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Lauren Hedrick October 3rd, 2013Social Stratification- Social Stratification: ranking of individuals and groups into hierarchical layerso Closed System vs. Open System Closed: A system of social stratification in which it is very difficult to move from one social class to another- Based on ascribed status Open: A system of social stratification in which it is very easy to move from one social class to another- Based on achieved statuso Status: represents a position within a societyo Ascribed vs. Achieved Status Ascribed: The status that is assigned to us Achieved: The status that we get by choice or by competitiono An example of social stratification:o Caste system in India Brahmins (Priests and Academics) Kshatriyas (Warriors and Kings) Vaishyas (Business Community) Kshudras (Servants, Subordinates to all other groups) The Dalit (The “untouchable” do lower work, subordinate to all)- Social Differentiation: Process of increased division of labor and specialization- Principles of Social Stratificationo It is a societal characteristic Example: The first class passengers on the Titanic had a higher survival rate than others because they were in a better positionto get to the life boats firsto Persists over generations Your children will usually live the same life you dido Is universal Found everywhere and in all societies The magnitude of inequality is different in all societies The likelihood of mobility is different in all societies There is less stratification in a primitive society because it is usually based on only age and gender, but in a modern society social stratification is based on many other factorso Involves wealth and ideology- How does social stratification affect your life?o Life chances (education and income)o Life styles (consumption and work orientation)o Institutional participation (marriage and religion)o Attitudes (party identification)Lauren Hedrick October 3rd, 2013o Health and wellbeing (longevity and happiness)- Sociological Perspectives on Social Stratificationo Functionalism Davis and Moore (1945)- Society must instill in certain individuals the desire to fill carious positions and carry our responsibilities- Positions vary in their functional importance to the societyo Example: Dentists are prestigious in society because dental hygiene is important and not everyone can become a dentist It is also not the most pleasant type of work so there must be extra incentives given to them to encourage more people to become dentists- Highest statues held by most qualified and most necessary- Produces meritocracy based on ability  The dysfunctions of stratification- If there is too much inequality in a society it will hurt the overall society because it goes against working together and religious beliefs- Public preference, economic growth, social cohesion, and population healtho Conflict Perspective Inequality is a reflection of unequal distribution of power and resources, the source of central conflicts Stratification exists because it benefits individuals and groups who have power to dominate and exploit others Marx’s View: Capitalists extract worker’s surplus value Erick O. Wright: A famous sociologist who is a firm believer in Marx’s views and he defines social stratification into four main groups of people- Capitalists, managers, petite, bourgeoisie - De-unionization and inequality between capitalists and workerso Unionization gives workers more power and they share a greater value of the profito De-unionization gives workers less power and they share less of the overall profit o Symbolic Interaction Symbols- You can look at the clothes someone wears, the car they drive and you are able to tell about what social class they are a part ofLauren Hedrick October 3rd, 2013 Looking glass self- If you act in a certain way and others view you as being a part of this certain class, then you are more likely to view yourself as also being a part of this class Role taking for those in close proximity- People are very likely to take on the roles of the people and role models around themo Example: Upper class kids have doctors and lawyers as their role models and are more likely to ascribe to be that one day Lower class kids have lesser role models to look up to, such as workers and drug dealers, and they are more likely to followthe roles of the people around them- Summary of Social Stratificationo Inequality as a ladder Hierarchical- … Height and breadth- Height: What is the separation of inequality between social classes- Breadth: How many people are in each level of stratification Upward and downward- People can climb up and down the ladder to change social class Equality of opportunity- There are chances for everyone to change social classes if they so choose- Inequality in Americao The most unequal of all societies in the Western world 2010: Top 5% of families received 21.3% of income- Top 20% of households own more than 83% of wealth White households wealthier than African-American and Hispanic households Women workers make about 75% of what their male counterparts make The last time that the inequality was this bas was right before the Great Depression - After 2007 the Great Recession was the result, just like what happened in the 1930’s - In 1980 the inequality was the lowest (the top1% of income earners held only 10% of the wealth) - In 1928 and 2007 the inequality was the highest (the top 1% of income earners held 23.5% of the


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SC SOCY 101 - Social Stratification

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