DOC 1 Final Review

DOC 1 Final Review - Varieties of Class Concepts by Erik...

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“Varieties of Class Concepts” by Erik Olin Wright There are different varieties of class. 1. Class as a subjective location - “How do people, individually and collectively, locate themselves and others within a social structure of inequality?” - *”Classes are social categories sharing subjectively-salient attributes used by people to rank those categories within a system of economic stratification.” - People’s class is determined by their economic standing and by the shared understandings of people about rankings within social inequality. 2. Class as an objective position within distributions - “How are people objectively located in distributions of material inequality?” - Class can be determined by material standards of living, which usually branches off of wealth. - People break down upper, middle, and lower class based on what kind of luxuries each family has 3. Class as the relational explanation of economic life chance - “What explains inequalities in economically-defined life chances and material standards of living of individuals and families?” - relates to the relationship of people to income-generating resources 4. Class as a dimension of historical variation in systems of inequality - “How should we characterize and explain the variations across history in the social organization of inequalities?” - macro-level concept that allows for macro-level variations across time and place 5. Class as a foundation of economic oppression and exploitation - “What sorts of transformations are needed to eliminate economic oppression and exploitation within capitalist societies?” - Marxist question; it supports a concept of class which is not defined in terms of social relations to economic resources - Inequalities are different for every historical period and place, and that affects class - Someone is in a higher class when economic oppression is eliminated in capitalist societies Marx: exploitation determines life chances - in most capitalist societies, extreme wealth sits next to extreme poverty
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- hierarchies of class and gender are not natural, but dominant ideology makes it seem that way - structural institutions create disparity; ideological formation makes
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DOC 1 Final Review - Varieties of Class Concepts by Erik...

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