FINAL STUDY GUIDE - Final Review Sheet, Social...

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Final Review Sheet, Social Inequality-Ch 9; ( Selected Sections) Chapter 8 1. According to Henslin how does social class affect every part of a persons life and life chances? Is there a correlation between the socioeconomic status of parents and the economic and educational success of their children? What does the story about Randall and Tommy indicate about social class and life chances and opportunities? - Conflict sociologists of the Marxist orientation see only two social classes: those who own the means of production and those who do not. The problem with this view is that it lumps too many people together. Most sociologists agree with Weber that there is more to social class than just a person’s relationship to the means of production. Social class is defined as a large group of people who rank closely to one another in property (material possessions), power (the ability to carry out your will, even over the resistance of others), and prestige (respect or regard). These three elements separate people into different lifestyles, give them different chances in lifestyles, and provide them with distinct ways of looking at the self and the world. USE COMMON SENSE FOR THE REST OF THIS 2. Know what indicators sociologists use to measure what people will be on the downside of power economically today (i.e. race, gender, education, parent’s socioeconomic status). - ? 3. What is meritocracy and why is it a myth? (Horatio Alger and the American Dream). - Meritocracy is a form of social stratification in which all positions are awarded on the basis of merit. The accuracy of the Horatio Alger myth (the belief that due to limitless possibilities anyone can get ahead if he/she tries hard enough) is less important than the belief that limitless possibilities for everyone. On the one hand, it encourages people to compete for higher positions or, as the song says, “to reach for the highest star.” On the other hand, it places blame for failure squarely on the individual. This myth helps to stabilize society; since the fault is viewed as the individual’s, not that of society’s, current social arrangements can be regarded as satisfactory. This reduces pressures to change the system. 4. What does the graph on page 200 reveal about economic inequality in the U.S.? - It is titled “The more things change, the more they stay the same: the percentage of the nation’s income received by each fifth of U.S. families.” First, notice how little change there has been in the distribution of income through the years. Second, look at how income inequality decreased from 1935 to 1970. Since 1970, the richest 20 percent of U.S. families have grown richer, while the poorest 20 percent have grown poorer. Chapter 9
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FINAL STUDY GUIDE - Final Review Sheet, Social...

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