describes hierarchies of people along the lines of race, class, gender, sexuality,
and so on, where some groups of people are given more value and status than
others: men over women, whites over Blacks, heterosexuals over homosexuals.
Another problem with stratification is that it stereotypes people based on their level in
Sociology of superordinates is the study of groups of power such as the upper class, as
mentioned in C. Wright Mill’s “The Power Elite.”
This means study men, whites,
heterosexuals, and the middle- and upper-class.
Examples of this include studying the upper class, men and masculinity, heterosexuality,
and whiteness, such as in Feagin and O’Brien’s book which only studies elite white men.
It was created in response to concerns about too much “studying down,” which was
specifically focusing on subordinate groups, which are minorities and people who
Studying groups in power may help people involved in those groups to examine their
position in social order and do something productive about that. More general, it gives us
a fuller analysis of how racism, sexism, classism and other isms are created, operate, and
are reproduced in the social world.
things that sincerely people believe in, however they are not true = social myths;
fictional beliefs used to defend or hide certain societal realities
the American dream – belief that you can work your way up to the top from the
bottom, but a lot of times you can’t; hard work and success is not true for all (reality =
The belief in colorblindness – people on tend to be ‘colorblind’ when its
convenient, white men believing there is no more racism in society
Stereotypes: i.e. blacks are good athletes