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Flashcards in Chapter 5- Textbook Deck (121):

Social stratification?

A society's hierarchical ranking of people into social classes.


Social class?

A group of individuals sharing a position in a social hierarchy, base don both birth and achievement.


Social status?

An individuals position within the class structure.


What are the 4 principles of social stratification.

1) all societies redistribute materials and social rewards to individuals
2) since social stratification transcends any single generation, the system is relatively stable over time
3) although it is present infall known human societies,s it varies in how it expresses itself
4) all societies recognize differences in wealth and prestige, the criteria by which they are granted are nonetheless considered fair and just by the majority of the population


How do all societies redistribute materials and social rewards to individuals.

-individuals who are more capable receive more wealth
-allows people who offer more to have more
-system of meritocracy


What is meritocracy

A system on rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated abilities


Why is the social stratification system stable over time

There is very little social mobility


What is social mobility used to measure?

Used to measure a society's equality of opportunity. Has little relationship to skills or abilities


Social mobility?

movement between social classes


Intergenerational mobility?

the comparison of adult children's social class to that of their parents


What is intragenerational mobility?

status movement throughout one's lifetime


How does social stratification vary in how it presents itself?

In some societies it is expressed by how much money one has, and in others it is expressed by how much money one gives away.


What is the fact that social stratification is considered just by the majority grounded in?

the dominant ideology


What is social inequality? (when does it exist)?

Exists when certain attributes affect a person's access to socially valued resources


Why is inequality difficult to detect and challenge?

It is hidden behind ideologies that name the processes associated with their perpetuation as "normal" and "just" and their harmful consequences as being the fault of the disadvantaged.


What are some examples of the various forms inequality can take?

-women may be paid less
-members of a visible minority may be less likely to be hired
-those with more education tend to make more money


Inequality results from a system that tracks people from high to low on subjective criteria such as..?

-minority status


What is classism?

an ideology that suggests that people's relative worth is a least partly determined by their social and economic status
-legitimates economic inequality


What belief does classism result in?

the wealthy deserve what they have and the poor are responsible for their failure


What is blaming the victim?

a perspective that holds individual responsible for the conditions in which they live
-assumes the poor only need to work harder in order to transcend their poverty


What is culture of poverty?
Who coined the phrase?

a fatalistic belief system held by the poor as an adaption to systemic discrimination
-belief that the poor have different subcultural value systems that limit their ability and desire to escape poverty
-coined by Oscar Lewis


What is deferred gratification?

the ability to forgo immediate pleasures in the interest of achieving greater rewards in the future


What is blaming the system?

A perspective that holds the systemic discrimination exists within the social system





What is deindustrialization?

the transformation of an economy from one based on manufacturing to one based on services


Why is deindustrialization a problem for the poor?

-the poor lack the skills needed to compete for the new more highly skilled jobs
-puts downward pressure on wages and increases the competition for fear and


What may be able to compensate for structural factors that cause poverty? Why is there resistance to this?

-well-planned, community-based, comprehensive anti poverty programs
-belief they encourage laziness


What did Huber and Form fin?

that wealthy and middle-class Americans saw themselves as deserving of their wealth while the poor were more likely to see their economic plight as being the result of structural factors


What did Newman and Smith argue?

that perceptions of why people succeed or fail has e important policy implications for government


What should government do if the policy makers believe the poor lack government?

focus on reducing people's dependence on subsidy programs


What should the government do if poverty is viewed as a result of structural barriers?

focus on increasing educational and occupational opportunities for everyone


What are the two major ways in which social systems rank people?

closed and open systems


What is a closed system?

a social system in which status is based on attributes ascribed at birth


What is an open system?

a social system in which statuses based on achieved attributes


What is a caste system?

an ascribed system of hereditary class designation
-a person's caste is a central component of who they are and determines virtually everything in their lives
-social mobility is foreign


What does a case system usually emphasize?

a legitimizing ideology, nearly always religious to support and justify such differences


What are two examples of a caste system?

India and Japan


What are the four primary caste's in India? What is the caste below these 4?

1) Brahmin: teachers, doctors, scholars
2) Kshatriya: warriors and politicians
3) Vaishya: merchants and artists
4) Sudra: service occupations
-then the Dalits- have no caste and whose name translates as oppressed or crushed


What is the caste system in India a result of?

the historical encounter between Indian and Western colonial rule


What is the lowest caste in Japan?

Burakumin: people of the village
-still face discrimination today


What is class structure in an open system?

A society;s economic hierarchy that categorized groups of people based on their socioeconomic status


What is socioeconomic status?

compromised of three loosely relations indicators of social position: income, occupational prestige, and education


What is social mobility measured through in an open systeM

intergeneration earnings and income elasticity


What is intergeneration earnings?

a comparison between a father's and a son's earnings.


What do lower IGE scores indicate? What is Canada's score?

-a more open class system
-0.19 (high mobility society)


What is property divided into?

income and wealth


What is income?

money you receive annually from all sources
-what you earn


What is wealth?

net accumulated assets, including homes, land, and stocks
-what you have


People generally agree on the___and therefore the___ ___of various occupations.



