RealWorldCh08-lecture - The Real World 2 nd Edition AN...

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Unformatted text preview: The Real World 2 nd Edition AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY Kerry Ferris and Jill Stein Chapter 8 Social Class: The Structure of Inequality Social Stratification and Social Inequality • Social stratification is the division of society into groups arranged in a social hierarchy. • Every society has some form of stratification, but societies stratify people on different criteria (like race, class, and gender). Systems of Stratification (cont ’ d) • A caste system is a form of social stratification in which status is determined by one ’ s family history and background and cannot be changed. Systems of Stratification (cont ’ d) • Social class refers to a system of stratification based on access to resources such as wealth, property, power, and prestige. Sociologists often refer to it as socioeconomic status (or SES ). Social Classes in the United States • The upper class: • Wealthiest people in a class system • Make up about 1% of the U.S. population • Possess most of the wealth of the country Social Classes in the United States (cont ’ d) • The upper-middle class: • Professionals and managers • Make up about 14% of the U.S. population • The middle class consists primarily of • “ White collar ” workers • Have a broad range of incomes • Make up about 30% of the U.S. population Social Classes in the United States (cont ’ d) • The working (lower-middle) class : • “ Blue-collar ” or service industry workers • Less likely to have college degrees • Make up about 30% of the U.S. population Social Classes in the United States (cont ’ d) • The lower class : • Many poor people who typically have lower levels of literacy than other classes • Make up about 20% of the U.S. population The U.S. Social Class Ladder (Figure 8.1) The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company Theories of Social Class • Karl Marx believed that there were two main social classes in capitalist societies: • Capitalists (or bourgeoisie), who owned the means of production • Workers (or proletariat), who sold their labor for wages • He believed that the classes would remain divided and social inequality would grow. Theories of Social Class (cont ’ d) • Max Weber offered a similar model that also included cultural factors. • He argued that class status was made of three components: • Wealth (or Privilege) • Power • Prestige The Relative Social Prestige of Selected Occupations in the United States (Table 8.1,top) The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company W....
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RealWorldCh08-lecture - The Real World 2 nd Edition AN...

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