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Ritzer-BasicCharacteristicsofaStratifiedSociety

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Unformatted text preview: EXPERlENClNG A Second Edition (290:5; Ritzer University of Maryland Kenneth C. W Knmmeyer University of Maryland Norman R. Yetmun University of Kansas Allyn and Bacon, Inc. Boston London Sydney Toronto Pf'n m.) H(-"‘?i[[i'h :‘n \l The :mthnn n .lt‘1r:||.~ Ihapter I 5 —[.!hr.nc\@1&|"0h\ Frank W: ‘I - 7.1..(5’4? Mag“ I..|I.'II-.| Kflik'n: pLII‘lifihl".\ \|[|.E hlmr. IQT'\|[‘.I\r‘|'\ i\'|'- - p1; . [Mimi-II 1’t"i§ll1{" [Jll:(||||-\ |'.-\':||\L.- \irmll'mmr'ingH-nvl T‘Jlria‘el‘Jlf (”M51 |'J:_-~I_L-I:c' fi'l.’~i-. ‘f- I-~ » Copyrighr’61933. 10“} h\' \Ji-m mu! Hi. - m. 131‘; i"u.-\Il:u:m -\n Busrnn, Murmacfmwm U221“ .-\|\ rmlnx r't'\t'_|\t'c| \- +11an M lf'm' mu:- r'jul pl'urm‘k’t.’ PW ”IL-i \ HIM I'IQIII I): S‘h'E mm ht] 111w. Ida-(ml n. .rr-|::n_ni In zlnj; fin'nmrln'n:1_\ Inc-1:15 L‘Ft'cjn'rnm'ur Hm lumim]. flu']tL!1ug}x.‘|-s [E9C[?_\'jl'12.Tf‘f.'|rfl‘jr‘.IE.E.-‘Ih‘.':111_\ Hll'e.u:'1il:niu m «mugs- :mcr lath—3.1] u \- ft‘ITL “'irhu'ulr “'J'HTt'II [\c‘rmjakirul I'rc‘rn the (ram l'il{r"f - Mfr Libraryul'cnngress (Lamlngirlg in F’ubhcflriun Data Riazer‘ (it: H'ILEL" Nrn‘iulog}: txg‘ret new ing: :1 rlmuging <u>c'::'l\ Bibliography p qlfi Induden' unim- 1. Sum 1|! rgv. 2 l'mred Flares—fic'niitil (‘v‘r'Lllriu HI.“ 5. Social (I'mngc- I K:H11[1|{:_\r‘r.KL‘I'IIIf’If‘lC.\1. H. ‘I'rc'rmun. Nr'n'er- F! .19?“ ”I THE [MEIR-1f: 1082 50] HI Rolf”)— [H'HV “-305 THEN-‘3 H -\-’\CRJ Pairrlt‘d ir: rhc‘11:116.?\‘turm'.:!'.\1':1{-'I'iL';L [i L) H _ {1 q | 3% h. I T» J1 x) J, A L u 11:“ wk. we Chapter 3 .wk- ackn m 0.1ch [hr-u: Ilnn: |‘|\ .rvlm r-n? um: .!I (lulu piIr-rnxéfl'". Fmil 10» .I.-. m.- ‘.n-w‘-- '. .— i.- ' l2" II!:i|e: 6! . H!I\'-.\I[.E|'_\1|\' ' m I'u' «.i-n '| 'Thv ”jaur'ciiuhc- p ‘. —;1'mru|-;- R .., lePi'1c‘[r5>.fnc‘.[‘... ph- m: In P.1u' (.nnklin [1 t1 . I‘h' -- . It Hug-mm Pluum. Inr p13 .‘i 1-4 — |'I|.|‘|'--\ '1-\ ['.I.|"' -- '- < -.i-u'Iemhc-I:‘1.Jm'|'- .2] -— p‘anr. -» mm.” 1,- E.’ _ .IHI' ‘ .r.~.-"_'_i_||---|- mam p 2.‘ —- :‘I'nh- C i‘\ MAI ||>\ Ra-gr-l ‘~ I'--..‘:|¢. "HIM'R "{lm'. 'H} Him r-i 1— \I lunull' ['l' 1. il] _. pj-l. nah} [ilfi Owcmsfi .\|.'u.!:1uI-‘ |-\ MI E P'Cr WI?“ :1 .-"'H|'.u;|-i \IJI' r‘|" 5310 — = Ifrr.\frmy.'r.r.l Fe m’ -...|\..:. a: \1_lg|..‘1wl'hurn-.. .'- m Jr1.‘ p. .-.'_ phnL. '\'-. -" rH.I.‘.'.-'.'.u[':fnufwyy W'TJ , If we made an income pyramid out of a child‘s blocks, vith each layer portraying $1,000 of income, the peak voulcl be far higher than the Eiffel Tower, but most of is would be within a yard of the ground" (Samuelson, 980: 80). Despite an ideology of equality in American ociety, enormous differences in wealth exist among he American people. This chapter will be concerned vith illegality and sgcgranlging: with wealth and x3verty, power and powerlessness, fame and ano- rymity, influence and impotence, dominance and ubordination, prestige and degradation. Social stratification refers to structured inegual- ty in a___society. Social stratification exists when _i_n_- :qt—talities between positions and tasks become widely ecognized and accepted. Inladdition, people who iccupy the higllggwardedpgsitions are ablemto :reate circumstanges (such as advanced education) hat will allow their children to occupy similarly mportant and rewarding positions when they enter he adult world. On the other hand, those in poorly ewarded positions are u_na_ble to provide their chila lrenn with the opportunities that would allow them to nove up in the stratification system. In a system of stratification, dilferences are passed from one genera- ;ion to the next. Differences insocial rank are an almost universal 'eature of human societies. In most societies—both fit and present—some people have possessed greater wealth, prestige. and influence than others, and :his phenomenon shows no sign of disappearing in the 'uture. Although social stratification