3-26-08 W - Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility Social...

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Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility Social Inequality : a condition in which members of a society have different amounts of wealth, prestige, or power Stratification : a structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal economic rewards and power in a society Stratification on class, race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation What are examples of Stratification? Power : the ability to exercise one’s will over others Prestige : the respect and admiration that an occupation holds in a society Wealth : an inclusive term encompassing all of a person’s material assets, including land and other types of property, minus debts Income : salaries, wages, investments INCOME The richest 20% received 48.1% of all income Bottom 20% received only 4% WEALTH Distributed more unequally than income POWER Small proportion of families in US that control most of the wealth also have the ability to shape the agenda of the entire society Sociologists argue: Such concentrated wealth weakens democracy Political system serves the interests of the rich Marx : Controlling the primary mode of economic production is key Bourgeoisie and Proletariat Weber: three distinct components of stratification—class, status, and power
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3-26-08 W - Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility Social...

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