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Social Stratification Midterm
The basics; theories of inequality; legitimation; poverty and the poor
Undergraduate 3

Additional Sociology Flashcards




Social Inequality vs. Social Stratification
- Soc. ineq.: Condition where folks have unequal access to valued resources, services, and positions in soc.
. Unequal slices of orange.
- Soc. strat.: Ineq. institutionalized, and there's a system of soc. relationships that determines who gets what and why.
. Diff. = in how you get to ineq.
Human, Cultural and Social Capital
- Human: Credentials, skills, work experience, schooling.
- Cultural: How well ind. understands a certain cultural rules/norms and how well they're able to utilize that to their advantage. -> Subjective.
. Knowledge, habits, values, taste.
- Social: Network connection; who you know.
5 Alternatives to Soc. Research
1. Authority: Acquired knowledge from parents, govt., etc.
. pro.'s: Quick, simple, cheap way of learning.
. con's: Overestimate experience.
2. Tradition: Authority of the past.
. con's: Message might be flawed.
. ex: Objectification of females.
3. Common sense: Everyday reasoning.
. con's: Contains errors, misinformation and contradictions.
4. Media myths: May not accurately rep. soc. reality. Distortions.
5. Personal experience: Happens to you; personally see/experience it; and accepted as truth.
. con's: Over-generalization; premature closure (choose early on not to observe)
. Halo effect: Titles come into play. ex: WWU vs. Harvard.
6. Soc. research: Probabilities, not certainties.
. Ind.'s vs. soc. forces.
. Deductive vs. inductive
Inductive vs. Deductive Research
- Inductive: start w/hypothesis then look at data to see alignment.
- Deductive: start w/data then make deduction from it.
Basic vs. Applied Research
- Basic: Engaging in research to increase soc. knowledge.
. What's mostly done in universities.
. Criticism: Why do this when people in soc. branch are only ones who understand terms, etc.
- Applied: Praxis. Transoforming soc. knowledge into research.
Social Differentiation vs. Social Strat.
- Soc. differentiation: Horizontal dimension of soc. structure.
. Classification system w/o ranking.
- Soc. strat.: Vertical dimension.
. Ascribed and achieved characteristics.
Inequality of Conditions vs. Inequality of Opportunity
- Ineq. of condition: Unequal distribution or variations in actual standards of living.
- Ineq. of opportunity/life chances: Diff.'s in chances of acquiring soc. resources and rewards.
3 Concepts that Constitute Culture
1. Gender: Women at every class level have fewer/less effective choices than men do.
2. Race: Minorities at every class level have fewer life chances than their white counterparts.
3. Class: People in lower soc. class have fewer life chances.
Class Def.
Folks who..
1. Occupy same position on hierarchies of occupational prestige, income, and ed.
2. Are in the same relation to the system of production.
3. Are in the same relation to the system of production and are also class conscious.
Class: Traditional/Consensus vs. Conflict Views
- Trad.:
. Continuum of ineq. between classes.
. Party the result of subjective judgements + objective conditions.
. Multidimensional.
. Non-conflictual in nature.
- Conflict:
. Discrete rather than continuous.
. Real rather than statistical creations.
. Economic in nature.
. Conflictual in their relations.
7 Pressures Facing Households
1. Less free time + more working hours.
2. Fewer households w/health insurance.
3. Rising personal debt.
4. Decline in personal savings.
5. Diminishing retirement security.
6. Growing number of temporary jobs.
7. Higher ed., higher reach.
5 Characteristics of a Minority Group
1. Unequal treatment as a group.
2. Easily identifiable because of distinguishing physical or cultural characteristics that are held in low esteem.
3. Group feels a sense of peoplehood.
4. Membership in the minority group has ascribed characteristics.
5. Group members practice endogamy.
9 Variables Used in Strat. Research
1. Occupation. - Econ.
2. Income. - Econ.
3. Wealth. - Econ.
4. Personal Prestige. - Social.
5. Association. -> Personal contacts; networks. - Social.
6. Socialization. - Social.
7. Power. - Pol.
8. Class Consciousness. - Pol.
9. Social Mobility. - Mobility.
Soc. Status Def. & 5 Major Characteristics of a Soc. Group
- Def.: Ind.'s ranking w/respect to some soc. important characteristic.
1. Similar set of traditions/lifestyles.
2. Practices endogamy.
3. Frequent monopolization of econ.
4. Emphasis on ownership on certain types of possessions.
5. Tend towards closure (restrictions) on contact w/those outside of group.
9 Bases of Status in U.S.
1. Occupation. - Job prestige vs. actual utility.
2. Ed. attainment. - Prestige/halo effect.
3. School and lifestyle. - Soc. cliques.
4. Wealth.
5. Physical appearance.
6. Place.
7. Gender, sexual orientation, and race.
5 Ways Soc. Cliques are Similar to Status Groups
Advantages for Using $ Income when Gauging Econ. Ineq.
1. More immediately quantifiable than other measures.
2. Income = highly valued in U.S. and serves a base on which people are evaluated by others.
3. Income ineq.'s are reflected in a number of other econ. related areas (unemployment, welfare, inflation, etc.)
8 Factors that Impact Income Ineq.
1. New tech. advantages. - Machines /tech. taking over the jobs that people once did.
2. Global econ. interdependence.
3. Capital flight/outsourcing: Operators much of the time = not actually in the U.S.
