Presentation on theme: "Social Stratification, Social Class, and Ethnicity."— Presentation transcript:
Social Stratification, Social Class, and Ethnicity
Social Stratification A system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy based on their access to scarce resources. Looking Up
Four Basic Principles of Social Stratification: It is a characteristic of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences. It persists over generations. It is universal but variable. It involves not just inequality but beliefs. Constitutional Peasant Constitutional Peasant
Cultural beliefs serve to justify social stratification. That is part of the reason why it persists.
Types of Stratification Systems Caste System- social stratification based on ascribed status. India and South Africa Class System- social stratification based on achieved status.
Caste System Classes Brahmin- scholars and priests Kshatriya- political leaders and warriors Vaishaya- merchants Shudras- menial workers, artisans Untouchables Caste System Caste System
Status: Position in society Ascribed born into or comes without effort e.g., kinship, race, gender Achieved must work to get
Interpretations of Stratification Functionalist Meritocracy Social Conflict (Marx) Max Weber Wealth, Prestige, Power Socioeconomic status- An individual’s comparative status in a society based on factors (education, income and occupation).
People in the US are stratified based on the following: Income Prestige Wealth Education Power
Income Wages or salaries from work and earnings from investments. Distribution of Income in the US –Top 5 th 47% –Next 5 th 24% –Third 5 th 16% –Fourth 5 th 10% –Bottom 5 th 4%
Wealth Total value of money and other assets, minus outstanding debts. Distribution of Wealth in the US –Top 5 th 80% –Next 5 th 15% –Third 5 th 5% –Fourth 5 th less than 1% –Bottom 5 th less than 1%
Social mobility—moving across ‘class’ lines Intergenerational mobility— change in social position of children relative to their parents Intragenerational mobility— change in social position of a person within their life What factors encourage or discourage each form of social mobility?
Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity A process by which people come to define a group as a race based in part on physical characteristics, but also on historical, cultural (religious) and economic factors Often an ideology constructed by the dominant or majority group which has the power to define itself legally but also to shape a society’s values
Social Construction of Gender A process by which people come to define a gender based on social distinctions between males and females that do not inevitably result from biological differences between the sexes. Gender-role socialization begins at birth and continues throughout life An ideology constructed by the dominant or majority group which has the power to define itself legally but also to shape a society’s values
Institutional Discrimination Affects gender, racial and ethnic groups, and possibly other minorities Denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals or groups that result from the normal operations of a society Bank loan policy that single women (or African Americans) are poor lending risks Zoning policies that require large lots Other examples?