Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Ch. 8 Social Stratification

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Ch. 8 Social Stratification"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch. 8 Social Stratification

2 Dimensions of Stratification
Social Stratification – ranking of people or groups according to their unequal access to scarce resources Most important resources – wealth, income, power, and prestige Weber emphasized the prestige and power aspects of stratification Social class – a segment of a population whose members hold similar amounts of scarce resources and share values, norms, and an identifiable lifestyle Marx explained the importance of the economic foundations of social classes

3 The Economic Dimension
Marx originally identified multiple social classes – laborers, servants, factor workers, craftspeople, proprietors of small business, and moneyed capitalists However he believed it would eventually end up being on 2 classes Bourgeoisie – class that owns the means of production Proletariat – class that labors w/o owning the means of production He also believed that controlling the economy allowed you to control the legal, educational, and government systems Income – amount of money received by an individual or group over a specific time period Wealth – total economic resources held by a person or group

4 The Economic Dimension
In 2000 the poverty level was set at $17,761 for a family of four In 1999 the richest 20 % of American families received over 49% of the nation’s income The poorest 20% controlled under 4% The richest 20% of the population holds 84% of the wealth, and top 1% alone has 39% of the total wealth of the U.S.

5 The Economic Dimension
Power is based on money, knowledge, fame, social positions A lack of wealth can be overcome with loyal people or skillful resource management Ex. Hitler

6 The Prestige Dimension
Prestige – recognition, respect, and admiration attached to social positions Ex. A Mafia don Must be voluntarily given The more socially valuable the position the more prestige it has

7 Explanations of Stratification
Functionalist Theory of Stratification Stratification assures that the most qualified people fill the most important positions Recognizes that inequality exists b/c certain jobs are more important than others Conflict theory of Stratification Inequality exists because some people are willing to exploit others Stratification is based of force Marx’s false consciousness – working-class acceptance of capitalist ideas and values Stratification occurs through the struggle for scarce resources

8 Explanations of Stratification
Symbolic Interactionism and Stratification People are socialized to accept the existing stratification structure Ex. – American children are taught that social class is the result of talent and effort People’s self-concepts help preserve the status quo The is a link b/w social class and self-esteem

9 Social Classes in America
Class Consciousness – identification with the goals and interests of a social class The Upper Class Only top 1% of the population “aristocracy” – the old-money families of high society Ford, du Pont, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt Membership based on blood Lower-upper class more often is based on achievement and earned income Could actually have more money that “aristocracy”, but is often not accepted into the most exclusive social circles

10 Social Classes in America
The Middle Classes About 40 to 50 % of Americans Upper Middle Class – about 14% of population Earn enough to live well and save money Typically college educated Middle-middle class – 30% of population Income is at about the national average ($21,181 in 1999)

11 Social Classes in America
The Working Class – lower middle class 1/3 of population Below average income and unstable employment Generally lack hospital insurance and retirement benefits Working Poor – 13% of population Low-skill jobs with lowest pay Do not earn enough to rise above the Poverty line Tend not to participate in the political process The Underclass – 12% of population Usually unemployed Work part time or are on public assistance

12 Poverty in America Absolute poverty – the absence of enough money to secure life’s necessities Relative poverty – a measure of poverty based on the economic disparity b/w those at the bottom of a society and the rest of society The definition of poverty in America is not the same as that of India In the U.S. the government sets the poverty line and anyone below is considered poor In the 2000 Census 11.8% of Americans, 32.2 million, considered poor

13 Poverty in America Identifying the poor
About 46% of the poor in America are white, poverty rate is about 7.7% African Americans and Latinos poverty rate is about 23% Combined they make up about ¼ of total population, but nearly ½ of poor Over ½ of poor households are female headed Feminization of poverty – a trend in U.S. society in which women and children make up an increasing proportion of the poor About 9% of people 65 or older live in poverty 12% of America’s poor are disabled (blind, deaf, ect…) Responses to the Problem of Poverty 1964 LBJ marshaled the forces of federal government to begin a war on poverty Philosophy was to help poor people help themselves Welfare Reform

14 Social Mobility Social Mobility – the movement of people b/w social classes Horizontal mobility- changing form one occupation to another at the same social class level Ex. When and army officer become a teacher, or a waiter becomes a taxi driver Vertical mobility – person’s occupational status or social class moves upwards or downward Intergenerational mobility – when the change takes place over a generation A plumber’s daughter becoming a physician, or a lawyer’s son becoming a carpenter

15 Social Mobility Caste and Open-Class Systems
Caste system – there is no social mobility b/c social status is inherited and cannot be changed Statuses and occupation are ascribed Apartheid – was a caste system based on race India – Brahmin, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, Sudra, and Untouchables Tradition keeps the caste system intact Open-class system – a system in which social class is based on merit and individual effort, movement b/w classes is allowed Ex. - The U.S. for the most part

16 Social Mobility Upward and Downward Mobility
In the U.S. great leaps in Upward Mobility are rare Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Rockefeller, Henry Ford Compared to their parents, more U.S. workers are experiencing downward mobility Downward mobility can have severe emotional and psychological consequences






Download ppt "Ch. 8 Social Stratification"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google