- Slides: 37
Warm-up n Identifying social classes
The American Dream n n n Is it slipping away? Is it an unreal expectation? Is it harder to get ahead in life?
Social Stratification n Separating and categorizing its members on the basis of certain characteristics. Levels/ types vary from society to society.
Types of Stratification
Caste System n n Ascribed status; newborn gets a lifelong designation Can’t move up to a higher caste Effort and talent can move a person up within their caste People almost always marry within their caste
Caste System n Ex. India n n n Brahmans- Priests, scholars Kshatriyas- Rulers, nobles Vaisyas- Merchants, bankers, business people Sudras- Laborer Harijans- Outcasts, Limited to most undesirable jobs
Class Systems n n n Basis of achieved status, individuals can move up/down Karl Marx- Bourgeoise- owners Proletariat- workers Max Weber- expanded on Marx, said class was made up of property, prestige, and power
Dimensions of Social Stratification n Wealth n n Value of everything a person owns and income In US richest 1% own 1/3 of country’s wealth 4/5 of US wealth in hands of top 20% Income is also distributed very unequally. Top 1/5 earn almost 50% of nation’s income
Dimensions of Social Stratification n n Power- ability to control the behavior of others Prestige- respect, honor, recognition or courtesy an individual receives from others. In the US, occupation tends to be most important determinant of prestige
Socioeconomic Status n Rating that combines factors such as educational level, occupational prestige, and place of residence with the economic factor of income
Functionalist Theory n n Necessary feature of social structure Manual labor still needs to be performed Some jobs (doctors) need to be rewarded Why would someone take the time and expense to become a doctor if the pay was the same as a sales clerk?
Conflict Theory n n Competition over scarce resources is the cause of social inequality Once a groups gets control (industrialist) they have the power to stay in control
The Functions of Social Stratification
The Davis Moore Thesis n n n Assertion that social stratification has beneficial consequences for the operation of a society Some jobs are easily performed by almost Everyone (ex? ? ) , some require high responsibility and special abilities The greater the functional importance of a position, the more rewards a society attached to it
The Davis Moore Thesis n n Society becomes more efficient and productive when members strive for the reward and prestige of certain jobs Davis Moore implies that a productive society is a Meritocracy: a system of social stratification based on personal merit. In this society, there is great social mobility as people move up or down based on their performance
Davis Moore Thesis n Class systems do not completely disappear in a meritocracy because social structure would be eroded n Ex- families in 1 social class would not have certain members belonging to a different class (is this practical? )
Flaws of Davis- Moore n n Can functional importance of certain jobs be held artificially high by limiting enrollment in fields such as medicine or law? Some incomes are so high that it is hard to justify its functional worth (Oprah- $100 million/yr) Wealth can be transferred from one generation to the next Inequality promotes conflict and tension- not good
Are The Rich Worth What They Earn? n n Respond to the article. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: n n Using social worth to justify income is hazardous. Why or why not?
Stratification and Conflict
Karl Marx n 2 Classes n n Owners of productive property Those who labor Class conflict inevitable Capitalism reproduces the class structure from generation to generation as wealth is passed down and children attend elite schools with children of other elite
Why No Marxist Revolution? n n Fragmentation of the capitalist class stock holders and managerial class Higher standard of living Labor Unions (Strike) Government proctections n Workplace safety n Min. Wage n Max. Work hours n Unemployment Insurance n Social Security
Why No Marxist Revolution? n Many still support Marx’s premise n n Wealth remains highly concentrated White collar work is often monotonous and offers little in the way of income perks Labor unions continue to negotiate and struggle Law favors the rich
Max Weber: Class, Status, and Power n n n Weber did not see class as crude categories (rich/poor) but as continuum ranging from high to low with a lot of people in the middle Term- Socioeconomic status Social conflict highly variable and complex
Stratification and Technology n Kuzzhet’s Curve n n n Greater technological sophistication is generally followed by more pronounced social stratification The trend reverses itself as industrial societies become more egalitarian (equal). Other characteristics n n n Castelike structures relax in favor of greater opportunity More equality under the law Women gain more rights
Debate: n Is the US truly an open society- on that provides the same opportunities to every citizen regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or family history?
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
n n Do you see any indications that the people in the painting are of different social classes? If so, what are they? Imagine that the artist is alive today and is about to paint a similar painting-this one of people in New York’s Central Park (or a park in your own community) What indications, if any, would you see that the people in the painting were of different social classes?
n Characteristics of social class ws
n Social class differences ws
n n n Determining social class ws Education Income Power Prestige
Jobs that pose potential health risks: n Social class?
The Bell Curve Debate: Are Rich People Really Smarter? n n Read the article and answer the 3 questions at the end of the article. Be prepared to debate in class
Extra credit: (5 Points) Ads to consider…Social class and advertising ws n (10 Points) Research system: n n Apartheid Caste Class (15 Points) Study of Status Attainment n