This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Economic Inequality & Status Inequality Economic Inequality Outline Fun facts of Americans and class divisions Two views of U.S. class structure Technology and how it shapes class structure in the U.S. Income inequality The middle class Wealth inequality in the U.S. Wealth concentration before the Civil War Wealth concentration in modern day U.S. Impact of globalization Socioeconomic image Marxian image Fun Facts! Class is not usually discussed among Americans; however, they are very aware of it Even children show signs of knowing what kinds of careers bring more prestige The upper and lower classes are more clearly understood by Americans than the middle... BUT... Most people consider themselves to exist in the middle or working class (8090%) Different people categorize class structures differently based on their position in society (i.e., age, race, income, etc.) The Socioeconomic Image Occupational status + education + income = social class Boundaries between classes are not always clear This is not a purely economic way to determine class position Nonconflictual Gilbert says a social class is... Different models show different boundaries "a large group of families...approximately equal in rank to each other and clearly differentiated from other families...The various stratification variables tend to converge and jell; they form a pattern, and this pattern creates social classes." Capitalist Class (1%) The Socioeconomic Image
Graduates of highranking Universities Toplevel executive positions Heirs with an income of $2 million from assets At least a college degree Higher professional/managerial positions Owners of mediumsized business with incomes of about $120,000 High school degrees/some college Lower managerial or whitecollar positions Highskill, highpay, bluecollar occupations with incomes of about $55,000 Upper Middle Class (14%) Middle Class (30%) Working Class (30%) The Socioeconomic Image
High school degrees Lowerlevel whitecollar or bluecollar positions Incomes about $35,000 Some high school Lowest paid bluecollar and clerical positions Incomes about $22,000 Working Poor (13%) Underclass (12%) At best some high school Work part time, are unemployed, or are on welfare Incomes under $12,000 The Marxian Image Class is an economic phenomenon Boundaries are clear Conflictual Ollman Defined by ownership and control of means of production People "tend to acquire over time other common characteristics as regards...lifestyle, political consciousness...that become...further evidence for membership in their particular class..." The Marxian Image Erik Wright Exploitation is key Critics say it has nothing to do with exploitation (Meiksins) Others say it ignores Marx's idea of `surplus value' Class position also determined by relationship with those around someone Property, organizational authority, expertise/skill Owners vs. nonowners, employers vs. petty bourgeoisie, managers vs. nonmanagers Technology and Class Structure Technology Globalization Therefore, the politics and economics of globalization affect U.S. class structure ...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Spring '06 term at Michigan State University.
- Spring '06