Test2_ChapterSummary - Chapter 7 : Stratification...

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Chapter 7 :: Stratification Introduction Stratification is systematic inequalities between groups of people that arise as intended or unintended consequences of social processes and relationships. Views of Inequality In the eighteenth century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that private property creates social inequality and that this inequality ultimately leads to social conflict. The Scottish Enlightenment thinkers Adam Ferguson and John Millar agreed with Rousseau that private property creates inequality, but they argued that this is good because it means that some people prosper and create assets (a form of wealth that can be stored for the future). The ability to create assets provides an incentive to work hard and be productive, which in turn leads to higher degrees of social organization and efficiency and ultimately to an improved society and civilization. The irony, however, is that this ability to create and store surpluses is what creates inequality. Thomas Malthus also viewed inequality favorably, but only as a means for controlling population growth. He thought that a more equal distribution of resources would increase the world’s population to unsustainable levels and ultimately bring about mass starvation and conflict. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s master–slave dialectic posited that most social relationships in the world were based on a master–slave model in which the master becomes as dependent on the slave as the slave is on the master. Hegel also believed that over time society would have more and more free people and the master–slave model would die out as the primary social relationship. Standards of Equality Ontological equality is the notion that everyone is created equal in the eyes of God. Equality of opportunity is the idea that inequality of condition is acceptable so long as everyone has the same opportunities for advancement and is judged by the same standards. This standard of equality is most closely associated with modern capitalist society and a cornerstone of arguments made by civil rights activists in the United States in the 1960s. Equality of condition is the idea that everyone should have an equal starting point from which to pursue his or her goals. Belief in this standard of equality has led to policies, such as affirmative action, which try to compensate social actors for differences in their conditions or starting points. Equality of outcome is the notion that everyone in a society should end up with the same “rewards” regardless of his or her starting point, opportunities, or contributions. This standard of equality is most closely associated with Communist ideology, and critics argue that without greater incentives to work hard and be productive, people will slack off and social progress will be stymied. Forms of Stratification
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Test2_ChapterSummary - Chapter 7 : Stratification...

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