Sociology Ch 7: Stratification, class, and inequality Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Sociology Ch 7: Stratification, class, and inequality Deck (59):
1

What is social stratification?

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2

How is social class defined in the United States?

By some combination of one's income, wealth, education, and occupation.

3

What are the causes and consequences of social inequality in the United States?

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4

How does poverty affect individuals?

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How does social inequality affect your life?

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Social stratification

THe existence of structured inequalities between groups in society. Ex) class divisions

7

What are the three key aspects of social stratification?

class, status, and power

8

All socially stratified systems share what three characteristics?

1. Rankings apply to people who share a common characteristic.
2. People's experiences and opportunities depend heavily on their rank.
3. Ranks of different social categories tend to change very slowly over time.

9

What are the three basic systems of stratification?

slavery, caste, and class

10

Slavery

A form of social stratification in which some people are owned by others as property.

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Caste system

A social system in which one's social status is given for life.

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Caste society

A society in which all individuals must remain at the social level of their birth throughout life.

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endogamy

The forbidding of marriage or sexual relations outside one's social group.

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Class

A large group of people who occupy a similar economic position.

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Life chances

The opportunities one has for achieving economic prosperity.

16

Who introduced the concept of "life chances"?

Max Weber

17

Class systems differ from slavery and castes in what four ways?

1.They are fluid
2.They are achieved
3. It's economically based
4. They are large scale and impersonal

18

Name the two important debates about the declining importance in class.

1. Will caste systems give way to class systems in leu of globalization?
2. Is inequality declining in class-based societies?

19

Debate: Will caste systems give way to class systems in leu of globalization?

Most caste-based societies have already given way to class-based. Class-based works better in industrial societies. But elements of caste systems still exist, like little intermarriage between whites and blacks.

20

Debate: Is inequality declining in class-based societies?

Capitalist societies have been increasingly open to movement between classes, thereby reducing the level of inequality. However, inequality has actually been increasing in the United States since the 1970s.

21

What were the most influential theoretical approaches to studying stratification?

Those developed by Karl Marx and Max Weber.

22

Means of production

The means by which someone gains a livelihood.

23

How does Mark see class?

Separated into groups of people who have similar means of production.

24

In modern society, what are the two main classes which own the means of production?

Capitalists and the working class

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Capitalist

People who own companies, land, or stocks and use them to make monaaay.

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Surplus value

New value created by workers that is in excess of their own labour-cost and which is therefore available to be appropriated by the capitalist.

27

What did Marx believed that the maturing of industrial capitalism would bring about?

Increasing gap between the wealth of the minority and the poverty of the mass of the population.

28

What are the two main differences between Weber's theory and that of Marx?

1. Weber believed economic differences derive not only from control or lack of control of the means of production, but from the economic differences that has nothing directly to do with property, like skills and credentials.
2. Distinguished another aspect of stratification besides class which he called "status."

29

Status

Social honor or prestige.

30

What is the difference between class and status?

Status can vary independent of class divisions. Status is subjective, class is objective.

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Pariah groups

Negatively privileged status groups.

32

What is Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore's explanation of stratification?

Functionalist explanation. Argue stratification has beneficial consequences for society. To attract the most qualified people, rewards need to be offered, such as money, power, and prestige.

33

What are some criticisms of Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore's explanation of stratification?

Theory suggests that a person's social position is based solely on innate talent and effort. But those at the top to have unequal access to high-quality education and economic resources, making it easier for them to pass their status to the next generation.

34

Income

Wages and salaries earned from paid occupations, and interest from investments.

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Wealth

All assets individuals own.

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Upper-class

Consists of the wealthiest of Americans.

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Middle-class

A social class composed broadly of those working in white-collar and managerial occupations.

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Working class

Composed of people working in manual occupations.

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Lower-class

Composed of those who work part-time or not at all.

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Underclass

A class of individuals situated at the bottom of the class system.

40

Social mobility

Movement between different social positions.

41

Intragenerational mobility

How far one moves up or down economically in the course of their working lives.

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Intergenerational mobility

Social mobility across generations.

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Downward mobility

Social mobility in which individuals wealth income or status is lower than they or their parents contacts.

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Short-range downward mobility

Social mobility that occurs when an individual moves from one position in the class structure to another of nearly equal status.

46

Absolute poverty

Means that a person is too poor to get enough to eat.

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Relative poverty

Poor compared to the standard of living of the majority.

48

Poverty line

An official government measure to define those living in poverty in the United States.

48

Working poor

People who work but whose earnings are not high enough to lift them above poverty.

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Feminization of poverty

Increase in the proportion of the poor who are female.

50

Social Security

A government program that provides economic assistance to persons faced with unemployment, disability, or age.

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Medicare

A program that reimburses medical care provided to qualifying people over 65 years old.

52

Who was Oscar Lewis?

Argued that a culture of poverty exist among many poor people.

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Culture of poverty

Thesis that poverty is not a result of individual inadequacies but is instead the outcome of the larger social and cultural atmosphere.

54

Who was Charles Murray?

Developed idea those poor through no fault of their own fall into a different category from those who are part of the "dependency culture".

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Dependency culture

Describes individuals who rely on state welfare provision rather than entering the labor market.

56

Social exclusion

Ways in which individuals may become cut off from involvement in the wider society.

57

Homeless

Those without a place to sleep.

58

How much is a homeless consist of families with children?

A third.