is virtually univer- sal, the various systems of stratification are not alike. I‘hroughout history, stratification has assumed a vari- ety of forms. and even in today‘s world. there are .mportant differences in the ways in which societies are stratified. However, the fact that most known societies have been stratified in some way does not necessarily mean that a society must be stratified. “A system of ranks does not form part of some natural and invariable order of things, but is a human contrivance or product, and is subject to historical changes” (.Bottornore, 1966b: 10). In other words, a classless society is a possibility, if not a probability. 193 W I, r. ,, Ni- 9; a. THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF A STRATIFIED SOCIETY Social stratification is a social phenomenon. A system of stratification in any group or society is not deter- mined by the biological characteristics of individuals or by supernatural laws. It results from human actions in both the present and the past. Earlier generations create the system of stratification into which later generations are born. As, Karl Marx wrote in the nineteenth century, “Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past, The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living" (Marx. 1856/ 1977: 301). Throughout their lives people learn the structure of and their places in their society‘s stratification system. Although stratification systems seem static, they are dynamic systems subject to changes that are consciously and unconsciously produced by partici- pants in the system. ' A stratification system is intimately related to other parts of society, such as the economickpolitical, and educational institutions, and changes in the system of stratification will lead to changes in these institu- tions. Conversely, changes in other parts of society will produce changes in the stratification system. Thus, a communist society with a stratification system based upon bureaucratic position will produce an educa- tional system designed to- train people to occupy bureaucratic roles. A system such as that found in the United States, which focuses on economic status. tends to produce an educational system oriented to training people to make money and to consume goods and services so that other people can earn money. In all societies, there is a complex and ever—changing relationship between the system of Stratification and other pans of society. Class. Status. and Power In an analysis of social stratification the essential concepts are class, status, and power. Class is a social 9 Stratification: Living with Social Inequality ranking made on the bashof economic factors. Status refers to a social ranking on the basis of prestige. Power is a social ranking based on the ability to make others do what you want them to do. Two of the classical sociological theorists, Karl Marx and Max Weber, were extremely influential in the deveIOpment of these concepts. Class stat-x emphasized the role of economic factors in determining social classesulle identified two basic classes, which are distinguished by tlteir relationshipto property. The dominant class—composed of land owners, slaveowners, and factory and business owners—owns and controls the means of production (such as land, machines, and tools). The subordinate class includes peasants, serfs, slaves, and industrial laborers, who work for the dominant class. In a capitalist society, industrial laborers (the proletariat) are forced to work for those who Own the means of production (the capitalists). They are forced to sell their labor in return for wages. To achieve profits, capitalists exploit workers by paying them less than the value of the goods they produce. The dynamics of capitalism, an economic system with a built-in tendenCy for capitalists to compete with each other and to seek ever-greater profits, encomage capitalists to increase their efforts to exploit the work'— ergL Employing children and lengthening the