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Power, Politics, & Inequality- part 1 SPR16

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Julie Jenkins

on 7 November 2016

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Transcript of Power, Politics, & Inequality- part 1 SPR16

Power, Politics, & Inequality
Part One

What do we mean by politics?
cultural ideas, norms, values, & practices that regulate how people interact with one another
consists of mechanisms of social control--
way of getting group members to conform to expectations and rules
Internalized control
externalized control
formal sanctions
informal sanctions
Who is able to define expectations and rules? Who has social power?
ability to compel others to do things
ability to have one's interpretations transmitted
Individual power
Organisation power
Coercive power

organisation based on kin group (Band)
reciprocity & distribution
reciprocity & distribution act as leveling mechanism
What do we mean by egalitarian?
power still is located in authority & persuasion
--particularly by elders over youth
political organisation based on limited authority over a number of small residential groups (Tribe)
mostly egalitarian
limited authority by???
religious specialists
age grades
descent groups
Big Men
Mostly egalitarian b/c principle of reciprocity & redistribution
Big Men
status not based on legitimised authority, but persuasion...
What is inequality?
Inequality- degree to which culturally valued material and social rewards are given disproportionately to individuals, families, groups.
Unequal access to wealth, prestige, & power
Unequal access to productive resources, education, or skills
Are these distributed based on one's acribed or achieved status?
Centralized political system, governed through a chief (Chiefdom)
Heriditary position
Ranked heirarchy
chief vs commoners
Centralized political system, with a bureaucracy (State)
elite, bureaucracy, populace
Types of stratification:
Caste- (theoretically)
member of the caste you are born into
ascribed status
limited to no mobility
endogamous groups
codified social norms that govern interactions between castes
underpinned by Hindu ideologies of purity

not uniform throughout India

shifting towards hierarchies based on class
Class- (theoretically)
possibility for mobility
IF you can gain access to productive resources, education & skills
Do we have a caste system or class system?
Are we ascribed status at birth, or do we achieve it?
Is there potential for social & economic mobility?
What kinds of symbols are used to indicate class membership or exclusion?
53% of Americans consider themselves to be middle-class
including 40% of those who make less than $20,000/year
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)
Full transcript