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Basic Definitions - C What is a Class People who occupy the...

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Basic Definitions A. Life Chances Life chances refer to one's access to resources. Life chances can refer to one's ability to get food and shelter. It also refers to access to social institution such as health care, education, the government, and the law (to mention a few). Social class affects one's life chances across a broad spectrum of social phenomenon from health care, to educational attainment, to participation in the political process, to contact with the criminal justice system. B. What is Social Stratification? Social stratification refers to the division of a society into layers (or strata) whose occupants have unequal access to social opportunities and rewards. People in the top strata enjoy power, prosperity, and prestige that are not available to other members of society; people in the bottom strata endure penalties that other members of society escape. In a stratified society, inequality is part of the social structure and passes from one generation to the next.
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Unformatted text preview: C. What is a Class? People who occupy the same layer of the socioeconomic hierarchy are known as a social class (Bassis, 1990:216). According to Henslin (2004:192), a social class is a large group of people who rank closely to one another in wealth, power, and prestige. Stratification Systems Caste: Ascribed Status A caste system is a rigid system of inequality. Caste position is strictly defined. There is no social mobility from one caste to another. Caste relationships are relatively conflict free. The lack of conflict can be explained, in part, because of the powerful position on the upper caste and, in part, by an ideology that justifies caste position. There is little deviance on the part of the lower castes because of fear of harsh punishment. A well-known society with a caste system is India. People are born into a caste. Caste membership determines your occupation, social interaction, power, and education. No amount of achievement will change your caste position....
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