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Social Class and Families

Social Class and Families - -With college • Better jobs...

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Sociology 130 February 21, 2008 Social Class and Families Economic Restructuring -Economic heyday, 1950s-1960s Manufacturing boom American corporate dominance Good jobs for high school graduates -American economic decline, 1970s-? Global competition Technological change Manufacturing decline Unions declined -General effects Average wages fell Increasing costs of housing, medicine, and education Middle class shrinking Causes of growing family inequality -Inequality in earnings Especially by education -Single-parent families One-earner with low earnings -Employment increases among middle-class wives -General tendency of inequality to increase in capitalist economy? Earning Inequality -Without college Poor service or unskilled manual jobs o E.g. restaurants, hospitals Declining job security and benefits
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Unformatted text preview: -With college • Better jobs in better service industries o E.g. law, real estate • But less security and higher costs o Middle-class status requiring two incomes Defining Class-Individual attainment vs. Group position-Classes are: • Groups of people (or families) o Similarly situated in the economy o Common interests and behaviors • A basis for collective identity o Common family practices o Potential for collective action-Four-Class model • “If you were asked to use one of four names for your social class, which would you say you belong in: the lower class, the working class, the middle class, or the Sociology 130 February 21, 2008 upper class?” ---General Social Survey 2002-Family relationships often facilitate the connection with class...
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