4. Dominance of the info. and service sectors over manufacturing industries
5. Changes in the ages structure of the pop. and labor force. - Soc. security worries. When our gen. = old, no more soc. sec. $ available.
6. Influx of poorly educated immigrants into work force and the rising use of less-expensive foreign labor.
7. Declining unionization and power of unions.
8. Govt. policies such as min. wages changes, tax reform, and cuts in programs for the needy.
Things to Keep in Mind when Using Total $ as a Way to Assess Econ. Ineq.
- Income only = partial measure of a fam.'s or ind.'s econ. well-being. Doesn't take into consideration the value of stocks, real estate, or other non-cash assets.
- Tends to be an underreporting of income, w/some sources of income being more likely to be reported than others.
Wealth Def. & Why it Could be Better for Gauging Econ. Ineq. than Income.
- Complete measure of fam.'s econ. power, consists of value of all fam.'s assets minus its debt.
- Historically, fam. and inheritance have been major sources of wealth among rich in the U.S.
- Odds of the children of wealthy parents keeping their wealth is about 3 to 1.
2 Values that Seemingly Conflict in Capitalistic Soc.
- Equity: Distribution of Soc.'s rewards in a just manner.
- Liberty: Freedom to pursue one's interests as one desires and to reap the benefits of one's efforts.
Soc. Mobility Def. (Two Types)
- Movement of folks up and down or sideways in soc. structure.
1. Horizontal mob.
2. Vertical mob.
Intergenerational mob. vs. Intragenerational mob.
- Inter: ex.: Son doing much better than mother.
- Intra: If mother moves up to CEO of Burger King while originally just regular employee.
Closed Soc. vs. Open Soc.
- Closed: Little mob. and position is entirely dependent on position into which one's born.
. Caste system; no chance for mob.
- Open: Soc. in which soc. mob. and opportunity = available to all.
Rate, Direction, and Range of Mob.
- Rate:
. Industrialized soc. 's (in ed.)
. More than 50% don't experience upward mob.
- Direction of mob.:
. Most soc. mob. = upwards.
- Range of mob.:
. Distance is marginal.
. Rich stay rich, poor stay poor.
. Most mobility w/in class groups, not between them.
Structural vs. Individual Mob.
- Structural:
. Changes in soc.'s labor force.
. Econ.
. Innovations in tech.
- Ind. mob.:
. Accident of birth.
. Ed.
. Race/ethnicity.
. Gender.
. Soc. networks.
. Luck.
5 Varieties of Human Strat. Systems
1. Primitive communal system. - Earliest forms of soc. organization based upon simple hunting and gathering, normally w/little ineq. and no formal system of strat.
. Ranks: Open.
. Placement: Achievement.
. Forms of legitimation: Tradition.
. Primary basis of ranking: Status honor.
2. Slave system: Extensive formal ownership of other folks as primary dimension of econ.
. Gen. closed.
. Usually ascription.
. Legal ideology.
. Economic.
3. Caste System: Soc. strat. based on status rankings and strict ascription.
. Closed.
. Ascription.
. Religious ideology.
. Status-honor.
4. Estate/feudal system: Agrarian system of soc. strat. based on land ownership w/high level of ascription.
. Primarily closed.
. Primarily ascription.
. Legal ideology.
. Econ.
5. Class system: Groupings of ind.'s w/similar positions/pol. and econ. interests w/in strat. system.
. Primarily open.
. Mix of ascription, achievement.
. Legal ideology.
. Econ., bureaucratic thinking.
Kuznets Curve
- Ineq. w/in a soc. increases until the soc. reaches a certain point in industrialization at which it declines.
. Describes experiences of G. Britain, the U:.S., Germany, and other advanced industrialized nations.
. Optimistic view that it will apply to later-developing countries too. Other theorists say poor nations will be prevented from following pattern because they'll be relegated to a subservient role in the world econ.
pgs. 21 & 24 Sernau
Social Reproduction
- Tendency of people to remain in their soc. class of origin and to replicate the experiences of their parents.
. Closed strat. system allows for no soc. mobility and demands soc. reproduction.
Circulation Mobility
- Mobility that occurs when some move up while others drop in the system.
. Closed and non-growing econ. can offer only this type. For someone to move up, someone else has to move down and make room at top.
Reproductive Mobility
- Process that can occur if lower-income groups have more children than higher-income groups, so that some born into lower-income families can experience upward soc. mobility.
Immigration Mobility
- Mobility occurring in soc. system that is open to immigrants who mostly enter near the bottom and push others up into better occupational levels.
. Part of assumed Am. experience. Most immigrants who arrived in past were not the elite members of their home soc.'s.
No Child Left Behind & Tracking
- Stresses school accountability and standards (test scores), shifted strategies to state level, and provided for elimination of "failing" schools from funding programs.
- Emphasis on achievement of poor children, but ideology behind act based in belief that key problems of pub. schools lie in inefficient bureaucracies and pub. systems rather than in inequitable funding.
- Opponents: law flawed in both funding and mandates. Schools not given resources needed to meet act's high standards for rapid improvement. Undermining of pub. ed. esp. in poor, urban areas.
. Indirect attack on pub. ed. and a way to force privatization.

