Ch 10-11 - Chapter 10: Social Stratification What is Social...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 10: Social Stratification What is Social Stratification? Social stratification- a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy, is based on 4 basic principles: Social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences Social stratification carries over from generation to generation Social mobility- a change in position within the social hierarchy Social stratification is universal but variable What is unequal and how unequal it is varies from one society to another Social stratification involves not just inequality but belief as well Caste and Class System Closed systems- caste systems Open systems- class systems Caste System Caste system- social stratification based on ascription, or birth A pure caste system is closed because birth alone determines a persons entire future, allowing little or no social mobility based on individual effort 4 major castes: Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra Endogamous marriage- a caste system demands people marry others of the same ranking Caste systems are typical of agrarian societies because agriculture demands a lifelong routine of hard work South Africa- system of apartheid, or separation of the races The Class System Class system- social stratification based on both birth and individual achievement Meritocracy- social stratification based on personal merit In a pure meritocracy, social position would depend entirely on a persons ability and effort Caste societies define merit in terms of loyalty to the system Status consistency- the degree of uniformity in a persons social standing across various dimensions of social inequality Low status consistency means that it is harder to define peoples social position Caste and Class: The United Kingdom The mix of caste and meritocracy in class systems is well illustrated by the UK Primogeniture- required that all property pass to oldest son or other male relation Another Example: Japan Japan is both the worlds oldest continuously operating monarchy and a modern society where wealth follows individual achievement Classless Societies? The Former Soviet Union Perestroika- restructuring Structural social mobility- a shift in the social position of large numbers of people due more to changes in society itself than to individual efforts China: Emerging Social Class Mao Zedong Deng Xiaoping China: a mix of old political hierarchy and a new business hierarchy Social stratification is becoming dynamic Ideology: The Power behind Stratification Ideology- cultural beliefs that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns of inequality A belief-for example, the idea that rich people are smart and poor people are lazy Plato and Marx on Ideology Marx- capitalist law defines the right to own property and ensures that money stays within the same families from one generation to the...
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2009 for the course SOC 1004 taught by Professor Mdhughes during the Fall '07 term at Virginia Tech.

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Ch 10-11 - Chapter 10: Social Stratification What is Social...

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