stratexs01
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stratexs01

Course Number: SOCI 850, Fall 2008

College/University: UNC

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2 March 2001 DOCTORAL EXAMINATION IN SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Answer 4 questions total as indicated in the options below. If you have questions, you may contact Ted Mouw (2-5602, tedmouw@email.unc.edu) most of the day, Rachel Rosenfeld (21008, 967-6845, rachel_rosenfeld@unc.edu) before 2:45 pm, and Dick Simpson (2-5502) in the afternoon. A. Answer question 1. 1. This examination is about stratification/gender/race...

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2 March 2001 DOCTORAL EXAMINATION IN SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Answer 4 questions total as indicated in the options below. If you have questions, you may contact Ted Mouw (2-5602, tedmouw@email.unc.edu) most of the day, Rachel Rosenfeld (21008, 967-6845, rachel_rosenfeld@unc.edu) before 2:45 pm, and Dick Simpson (2-5502) in the afternoon. A. Answer question 1. 1. This examination is about stratification/gender/race and ethnicity. Is this really one big field within sociology, or two (or more) separate fields? You may assume that it is some of each. In your answer, discuss the following questions: a. Are there major theories or theoretical approaches, research findings, or whatnot that have been or could be applied equally usefully to the study of gender, of race and ethnicity, or of other bases of inequality? b. Should we devote our energy to seeking such broadly applicable ideas and findings, or should we specialize (as individual sociologists) in just one of them at a time, or some of each? Why? B. Answer any 3 of the questions below. 1. A central concept in social stratification is that of &quot;class&quot;. What was Karl Marx' definition of &quot;class&quot;? Compare and contrast this definition with two other definitions. To what extent are the different definitions associated with different sorts of questions about social inequality? Which definition seems the most useful for highlighting important issues in social stratification? To what extent should the term &quot;class&quot; be reserved for the Marxian usage? What alternative terms would you propose? 2. In a recent book, Paul Kingston argues that there is little evidence that classes exist in America (Paul Kingston, The Classless Society). One piece of evidence that he cites to make his case is information on intergenerational occupational mobility depicted in Table 4.1 from his text. (Table attached.) Table 4.1 has two panels. The top panel shows inflow into son current occupation from father s s occupation. For example, 29.3% of sons in upper non-manual occupations had fathers who were upper non-manual workers. In contrast, the bottom panel shows outflow from father s occupation. For example, 11.4% of the sons of upper non-manual workers wound up in lower non-manual occupations. Kingston argues that this table indicates a large level of intergenerational occupational mobility in America and is <a href="/keyword/prima-facie-evidence/" >prima <a href="/keyword/facie-evidence/" >facie evidence</a> </a> against the existence of social classes. Based on your reading, do you agree with this interpretation? 3. Despite almost 4 decades of governmental efforts to increase racial, ethnic, and gender equality in the U.S. labor market, considerable inequalities and differences remain. Among explanations for these continuing differences are innate differences in abilities and preferences, problems with access to education, training, and other resources, structural barriers to those not seen as usual employees, and failure of policy design or enforcement. Focusing on one type of labor market inequality (e.g., wages, authority, advancement) or for one broad group (e.g., women, racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants), evaluate the various types of explanations for their usefulness in explaining the current situation. If you are talking about one particular kind of labor market outcome, be sure to discuss how there may be differences in processes disadvantaging members of different groups. If you are focusing on a particular group, be sure to mention crosscutting dimensions that may cause variation in the process within it (e.g., discuss women of different races or different citizenship status). 4. To what extent is a focus on income and wealth inequality useful in the study of social stratification of individuals, groups, and larger social units such as countries? What are some of the limitations of...
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