- "Accelerated track" vs. "basic track", etc. in schools
- Tracking can confer cumulative advantages/disadvantages so slow starts are never compensated for. Can limit students options from early on.
. Gender component. Strong racial/ethnic components.
- "Inside track" vs. "Outside track" in jobs.
5 Explanations Concerning Increase in Soc. Equality (DeMuth)
"Increase in income ineq. = Result of soc. equality."
1. Progress in material life necessities = great. Therefore, lack of it = problem of ind. behavior, soc. organization, and pub. policy.
2. Progress in pub. health, nutrition, biological sciences, and
3. Source of soc. wealth shifted from physical capabilities to human capital/intelligence. This = unequally distributed and affected by heritage.
4. Now, more soc. and econ. equality of the sexes.
5. Reduction in time spent working. More leisure time = the more precious commodity.
- Consumption = better measure of equality than income.
Inequality as an Accomplishment (Schwalbe)
Avoiding "Hierarchy of Oppression" Problem (Schwalbe)
Legitimacy vs. Legitimation
- Legitimacy: Willing acceptance of existing institutional system and related inequalities.
- Legitimation: Process of accepting institutional system and related inequalities.
Official Poverty & Limitations
- "Poverty as defined by govt.-imposed standards of measure."
. Based on cost of a standard market basket of goods.
. Assumes poor spend 1/3 of income on food and 2/3 on everything else.
. Threshold is adjusted each year in light of changing prices.
. Poverty line refers to cash income before taxes from any source.
- Faults w/def.:
. Doesn't consider poverty to exist when a barely sufficient standard of living is maintained.
. Official measure only considers pre-taxed income (liberal view vs. conservative view of poverty).
Absolute Poverty
- "Socio-econ. condition in which folks are unable to meet fundamental necessities of life."
Relative Poverty
- "Poverty that's relative to standards and expectations of people in a particular soc. at a particular time."
Characteristics of Those who are Poor
- Children = more likely to be poor than people at any stage of the life cycle.
- Whites = less likely to be poor than any other racial/ethnic group.
- Single parent fam.'s more likely to be poor than two-parent fam.'s.
- The fewer the job skills people possess, the greater the likelihood of poverty.
- People who work less are more likely to be poor.
Working Poor vs. Underclass
Working Poor:
- Work part-time or temp. basis.
- Pay check to pay check- not poor enough to be eligible for pub. assistance.
- Drift in and out of poverty.
- Jobs impacted by downsizing and outsourcing.

