(8) Social stratification

(8) Social stratification - (M Spencer What is social...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style 5/13/09 Social stratification (8) (M Spencer)
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What is social stratification? Every society is marked by inequality Social stratification - system by which a society ranks categories of ppl in a hierarchy 4 basic principles involved: 1. SS is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences 2. SS persists over generations – parents pass their social position onto kids there is some social mobility – ppl generally move horizontally 3. SS is universal but variable 4. SS involves not just inequality but beliefs – give some ppl more advantage and defines this as fair
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5/13/09 Closed systems – allow little change in social position Open systems – permit some mobility
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Caste System Based on ascription or birth Closed Birth alone determines destiny determines type of work demands you marry someone of same caste shapes beliefs guides life by keeping people with their own kind status consistency – same class across measure (wealth, power, prestige)
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Class System Developed out of modern economy – modern economy depends on developing ppl’s talents Based on birth and individual achievement More open Mobility blurs class distinctions – relatives may have different standing Meritocracy SS based on merit To advance meritocracy – societies expand equality of opportunity – differs from equality of outcomes Varying status consistency – classes are less well defined than castes
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Classless Societies? All societies have classes even those who claim not to USSR – elite class was not based on wealth but power Much upward mobility in former USSR recently – due to changes in society not individual efforts – structural social mobility
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Ideology – The Power Behind Stratification Given the extent of social inequality – how do societies persist without sharing resources more equally? They endure bc of ideology – cultural beliefs that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns of inequality Every culture considers some type of inequality fair Ideology changes with technology and economy Challenged to the status quo always arise though it is hard to change SS
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The Functions of Social Stratification SS plays a vital part in the operation of society Davis Moore Thesis SS has beneficial consequences for operation of a society The greater importance of a position, the more rewards society gives it Promotes hard work, productivity and efficiency Any society can be egalitarian but only to the extent they are willing to let any person perform any job Criticism do rewards actually reflect the contribution one makes to society? Oprah, rock stars, athletes
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Stratification and SS provides some ppl with advantages over others Karl Marx: Class Conflict
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course SOCI 102 taught by Professor Spencer during the Spring '08 term at Bridgewater State University.

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(8) Social stratification - (M Spencer What is social...

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