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Social Stratification

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Title: Social Stratification


1
Social Stratification
  • A system by which a society ranks categories of
    people in a hierarchy

2
Basic Principles
  • A trait of society
  • Doesnt reflect individual differences, but
    societys structure
  • Persists over generations
  • Social mobility happens slowly.
  • Universal but variable
  • While universal, it varies in type.
  • Involves not just inequality, but beliefs
  • Ideologies justify existence of social
    stratification.

3
The Caste System
Social stratification based on ascription, or
birth
  • Birth determines social position in four ways
  • Occupation
  • Marriage within caste
  • Social life is restricted to own kind.
  • Belief systems are often tied to religious dogma.
  • Many of the worlds societies are caste systems.
  • Caste system is illegal, but elements survive.

4
Class Systems
Social stratification based on both birth and
individual achievement
  • Social mobility for people with education and
    skills
  • All people gain equal standing before the law.
  • Work involves some personal choice.
  • Meritocracy Based on personal merit

5
Class Systems
  • Status consistencyThe degree of uniformity in a
    person's social standing across various
    dimensions of social inequality.
  • A caste system has limited social mobility and
    high status consistency.
  • The greater mobility of class systems produces
    less status consistency.

6
Figure 10.1 Economic Inequality in Selected
Countries
7
Ideology
Cultural beliefs that justify particular social
arrangements, including patterns of inequality
  • Plato
  • Every culture considers some type of inequality
    just.
  • Marx
  • Capitalist societies keep wealth and power for a
    few.
  • Spencer
  • Survival of the fittest

8
The Davis-Moore Thesis
Social stratification has beneficial consequences
for the operation of a society
  • The greater the importance of a position, the
    more rewards a society attaches to it.
  • Egalitarian societies offer little incentive for
    people to try their best.
  • Positions a society considers more important must
    reward enough to draw talented people

9
Karl Marx Class and Conflict
  • Most people have one of two relationships with
    the means of production.
  • Bourgeoisie own productive property.
  • The proletariat works for the bourgeoisie.
  • Capitalism creates great inequality in power and
    wealth.
  • This oppression would drive the working majority
    to organize and overthrow capitalism.

10
Why No Marxist Revolution?
  • Fragmentation of the capitalist class
  • Higher standard of living
  • More worker organizations
  • More extensive legal protections

11
Was Marx Right?
  • Wealth remains highly concentrated.
  • White-collar jobs offer no more income, security,
    or satisfaction than factory work did a century
    ago.

12
Was Marx Right?
  • Current workers benefits came from struggle.
  • Workers have lost benefits recently.
  • Ordinary people still face disadvantages that the
    law cannot overcome.

13
Max Weber Class, Status, and Power
  • Socioeconomic status (SES)
  • Composite ranking based on various dimensions of
    social inequality
  • Class position
  • Viewed classes as a continuum from high to low
  • Status
  • Power
  • Inequality in history

14
Stratification and Interaction
  • Differences in social class position can affect
    interaction.
  • People interact primarily with others of similar
    social standing.
  • Conspicuous consumption refers to buying and
    using products because of the "statement" they
    make about social position.

15
Figure 10.1 Applying TheorySocial
Stratification
16
Stratification and Technology A Global
Perspective
  • Hunting and gathering societies
  • Horticultural, pastoral, and agrarian societies
  • Industrial societies
  • The Kuznets curve
  • Greater technological sophistication generally is
    accompanied by more pronounced social
    stratification.

17
Figure 10.2 Social Stratification and
Technological Development The Kuznets CurveThe
Kuznets curve shows that greater technological
sophistication is generally accompanied by more
pronounced social stratification. The trend
reverses itself as industrial societies relax
rigid, castelike distinctions in favor of greater
opportunity and equality under the law. Political
rights are more widely extended, and there is
even some leveling of economic differences.
However, the emergence of postindustrial society
has brought an upturn in economic inequality, as
indicated by the broken line added by the
author.Source Created by the author, based on
Kuznets (1955) and Lenski (1966).
18
Global Map 10.1 Income Inequality in Global
Perspective
19
Social Stratification
  • Vonnegut An egalitarian society can exist only
    if everyone is reduced to the lowest common
    denominator.
  • Davis-Moore thesis Class differences reflect
    variation in human abilities and the relative
    importance of different jobs.
  • Marx Inequality causes human suffering and
    conflict social stratification springs from
    injustice and greed.

20
Social Class in the United States
21
A Middle-Class Society
  • Everyone stands equal under the law.
  • We celebrate individuality.
  • We interact mostly with people like ourselves.
  • The US is an affluent society.
  • Socioeconomic status (SES) reflects money
    (income, wealth power), occupational prestige
    and schooling.

