CH8 LECTURE - Social Stratification Social Stratification...

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Social Stratification C C hapter 8 hapter 8 Social Stratification Social Stratification Transcript for Author-Created Video Introduction to Chapter 8: Social Stratification Chapter 8 is about social stratification, which is the process societies use to categorize and rank people on a scale of social worth. The rank, in turn, affects people’s life chances, including the chance to live through the first years of life and the chance to live a long life. This chapter focuses on the world’s richest and poorest countries. Sociologists ask, “How do life chances vary across the approximately 240 countries on the planet?” The countries into which people are born have important effects on their life chances. And, of course, we have no control over our country of birth. Imagine being parents living in Japan where the chances of surviving the first five years of life are among the best on the planet. In Japan, only four of every 1,000 babies born die before reaching the age of five. Now, imagine being parents living in Afghanistan, where the chances of surviving the first years of life are among the worst; almost 250 of every 1,000 babies born die before the age of five. Of course, this chapter looks at more than life expectancies. We all know that the chances of living a long life are connected to a host of factors, including income and wealth. In this regard, sociologists would point out that 1.2 billion people, or one in every five people on the planet, live on less than $1 per day. In contrast, there are approximately 8.3 million people on the planet that are worth at least $1 million (excluding the value of their home). This may seem like a lot of people, but this means that only one in every 1000 people on the planet is in that category of wealth. The combined worth of the 8.3 million people is a staggering $33.3 trillion. To use the words of W.E.B. DuBois, “the only way in which the world has been able to allow such dramatic inequalities is by deliberately stopping its ears and changing the subject in conversations.” Sociologists strive to make us listen and to stay on subject. 117
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Chapter 8 Chapter Outline I. Why Focus on the World’s Richest and Poorest Countries? A. Wealth, income, and other valued resources are unequally distributed among the 6.6 billion people living in the approximately 243 countries on the planet (41 of which are not sovereign). B. Sociologists are interested in the patterns of inequality that exist among countries. C. Sociologists are interested in the patterns of inequality that exist within countries. II. Social Stratification A. Core Concept 1: When sociologists study systems of social stratification, they focus on the social categories people occupy, the value placed on such categories, and the effect these categories have on life chances. 1.
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2010 for the course SOCI 1301 taught by Professor Na during the Spring '09 term at Richland Community College.

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CH8 LECTURE - Social Stratification Social Stratification...

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