- Anchored in poverty.
- Few occupational skills, under-educated, and dependent on pub. assistance.
- Largely cut off from mainstream soc.
- Work in underground econ.
- Disproportionately Af. Am.
Structural Factors of Poverty
- Capital flight/outsourcing.
- Dominance of info. and service sectors over manufacturing industries.
- Influx of poorly educated immigrants into the work force and the rising use of less-expensive foreign labor.
- Declining unionization and power of unions.
- Govt. policies such as minimum wage change, tax reform, and cuts in programs for the needy.
Liberal View vs. Conservative Perspective of Poverty
Deserving vs. Undeserving Poor
The Underclass Debate
Biological Explanations of Poverty/Social Darwinism/Blaming the Poor
- Ind. characteristics of poor = reason they're in poverty.
Culture of Poverty
- Pol.-econ. forces help to create poverty, which is also upheld by ind. characteristics of poor which in turn upholds poverty.
1. Absence of long childhood.
2. Early initiation into sex.
3. High rate of abandonment of wives and children.
4. Feelings of marginality, helplessness, and dependence.
5. Lack of impulse control.
6. Value male superiority.
Situational View of Poverty
- Pol.-Econ. forces lead to poverty, which leads to ind. characteristics of the poor.
Structural View of Poverty
- Pol.-econ. forces lead to poverty.
Functionalist Perspective of Poverty
1. Benefits nonpoor by making a class of low-skill workers available.
2. Benefits nonpoor by keeping prices down.
3. Benefits nonpoor by creating income and jobs for people who serve, regulate, or exploit those who are poor.
4. Benefits nonpoor since poor purchase goods and services not desired by more affluent people.
5. Benefits nonpoor since poor are made to absorb the costs of econ. policies.
FIRE enterprises
- Finance, Insurance, and Real estate businesses that remained in downtowns after many white folks left cities for suburbs and many retail and office jobs left with them in late 1960's, spurred by CRM when many AF. Am.'s rose up to challenge deprivation and isolation of urban ghettos.
- The FIRE enterprises that were left required college degrees, professional presentation, and long list of credentials, none of which low-income urban residents possessed. Only employment they offered central-city residents was occassional custodian/security guard.
- Privileged workers shuttled between downtown jobs and suburb homes making as little contact as possible w/city residents.
- Institutional ghettos became job ghettos. Where jobs located and what these jobs demanded of workers didn't match up with where unemployment were and what they had to offer.
- Inner-city residents turned to informal econ. activities (drug trafficking and other illegal). Central city became place of danger/mystery for suburbanites/ place of danger/degradation for it's residents.
"Brain Gain" and "Brain Drain" Cities
"Brain Gain":
- Cities w/both jobs and the cultural/entertainment offerings that attract college grads, particularly bright, creative, multitalented peoples.
- Attractive because "look to future rather than to past."
- Govt. offices/corporate headquarters here seek well-educated employees; universities produce research spin-ff's; commercial hubs bring in new commerce.
- Flexibility, education, technology.
- brain gain/drain phenomenon = labor market at work. People pushed from areas of low opportunity and pulled toward areas of high opportunity.
Rural Poverty vs. Urban Poverty
- New urban folks in poverty tend to be folks w/no children; unconcerned w/safe schools/places for kids to play.
- Poorest communities w/least access to services = rural ones.
. Poverty = more hidden, gets less policy attention, and makes duller settings for prime-time police shows.
- Rural poor more likely to be working poor/less likely to make use of public assistance compared w/urban poor.
- Crime among rural poor = not the sort to get much attention/make good t.v. programming.
. Yet violent crime rates = higher in rural countries w/persistently high poverty/high unemployment.
. chem. dependency there = more likely to involve alcohol/possible weed.
- Two-parent fam.'s more common among rural poor
- Rural poverty = growing and extending into new regions.
How Media Depicts the Poor (Online Reading #4)
- Retain illusions of egalitarian soc.
- "Faceless poor."
. Poverty reduced to # by Census Bureau.
- "Undeserving poor."
. Bad face put to the poor when covered by media. No focus on plight of poor.
. Ex.'s: Welfare cheats, etc.
- Told that poor have only themselves to blame.
. Sexist, racist, classist images.
. "Blaming the victim." -> Message: Something fundamentally wrong w/victims.
- Media strives to develop sense of "we-ness": Speak to an audience that's affluent and like-minded.
. Focus attention to concerns of welathy and privileged. -> Message: Concerns of the wealthy = concerns of us all.
. No notice to rich as a class w/interests in mind, presented instead as aggregate of ind.'s.
- Wealthy as deserving; "series of smart moves."
. Keeping Am. dream alive.
. Rich/business wrong-doing treated as aberration, isolated deviants from socially beneficial system of capitalism.
- Middle class presented as victime by poor, minorities, taxes, etc.
. Distinction made between middle and working classes; Blame placed on blue collar workers.
Pol., Cultural, and Econ. Forces Negatively Impacting Poverty w/in Af. Am. Community (Online Reading #3)
Soc. Theory Def.
- Interconnected abstractions/ideas that condenses or organizes knowledge about soc. world.
1. Contains set of assumptions or a starting point.
2. Explains what soc. world is like, how/why it changes.
3. Offers a system of concepts/ideas.
4. Specifies relationship among concepts, tells what causes what.
5. Provides an interconnected system of ideas.
Diff. Levels of Theory
- Micro level.
- Macro level.
- Meso level: Bridges both micro and macro levels.
Diff. Between Formal and Substantive Theory
- Substantive: Focuses on some specific phenomenon. Usually limited in what it can explain.
2 Major Q's Theory Attempts to Address in Study of Strat./Ineq.
1. Why is there ineq. in societies?
2. Is ineq. inevitable?
Competing Paradigms in Study of Strat.
- Conflict vs. Functionalist