22
Distribution of Income and Wealth in the United
StatesIncome, and especially wealth, is divided
unequally in US Society..
23
Dimensions of Class
  • Income
  • Earning from work or investments
  • Wealth
  • The total value of money and other assets, minus
    any debt
  • Power
  • The ability to control, even in the face of
    resistance
  • Occupational prestige
  • Job-related status
  • Schooling
  • Key to better career opportunities

24
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25
US Stratification Merit and Caste
  • Ancestry
  • Born to privilege or poverty makes a big
    difference
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Disparity still exists when comparing majority
    and minority groups on social and financial
    variables.
  • People of English ancestry have always enjoyed
    the most wealth and the greatest power in US
    society.
  • Gender
  • More poor families are headed by women.
  • On average, women have less income, wealth, and
    occupational prestige than men.

26
Table 11.3 Schooling of U.S. Adults, 2006 (aged
25 and over)
27
Social Classes
  • The upper class
  • 5 of the population
  • Earn at least 197,000 a year
  • The middle class
  • 40-45 of the population
  • Large middle class has tremendous cultural
    influence.
  • The working class
  • 33 of the population
  • Blue-collar jobs yield between 25,000 and
    50,000 a year.
  • The lower class
  • The remaining 20 of the population
  • Working poor hold low-prestige jobs that provide
    little income.

28
Upper Class
  • The upper-uppers
  • The blue bloods
  • Membership almost always based on ascription
  • Old money
  • Set apart by the amount of wealth their families
    control
  • Devote time to community activities
  • The lower-uppers
  • The working rich
  • The new rich
  • Can still be excluded from some organizations

29
Middle Class
  • More racial and ethnic diversity
  • Upper-middles
  • 113,000 to 197,000 yearly income
  • Education is important
  • High occupational prestige
  • Involvement in local politics
  • Average-middles
  • Less occupational prestige
  • Few white collar or high-skilled blue collar jobs
  • Income provides modest security (50k 112k)

30
Working Class
  • Lower-middle class
  • Marxist industrial proletariat
  • 25,000 to 50,000 annual income
  • Routine jobs with less satisfaction
  • 2/3 own their own homes
  • Fewer children go to college (1/3)
  • Vulnerable to financial problems caused by
    unemployment or illness

31
Lower Class
  • 37 million Americans classified as poor in 2007
  • Others are working poor with minimum-wage jobs
  • Half complete high school, one in four attend
    college
  • 45 own their homes in less desirable urban
    neighborhoods or rural south

32
Per Capita Income across the United States
33
The Difference Class Makes
  • Health
  • Amount and type of health care
  • Values and attitudes
  • Vary with position
  • Politics
  • Conservative or liberal
  • Family and gender
  • Type of parental involvement
  • Socialization practices
  • Relationships and responsibilities

34
Social Mobility
  • Upward
  • College degree or higher-paying job
  • Downward
  • Drop out of school, losing a job or divorce
  • Structural social mobility
  • Changes in society or national economic trends
  • Intra-generational mobility
  • Change in social position during a persons
    lifetime
  • Intergenerational mobility
  • Upward or downward movement that takes place
    across generations within a family

35
Myth vs. Reality
  • Social mobility has been fairly high.
  • Long-term trend has been upward.
  • Intergenerational mobility is small, not
    dramatic.
  • Social mobility since the 1970s has been uneven.

36
Figure 11.2 Mean Annual Income, US Families,
1980-2007 (in 2007 dollars, adjusted for
inflation)The gap between high-income and
low-income families is wider today than it was in
1980.Source U.S. Census Bureau (2008).
37
The American Dream
  • Earnings have stalled for many workers
  • From 1974-2007, worker income rose slightly, even
    as the number of work hours increased and cost of
    necessities went way up.
  • More jobs offer little income
  • Many industrial jobs have gone overseas, reducing
    the number of high-paying US jobs.
  • Young people are remaining at (and returning)
    home
  • For the first time ever, half of Americans age 18
    to 24 are living with their parents.

38
Median Annual Income, US Families,
1950-2007Average family income in the US grew
rapidly between 1950 and 1970. Since then,
however, the increase has been smaller.Source
U.S. Census Bureau (2008).
39
Global Economy and US Class Structure
  • Global economic expansion
  • Jobs changed from manufacturing to service work.
  • Creates upward mobility for educated people
  • Investments for those with money
  • Downsizing in companies affects average workers.
  • Many US families working harder to stay afloat

40
Extent of Poverty
  • Relative povertyThe deprivation of some people
    in relation to those who have more
  • Absolute povertyA deprivation of resources that
    is life-threatening
  • Poverty line
  • About three times what the government estimates
    people must spend for food.
  • The income of the average poor family is 60 of
    this amount.
  • Extent of US poverty
  • 12.5 (37 million) are impoverished.

