Sociology Notes

Sociology Notes - INEQUALITY IN SOCIETY Status: Position in...

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INEQUALITY IN SOCIETY Status: Position in Society. What is the meaning of social class? What are gender and race, and how are they related to social structure? How does social stratification affect placement in other social organizations? What is the origin of social stratification systems? What is social mobility? What is Marx’s view of social stratification? THE MEANING OF SOCIAL CLASS Class: position in society’s class structure. Based on economic criteria-usually wealth or income. Sociologists differ on the number of classes. Class brings power, prestige, and privilege. Class brings role expectations; how we are supposed to live our lives: lifestyle. Class brings identity and perspective. –what we expect from ourselves and others GENDER AND RACE Race and gender are similar to class; place the individual into ranks in society. Like class, gender and race are structures rooted in a long history and difficult to change. CLASS, RACE, GENDER ARE SPECIAL SOCIAL STRUCTURES The individual is placed in these at birth. The individual’s position in all three is perpetuated by family. The individual’s position in these structures influences placement in most other structures. The individual’s position in these structures is generally fixed. Various institutions in society cooperate to protect and perpetuate the structures as they have developed. These structures are embedded in a long history.
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Class, race, and gender are sometimes called stratification systems. ORIGIN OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION SYSTEMS A plausible explanation: arises out of social conflict and power Lenski: Struggle for valued things, power based on personal attributes, accumulation of privileges, prestige, more power. System is legitimated and advantages are passed down to offspring. Gender and race: conflict, unequal power, privilege and prestige, more power, legitimation.
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This note was uploaded on 06/06/2011 for the course PHYS 101 taught by Professor Konrad during the Spring '11 term at Kennesaw.

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Sociology Notes - INEQUALITY IN SOCIETY Status: Position in...

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