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Transcript of Social Stratification
understanding the role of social networks, social class, gender, sexual orientation and race in determining access to the rewards and resources of society
Sex, Sexuality and Gender: The Basics
Sex refers to the biological and anatomical differences distinguishing females from males.
Sexuality refers to desire, sexual preference, sexual identity, and behavior.
Gender is a social construct; the social expectations about behavior regarded as appropriate for the members of each sex.
Micro understanding of gender stratification:
The Personal is Political
3rd Wave feminism
The fight is within you
Intersectionality: Overlapping circles of oppression
Patricia Hill Collins
Race:differences in human physical characteristics used to categorize large numbers of individuals
Ethnicity: cultural values and norms that distinguish the members of a given group from others.
Racial Literacy:the skills taught to children of multiracial families to help them cope with racial hierarchies and to integrate multiple ethnic identities.
Racism: the belief that members of separate races possess different and unequal traits
Race became salient in the United States for economic purposes
Was used to
pacify poor whites
and create a hierarchy of power
Colonial Slavery codified whiteness:
Initially indentured servants
1705: Slavery is hereditary
1700-1770: # of slaves grows from 5000-50000
1740: The Negro Act of 1740 denies blacks the right to gather in groups, read, earn money, play the drums, travel without a pass. Becomes legal to maim or kill for violations.
Not So Distant Past
How do we define, in a social context, who is white and who is black?
For example: Why doesn't President Obama define himself as half white?
Individual racism consists of overt acts by individuals that cause death, injury, destruction of property, or denial of services or opportunity.
Institutional racism: patterns of discrimination based on ethnicity that have become structured into existing social institutions.
polices, practices, and procedures
of institutions that have a disproportionately negative effect on racial minorities’ access to and quality of goods, services, and opportunities.
Systemic racism is the basis of individual and institutional racism; it is the value system that is embedded in a society that supports and allows discrimination.
If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences
Race is a system of white privilege and individual, institutional and systemic racism
White Privilege: The absence of hurdles based on race
“We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them." -- Peggy McIntosh
1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
9. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
10. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
EX: Candidate for Congress Jim Brown
Arguing that today's social structure, with lots of entitlements but high unemployment and a weak economy, makes modern Americans as trapped as slaves.
Which would have been an interesting point, except:
"Back in the day of slavery, slaves were kept in slavery by denying them education and opportunity while providing them with their basic needs ..
Not by beating them and starving them.
(Although there were isolated cases of course) Basically slave owners
took pretty good care
of their slaves and livestock and this kept business rolling along."
Which would just be one ignorant fool, except:
Stop and Frisk:
"NYPD stops are significantly more frequent for Black and Hispanic citizens than for white citizens, after adjusting stop rates for the precinct crime rates, the racial composition and other social and economic factors predictive of police activity."
"Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be stopped than Whites even in areas where there are low crime rates and where residential populations are racially heterogeneous or predominantly White."
"Fagan’s analysis also showed that blacks and Hispanics, once they had been stopped, were more likely to be subjected to the use of force, even though the probability of the stop resulting in further action—like an arrest, or a summons—was actually lower in cases involving minorities than in those involving whites."
What we are hearing is the individual echoing the systemic racist myths of his/her society....
Arizona Law SB1070:
New law states that it is a misdemeanor crime for an undocumented individual to be in Arizona without carrying the required documents, state law enforcement officers must attempt to determine an individual's immigration status during a "lawful stop, detention or arrest", or during a "lawful contact" not specific to any activity when there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is an illegal immigrant.
How do we determine "reasonable suspicion"?
"A LPR and his U.S. citizen son filed a suit against Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and several other Maricopa County officials, charging that sheriff’s deputies unlawfully stopped their vehicle on a public street,
then searched and detained them for several hours during an immigration-related raid at a worksite 100 yards away."
"David and Jessika Rodriguez, along with their two young children, were off-roading near Lake Bartlett in December 2007. As they were leaving the preserve, they were stopped and ticketed by MCSO for driving on a closed road. But several other drivers who were not Latino and driving on the same stretch of the road were allowed to leave with only a warning. During the stop, the MCSO deputy demanded to see Mr. Rodriguez’s Social Security card
even though he had produced his Arizona driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance
. Mr. Rodriguez eventually relented and provided the deputy with his Social Security number so that he and his family could leave in peace."