work clay are two ways in which capitalists of the nineteenth century sought to increase the rate of profit. Ralf Dahrendorf (1959) is one of the most im‘ portant modern theorists on social class. Dahrendorf accepts the central importance of the class concept, but argues that Marx’s work is tied too closely to the idea of ownership of property. In his view, industrial capitalism today is a very different system from what it was in Marx’s day. Ownership of the means of produc- tion is no longer the factor mat distinguishes the upper from the lower classes. The development of the modern corporation with its large numbers of share- holders has rendered this conception obsolete. Ac- cording to Dahrendorf, social class is determined by one‘s position in an authority structure. The peOple at 199 , CHEMICAL CASH MACHINE Jimmy is a major dimrt‘on oft: stratification system, but it is very unequally distributed. This man it close to it, but it is not accessible to bt'm. the top of major corporations, labor unions, or gov- ernments have a great deal of authority, and this authority—not ownership of property—determines their membership in the upper stratum. On the other hand, most white-collar workers. laborers, union members, and low-ranking government bureaucrats have little or no authority, and this lack of authority makes them members of the lower classes. i Roth Rowe and a cbmfeurare botb symbols that are used 0 express one’s socioeconomic stands. Stat-us While he did not reject the special significance hat Marx attributed to property and economic factors, flax Weber argued that stratification was based not Jnly on economic Factors but on prestige and power as yell. Weber restricted the use of the term clam to refer _ 0 economic status. or wealth. This idea is similar to 4arx‘s idea of classes as bas‘és'm a relationship to the neans of production. Whereas one’s cktss position is determined by vealth, Weber argué‘d'that one‘s storm position is ased on prestige. Usually one‘s status position is ttimately related to one's class position, but some- imes individuals rank differently on these two dimen- Ions. Part Three: The Basic Components of Society For example, in his famous studies of a New England community he called Yankee City, W. Lloyd Wfinet began his research on the community‘s_stra_ti- _ fication system with the assumption that economics {or class) would be the most important factor in determining stratification (Warner s: Lunt, 1941). But as he began to talk to people in Yankee City, he found that [both status and class determined where people were ranked by others in the stratification system. The life styles of people, as well as their income levels, differentiated the strata. Where one lived, for example, made a crucial difference in one‘s status ranking. Those who lived in a prestigious neighborhood were likely to be highly ranked, while those who lived in a less, desirable neighborhood were Likely to be ranked low 9 Stratification: Living with Social Inequality in the stratificatiOn system. Another key factor in the ' rankings was membefillipinlafiflus orgamzaiions and associations. 13657: who belonged to charitable orga— nizations were likely to be ranked in the upper class; those in occupational organizations were ranked in the middle class; and those in fraternal organimtions were ranked in the lower class. .. Although Warner focused on status stratification, it is clear from his work that he really could not separate status from the Other variables of class and power. Money and occupation (class variables) played a key role in the stratification system Warner de‘ scribed, Furthermore, one‘s position in the Status system also directly afiected one's power positiorl. Those at the [Op had a great deal of power while those at the bottom had almost none. Nevertheless. the Warner study and studies of Other communities illus- trate the significance of status factors in social stratifi- cation. The comments of a nineteen-year—old