Ch. 8 Notes-Fall 2009

Ch. 8 Notes-Fall 2009 - Chapter 8 Social Class in the...

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Chapter 8 Social Class in the United States Henslin Chapter 8 Outline Adapted from: Fowler, L. A. (2008). Instructor’s manual for Henslin: Essentials of sociology a down-to-earth approach (7 th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Henslin, J. M. (2009). Essentials of sociology: A down-to-earth approach (8 th ed.). Boston: Allyn I. What Is Social Class? A. A social class can be defined as a large group of people who rank close to each other in wealth, power, and prestige. 1. Wealth consists of both property (all that we own) and income (money that we receive). a.Ten percent of the U.S. population owns 70% of the nation’s wealth, and 1% percent owns 33% of the wealth. b. The top 20% of U.S. residents acquire 48% of the income, while the bottom 20% receives only 4%. These statistics have changed very little since 1935. 2. Power , the ability to carry out one’s will despite resistance, is largely concentrated in the hands of the power elite, a relatively few influential individuals who share the same ideologies, values, and social networks. 3. Prestige is the respect or regard given to various occupations and accomplishments. Occupations that pay more, require more education and abstract thought, and offer greater autonomy are considered prestigious. B. Status inconsistency occurs when a person has a mixture of high and low rankings on the three components of social class. 1. People who are status inconsistent want others to act toward them on the basis of their highest status, but others tend to judge them on the basis of their lowest status. 2. People suffering the frustrations of status inconsistency tend to be more politically radical. C. Using the model originally developed by Max Weber, sociologists Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Kahl created a six-tier model to describe class structure in the U.S. and other capitalist nations.
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2010 for the course SOC 201 taught by Professor Reid during the Spring '07 term at Clemson.

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Ch. 8 Notes-Fall 2009 - Chapter 8 Social Class in the...

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