Social Inequality Notes

Social Inequality Notes - Status Inequality: Class:...

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Status Inequality: Condition whereby people have unequal access to valued resources, services, and positions in society→ affects life chances Class: A grouping of individuals with similar positions based on: income and wealth (class), prestige (status) deference Status groups: Individuals who occupy a similar position in the status hierarchy of a community ↓Features of status groups: they treat each other as equals no large gradient of deference, encourage intermarriage of children, join same clubs and associations, and participate together in informal activities Lifestyle: Specific behavior patterns characterizing a status group (status reacts on the class structure/is conditioned by it) ↓Features: must be adhered to by those wishing to belong to status group, tendency towards closure (no new members, no need for more or curiosity of others)→ can result in group endogamy or marriage within the group---full closure is a form of caste Effects of status ranking: Stabilize existing class structure Legitimize class positions Those who attaint high economic rank try to defend their position by: o Restricting status recognition o Excluding others from access o Monopolizing status symbols Restrictive Covenant: Means by which established prestige groups attempt to keep out “undesirable elements” who have risen in the class structure to the point where they can afford to purchase high- status symbols in the form of property in the best residential areas
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Is a defensive weapon to keep out the “nouveaux riches” =new money Thorstein Veblen: The Theory of the Leisure Class (Types of Status Activity) Conspicuous consumption-making a show of wealth by consuming luxuries Conspicuous leisure-nonproductive consumption of time (work is unworthy of the rich, no need for occupation) Conspicuous waste-spending that does not increase comfort (waiters) Vicarious consumption- the rich individual is unable to consume the excess without the help of friends or competitiors Debates on class structure: the working class and idea of embourgeoisement: Embourgeoiement- the working class ha lost its identity as a separate class-the working class has merged into the middle class in terms of its attitudes and style of life Class Contrasts: 1. Work vs. leisure There has been growing discrepancy between the conditions of the working class while “on the job” and during leisure time compared with the middle class 2. Workplace Authority At work there is a still a large element of authoritarian constraint lack of responsibility and absence of opportunity for initiative and self-expression 3. Identification Middle class indentifies with the working authority structure whereas the working class does not. The lover levels of the working class have a significant degree of alienation from the economic and political authority structure Ethnic Stratification The status position of ethnic and religious movements as well as African Americans show many
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2012 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Jipson during the Spring '08 term at University of Dayton.

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Social Inequality Notes - Status Inequality: Class:...

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