Puerto Rimn bellhop in a small New York City hotel reflect the significance of status as a dimension of social stratifimtion. Wine is important to him is not just the wealth, but also the prestige that his "American Dream” would bring. MyAmei-lcan Drearnistobefamous. Ilkeablgbossatabig firm. sit back. relax and just collect. Oh, I treat my employees nice, pay ‘em real good, don't overwork ’em too much. not like most bosses, they fire you right away. I really WOUH like to have a Chaulfeur-driven limousine. have a bar one side, color TV on the other. The chicks, the girls, ohyeah. histwdofcominginarelghrin the mooring and leavio’ at eight in the afternoon. (Terkel, 1980a; 124 —125) One'of the most frequently used indices of status in modern societies is occupational prestige. Table 9~l shows the prestige ratings given to various occupa- tions in American society. While the most prestigious occupations in society usually offer great wealth, it is WEE for members. of occupations at one prestige level to have wealthsztceedmg those with higher Min many areas of the country the wealth of plumbers exceeds that of college professors. despite a 201 4”me W are morrg firepower: and most dis- mnmgedpeopie in the Eminence: substantial difl‘erence in the prestige of the two occu- pations. In most cases. however, there is a close correspondence between, class and status. One of the striking features of the occupational 1947 and 1963. Moreover, considerable research has demonstrated strong similgties in the Occupational prestige rankings of most indusrrial countries (Inkelei & Rossl, 1956). - However, as Warner suggested, status is not determined solely by one’s occupation._Sex._reliEo_t1s affiliation, residence; life style, ampuni of education. and educariOfifl_Eckground have all been shown to be associated with an ifid‘ifidfial‘s status. There may be contradictions ammyment criteria 202 TABLE 9-} Ocmpatmnai prestige ratings, 1963 and 1947 Part Three: The Basic Components of Society 1948 I94 7 1.963 1947 Won Score Score Marion Scone Score U.S. Supreme Court Justice 94 96 Banker 85 88 Physician 95 93 Biologist 35 31 Nuclear physldst 92 66 Sociologist 83 82 Scientist 92 99 Instructor in public schools 32 79 Government scientist 91 88 Captain in the regular army 32 30 State goverrwr 91 93 Accountant for a large business 81 81 Cibinet member in the Public school meher 81 76 federal government 90 92 Owner of a factory that employs College professor 90 l 89 about 100 people 30 32 [1.5. Representative in Confirm 90 89 Building contractor 80 79 (menus: B9 86 Artist who paints pictures that are lawyer 39 as exhibited in galleries 78 33' Musician in a on Diplomat in us. foreign 39 92 “chm symph y '73 31 Dentist 88 86 Author of novels 7'8 80 Ofliclal of an international fiwlm- :3 : iabomnion 77 75 Minister B7 87 Railroad engineer 76 77 l of the board of Electrician 76 73 a large CW“ 37 86 County agricultural agent 76 7'7 Owner—operator ofa mda large my 2 : printing shop 75 74 Had ofa department in m - Trained machinist 75 73 pavement 86 87 Farm owner and operator 74 76 Airline pilot 86 83 used to determine prestige. For black Americans, mice believe that I happen not to be aware of that." . . . And‘l is a crucial determinant of status, transcending even laid the word down on him, loud: ”Nigger!" (Malcolm x. occupation. Malcolm X, the black protest leader who 1966: 234) was murdered in the 19605, dramatically argued this Power point in response to criticism from a black university professor: “Do you know what white racists call black PhD's?” [Malcolm Hasked the professor]. Hesaidsometluns like, "1 The third dimension of stratification that Weber identified 15pm Power is the poten_ti£§or___irnposing gnefs will upon others. (We'wlll elaborate on the concept of power in Chapters 11 and 17.) Weber felt 9 Stratification: Living with Social Inequalityr 1243].}? 