What has research found about occupations dominated by women or visible minorities?

tend to be poorly paid and less prestigious


What do occupations that are prestigious require

-university education
-independence and autonomy
-sound decision-making and abstract reasoning skills


What is one of the most inflectional functionalist theories of social stratification?

the davis-moore thesis


What is the davis-moore thesis?

they theory that social stratification is function for society because it ensure the key social positions are held by the most capable people


Who developed the davis-moore thesis?

Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore


What two important functions does the davis-moore these hold that social inequality serves?

1) instills in the proper individuals the desire to fill certain social positions
2) instill is those who are assigned to those positions the desire to complete their duties and responsibilities


What does the davis-moore thesis believe is needed to attract the most capable and skilled people into the most important and demanding jobs?

the rewards must be high enough to compensate for their time


What are the four criticisms of the davis-moore thesis?

1) elites have ability to help their children assume the same social benefits but there is no guarantee that their children are as skilled
2) substantial discrimination in terms of who is eligible to assume elite positions
3) capitalist economy determines the salary of a given occupation, not on thesis of the work's value but rather through market forces
4) social inequality is extreme


What does conflict theory generally believe about social stratification? Who are the two main theorists? What do the agree/disagree on?

-a society that contains social classes is simply a manifestation of competition between those who have social power and those who do not
-Marx and Weber agree that competition exists but differ on why social stratification occurs and whether it is inevitable


What did Marx believe was the most important inspiration behind the historical transformation of societies?

class struggle


How did Marx vie social stratification and class inequality?

social stratification: mechanisms that institutionalized inequality and protest social stability over time
class inequality was neither desirable nor inevitable


What did Max Weber suggest about Marx's single-minded focus on economic production?

it was overly simplistic and failed to appreciate the multidimensional nature of social class, inequality and the role of cultural values


Weber agreed with Marx that modern society is divided into economic___and the ownership of property is___for gaining influence.



What 3 things did Weber believe influenced social stratification?

class, status groups, and party


How did Weber view class?

as based on economic inequality and relatives unimportant as most lacked the consciousness to challenge the status quo


What are status groups?

a group of people who share similar social status, lifestyles, world views, occupations, and standards of living
-also based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc.


What are status groups stratified according to?

consumption goods as opposed to the acquisition of goods such as social classes


Are people more likely to act collectively as part of a status group or a social class?

status group


What are "parties" acc. to Weber?

organizations that attempt to achieve certain goals in a planned and logical manner
-associations of people
-power to influence social action and change


What did Weber's analysis of bureaucracy reveal?

that there are workers who, even though they lack economic power and status, can still exert a tremendous amount of power because they have the authority to make important decisions


What three distinct systems of stratification are at work acc. to Weber? What does this cause the existence of?

-class, status, power
-existence of status inconsistency


What is status inconsistency? Ex?

Occurs when an individual occupies several differently ranked statuses at the same time
-Ex. a drug dealer may have a great deal of money and live in a big house but have little social prestige


What is the symbolic interactionist approach to social stratification interested in?

how people interpret and construct their responses to class inequality
-interested in how class affects patterns of everyday social life
-considers show people use and respond to status symbols


What are status symbols?

material indicators that demonstrate a persons' social and economic position


Who was one of het pioneers in status symbols?

Thorstein Veblen


What are the three concepts of status symbols acc. to Veblen?

conspicuous consumption- purchase of expensive goods
conspicuous leisure- demonstration of social status through forms of leisure
conspicuous waste- disposable of valuable goods to demonstrate wealth


What did Veblen suggest about class stratums?

that people want to be seen as living one class stratum above where they actually live


What has changed people's ability to reach, or appear to reach, the next class stratum?

credit cards


What is an example of a nonmaterial indicator of social status?

accents in Great Britain


What was Veblen's contribution to the study of stratification?

His analysis of how we seek to appear as belonging to a higher social class than our actual one.


What does feminist theory consider about social stratification?

how the dominant perspective permeates our society's evaluation of what is deemed valuable and important


What two lines of investigation does feminist theory follow?

1) recognizing the working lives of women within capitalism
2) investigating the role of class position in determine one's view of the world


Who coined the term double ghetto? What is it?

-Pat and Hugh Armstrong
-A situation in which women who have full-time jobs outside the home often work another 'shift" when they get home


What do feminists view social classes as?

a primary location for struggle--where most people form important memories and life experiences that help to define who they are
-IOW, the production of social reality is influenced by one's class


What does Sandra Harding argue?

that Western science was developed specifically for the needs European expansion and conquest
-promotes social inequalities through discriminatory orientations, philosophies, technologies, and the social structure


What are three important features of the class system acc. to the approach of Erik Olin Wright? (forms of control).

1) economic ownership the entails real control over the economic surplus
2) command of the physical means of economic production
3) supervisory control over other workers


What are Erik Olin Wright's 4 distinct classes and what forms of control do they each have?

