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Unformatted text preview: 2-21-2008 Social Class and Families Context Increasing economic equality Definitions of `class' Class and Family Life Demographics Reproduction Gender roles Parenting Practices Economic Restructuring Economic heyday, 1950s-1960s o o o Manufacturing boom American corporate dominance Good jobs for high school graduates American economic decline, 1970s-? o o o o Global competition Technological change Manufacturing decline Unions declined General effects o Average wages fell o Increasing costs of housing, medicine, and education Causes of Growing Family Inequality Inequality in earnings o Especially by education Single-parent families o One-earner with low earnings, especially if it's a woman Employment among middle-class wives General tendency of inequality to increase in capitalist economy? Earnings Inequality Without college o Poor service or unskilled manual jobs o e.g. restaurants, hotels Declining job security and benefits With college o Better jobs in better service industries o e.g. law, real estate But less security and higher costs Middle-class status requires two incomes Defining Class Individual attainment Group position Classes are: o Groups of people (or families) o Similarly situated in the economy Common interests and behaviors A basis for collective identity Common family practices Potential for collective action ...
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- Spring '08