2 Goals:1. What is the relationship between social class and stratification? 2. Explain how each of the following is related to stratification: economics, power, and prestige. 3. Which class is the largest segment of society? What are the major characteristics of people in this class? 4. Is social mobility possible? Explain what is necessary for social mobility. 5. Why are poverty rates for minorities higher than for the white majority in the U.S.? Choose one of the following minority groups and explain why they are particularly vulnerable to poverty: women, African Americans, disabled, Latinos….or choose any other group not mentioned.
3 Social stratification Ranking of people or groups according to their wealth.Social class: a segment of society whose members hold similar amounts of money and share values, norms and identifiable lifestyle.History of Stratification stems from Industrial Rev when owners of means of production were able to get very wealthy
4 3 aspects of stratification Economic: 2 main class: capitalists: owners of production (rich). These guys have control over legal, educational and gov’t too!Workers (poor)Power: Power can come from more than just income. Ex: Fame, (media) Intelligence! Albert EinsteinPrestige: recognition, respect and admiration attached to social positions. Mafia Boss: not given power outside of Mob. Americans tend to give higher prestige to people who have wealth and power. But not always: ex college professors.
5 Explanations for stratification from each perspective: functionalist: most qualified people have most important jobs because they have skills and training. Society attaches special rewards (money) and prestige to the positions
6 Conflict TheoryMarx: class struggle Capitalist belief system legitimizes the way things are. Income based on hard work? false consciousness: adoption of the ideas of the dominant class by the less powerful. Stratification occurs through the struggle for scarce resources. inequality exists because people are willing to exploit others.
7 Symbolic Interactionism ppl are socialized to accept the existing stratification structure. Those on top have worked hard. Males sense! It’s not fair to challenge the system. Ex: Affirmative action
8 Explore status in Middle School? What types of groups are there? Do you think popularity in MS and HS affects success later in life? What values do “popular” kids seem to have? Is stratification likely to occur for these kids later in life?
9 Movie time! Social classes in America (movie 2 hrs!) Things to think about as you watch:Why are there lower classes? How do people in lower classes feel about themselves and people in higher classes?Is it possible for people to move up in class? How?Is class assigned at birth?How does social status and class change from high school to adulthood?
10 Class Consciousnessidentification w/goals and interests of a social class. upper class: 1% of pop upper upper: WASPS basis blood, parents: Paris Hilton lower upper class: basis achievement and earning: Bill Gates
11 Middle class40-50% of pop upper middle class: 14%: successful, college educated, and provide college for kids working class: the rest. Not quite as financially successful but educated and able to take care of kids comfortably
12 Working Poor13%-employed in low skilled jobs with lowest pay who don’t earn enough to rise out of poverty (woman in trailer in movie although she may be considered part of underclass because of her lack of skills)
13 Underclasspeople typically unemployed who came from fams that have been poor for generations. 12% of population. Lack of education, skills and many have other problems like physical/mental disabilities.
14 Poverty in Americaabsolute poverty: absence of enough money to secure life’s necessities relative poverty: a measure of poverty based on the economic disparity between those at the bottom of a society and the rest of society. Nearly 46% of poor in the U.S. are white BUT poverty rates for African Americans in relation to their population are much higher. Over 20% of African Americans and Latin Americans are in poverty. graph on p 260
15 Poverty for womenFeminization of poverty: trend in U.S. society in which women and children make up an increasing proportion of the poor. Why? women earn about .80 to $1 for men. Women have to take care of kids more often as single parents. Harder for women to get some jobs..
16 Old peopleOlder people are also more likely to be poor. 10% of people over 65. Why do you think this is? people with disabilities 3x more likely to live in poverty.
17 Responses to povertyGreat Depression programs didn’t reach the lowest levels of the needy. War on Poverty (1964) help poor people help themselves. 60% of youth programs and work programs Problems: supposed widespread abuses and fear people will become dependent on larger government than necessary.
18 Welfare reformWelfare reform (1996): Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) limits amt of time those able to work can receive pay. Welfare rolls have decreased since new programs have gone into effect. BUT poverty not necessarily reduced. Less people are getting money from welfare. What do you think about welfare?
19 HomeworkRead: Homelessness article about women p and be prepared to discuss why women are more prone to homelessness.Read Article: Rise of computer technology affecting the social stratification and maybe making it even worse! P 264 What do you think about this? What would help poor people if this is the case?
20 Social mobilityMovement of people b/w social classes. Horizontal: changing jobs in same social class. vertical: get better job, more money or lose job and money! intergenerational mobility: change takes place over a generation
21 Caste systemclosed class system how is caste system still kept in tact? result of power, wealth and prestige of higher castes. Also more common in rural areas because of more traditional rules
22 Upward mobilityupward mobility: possible but great leaps in social class are very rare find a story of social mobility to share and explain how it was possible for this person. Were there strange circumstances?
23 Social Status in Co-opHow does social status apply in Co-op communities? Ex: Christiania, Denmark
24 Review1. What is the relationship between social class and stratification?2. Explain how each of the following is related to stratification: economics, power, and prestige.3. Which class is the largest segment of society? What are the major characteristics of people in this class?4. Is social mobility possible? Explain what is necessary for social mobility.5. Why are poverty rates for minorities higher than for the white majority in the U.S.? Choose one of the following minority groups and explain why they are particularly vulnerable to poverty: women, African Americans, disabled, Latinos….or choose any other group not mentioned.