Bourgeoisie: all three forms
Proletariat: none
Petit bourgeoisie: economic ownership and command of he physical means
Mangers: supervisory control


What are the petit bourgeoisie?

small shop owner, entrepreneurs, exercise very little authoirty


What are managers?

work in firms owned by the capitalists but who have direct authority over algae number of workes


Which class system do most sociologists prefer to analyze?

Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Kahl's
Upper Class-Underclass approach


What is the Upper Class?

-inherited wealth
-"old rich" and "new rich"
-few visible minority members
-New rich- top executive positions
-women focus on civic and charitable activities
-elite communities
-marry within class
-old rich seldom work, manage their investments


What is the upper-middle class?

-"movers and shakers" of local communities
-profesional careers (doctors, lawyers)
-financially secure
-university degree, many have graduate degrees
-active in municipal politics
-more ethnically diverse (still mostly white)


What is the lower-middle class?

-managers, small business operators, school teachers, etc.
-most have college or university education
-comfortable lifestyle
-occasional vacations, send kids to university, etc.
-have a sense o insecurity and vulnerability to market forces, particularly interest rates on home mortgages
-rarely participate in politics as they feel powerless and do not believe they could make substantial change


What is the working class?

-30% of all Canadians
-skilled (carpenters) and semi-skilled (sales people)
-usually complete high school, few have post-secondary
-used cars, holiday close to home, modest neighbourhoods
-vulnerable to financial crisis
-emphasize importance of being respected by community as a means of underscoring their superiority over the lower classes


What is the underclass?

-face chronic poverty
-lack marketable skills
-little or no experience with full-time work
-annual household income below $15 000
-only legitimate source of income is social assistance
-many survive through sharing based on kinship ties
-fall below LICO


What is low income cut-off (LICO)?

the level of income at which a household spends 55% or more of its gross income on basic necessities


What are the 7 factors influencing social inequality in Canada?

1) Geographic location
2) Gender
3) Work status
4) Age
5) Visible minority status
6) Education
7) Family structure


How does geographic location influence social inequality?

-different provinces have different poverty rates


How does gender influence social inequality?

women earn less than men and are outnumbered by men in the highest-paying jobs and dominate in the lowest-paying jobs


How does work status influence social inequality?

whether you have jobs
-only 20.7% of people who work live in poverty compared to 68.2% of people who do not have a job


How does age influence social inequality?

the chance of a child living in a low-income family is almost five times higher than in a female-headed lone-parent family than it is in a two-parent family. Additionally, people in their late teens and early twenties are most likely to live in poverty in Canada because they are just entering the labour market and developing their marketable skills.


How does visible minority status influence social inequality?

Ethnic and racial discrimination in labour markets and hiring practices. Wage gap between white and non-white workers.


How does education influence social inequality?

Poverty rate lower for those with education


How does family structure influence social inequality?

Two-parent families less likely to live below the LICO threshold than were female-lone parent families
-although virtually all family types in Canada are showing declining poverty rates


What is the feminization of poverty?

the universal phenomenon whereby women are more susceptible to poverty than are men


What is one way to assess whether a society's case structure is open or close?

to examine the gap between the rich and the poor


What is Simon Kuznets develop?

an approach that predicts how social inequality changes as societies develop economically


What is the Kuznets curve?

a graphic representation of the relationship between a society's economic development and its social inequality


What did Gerhard and Jean Lenski with Patrick Nolan suggest?

One explanation of why economic development influences inequality is provided by the evolutionary theory of these three.
-suggests that while hunting and gathering societies are open and classless social stratification emerges in horticultural societies and expands throughout agrarian and industry economics
-inequality is viewed largely as resulting from the level of technology that society has to exploit.


What did Corrado Gini develop?

A way to assess to relative distribution of wealth within a country (the gini index)


What is the gini index?

A measure of the inequality of wealth or income redistribution within a country


How do you calculate the gini index?

A line is drawn by plotting the percentage of cumulative wages against he percentage cumulative workers


What is perfect wage equality with the gini index?

Gini scores vary from 0 with a perfect straight line sloped at 45 degrees (perfect wage equality, meaning that everyone has the same wealth) to 100 (perfect inequality, meaning that one person has all the wealth)


What are deviations from the 45-degree angle of the gini index referred to as?

the Lorenz curve


What is the lorenz curve?

a graphical line representing a society's deviation from equal wealth allocation
Ex. the bottom 20 percent of the wage earners receive only 5 percent of the total earnings


Recent research suggests that the richest___of the global population earns___of the world's wealth



What are the gini index score of :
developing countries
Western Europe

developing countries- 45
Western Europe- 20s or 30s
Canada- 32.6
US- 45


How might a functionalist interpret gini index scores?

some economic inequality is a positive things in that it may inspire the poor to work harder


How might a conflict theorist interpret gini index scores?

global inequality is simply the natural progression of the world's wealth continuing to move into fewer and fewer hands


How might a symbolic interactionist interpret gini index scores?

would investigate how people respond to their economic situations in both rich and poor countries


How might a feminist theorist interpret gini index scores?

would target the role of patriarchy and class position


How might critical race and post-colonial theorists interpret gini index scores?

would target the role of minority status and the legacy of colonialism to explain why some countries are more equal than others