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Chapter 7 Economic Problems Poverty and Wealth Social inequality social problem cid 224 negative consequences Cooking patterns have changed 20 income on food should multiply by 5 instead of 3 to determine poverty line Multiplying by 3 assumes everyone cooks at home and never goes out In early years of US most people were poor but poverty was not considered a social problem o Poverty assumed to be natural way of life Subjective concern when an issue becomes a social problem Objective concern when an issue is a personal problem War on poverty in 1962 by President Kennedy Why is poverty a social problem o Where should cutoff for poverty be o What should count as income o How many poor people are there really o How we define poverty determines who will will not receive aid o Poverty is the root to many other social problems o No matter how poverty is computed millions of people will still be poor If wealth is good then why is it a social problem o Wealth brings vast power Symbolic interactionists o Stress that to understand poverty we must focus on what poverty means to people Poverty is relative and differs from one group in society to the next o Perception on poverty effects the help they receive If middle class views poor as good people they will support legislation to create more jobs If they view poor as no goods then they will withdraw their support o Meaning of poverty changes as social conditions change o In 1700s poverty was seen as God s will and poor were put on earth to provide opportunity for the rest of us to show Christian charity Poverty was a personal problem NOT a social problem o Poverty was viewed as result of flawed character o Some tasks in society are more important than others These positions required talented people who are willing to sacrifice to prepare for them Harder jobs with extensive training more Lower jobs with less training skill less Anyone can wash dishes jobs like geologists require many o Also analyze dysfunction of poverty years of schooling and training Alienation despair drug abuse street crime suicide mental illness Functionalism o Functions of poverty page 201 Conflict Theory o Struggle over limited resources o Wealthy pass advantages to their children while poor pass on disadvantages to theirs o Social class revolves around means of production People are either capitalists who own the means of productions or they are workers employed by capitalists o We should not think of power elite or ruling class as a group that meets and makes specific decisions Rather their behavior stems from mutual interest in solving the problems that face big business Feminist Theory o Women perform reproductive and household labor o Gender race and age are venues of exploitation just as important as those that exist between owners of production and workers What is the cause of poverty o Not laziness stupidity or any other personal characteristic but the structural features of society Poverty is connected to geography race and ethnicity age and marital status One reason people are poor o Culture of poverty People trap themselves in poverty and feel there is no way out They continue the bad patterns and way of life that makes it impossible to get out of poverty o Economic colonialism Weaker nations must sell products to most industrialized nations at low prices and are lucky if they can keep up with expanding populations o National power elite Powerful countries use their resources to keep themselves in power Chapter 8 Racial Ethnic Relations Minority does not mean numerical minority Characteristics of minority group 1 Ascribed status 2 Prejudice 3 Discrimination 4 Endogamy 5 Common identity we vs them Goals of minority groups 1 Assimilation 2 Pluralism 3 Secession 4 Militancy Policies of dominant group toward minority group o In order from humanity to inhumanity i Multiculterism pluralism ii Assimilation iii Segregation Internal colonialism iv v Population transfer vi Genocide The problem comes down to many racial ethnic group in U S having distinct histories customs and identities Prejudice stereotypes and discrimination are not necessarily social problems o Individuals discriminated against internalize views of dominant group and believe there is a reason for being discriminated against They belittle their own abilities and think of themselves as less capable less worthy and less human Economic problems also arise from this o Minorities are more likely to be turned down for a loan whether their incomes are blow or above the median income of their community o Prejudice and discrimination is learned as right or wrong as a routine part Symbolic Interactionists of everyday life o Stereotypes become lens as through how we view people o Ultimately labels effect our relationships How we learn labels use labels to classify one another how our classifications create selective perception and sort people into different kinds of life experiences Functionalism o Slavery and the invasion of the west left a legacy of dysfunction Racial ethnic tensions hostilities hatred and fear o Dirty work is done by people willing to accept low wages because they are unable to obtain high paying jobs immigrants o Immigrants also earn more than they would in their home country o Ethnocentrism helps the dominant group justify its higher social position and greater share of society s resources The lower class also sees that one class has made it and gives them hope that they can someday too o The dominant group pits racial ethnic groups against one another in order to exploit workers and increase profit o Split labor market Workers who are fearful and distrustful of one another are unable to unite and demand higher wages or benefits This causes minorities to view each other as enemies and view themselves as pathetic victims unable to get ahead because of the whites Conflict Theory Cultural integrity is essential in order to promote the encouraging of cultural pluralism Chapter 9 Inequalities of Gender and Sexual Orientation Sex is a major sorting device in every society in the world Men s activities are always given greater prestige o It is the sex that is associated with the work that provides its prestige not the work itself Major areas of discrimination o Political and legal o Education o Economic o Social Symbolic Interactionists Functionalism conditions o Sex is biological and gender is learned or social o Gender roles are determined before birth Pink and dolls for girls blue and

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FSU SYG 2010 - Chapter 7 – Economic Problems: Poverty and Wealth

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