Notes Exam 2 - Systems of Stratification Stratification o o o Define A structured system that ranks entire groups of people in ways that perpetuate

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Systems of Stratification Stratification : o Define: A structured system that ranks entire groups of people in ways that perpetuate unequal rewards and life chances in a society o Layer upon layer o Formal: Slavery – written in the Constitution Caste System (India; Pakistan) – based into groups strictly on their genealogy – it used to be officially recognized in a caste system Feudal System o Informal: Social Class: Any group of people who share a similar economic position in society based on their wealth and income Something else needs to be included: o Jobs o Education o What your family has done in the past Instead of Social Class you should say: o Socioeconomic status: The prestige, honor, respect and lifestyle associated with different positions of groups in society Three Views on Stratification: o Structural Functionalist: Because stratification is universal, it must serve some purpose o Conflict: We have stratification because it allows the powerful to keep hold on their power o Symbolic Interactionist:
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Stratification is created and maintained in small, often intimate groups Economic Stratification Poverty: o Def: Absolute poverty: not having the minimal requirements (e.g. adequate food, shelter, and clothing) to sustain a reasonably healthy life o Def: Relative poverty: living at standards lower than the majority of people in a given society Average U.S. income Children of the Great Depression (The ones who lost the biggest amount of income over time) o Poverty line: poverty is based on food budgets (income compared to food budgets) Average annual food budget for adequate diet for a family with X member multiplied by 3 Uses of poverty line Government help Free/reduced lunch Problems with the poverty line It’s too low (can’t raise it for it may hinder the people in power – e.g. the president who doubled the poverty line) Hawaii and Alaska both have their own poverty line separate from the U.S. poverty line Different areas of the country have different types of living expenses Benefits of the poverty line o The Poverty Rate: Def: Proportion of Americans under the Federal poverty line 14.3% in 2009 (44 million people) by FPL Higher by NAS
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17.2% in Texas (highest to lowest) Three facts about current poverty rate: 1) It’s growing (not just this year but historically) 2) 50% of the poverty rate is growing more than just the poverty rate 3) The gap between the rich and poor is growing o Faces of the poor: Feminization of poverty: Single mothers are the most commonly poor Age patterns: young children and really old people (historically; however over the last fifty years it has changed and the elderly are not poor) – caused by social security and Medicare – poverty rate for children is 22% Racial patterns: Blacks and Latinos are over represented in poverty Other facts about the poor: Sheer numbers are higher in suburban areas, but percentage wise it is in the
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This note was uploaded on 11/03/2010 for the course SOC 45255 taught by Professor Crosnoe during the Fall '10 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Notes Exam 2 - Systems of Stratification Stratification o o o Define A structured system that ranks entire groups of people in ways that perpetuate

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