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Social Stratification

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1 Social Stratification
CHAPTER 8 Social Stratification

2 True or False: Social status in an society is basically determined by individual achievements and abilities False - some rank by attributes (race, ancestry, gender, wealth, power) The most important predictor for social status is the status of your parents

3 True or False: Except for occasional success stories, most Americans remain in the same social class their entire lives True

4 True or False: Americans of all classes have similar life spans and access to similar health care, housing, education, and other resource False

5 True or False: In the United States, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. True - average CEO makes 419x as average production worker (In 1980 that ratio was 42 to 1)

6 True or False: A full-time worker can still live in poverty in the USA. True Someone making $10, working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks a year, will make $20,000, just before the poverty line for a family of four. (And minimum wage is less than $8).

7 True or False: Stratification systems differ little from society to society.

8 True or False: Applicants should be drug-tested before receiving welfare benefits.

9 True or False: Money can buy happiness.

10 True or False: The American class system is unfair.

11 True or False: Raising the minimum wage would help the poverty rate in America.

12 Social Stratification
The division of society into categories, ranks, or classes based on certain characteristics

13 Social Inequality The unequal sharing of scarce resources and social rewards If you were going to stratify a society - how would you distribute scarce resources and social rewards?

14 Open vs Closed Systems Open: movement between strata is possible
Closed: impossible - assigned a status at birth

15 Class System Distribution of scarce resources and rewards based on achieved statuses Marx - bourgeoisie & proletariats Only determining factor - ownership of property and the means of production Weber - Class consists of power, property, & prestige

16 Wealth Made up of assets - value of everything one owns (bonds, land)
income -money earned through salaries, investments, etc.

17 Power Ability to control the behavior of others, with or without their consent Can be based on force, the possession of a special skill or type of knowledge, social status, personal characteristics, or customs and traditions

18 Prestige The respect, honor, recognition, or courtesy an individual receives from other members of society Determining factors: income, occupation, education, family background, area of residence, possessions, club memberships

19 Caste System Elaborate norms govern interaction among castes
Exogamy - marriage outside one’s caste forbidden Endogamy - marriage within one’s own social caste

20 Social Class The grouping of people with similar levels of wealth, power, and prestige Use socioeconomic status

21 The American Class System
The Upper Class - 1% of population Old vs New money Many are traditionalists and politically conservative Conspicuous consumption by the newly rich

22 The Upper Middle Class Mostly high-income businesspeople & professionals Most have college ed & advanced degrees Membership based on income not assets Career-oriented Politically & socially active Power & influence limited to community level

23 The Lower Middle Class White-collar jobs
Many jobs require less education Live comfortable life but must work hard to keep what they have Many hold traditional values & are politically conservative

24 The Working Class Manual labor jobs & pink-collar jobs
Some paid as much as lower middle class, but not as prestigious Few financial reserves - unexpected crisis can push them into lower class

25 The Working Poor Lowest paying jobs - often temporary / seasonal
Work hard but rarely make a living wage Depend on govt. support programs High school dropouts Not involved politically Often purposefully disenfranchised

26 The Underclass Chief source of income usually public assistance
Day-to-day struggle Some work, but usually very low-paid Unemployment and poverty

27 The Game You all represent the country’s population. And everyone in the country has a chance to become wealthy and move into the upper class.

28 To move into the upper class, all you must do is throw your wadded up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat.

29 Conclusion The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like. Who complained?

30 Your Job (for life) - - As students who are receiving an education - - is to be aware of your privilege. And use this particular privilege called “education” to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you.

31 Social Mobility Movement between or within social classes
Three types: horizontal, vertical, and intergenerational

32 Horizontal Mobility Movement within a social class
Example - accountant moves to new firm

33 Vertical Mobility Movement between social classes - upward or downward
Example - teacher becomes superintendent

34 Intergenerational Mobility
Status differences between generations in the same family A special form of vertical mobility Example: son of mechanic becomes a lawyer Most Americans achieve higher occupational status than their parents, but stay in same social class

35 Poverty Standard of living below the minimum level considered adequate by society Poverty level - minimum income (adjusted each year)

36 American Poverty Age - Children overrepresented in poverty
Hispanic / African American kids 3x more likely to be impoverished Sex - Over half of all poor are women African American / Hispanic women more likely Race & Ethnicity - African Americans & Hispanics much more likely

37 The Effects of Poverty Life Chances - life expectancy, health, housing, education Poor children 60% more likely to die in first year than those not born into poverty




41 Why? - inadequate nutrition & less access to medical care
Housing usually inadequate, unsafe School-funding partially based on local taxes

42 Patterns of Behavior Divorce rates higher
More likely to be arrested, convicted, imprisoned More likely to be victims of crime

43 Government responses to Poverty
War on Poverty - LBJ Has helped for elderly - because of Social Security & Medicare

44 Social-Welfare Programs
2 Types: Transfer Payments - redistribute money (through taxes) Elderly, blind, disabled, kids Subsidies - transfer goods & services instead of cash Example- food stamp program (poor receive coupons or cards for food) Other examples - housing, school lunches, medicaid, etc.)

45 Criticism of Welfare Program
Created a permanent ‘welfare class’ Power given to states to decide their own system - some chose not to give payments after a certain number of years

46 Questions What characteristics do you have that might give you a higher status? Can you think of any examples of stratification locally? What could we do to make society more equal? Or should we?

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