- Conflict value assumptions: Critical.
. Ineq. is not inevitable.
. Better, more just, societies the goal of soc. science.
- Conflict model assumptions: conflict.
. Soc. held together by conflict and unequal power.
. Soc. = a setting for struggles between classes or interest groups.
- Functionalist value assumptions: Uncritical.
. Ineq. = inevitable.
. Sociology should be value-free.
- Functionalist model assumptions: Consensus.
. Soc. held together by consensus (norms and values).
. Focus on a soc. system w/needs of its own.
Basic Foundations of Marxian Theory
- To understand human soc.'s, must begin w/econ. of producing necessities of life. (historical materialism.)
- Substructure (material and econ. base)lead to other aspects of life (superstructure).
- Means of production differs from relations of production.
- Means of production/relations of production can affect a person's fam. relations, leisure activities, child-rearing practices, life opportunities, and self-esteem.
Basic Factors Needed to Maintain Class Structure.
- The state.
- Ideology.
- Capitalist structure itself creates the appearance of equal exchange.
Stages of Capitalism
- Cooperation.
- Manufacture.
- Modern (machine) industry.
Reasons People Accept Their Present Situation
Stereotype vs. Myth vs. Ideology vs. Dominant Ideology Def.'s
- Stereotypes: Generalizations and simplifications applied to all members of a group.
- Myths: Unfounded beliefs.
- Ideology: Loosely organized systems of myths, beliefs, and ideas that rationalizes a societies structure of power and privilege.
- Dominant ideology: Explains and justifies current power and reward structures.
3 Interrelated Dimensions in Regards to Legitimation of Ineq.
1. Ind. elites and their status.
2. A particular regime in power and its authority and policies.
3. Strat. and inequalities of wealth and authority.
Marxist View, Elitist View, and Functionalist View in Regards to Ideology
Marxist View:
- Tool for promoting interest of the few over the masses.
- Not deliberate creation.
- Natural production of soc.'s productive forces.
- False consciousness.

Elitist View
- Ideas produced by elite to justify dominance.
. Chosen by God.
. Biological or/and moral superiority.
. Possession of skill and/or expertise.
- They are conscious of actions.

