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Performing Inequality, Protesting Inequality 111 F13

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Julie Jenkins

on 2 December 2013

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Transcript of Performing Inequality, Protesting Inequality 111 F13

Performing Inequality, Protesting Inequality
Inequality- degree to which culturally valued material and social rewards are given disproportionately to groups, individuals, & families
----Access to wealth, prestige, & power
Who are the Billionaires?
-use of class-based symbols
--voice quality
class- group defined in terms of wealth, occupation, & other economic criteria
--but also a social group, with specific values, norms, ideas, language
“one of the mainsprings of humor is the discrepancy between reality and what we desire and expect” (Yarwood 2004)
What is the purpose of inequality? What is its function?
Functionalists argue:
--we need inequality to motivate people to work hard and take on challenging roles
-- it makes sure the most able individuals are recruiting into the most socially valuable roles
Are the most socially valuable roles adequately compensated in terms of wealth & prestige?
wages aren't really set based upon whether they are socially valuable.
Does this theory explain racial, ethnicity, and gender based inequality?
Conflict Theorists argue:

inequality serves those who own the means of production, technology, land, corporations
and it enables them (the 'bourgeoisie') to exploit workers (the 'proletariate')
--manifested in terms of profit
Are the 'elite' only exploiting others? Do they not have socially valuable occupations?
inequality maintained by:
--ideologies (ideas that maintain the status quo)
In the US- don't realize how wealthy the wealthy actually are....
--richest 20% controls 80% of wealth in the US (Norton 2011) --wealth vs income
--46.5 Million under poverty line (2013 Census Bureau)
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