Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Theorising inequality Readings, Sept. 17 and 21...

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Theorising inequality
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Readings, Sept. 17 and 21 Bartley, M. 2004. “Measuring Socio-Economic Position” Pp. 22-34 in Health inequality: An introduction to theories, concepts and methods. Oxford, UK: Polity Press. ON RESERVE Jenks, Christopher. 2002. “ Does inequality matter? ” Daedalus 131:49–65. Tilly, Charles. 2003. "Changing Forms of Inequality." Sociological Theory21(1):31-36.
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Tilly (2003) Inequality is generated by the interplay of four elements: A set of positions Unequal rewards for those positions A sorting mechanism to assign individuals to these positions Individual variations that are recognized by the sorting mechanism
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Tilly (2003) Sorting mechanism: Generating inequity? If based on arbitrary characteristics: race, gender age, nationality, physical attractiveness, etc Efficient Based on differences in ability, which impacts performance of organizations Other allocation processes worse (patronage, quotas by social category, seniority, random selection)
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Tilly (2003) But most inequality-generating processes do not conform to the sorting mechanism ideal Categories intervene in the process Inequality is maintained by: Cliques that control value-producing resources How these resources are combined How much categorization occurs that puts individuals in groups subject to exploitation and opportunity hoarding Changes in inequality in the 21st century Financial capital Scientific and technical knowledge Production, distribution and consumption of health care
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Types of assets, resources and valued goods underlying stratification systems (Grusky 2001) Economic: material wealth Political: authority, status Cultural: manners, high-brow culture Social: networks, social capital Honorific: prestige, fame Civil: citizenship, freedom of speech Human: formal education, experience Source: Grusky, D. 2001. “The Past, Present and Future of Stratification” Pp. 1-54 in Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective Ed David Grusky. Boulder, USA: Westview Press.
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In comparative perspective (Grusky 2001) Degree of inequality Rigidity of a stratification system Ascriptive processes (vs. achievement) Status crystallization
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Measuring inequality in health research
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Different components of socioeconomic position in health research (Bartley 2004) Education Income Social class Social status Should be measuring wealth…
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SEP over the life course Death Birth Parents’ education Own education Income Social Class Social Status
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2012 for the course SOCI 309 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '10 term at McGill.

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Lecture 4 - Theorising inequality Readings, Sept. 17 and 21...

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