- No false consciousness or elite manipulation.
- Gen. consensus of values among people.
Assumptions Inherent in Am. Dream
- The puritan ethic.
. Rel. philosophy emphasized ind. responsiblity for one's own fate.
. Centerpiece of colonial cultural value system.
. Independence and self-reliance.
. All form of work = God's worldy plan (idle hands).
. Work = Personal character.
. Wealth = Sign of God's grace.
- The frontier and the land of opportunity.
. Ideology of individualism was encouraged and reinforced by abundance of land.
. Symbol of unlimited opportunities.
. Homestead act offered cheap land.
. Opportunity for wealth = personal ingenuity.
- Soc. Darwinism.
. Evolutionary process - hard work = key.
. No attempt to redistribute wealth.
- The great depression.
. Challenged idea of free market system.
. Securities exchange commission - monitor stock market.
. Min. wage.
. Am.'s still optimistic of future opportunities for advancement.
- Information Technology.
. 1990's - Info. tech. and internet flourished.
. Am. dream revitalized. (pioneering idea = wealth).
- Contemporary class ideology.
Ind. Achievement/Self Reliance
- Ind.'s = responsible for their own soc. positions/rely less on others.
- Less emphasis on structural factors.
- Strong anti-welfare bias.
Bases for Legitimation of Structured Ineq. at Cultural/Institutional Level.
- "Through its culture/institutions, soc. helps to encourage traditional beliefs about the causes of ineq., thereby maintaining the structure of ineq. Generally, the values impressed on members and clients of those institutions are those of individualism and cap. Through the language and symbols used and their rules of knowledge, institutions define what is real and proper."
- Institutional: The collection of laws, customs, and soc. practices that combine to create and sustain the unequal distribution of rewards and resources based on class, race, sexuality, and gender.
- Norms, beliefs, values.
- The fam., ed., religion, the media.
Equality of Opportunity
- Everyone has equal chance/no obstacles/barriers.
- Emphasis on ed. in US soc.
- Rewards based on performance and qualifications.
- Everyone treated the same regardless of characteristics.
Work Ethic
- Hard work = key to success.
- Lower classes supposedly do not know how to defer immediate gratification.
Liberal Capitalism
- Govt. shouldn't interfere with the rights of ind.'s to control their own destiny.
Supplementary Beliefs
- Unchanging human nature.
- Competition and pursuit of personal interests = human nature.
- Neutrality of soc. institutions.
- Fear and doubt of other systems.
- No workeable alternatives.
Bases for Legitimation of Structured Ineq. at Ind. Level.
- "Ind.'s develop interpretations of own/others' rewards and contributions from reactions of others to ineq. Their position in the reward hierarchy affects their own self-evals and their appraisal of the fairness of their own incomes. At the same time, those w/positive self-evaluations interpret their own incomes as being the result of their own efforts."
- Socialization helps development of a self-concept.
. Whether deserving of higher/lower position in soc.
- Self-concept 1st developed through interactions w/people viewed as being important.
- Become aware of what others expect of us by how they react/treat us.
- The "generalized" other helps us to define who we are (self-eval).
Legitimation Function of Mass Media
- Much of news owned by upper class and major corporations, and is directed by interests in profits.
- Since media are primarily dependent upon advertising to stay in business, they are open to pressure from corporate elite.
- Elites may place limits upon info. and/or slant info. toward supporting the interests of these powerful groups.
Arguments Concerning Def.'s of Reality; Human Beings and Others; Achievement Ideology; Class is Forever; and Power (Schwalbe Ch.4)
Modern Explanations of Soc. Strat.
1. Davis-Moore Theory of Strat.
2. Labor Market Theories/Dual Market Theory
Davis-Moore Theory of Strat. & Critiques
1. For a soc. to survive, must ensure best people hold most important jobs/positions. These = characterized as requiring great sacrifice (difficult tasks, high levels of ed.)
2. Activity of sorting people into most appropriate jobs must be predictable.
3. To motivate best people to pursue right occupation, 3 types of rewards:
a) money/goods.
b) rewards related to humor and diversion (leisure plans/vacations).
c) rewards that enhance self-respect and ego-development (promotions).
- Jobs that deserve greatest rewards:
a) Have greatest functional importance/are most unique.
b) have a "scarcity of personnel."
c) Require high degree of training/ed./ have other jobs that are dependent on these types of positions.

