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Chapter 6 Sociology 1010

References: Brym, Robert J., John Lie. 2013. Sociology: Pop Culture to Social Structure, Third Edition. Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning

Deborah Downey

on 25 April 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 6 Sociology 1010

United States & Global Perspectives
Social Stratification
Sources of Inequality
Is it possible to be rich without working hard?
The way society is organized in layers or strata
Social Stratification
Patterns of Social Inequality
You can inherit wealth
What you OWN
What you earn in a given period
table 6.3
Movement up or down the stratification system
Vertical Social Mobility:
1.5% of the population is described as old money
Income Classes:
Although there are success stories of the outlier becoming wealthy, it is NOT common, "New members of the upper-upper class are still overwhelmingly white and non-Hispanic." Rothman and Black, 1998
Income Strata:
Patterns of Income Inequality:
1. Income inequality has been increasing in the US.
2. The top 20% of households earned more than the remaining 80%.
3. The middle 60% of income earners gave been "Squeezed" during the past 45 years.
The richest 10% of Americans earn 10,000 times more than the poorest 10% of Ethiopians. Birdsall, 2005
Global Inequality:
There are still about 27 million slaves in Mozambique, Sudan, and other African Countries. Bales, 1999,2002
Differences in the economic ranking of countries
Over the course of human history, as societies became richer and more complex, the level of social inequality first increased, then tapered off, and then began to decline.
Economic Development
Social inequality remained fairly STABLE in some countries.
Social Inequality began to RISE in others.
The countries that remained fairly stable took a more active role in REDISTRIBUTING income through tax and welfare policies
Foraging Societies
Horticultural and Pastoral Societies
Agrarian Societies
Industrial Societies
Postindustrial Societies
Five Types of Societies
For the first 90,000 years of human existence, people lived in Nomadic bands of fewer than 100 people.
Survival was based on hunting for wild game and foraging for edible plants
Foraging Societies
About 12,000 years ago the first agricultural settlements were established based on the use of small hand tools to grow plants, and raising domesticated (farm) animals
Horticultural and Pastoral Societies
About 5,000 years ago, people developed PLOW agriculture. This was done by attaching plows to oxen and other large farm animals.

These societies developed Religious beliefs that justified more inequality.

Think of: "Divine Right" - Kings & Queens
"Lords" - Large Land Owners
A stratification system where the allocation of rank depends on the characteristics a person is born with
A stratification system where the allocation of rank depends on a person's accomplishments
Caste System:
An almost purely ascription-based stratification system where occupation and marriage partners are assigned on the basis of caste membership
The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780's. The tendency of industrialism to lower the level of social stratification was not apparent in the first stages of industrial growth. But for the most part Industrialism causes a decline in inequality.
Industrial Societies
pg. 132
This is where we are now in the United States. The postindustrial era is only a few decades old.
Postindustrial Societies
Inequality in the United Kingdom & the United States has been increasing in the Postindustrialized Era
The gap between the rich and the poor is BIGGER today than it has been in the past 65 years!
The concentration of wealth in the hands of the wealthiest one percent of Americans is HIGHER today than at any time in the past 115 years
In GERMANY, FRANCE, & CANADA, governments have prevent a big transfer of income to the rich through tax and other policies
Consequently social inequality has remained roughly stable in these countries since the mid-1970's
Although more than 35% of African Americans and more than 33% of Hispanic American were poor in 2009, 43% of the poor were non-Hispanic whites. Moreover, female-headed families represented a MINORITY of poor families, 47%
Poverty Myths
Myth 1:
The overwhelming majority of poor people are African American or Hispanic American single mothers with children.
Myth 2:
People are poor because they don't want to work.
Many poor people are too young to too old to work. 43% are under 18 or over 65. Others are unable to work for reasons of health, disability or because they are single parents who have to stay at home to care for their children because of the unavailability of affordable child care.
Myth 3:
Poor people are trapped in poverty.
Only about 12% of the poor remain poor 5 or more years in a row
Myth 4:
Welfare encourages married women with children to divorce so they can collect welfare, and it encourages single women on welfare to have more children.
Women on welfare have a LOWER birthrate than women in the general population. Moreover, welfare payments are VERY low, and recipients suffer severe economic hardship.
Welfare is a strain on the federal budget and does little to decrease the poverty
Myth 5
Welfare spending amounts to less than 11 percent of the federal budget, compared to 17 percent in the United Kingdom and even higher percentages in other western European countries.
Grouping people together based on income
The division of the population into equal-sized statistical categories
Is Stratification Inevitable?
3 Theories
1. Marx's Conflict Theory
2. Functionalism: Davis Moore Thesis
- Jobs differ in importance
- People have to make sacrifices to train for certain jobs
- Inequality is required to make people sacrifice for these jobs
3. Weber
Pg 132-136
A person's class position is affected by their "market situation".
- Proletariat
- Bourgeoisie
Agrarian Societies
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