41
Figure 11.4 The Poverty Rate in the United
States, 1960-2007The share of our population in
poverty fell dramatically between 1960 and 1970.
Since then, the poverty rate has remained between
10 and 15 of the population.Source U.S.
Census Bureau (2008).
42
Demographics of Poverty
  • Age
  • In 2007, 50 of US poor were age 24 or younger.
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Two-thirds of all poor are white.
  • In 2007, 24.5 of all African Americans and 21.5
    of Hispanics were poor.
  • Gender
  • 56 of poor are women.
  • Women who head households are at high risk of
    poverty.

43
Explaining Poverty
  • Blame the poor
  • The poor are mostly responsible for their own
    poverty.
  • Culture of poverty produces a self-perpetuating
    cycle of poverty
  • Time limits for welfare
  • Blame society
  • Little opportunity for work
  • William Julius Wilson Little opportunity for
    work not enough jobs to support families

44
National Map 11.2 Poverty across the United
States
45
The Working Poor
  • In 2007, 18 of heads of poor families worked at
    least 50 weeks a year.
  • Individual ability and personal effort play a
    part in shaping social position.
  • However, society is the primary cause of poverty.
  • A rising share of available jobs offers only low
    wages

46
Homeless
  • No precise count
  • Experts estimate 754,000 on any given night
  • Causes
  • Poverty
  • One-third are substance abusers
  • One-fourth are mentally ill
  • Many homeless are entire families due to
    structural changes in economy.

47
Global Stratification
Patterns of social inequality in the world as a
whole
48
Changing Terminology
  • Old terminology
  • First worldIndustrial rich countries
  • Second worldLess industrial socialist countries
  • Third worldNon-industrial poor countries
  • Problems with old terminology
  • After the Cold War, the second world no longer
    existed.
  • Third World is too economically diverse to be
    meaningful.

49
Changing Terminology
  • New terminology
  • High-incomeNations with the highest standard of
    living
  • Middle-incomeSomewhat poorer nations with
    economic development typical for the world as a
    whole
  • Low-incomeNations with lowest productivity and
    extensive poverty
  • The extent of global inequality is much greater
    than these comparisons suggest. Well-off people
    in rich countries live worlds apart from the
    poorest people in low-income countries.

50
High-Income Countries
  • First to develop during industrial revolution two
    centuries ago
  • Enjoy over half the worlds income
  • More income means control of worlds financial
    markets.
  • Control of financial markets means control of
    other countries.
  • Examples United States, Western Europe, Japan,
    Australia, Canada, etc.

51
Distribution of World Income and Wealth
52
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53
Middle-Income Countries
  • Limited industrialization
  • Many people are rural and engage in agricultural
    activities.
  • A general lack of good education, medical care,
    and safe water
  • Examples Russia, Eastern European countries,
    Latin America, and some African countries

54
Low-Income Countries
  • Mostly poor, rural economies
  • Agrarian, with some industry
  • Life expectancy is very short.
  • Examples Africa, and much of Asia

55
Figure 12.2 The Relative Share of Income and
Population by Level of Economic Development
56
The Severity of Poverty
  • Poverty in poor countries is more severe than it
    is in rich countries.
  • The United Nations found that
  • Norway had the highest quality of life rating
    United States followed close behind
  • Niger had the lowest

57
Global Map 12.2 Median Age at Death in Global
Perspective
58
The Severity of Poverty
  • Relative poverty
  • People lack resources that others take for
    granted.
  • This sort of poverty exists in every society,
    rich or poor.
  • Absolute poverty
  • A life-threatening lack of resources
  • One-third or more of the people in low-income
    countries experience poverty at this level.

59
Extent of Poverty
  • Is poverty life threatening?
  • In some African countries, half of annual deaths
    are children under the age of 10.
  • Every 10 minutes, 100 people around the world die
    of hunger.
  • 1.4 billion people suffer from chronic hunger in
    the world.

60
Poverty and Children
  • Poverty and children
  • 100 million children in poor countries are forced
    to work the streets (e.g., beg, steal, selling
    sex).
  • 100 million children have deserted their families
    and live on the streets.
  • Many girls, with little or no access to medical
    assistance, become pregnant.
  • 50 million street children are found in Latin
    American cities.
  • In Darfur (Sudan), impoverished children are
    forced to join armed groups, provide physical
    labor without pay, and work as sex slaves.

