wk12A 2009 social construction of hierarchy

wk12A 2009 social construction of hierarchy - Wk 14A The...

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Wk 14A: The Social Construction of Hierarchy Goals: To introduce the concepts of social class, caste, discrimination and prejudice To introduce key concepts from the economic theories of Karl Marx and Antonio Gramsci To introduce the concept of class ideology To demonstrate how ideology is used to justify social ranking and hierarchy
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“Cultural Construction” Social and historical processes through which cultural meanings and practices are created reproduced transformed We’ve started to discuss:
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Cultural Constructions We’ve Looked at in American Society Food Gender Age Progress
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Cultural Construction of Nationhood
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Today’s Agenda: Whose Story is this, Anyway? In a hierarchical society, do these cultural constructs represent the values and beliefs of all groups equally? In a hierarchical society, do these cultural constructs reinforce the interests of some groups more than others? In a hierarchical society, do some groups have more access to the means by which ideas are disseminated (whose stories get told and which rules get made) than others?
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Warm up exercise: Rank the following attributes by number from most to least important in judging a person’s social or personal worth. Personal appearance Monetary income Gender Age Religion Race or Ethnicity Family background Intelligence (as indicated by school performance) Athletic ability Personal possessions Personality
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Rationale for Social Inequality: Two Views 1. Hierarchical ordering of people is unavoidable and results from scarcity of resources, occupational specialization, and the power of an elite group to control the behavior of others 2. Hierarchical ordering of people is avoidable and is, in fact, counter to human nature
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Bases for Social Stratification Caste System Individuals are assigned at birth to the ranked social and occupational groups of their parents. A person’s place in the social order is relatively fixed; there is little mobility from one caste to another Castes are separated from each other by strict rules that forbid intermarriage and other forms of interaction
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Bases for Social Stratification Class System Stratification based on income and personal possessions According to Karl Marx, classes arise when one
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