Shared Flashcard Set


contrasting terms
contrasting terms.

Additional Sociology Flashcards




Absolute versus Relative Poverty

absolute poverty is a measure of people whose income fall below a certain concrete amount.


Relative poverty refers to people below a certain level of the income distribution.


Sen argues both measures are awed and we would be
better considering how far below the poverty measure people fall

Absolute vs relative mobility
total rates of transition versus the odds ratio of transitioning across social classes

occupation vs. job in stratification modeling. 


From a neo-Durkheimian perspective, an occupation relates to shared experiences and training which result in a shared way of being that affects a person’s life chances and attainment whereas jobs do not share this common bonding experience.  Not all jobs are occupations.  In practice distinguishing between the two is challenging, and existing measures of occupations such as those developed by the Census don’t necessarily make this distinction (in my opinion).


Grusky et al. suggest that constructing micro
class begins by developing a unit of occupation similar jobs that through some means (be it a union, credential, and understanding) are institutionalized
in labor markets.

ascription versus achievement

ascriptions refers to selection based on unchangeable characteristics such as gender, race, class of origin and ethnicity on which an individual may be evaluated on but which do not reflect his capacity whereas achievement represents an individuals accomplishments through work and effort.  The extent to which positions are ascripted can be assessed using mobility tables, a status attainment model, or a sibling analysis.

income vs wealth

income is generally perceived as a  flow, an incoming stream of capital, whereas wealth represents a stock of some assets or capital achieved over time (Wolfe).  In class analysis income has predominately been studied but wealth also may be important (Spilerman 2000)Weberian scholars often think about labor market chances while Marxists are focused on means of production and neither conception of class relates to wealth. In particular, differences in wealth are thought to account for many of the differences between black and white outcomes (see Dalton Conley being black living in the Red).  Like income, wealth in the United States is thought to have been increasing since the 1982.  There are class differences in wealth accumulation, wealth is primarily held in the form of real estate for middle class and financial assets for the upper class.    Wealth can also serve as a form of insurance, in times of economic crisis it can protect individuals


occupational prestige vs. socioeconomic status


a measure of status developed by Treiman in the 1970s, the occupational prestige scale was developed by asking individuals in a number of contexts to rank the prestige of occupations.  That the ranking was found to be fairly constant across societies is an indicator that all occupations were viewed similarly across contexts.  Socioeconomic status is typically a composite of education, occupation and income measures.  A classic measure is Duncan’s SEI index adapted from NORC scales.  The Duncan’s SEI was developed by regressing income and education on the good/excellent responses on a few questions for which all information is available and then predicting the score for a broader range of occupations.  Treiman’s occupational prestige scale has been criticized because it is unclear what occupational prestige actually measures and it has low criterion validity (see Hauser 1997 study developing occupational education as most reliable measure).  Duncan’s SEI index has been criticized for the outcome not being very meaningful, what does good or excellent really mean, and for differing across genders (it was originally developed using only men).  Overall, the SEI index came to be favored more than Treiman’s occupational prestige measure and is commonly used by second generation researchers to measure the correlation between father’s occupation and son’s outcomes.  

Social vs. cultural capital

social capital is a term most often credited to Coleman in a 1988 paper.  Social capital refers to assets which emerge from social relationships.  Coleman suggests that social capital and in particular social closure and tight bonds between parents and students is responsible for outcomes in catholic schools (this has been challenged by Stephen Morgan).  Cultural capital is a concept closely related to bourdeiu and refers to the cultural resources an individual has.  They are related to an individual’s way of being and Bourdeiu specifies different types of cultural capital including embedded (such as ways of speaking) acquired (I always think of Mustafa’s snowglobes, objects which refer to taste), and institutional.  These relate to an individual’s habitus, or way of being.  Both social and cultural capital are thought to affect an individual’s outcomes in educational institutions and in the labor market.  Social capital in particular has also been criticized for being too broad and difficult to operationalize.

positive vs. negative selection

Both are processes which affect the population at risk for experiencing a particular event in the life course.  Positive selection means an individual is more likely to experience an event based on a characteristic whereas negative selection refers to the opposite. One area in stratification where it is important to consider selection processes relates to educational attainment.  The heterogeneity caused by unobserved selection processes  is one criticism of the Mare model of educational transitions made by Heckman and Cameron.  Because they face other disadvantages, children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be advantaged in some underlying possibly unobserved trait such as cognition or conscientiousness.

