ReadingGuide2 - 1 Reading Guide for Unit on Social Class A....

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A. Basic Concepts Important terms: make sure you can define these words. These terms are mostly taken from Anthony Giddens et al., “Stratification, Class and Inequality” but some are from other assigned readings. a. social stratification b. economic class c. life chances d. income vs. wealth e. distribution of wealth f. super-rich g. social mobility h. cultural capital i. poverty rate j. social exclusion k. service sector vs. manufacturing sector l. deindustrialization m. globalization B. Anthony Giddens et al., “Stratification, Class and Inequality” 1. What three traits are associated with social stratification? 2. What are the basic meaning of and essential differences between slavery, caste systems, and class ? Which form of social stratification is most associated with industrialized societies? 3. What form of inequality does class primarily measure? What do sociologists mean by the term “life chances”? 4. Which 4 factors are primarily used to measure class standing? 5. Looking at Figure 7.2 (p. 165 of Giddens et al.) what percentage of total income did the bottom 20% earn in 2001? The middle 60% in 2001? The top 20% in 2001? The top 5% in 2001? What trend do you notice in the earnings of the top 5% since 1967? 6. What are key traits of the upper class, middle class, working class and lower class? a. What is the difference between the rich and the super rich? b. How do the upper and lower middle classes differ? c. How is the working class different from the lower class? d. What is the “underclass”? 7. How has inequality changed in recent American history? What time period is associated with growing equality, (i.e., the size and wealth of the middle class expanded)? What time period is associated with shrinking equality, (i.e., the size and wealth of the middle class contracted)? 8. What was the ratio between the earnings of top corporate officials and the average factory worker in 2000? 9. What do we mean by the term “social mobility”? Why is “long range mobility from working class to upper class” (p. 175) relatively rare in the US? 10. What role does “cultural capital” (p. 178) play in the reproduction of the class system? 11. How has the economic status of women changed in the last generation? 12. Skim through the section “Poverty in the United States”. We will return to this section of the chapter when we begin unit 3 (race and ethnicity). 13. What do sociologists mean by the term “social exclusion”? How is social exclusion in rural areas different from social exclusion in urban areas? 14. What are some of the possible factors between incentives to commit crimes and social exclusion? 15. What are the basic premises of the three basic theoretical explanations of poverty?
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course SOCIOL 3ac taught by Professor Kelsey during the Spring '11 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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ReadingGuide2 - 1 Reading Guide for Unit on Social Class A....

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