"In March 2008, Manuel Nieto and Velia Meraz, who are brother and sister, were stopped during a sweep in North Phoenix after they had witnessed the MCSO detaining two Latino men at a gas station. After pulling into the gas station, the MCSO deputy ordered Ms. Meraz and Mr. Nieto to leave. They left the gas station, but were subsequently pulled over by MCSO deputies in front of their family business
. While Mr. Nieto called 911, MCSO deputies pulled him out of his car and threw him against it. Family members who were present at the time informed the officers that both Mr. Nieto and Ms. Meraz are U.S. citizens. MCSO ran Mr. Nieto’s identification and then released both of them without a citation or any apology."
Privilege: The absence of hurdles
Racial privilege, gender privilege, privilege of sexual orientation, privilege of nationality, privilege of faith, privilege of language ...
Tim Wise on Privilege:
15 Hours (4 more classes)
2 of the 4 must be upper level
Sociology as a
Sociology and Business
1 200 level course
+ 27 more hours
+ a minor
SO242 A Society and the Individual Coward Bucher, Carrie
SO274 A Methods of Social Research CROSS-LISTED as PS274 3 Buzzell, Timothy 12:30PM 1:45PM T R 0/24 Collins Library 107 Open
SO344 A Youth and Crime Pre-req: 6 hrs. in Sociology 3 Bucher, Jacob 2:00PM 3:15PM T R 0/40 Mabee Memorial Hall 101 Open
SO363 A Religion, Ritual & Belief QS311 Pre-req: 6 hrs in SO or RE or instructor consent CROSS-LISTED as RE3 3 Buzzell, Timothy 1:30PM 2:20PM M W F 0/20 Collins Library 107 Open
SO410 A Power, Politics & Modernity QS311 3 Buzzell, Timothy 10:30AM 11:20AM M W F 0/20 Collins Library 107 Open
SO493 AW Senior Seminar in Sociology Pre-req: Senior Standing or instructor consent 3 Bucher, Jacob 12:30PM 1:45PM T R 0/40 Mabee Memorial Hall 101 Open
Inequalities are a positive part of the complex whole because:
they provide incentives
they promote positive group boundaries
they identify trouble
EX: The culture of poverty
Division of household labor
Economic incentives to succeed
Stress the difference between relative and absolute poverty
Stress the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes
Stratification serves to maintain power in all of its forms
Domhoff via C. Wright Mills: The Power Elite
About 500 people rule America:
~150 media executives
~200 CEOs, lobbyists, etc
Charlotte Perkins Gilman:
Patriarchy is outdated
Economic and household power are the same
Women are essentially all prostitutes if they do not have equal opportunity to earn $
The perpetuation of the myth of black inferiority, violence, cultural deprivation alongside the structural impediments to black success (housing ghettos, poor educational opportunities, criminal industrial system) removes competition from the marketplace.
Race: Perceptions of inferiority limit opportunities and imagined selves
Imagined, ideal, or possible selves are our fantasies and goals
about what we might become in the future.
Sexuality: the last frontier?
Given the wide variety of sexual norms across time and country, sociologists conclude that there is no "natural" sexuality or family:
Homosexual acts have been, historically, common:
* fellatio has been, in some hunting cultures, a form of initiation into manhood; a demonstration of mutual respect
* notion of being homosexual (as a fixed orientation) began in 1800s
With the rise of homosexuality as a fixed state came a fear of it
* Official listing as a perversion by psychiatrists
* Alfred Kinsey challenged this notion as early as 1948
Indeed, even our understanding of what appears "gay" is constructed:
Additionally, we see unsubstantiated fear mongering surrounding homosexuality:
Franklin Graham on homosexual adoption:
“They can recruit. You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children from exploitation ... all exploitations.”
1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
2. When and where did you decide you were a heterosexual?
3. Is it possible this is just a phase and you will out grow it?
4. Is it possible that your sexual orientation has stemmed from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?
5. Do your parents know you are straight? Do your friends know- how did they react?
6. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it just possible that all you need is a good gay lover?
7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality... can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?
8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?
9. Why do heterosexuals try to recruit others into this lifestyle?
10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual... Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?
11. Just what do men and women do in bed together? How can they truly know how to please each other, being so anatomically different?
12. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?
13. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?
14. Considering the menace of overpopulation how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?
15. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don't you feel that he or she might be inclined to influence you in the direction of his orher leanings?
16. There seem to very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to.
17. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?
