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Social Class and Social Stratification

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1 Social Class and Social Stratification
Chapter 10 Social Class and Social Stratification

2 Chapter Outline Social Differentiation and Social Stratification
Why Is There Inequality? Functionalism and Conflict Theory: The Continuing Debate The Class Structure of the United States Diverse Sources of Stratification Class Consciousness Social Mobility: Myths and Realities Poverty

3 3 Types of Stratification Systems
Estate - An elite owns property and exercises power and has total control over societal resources. Caste - rigid hierarchy of classes. Class - status is partially achieved and there is some potential for movement from one class to another.  

4 Karl Marx: Class and Capitalism
Marx defined classes in terms of their relationship to the means of production. Capitalist class owns the means of production. Working class sells their labor for wages.

5 Max Weber: Class, Status, and Party
Three dimensions to stratification: Class - economic dimension status - cultural and social dimension party - political dimension

6 The Functionalist Perspective on Inequality
Inequality is essential to the preservation of society characterized by cohesion, consensus, cooperation, stability, and persistence. Social inequality motivates people to fill the different positions in society that are needed for the survival of the whole.

7 The Conflict Perspective on Inequality
Social stratification is a system of domination and subordination based on class conflict and blocked opportunity. Inequality reflects the class interests of the powerful and has negative consequences for society.

8 Social Class in the U.S. Upper class Upper-middle class Middle class
Lower-middle class Lower class

9 Social Mobility: Myths and Realities
Research has found that social mobility is much more limited than people believe. Most people remain in the same class as their parents, many drop to a lower class. The mobility that does exist is greatly influenced by education. Most of the time, among all groups, people remain in the class where they started.

10 Who Are the Poor? In 2000, there were 31.1 million poor people in the U.S. representing 11.3% of the population. By 2000, 1/ 4 of single-parent, female-headed households were poor. 13% of White; 31% of Black; 28% of Hispanic, 15% of Asian American children are poor. Only 1/3 of the poor receive food stamps; 20% get housing assistance, less than half receive Medicaid.

11 Explanations of Poverty
The culture of poverty - poverty is a way of life that is transferred from generation to generation. Structural causes of poverty - poverty is caused by economic and social transformations taking place in the U.S.

12 Arguments against “the Culture of Poverty”
Fewer than 5% of the poor are chronically poor. 41% of the able-bodied poor work, with the working-poor constituting 18% of the workforce. The pattern of “welfare cycling” is promoted by the loss of healthcare coverage and wages too low to support a family.

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