUBJECTIVE METHOD: OBJECTIVE METHOD:

4 Social mobility… The movement between or within a social class level; found in open systems. 3 types of social mobility are identified… 1)Horizontal – movement within a social class that doesn’t lead to great change in wealth/power/prestige; 2) Vertical – movement to a new social class – can be up or down. 3) Intergenerational – status differences between individuals within a family; will you do better than your parents or stay within the same social class?

5 Structural (societal) factors… Structural causes of upward mobility… EX: Advances in technology; general increase in education levels. Structural causes of downward mobility… EX: changes in economy! 4/workers-left-behind/ 4/workers-left-behind/

6 Making real world connections… 3 articles are available for you to read. Each one connects with a major term/concept from chapter 9 that was explained in this power point. Read each article and complete the article analysis worksheet distributed in class. Finish for HW if necessary.

7 STRUCTURAL DOWNWARD MOBILITY ARTICLE 1: “Downward Mobility is Crushing the American Dream” (2012) TERMS FROM TEXT: mobility; downward mobility; economic status; middle class; income inequality. SUMMARY: Many middle class Americans are experiencing downward social mobility which goes directly against the “American Dream” of = access to upward mobility. The US is no longer the best nation for upward mobility (Europe, Canada). Globalization is a major cause of this but also it’s unequal access to education, which is the best determiner of upward mobility. Wealthy children have better opportunities & the disparities between them & the middle class are becoming larger. COMPARISON TO TEXT: This article supports the information in the text (p. 218) on intergenerational mobility and education.

8 STRUCTURAL DOWNWARD MOBILITY ARTICLE 2: “The Jobs They are A-Changin’” (2011) TERMS FROM TEXT : Structural shifts; recession; vertical and horizontal mobility SUMMARY: Due to structural unemployment & the ongoing recession many displaced US workers have had to change careers in order to get back to work. In some cases the career switch was a vertical move (up and down) & in others it was a horizontal move. The security of the new jobs outweighed the negatives in most cases. COMPARISON TO TEXT: The article supported the text as far as the structural causes of upward & downward mobility (p. 218, 220)

9 STRUCTURAL DOWNWARD MOBILITY ARTICLE 3 : “Economic Mobility of Families Across Generations” (2012) TERMS FROM TExT: intergenerational mobility; vertical mobility; class of origin; horizontal mobility. SUMMARY: Intergenerational mobility in the US is changing. While many in the current generation have experienced upward vertical mobility, an increasing percentage are staying the same (horizontal mobility) or are worse off than their parents were in terms of income (downward vertical mobility). COMPARISON TO TEXT : The article supported the text on intergenerational mobility and structural causes of mobility (p. 218).

10 POVERTY (section 3) Although the US is one of the richest countries in the world, not everyone shares equally in this prosperity. About 15% of Americans live below the poverty line (up from 11% when your text was published). Poverty articlePoverty article The Other America, a book by Michael Harrington was an influential study of poverty in the US, published in The book is credited with starting America’s “War on Poverty” under President Johnson. Today's Other America: Living in Poverty (CNN)


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