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Unformatted text preview: 1) What do we mean by inequality? Stratification? a. Social inequality: unequal access to resources (education, government services, healthcare, social networking, food, jobs, clean water, etc) in society b. There are patterns to unequal distribution of resources, sociologists have found that these patterns are based on characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, social class c. Social class: where you are in the hierarchy. Based on income, education, occupation. These things determine one’s life chances, which refers to the probabilities of benefitting or suffering from the opportunities or disadvantages that society offers. In this way, social inequality is reproduced. d. Women and minorities underrepresented in upper middle class e. Stratification: system in which differentially rewarded social positions in the economic structure are passed through generations, passing down of positions takes two forms: caste and class. Caste system is considered closed system (no mobility,) class system is considered to be open, social mobility is possible 2) What are some principles of inequality? • How much inequality is there in the US? How much inequality can exist in a so called middle class society? • To the extent that inequality exists, why does it exist? We will be using three levels of analysis: o Individual level of analysis: individual characteristics or attributes (e.g. education, age, talent, skill, motivation) o Economic shifts (shifts in the economy) :changes in the overall economy that promotes social mobility, e.g. recession, depressions, economic booms, deindustrialization. Some people argue that there is a scarcity of resources, but this argument is wrong. o Class conflict, power: how much power different groups in society have relative to one another, e.g. workers v employers • Hypothetically, if you where to compare Brighton with “inner city” of Rochester, demographics would vary based on residence patterns, transportation means, access to education, etc. There might be great deal of racial homogeneity within each neighborhood. By the end of the semester we should be able to answer why this inequality exists. January 26, 28 • Individual explanations to not adequately explain inequality • 3 dimensions of inequality: 1)Individual, 2.) Economic shifts, 3.)Class conflict and power – those who can make the rules of the game have more power • 4 principles of inequality: 1.) Inequality is socially constructed: it is a product of society, nothing inherent about inequality, can be based on any number of characteristics. 2.) Stable, it is hard to change, only rarely does it change 3.) generalizes: inequality spreads out to affect all aspects of life. Status characteristics affect many unrelated facets of life. 4) supported by top and bottom: this derives from ideology (a set of beliefs worldview with which people understand the world) • Income: salary/earnings; wealth: assets, liabilities, can be born into it • 1923: 23.9% of income going to top 1%, 2005: 21.8%1923: 23....
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- Spring '08