9—1 Continued 1963 1947 Ocaupatzon Score Score Welfare maker for a «city government 74 73 Newspaper columnist 73 74 Policeman 72 67 Reporter on a daily newspaper 7'1 71 Radio announcer 3’ 75 Bookkeeper 70 6B Tenant farmer—one who owns Livestock and machinery and manages the farm 69 68 Insurance agent 69 63 Carpenter 68 65 Manager of a small store in a city 67 ' 69 A local official of a labor union 67 62 Mail carrier 66 66 Railroad conductor 66 67 Traveling salesman for a wholesale concern 66 68 Plumber 65 63 Automobile repairman 64 63 Playground director 63 67 Barber 63 59 Machine operator in a factory 65 60 Owner-operator of a lunch stand 63 62 Corporal in the regular army 62 so Garage mechanic 62 62 Truck driver 59 54 Occupatiou - Fisherman who owns his own bmt Clerk In a store Milk route man Streetcar motortnan Lumberjack Restaurant cook Singer in a nightclub Filling station attendant Dockworlrer Railroad section hand Night watchman Coal miner Restaurant waiter Taxi driver Farm handanitor Bartender Clothes precise:- In a laundry Soda fountain clerk Share-cropper—one who owns no livestock or equipment and does not manage farm Garbage collector Street sweeper Shoe Shiner Average 1.963 Score 42 39 36 34 71 203 1947 Score 58 58 54 58 55 54 52 52 47 4B 47 49 48 49 50 44 44 46 45 40 35 34 33 70 Source: Robert W. Hodge. Paul M. Siegel. and Peter H. Rossi. "Occupational p- 290—292. Reprinted by permission of the University:r of (Jiicago Press. that power, along with class and status ranking, is a separate dimension in social stratification. The presi- dent of the United States, for example, has almost unparalleled power and prestige in this society and yet is not necessarily wealthy. This is also the case with many other government oflicials, such as Supreme Court justices. United States senators, governors, and mayors of large cities. Prestige in the United States: 1925—1963." Amnjmm qFSocim'agy. 1964. 70. Studies of the power dimension of stratification usually focus on the structure of power within nations . or within local communities. At the national level the study of power has focused on who governs and who does not. The early Italian sociologists, Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca, were interested in the power of small ruling groups (called elites) over the masses ( the non-elites). The small numbers of elites. their right 9 Stratification: Living with Social Inequality organization. and the corresponding lack of organiza- the elites over the non elites Elite_th_eotists believe that elites emerge in all types of societies, whatever dieir economic organization. This of course challenges the Marxian honor: that an egalitarian society will develop after the overthrow of capitalism Marx saw Mr as sggming from economic factors, and glue films see power as a separate dimensipn existing in any economic system. W“ ' Weber tended tdagree with the W. In his view, modern industrial society was ruled by powerful bureaucrats in capitalist as well as in socialist societies. But. Weber argued, a capitalist society at least maintains a balance oquwer between the-economic bureaucrats and the statebureaucrars, each tending to check the other. In a socialist society, there would be no such balance since the economic bureauch would disappear, leaving the political bureaucrat to rule society unchecked by countervailing power bases. C-iWfiBl“ Mills's analysis of the power elite in America (1956). which showed close ties berween 205 economic, political, and military elites, suggests that even in a capitalisr society we do not have a system of competing or countervailing powers that keeps any one elite in line. If the leaders of each segment of society are in fact acting in conscious or unconscious collusion, asysrem of uncontested elites will emerge. While some analysts have argued that a power elite cities oat exist, the weight of evidence seems to indicate that there is a relatively small group of people who make many of the important decisions in most societies. {Power in the ...
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