61
Women, Slavery, and Poverty
  • Women
  • In all societies, a womans work is unrecognized,
    undervalued, and underpaid.
  • Sweatshop workers are mostly women.
  • 70 of the worlds 1 billion people living near
    absolute poverty are women.
  • Slavery
  • Chattel slaveryOne person owns another.
  • Child slaveryA more common form of bondage
  • Debt bondageEmployers hold workers to pay debts.
  • Servile forms of marriageWomen married against
    their will or forced into prostitution.

62
Human Trafficking
  • The movement of men, women, and children from one
    place to another for the purpose of performing
    forced labor
  • People are lured to a new country with the
    promise of a job, then forced to become
    prostitutes or farm laborers. Or people adopt
    foreign children and force them to work in
    sweatshops.

63
Explanations of Global Poverty
  • Technology
  • One-quarter of the people in low-income countries
    use human or animal power to farm land.
  • Population growth
  • Population for poor countries in Africa doubles
    every 25 years.
  • Cultural patterns
  • People resist innovations, accept slavery as a
    way of life.
  • Social stratification
  • Low-income countries distribute wealth very
    unequally.

64
Correlates of Global Poverty
  • Gender inequality
  • Raising living standards means improving womens
    standing.
  • Global power relationships
  • ColonialismThe process by which some nations
    enrich themselves through political and economic
    control of other nations
  • NeocolonialismA new form of global power
    relationships that involves not direct political
    control but economic exploitation by
    multinational corporations
  • Multinational corporationA huge business that
    operates in many countries

65
Applying Theory Global Poverty
66
Modernization Theory
Model of economic development that explains
global inequality in terms of technological and
cultural differences between societies
  • Historical perspective
  • Centuries ago, the entire world was poor.
  • Exploration, trade, and the industrial revolution
    transformed Western Europe then North America.
  • Cultural perspective
  • Weber Protestant Reformation reshaped
    traditional Catholicism.
  • Individualism replaced the traditional emphasis
    on family and community.

67
Rostows Stages of Modernization
  • Traditional stage
  • Changing traditional views
  • Take-off stage
  • Use of talents and imaginations
  • Drive to technological maturity
  • Diversified economy takes over
  • High mass consumption
  • Mass production stimulates consumption

68
The Role of Rich Nations
  • Controlling population
  • Exporting birth control and educating people on
    its importance
  • Increasing food production
  • The use of new hybrid seeds, modern irrigation
    methods, the use of chemicals and pesticides
  • Introducing industrial technology
  • Machinery and information must be shared if
    shifts in economies are to happen.
  • Providing foreign aid
  • Money can be used for equipment necessary for
    change.

69
Critical Evaluation
  • Modernization simply hasnt happened in many
    nations.
  • Fails to recognize how rich nations benefit from
    the status quo of poor nations
  • Fails to see that international relations affect
    all nations
  • Ethnocentric It holds up the richest nations as
    the standard to judge other societies
  • Blames global poverty on the poor societies

70
Dependency Theory
A model of economic and social development that
explains global inequality in terms of the
historical exploitation of poor nations by rich
ones.
  • Historical perspective
  • People living in poor countries were better off
    in the past than they are now. Economic position
    of rich poor are linked.
  • Importance of colonialism
  • Europeans colonized much of the west, south
    east.
  • African slave trade is the most brutal form of
    human exploitation.
  • Neocolonialism is the essence of the modern
    capitalistic world economy.

71
Figure 12.4 Africas Colonial HistoryFor more
than a century, most of Africa was colonized by
European nations, with France dominating in the
northwest region of the continent and Great
Britain dominating in the east and south.
72
Wallersteins Capitalist World Economy
  • Todays world economy is rooted in the
    colonization that began 500 years ago.
  • Rich countries form the core of the world economy
    being enriched by raw materials from around the
    world.
  • Low-income countries are the periphery, providing
    inexpensive labor and a market for industrial
    products.
  • Middle-income countries form the semiperiphery,
    having a closer tie to the core.

73
Wallersteins Ideas
  • The world economy benefits rich nations by
    generating profits and harms the rest of the
    world by perpetuating poverty thus the world
    economy makes poor nations dependent on rich
    ones.
  • Three factors
  • Narrow, export-oriented economies Poor countries
    produce only a few crops for export to rich
    countries.
  • Lack of industrial capacity Poor countries must
    sell raw materials to rich countries, then buy
    finished products at high prices.
  • Foreign debt Poor countries owe the rich
    countries 1 trillion dollars, including hundreds
    of billions to the United States.

74
Critical Evaluation
  • Wrongly treats wealth as a zero-sum game
  • Wrong to blame rich nations for global poverty
  • Too simplistic citing capitalism as the single
    factor
  • Repressive corrupt regimes, stifling cultural
    tradition
  • More protest than policy
  • Thinly disguised call for world socialism

75
Figure 12.5 The Worlds Increasing Economic
Inequality
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