Blau-Duncan model vs. Wisconsin model of status attainment

Blau-Duncan just looks origin (father's job) and destination (son's job). 


Wisconsin model factors in educational attainment as a mediator and other's expection along with own aspirations (element of social psychology)

ethnic niche and ethnic enclaves

ethnic enclave where new migrants self-segregate and form an economy in order to build human capital and networks while acclimating to the United States.


Zhou: Ethnic enclaves are urban neighborhoods in which immigrant groups or ethnic minorities are residentially concentrated,


while ethnic niches are where particular types of businesses are disproportionately owned and/or staffed by ethnic minorities.


"an organization individuals concentrate in to avoid disadvantages of larger economy"


being in an ethnic niche in the labor market does influence immigrants' integration.  Immigrants who are in ethnic niches in the labor market perceive themselves as less integrated.


Immigrants who are in ethnic niches in private life perceive themselves as integrated into the host society.


Moblity tables



This week introduces mobility tables. Moving forward from our discussion last
week of the intergenerational transfers of occupation, mobility tables help to
more formally relate associations between class of origin and destination class.
The Basic Structure of Mobility Tables
Mobility tables take some denition of classes, using evolved from Goldthorpe's
neo-Weberian schema and takes a measure of a sample intended to be representative
of the population and places each population member in a table cell. The rows of the table indicate the class the individual came from (the origin class);

the columns of the table are the individual's current class position (the destination class). The rows and columns of the table are organized in such a way
that the diagnol represents immobility. Interpreting mobility tables in terms of structure and exchange requires making certain assumptions.



Mobility Tables- Origin and Destinations.














Looking at frequency, Chi-square test of a particular model that says the two variables are independent.

Chi-square is the measure of difference between observed and expected if independent. Larger the X-square greater the deviance.

If no association between origin and destination, all you need is row effect, column effect and grand mean. F=abc

If there is an association F=a*bi*cj*gij,

Log(F) = log(a)+log(b)+…

If you estimate all parameters for all cells, you get perfect association, but too many parameters and not helpful.

Want a model where we don’t use all parameters, want more parsimonious.

Want to make sure it reproduces the correct frequency in the marginal frequency. 

Log linear implies different constraints on frequency.
Chi-square measures the goodness of fit of a specific model, can estimate other models between statistically independent and perfectally saturated model (in which Chi-square =0)

Map out regions and within each region (group of cells) the association is the same.  Get a pattern of expected frequencies that work with expected model and get a Chi-square that tells how much expected frequency are with observed frequency.


Constant Flux (book)- known as the core model

-Quasi-perfect mobility. Diagonal cells in the table are immobility. Another model is to estimate separate diagonal cells (immobility) and if it doesn’t happen can equally go up or down in mobility.

Problem with topological models is that very different models can be good, but other models may also be good and mapping is arbitrary.

Another ways is to scale/order the categories and use a single parameter in the difference in origin and destination based on number of cells up or down.  The uniform association models have a single parameter to describe association.

Quasi-uniform association model where immobility is considered, assumes a higher concentration of cases on the diagnol and the rest of the parameters are consistent and depend on how far apart (number of classes) move.

Don’t need to use integers to scale, may use different numbers i.e. average status, SES, percentage not specialized, those with specialized training.

Can compare countries, genders, time, etc by comparing models. Look for differences in marginal distribution to tell how much structure mobility (up and down).  Also can measure absolute mobility.

Unidiff is a very popular model to compare. Forces them to keep same measures of association, but the magnitude of them can vary.  Proportional is preserved.

Looking at the average occupation overtime of parent and children, get strong immobility.

Occupational prestige vs. occupational socioeconomic status

Contrasting scales for assessing an individual's standing.


Treiman's scale (prestige) is primarily based on rankings of occupations across contexts.


Duncan's scale of socioeconomic index regresses an individual's occupational ranking (good or excellent)
on an individuals' income and education for a few occupations for which all measures are available, then predicts them over a range of conditions.


Used to measure social standing in stratication literature, typically in, as Granzeboom
describes it, the second generation

Gross versus disposable income

gross income total income including transfers and foodstamps.


disposable income, income after taxes and social distributions

ignores in kind transfers

Structural vs. Exchange Mobility

Structural mobility- forced change in position as a result of availability of position

exchange mobilitiy-flexible move not brought about by mandated change

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