1. How to objectively compare jobs in regards to their importance? Whose opinion matters most?
2. Model assumes everything is perfect in soc. No stress on role of power/wealth in facilitating job attainment. No acknowledgement of folks w/lower SES facing restricted opportunitites.
3. Neglect additional dysfunctions of strat.
Dual Labor Market Thesis: 4 Major Assumptions to Model
1. Labor market divided into two parts; primary and secondary labor markets.
. Regarding former, jobs = more stable, provide higher wages, promote better working conditions, greater degree of mobility and unionization.
. Secondary labor markets tend to be menial, not intellectually demanding, low wages, and poor working conditions. Vertical mobility not really an option.
2. Primary market = limited to certain sector of the private econ., the monopoly sector. Firms/organizations in this sector = large, possess both national and international markets and tend to be capital intensive w/high productivity per worker. Secondary market limited to competitive sector of econ. Firms/organizations = much smaller, more labor intensive, and are more local in their markets.
3. Mobility, earnings, life chances, and other outcomes = dependent on where an ind. is located in the labor market.
4. Systematic relationship present between race, gender, and position in the labor market.
Marxian Theory: 4 Characteristics that Constitute a Full-Fledged Class
1. Distinct relationship to/role in the mode of production.
2. Clear consciousness of its existence as a unified class w/objective interest that are hostile to those of other classes.
3. Organization of the class into a pol. party aimed at representing/fighting for its interests.
4. Distinct set of cultural values and a separate style of life.
Failure of Marx's Vision
1. Labor unions: Instruments that tried to negotiate; gain better position while maintaining system.
2. Complex class system: Not as simple as "those who have and those who don't."
3. Ownership- Complexities: Workers owning stocks in company they work for.
4. State intervention: Soc. security and other programs.
5. Other soc. characteristics.
. ex: Didn't anticipate how divisive race should be.
Lenski's Synthesis of Conflict and Functional Theory (Sernau; Ch. 2)
Basic Foundations of Weberian Theory
- Expanded Marx's single class/econ. dimension of soc. strat. into a multi-dimensional view (class, status, party).
- Base of conflict relationships could b e located in many differing types of interests (soc., material, pol., etc.)
- Weber saw a soc. always divided between those who rule and those who were ruled.
- Discussed the development of large bureaucratic institutions that dominated advanced industrial soc.'s.
- Weber contended that alienation, impersonality, and bureaucracy would be permanent features of soc. (iron cage).
- Weber maintained that soc. scientists should understand human soc.'s w/o the interference of pol. objectives (be value free).
Weber's Tripartite Nature of Ineq.
1. Econ. order: class.
- Distribution of econ. goods and services.
- Groups who share common market situation; Class positions influences their opportunities and rewards.
. Skills, credentials, and occupation.
- Types of market situation:
a) Labor market (employers/employees)
b) Money market ( creditors/debtors)
c) Commodity market (buyers/sellers/landlords/tenants)
- Among owners of capital, 2 classes:
a) Rentiers
b) Entrepreneurs.
- Among those who don't own capital, 2 classes:
a) Middle class
b) Working class
- Working class have diff. levels of skill (unskilled to professional worker)

2. Soc. order: status.
- Distribution of soc. honor (prestige).
- Ranking of ind.'s/groups on basis of soc. and evaluated characteristics, in contrast w/class which is mostly econ. ranking.
- Status groups ranked in terms of "consumption of good as represented by special styles of life."
- Draw lines around themselves.
- Tends to be relationship between status and econ. and pol. soc. order.

3. Pol. order: parties.
- Distribution of soc. power.
- Party associated w/pol. rank. Viewed as association aimed at/organized for gaining pol. power in organization/soc.
- Econ./status interests = important, but other motives for parties may be operative (ex: envi. groups).
3 Types of Authority
1. Rational-legal: Rests on belief in the "legality" of patterns of normative rules and the right of those elevated to authority under such rule to issue commands.
2. Charismatic: Rests on devotion to specific and exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an ind.
3. Traditional: Established belief in sanctity of traditions and legitimacy of status of those exercising authority under them.
Bureaucracy Def.
- Form of rational soc. organization based on fixed, written rules and a hierarchy of positions, which has come to dominate industrial soc.'s.
Durkheim's General Framework Regarding Ineq. (mechanical/organic solidarity; anomic forced forms of div. of labor; external vs. internal ineq.'s)
- Soc. = similar to biological organism.
- Mod. soc. characterized by soc. ineq.'s between ind.'s based on inner abilities rather than external characteristics.
- External ineq.'s: Imposed upon ind. by the soc. circumstance of birth.
. Ascribed characteristics.
- Internal Ineq.'s: Ineq. based on ind. talent.
. Achieved characteristics.
- Morality = major component/factor contributing to soc. order and integration.
. Meritocracy.
- Dealt w/existence of class and class conflict by dismissing them as unnatural.
Spencer's Key Beliefs
- Industrial soc.'s = differentiated from militant ones.
- As soc. becomes industrial, o.g. class div.'s based on rank, land, kinship, locality = broken down.
- Distribution of rewards = more based on "difference of attitude for various functions which an industrial soc. needs."
- Like a natural species: Soc.'s best components survive; weakest die away.
- Unnecessary legislation/other types of actions to modify process damage the natural evolutionary process.
- The state should minimize its role in the ind.'s life.
3 Major Criticisms Leveled Against Functionaist
1. Too much faith in natural process of evolution as the proper by which ineq./its ills had to be solved.
2. Didn't take into account the fact that moral order/the state could be mechanisms of dominance by one class over others.
3. Left little room for using human activities of any kind as means of reducing poverty/ineq.
Davis' & Moore's Argument for Stratification + Criticisms
1. Greater functional importance and scarcity of personnel for certain tasks leads to..
2. Higher rewards for these than for other positions, leads to..
3. Motivation to occupy positions/perform tasks lead to..
4. Survival of soc.
- Universal need for strat. in soc.
- Positions, not persons, = differentially ranked in regards to rewards.
a) Certain positions in soc. = functionally more important; require special skills.
b) Limited # of people have talents/skills to fill.
c)Conversion of talents into skills involves long training period/sacrifices.
d) Must be benefits for sacrifices made.
e) Desired goods attached to position.
f) Differential access to basic rewards (strat).
g) Soc. ineq. = both positive, functional, and inevitable in any soc.

