Sociology Notes on Wealth

Groups have entered the hierarchy in different places

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Groups have entered the hierarchy in different places o Early on, some groups were specifically kept out of certain opportunities o Over time, new opportunities open up, but resources are required to take advantage of them. Think of buying a house or starting a small business… “It takes money to make money!” And into the future… o The legacy of the past lives on – since our children inherit our resources, those who had more in the past gave more to the present Those with little in the past had little to pass on to later generations Think about who has been able to own homes or property or to invest o Furthermore, others in society who see us as a part of their “group” don’t see a loss in sharing, while sharing with other groups is threatening
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Privilege o Any advantage or set of advantages that a person/group has over another o Doesn’t always take form of having a special benefit o Take the form of simply not having to be concern with a disadvantage o Everyone in society struggles Everyone faces different struggles Some face fewer struggles in the end when we take it all into account White privilege o In our society, non-white ethno- or racial groups face many of the same struggles as white groups but also face some additional issues o Not facing: racial prejudice, discrimination, denial of opportunities, lack of resources to take advantage of opportunities o And even more, something as simple as not having to “think” about race is a privilege Color Blindness o Some people (primarily whites) claim that we live in a post racial society where everyone has access to the same opportunities o Being able to “not see race” is a privilege It means a person is in the relatively privileged position to be able to ignore the systematic and structural disadvantages that persist
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