- Martin Rochlin, Ph.D., 1972
Cardinal Bertone said that “many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and pedophilia, but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia,” according to news reports.
Ultimately, this fear results in differing access to resources in society
Visitation and next of kin rights
Adoption and parenting issues
Plus other microaggressions
Inequality is created, reified, and enacted in social institutions
Think of Social Facts as fields:
Each field is:
Are the fields set up to generate equal opportunities?
How might we understand inequality?
It serves a purpose
Functional Importance of a job
Scarcity of people who can do the job
Rewards for the job
Davis and Moore Theory:
Conflict Theory and Inequality
Rich get richer off of the poor
Poor get blamed for being lazy
The poor are used as scapegoats in society
Heterosexism assumes that heterosexuality is the norm, which encourages discrimination in favor of heterosexuals and against homosexuals.
This is rooted in a binary notion of sex and sexuality
More specifically, as Vidal said, in the patriarchy ... a sense of who owns whom ...
Opposition to homosexual unions is rooted in fear of disrupted gender expectations ... "men must be men, women must be women"
Children raised by gay/lesbian parents do not demonstrate gender identity dysfunction at greater rates than those raised by heterosexual parents (Smith and Roy, 1981)
Children raised by gay/lesbian parents are not more likely to be gay/lesbian than their peers raised by heterosexual parents (Tasker and Golombook, 1995)
Evidence of non-significantly higher levels of stress related to external judgets, not within house stressors (Patterson, 1994)
Empirical Explanations for Pedophilia:
(1) Emotional connection to children
(2) Sexual arousal toward children
(3) Blockage of alternative adult relations
(4) Disinhibition of interests
(Araj and Finklehor, 1985)
Fear mongering is not rooted in empirical evidence, it is rooted in power and increases as acceptance increases:
First, we have to define what it means to be equal....
is the notion that everyone is created equal in the eyes of God.
Equality of opportunity
is the idea that inequality of condition is acceptable as long as the rules of the game remain fair.
Equality of condition
is the idea that everyone should have an equal starting point.
Equality of outcome
argues that each player must end up with the same amount regardless of the fairness of the game.
What kind of equality do we have in this country?
Behind the Veil: Imagining an equal society
1. What kind of equality should we have?
3. What would society look like if we had that?
Group: your society has $30,000 in income. How should you pay the following people:
Factory workers (3)
* Average monthly bills = $2200
pointed out that gender doesn’t function in a vacuum and that gender studies must take into account that there is no single category of women or men
They also pointed out that some women are not only more privileged than other women but also more privileged than some men.
Smith and Lloyd 1978 perceived boy babies
Boys and girls are treated differently by teachers, and there are different expectations for their behavior and performance.
The textbooks and other materials used in schools often reinforce gender stereotypes
infancy --> school
Lisa Wade on "hookup culture"
Intersex: 1:2000 births, person with ambiguous genetalia
Genderqueer: A person whose gender identity is neither man nor woman, is between or beyond genders, or is some combination of genders. This identity is usually related to or in reaction to the social construction of gender, gender stereotypes and the gender binary system. Some genderqueer people identify under the transgender umbrella while others do not.
Transgender: (sometimes shortened to trans or TG) people are those whose psychological self ("gender identity") differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with.
Gender Identity: an individual’s internal sense of gender, which may or may not be the same as one’s gender assigned at birth.
Some gender identities are "woman," "transman" and "agender" but there are many more.
Since gender identity is internal it isn’t necessarily visible to others.
the existence of structured inequalities between groups in society in terms of their access to material and symbolic rewards.
a sociological perspective that holds that our multiple group memberships affect our lives in ways that are distinct from single group memberships.
No Causal Order!!
CIS gender: individuals whose gender identity matches his or her biological sex.
Fluid gender roles
Wives stay with own family until comfortable
Divorce acceptable by either party
a collection of people who regularly interact with one another on the basis of shared expectations concerning behavior and who share a sense of common identity
a simple collection of people who happen to be together in a particular place but do not significantly interact or identify with one another.
people who share a common characteristic but do not necessarily interact or identify with one another.
How Groups Structure the Self:
group decisions that are made without objective thought
People conform to what they believe is the consensus of the rest of the group.
more likely if the following conditions exist
Shortcomings of groupthink
Illusion of invulnerability
Belief in inherent morality
Stereotyped views of out-groups
Direct pressure on dissenters
Illusion of unanimity
Self-appointed mind guards
The Strength of Weak Ties
Lost Children of Rockdale County SNA
Groupthink to explain the People's Temple:
Bureaucracy and McDonalidazation
a type of organization marked by a clear hierarchy of authority and the existence of written rules of procedure and staffed by full-time, salaried officials.