1. Differential functional importance.
. How to objectively compare jobs in regards to their importance?
2. Issue of dealing w/real soc.'s.
. Assumption that everything's perfect in soc.
3. Neglect of the dysfunctions of strat.
Social Construction and Reproduction (Key Ideas)
- Ed. system:
. curriculum tracking channels - diff. classes- provides skills to reproduce larger societal patterns.
. Encourages development/internalization of attitudes (rewarded/neg. labeled).
. Justify/legitimate econ. ineq. (belief-merit=success/failure).
. Reinforce status distinctions (strat. system in wider soc.)
- Examine everyday interactions and emphasize importance of words, soc. categories, and classifications to show how diff. categories = soc. invented, not fixed in nature.
- Classifications often created and reproduced by ind.'s who have econ., soc., or pol. power.
- Institutions as soc. structure create avenues/obstacles to achievement.
Key Differences Between Primary and Secondary Labor Market
- Labor market divided into: primary labor market and secondary.
- Mobility, earnings, life chances, and other outcomes = dependent on where an ind. is located in the labor market.
- Systematic between race, gender, and position in the labor market.

- Primary labor market jobs = more stable, provide higher wages, promote better working conditions, greater degree of mobility, and unionization.
- Limited to certain sector of private econ, the monopoly sector. Firms/organizations = large, possess both national and international markets, and tend to be capital intensive, w/high productivity per worker.
- Exists internal labor market that protects insiders from outside competition.

- Secondary labor market jobs tend to be menial, not intellectually demanding, low wages, and poor working conditions. Vert. mobility = not really an option.
- Limited to competitive sector of econ. Firms/organizations tend to be smaller, more labor intensive, and more local in their markets.
World System Theory Overall Argument (major propositions; characteristics of diff. type of nations; process; advantages/disadvantages for key nations; predicted future)
1. Life chances for differing classes in US = affected by global strat.
2. Class positions in relation to world econ. system result in unequal distribution of wealth.
3. Global strat. operates on principle of capital accumulation.
4. Separate nations = tied together through econ. exchange.
5. To understand basic nature of world strat., must first recognize worldwide div. of labor.

a) Core nations (upper class):
- Econ. diverse/highly industrialized.
- Wealthy/powerful. (econ. and mil.)
- Produce manufactured goods rather than raw materials for export.
- More complex occupational structure.
- Have means to influence noncore nations/are not controlled themselves.
- Advantages:
. Access to large quantity raw material.
. Cheap labor.
. Enormous profit from direct capital investment.
b) Semi-Periphery (middle class)
- Nations primarily moving towards industrialization/diverse econ.
- Midway in strength of state power, occupational structure, national wealth, and income ineq.
- For most part, not subject to outside manipulation.

c) Periphery (lower class)
- Least econ. diversified.
- Usually dependent on one type of econ. activity.
- Poor econ./less division of labor.
- High levels of income ineq.
- Weak state institutions.
- Strongly influenced by outside nations.
- Advantages
. Market for raw materials.
. Military aid.
. Factories built b y multinational corporations that provide jobs.
- Disadvantages:
. Total core domination harms econ. and pol. well-being of people in periphery- esp. in the long run (internal strife).

- The process:
a) Fall of communism + emergence of Asia.
b) Nations trying to position themselves in world system.
c) Interaction in system = between core areas and periphery.
d) Core nations exploit periphery/semi-periphery may exploit periphery too.

- Predictions:
. Eventually all external areas will be exhausted.
. Socialist world govt.
What Does a Fair Game Imply? (Schwalbe; Ch. 2)
"Capturing the State" (Schwalbe; Ch. 2)
"Money is Speech" (Schwalbe; Ch. 2)
"Corporate Personhood" (Schwalbe; Ch. 2)
"Redlining" (Schwalbe; Ch. 2)
Sociopoly: What Does "Free Parking" Symbolize?
Sociopoly: Why do so many groups agree to play by the rules even when the rules are unfair/biased against groups of people?
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