Weber saw this expansion of the bureaucratic form as an inevitable feature of modern life.
Characteristics of bureaucracy:
There is a clear-cut hierarchy of authority.
Written rules govern the conduct of officials at all levels of the organization.
Officials work full-time and are salaried.
There is a separation between the tasks of an official within the organization and his or her life outside.
No members of the organization own the materials with which they operate.
efficiency: the fastest way to get from point A to point B.
calculability: promotes quantity over quality.
uniformity: that settings and products are predictable and standardized.
control through automation: workers are replaced by more efficient machines.
iron law of oligarchy:
large organizations tend toward centralization of power, making democracy difficult.
1. Alicia went on a weekend retreat with her coworkers where they played games, did trust exercises, and spent time sharing personal stories about themselves with the others. After the retreat, Alicia started spending a lot more time outside of work with these coworkers, effectively transforming her work group into a ______.
(a) secondary group
(b) primary group
(c) social aggregate
The experiment performed by Solomon Asch demonstrated the extent to which individual behavior is influenced by ______.
(b) individual perceptions
(d) group pressure
Intergenerational Social Mobility: movement up or down a social stratification hierarchy from one generation to another.
mobility resulting from changes in the number and kinds of jobs available in a society.
not meeting the minimal requirements necessary to sustain a healthy existence.
poverty defined according to the living standards of the majority in any given society.
The Working Poor:
people who work but whose earnings are not enough to lift them above the poverty line.
The Feminization of Poverty:
an increase in the proportion of the poor who are female.
Culture of Poverty:
the thesis that poverty is not a result of the individual inadequacies but is instead the outcome of a larger social and cultural atmosphere into which successive generations of children are socialized.
a term used to describe individuals who rely on state welfare provision rather than entering the labor market.
The appeal of the “culture of poverty” is that it offers a clear explanation for poverty, an explanation that removes both individual agency and collective responsibility from the equation.
Perpetuates the illusion that the poor are poor for a reason, but that others, particularly hardworking members of the middle class, are invulnerable to economic risk so long as they are working hard enough.
Ignores effective poverty fighting policy and reduces commitment to those policies
Gender role socialization:
the learning of gender roles through social factors such as schooling, the media, and family.
Act like a man/lady
What does it mean to act like a man?
What does it mean to act like a woman?
What do we call someone who doesn't act like a man?
What do we call someone who doesn't act like a lady?
men and women specialize in different tasks so as to achieve social stability and integration.
Strain is reduced when common expectations for each status exist
Doesn’t allow for the possibility that other structures could fulfill the same function or for the fact that structures change throughout history
Structural Functionalist Explanation of Gender Differences
The family as operates most efficiently with a clear-cut sexual division of labor:
Women = Expressive Roles (care, security, emotional support)
Men = Instrumental Roles (breadwinner)
Hegemonic Masculinity and Emphasized Feminity
What's wrong with different roles?
Differential value of labor
Differential value of individual agency
Median annual earnings of women fulltime workers in the United States are
of men’s earnings
(U.S. Census Bureau 2011a, Table 36).
Maybe its human capital?
Kinds of jobs women enter?
Devaluation of women's jobs?
Accounts for about 38-40% of the variance
Rape Culture: A society where violence against women is common, permissible, and lightly sanctioned.
Problems with understanding violence against women:
Uniform Crime Report
National Crime Victimization Survey
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
Differential valuing of individual agency
Pathologizing Gender Identity:
Based on the socially constructed nature of binary gender
Gore Vidal (1988),
"In order for a ruling class to rule, there must be arbitrary prohibitions. Of all prohibitions, sexual taboo is the most useful because sex involves everyone ... we have allowed our governors to divide the population into two teams. One team is good, godly, straight; the other is evil, sick and vicious."
a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to have certain privileges from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white (Kivel, 1996)
State of unconsciousness
"Race is an idea that we ascribe to biology"
The W.I. Thomas Theorem:
stereotyping: thinking in terms of fixed and inflexible categories.
displacement: the transferring of ideas or emotions from their true source to another object
scapegoats: individuals or groups blamed for wrongs that were not their doing