Sociology: Social Class

Chapter 4A - Social Inequalitites + Lecture Notes
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market basket approach
the necessities the average Canadian family needs for economic and social existence - people unable to afford the market basket are "poor"
low-income cut-offs: when 54.7% or more of ones gross income is spent of food/clothing/shelter they're considered poor
welfare poor
when the social assistance received is below the LICO's
working poor
when you have paid employment but earn below the LICO's
why are women more likely to face poverty?
deserted, widowed, orphaned, single mothers, inequities in labour force, flaws in family law and responses to marriage breakdown, less prestige
feminization poverty
women, regardless of age, have higher poverty rates than men
why are there more poor young adults?
not a lack of education, but a lack of job oppourtunities and unequal pay
the ease with which a person can be gotten rid of
the consumption and use of a person's labour for profit - labourers are not paid in the case of slavery, tied to a lack of free will
being "different" from the dominant group - the process of "othering," carried out by the dominant group in order to justify violence/subordinations
a social and economic relationship in which a person is controlled through violence or its threat, paid nothing, and economically exploited
3 main characteristics of slavery
1. control gained through violence - constant fear 2. loss of free will 3. used to exploit someone in some kind of economic activity
how is slavery different today than from in the past?
slaves are cheaper, the length of time that slaves are held has fallen, globalized
indentured slaves
poor servants who were the slaves of rich European land owners - this was their passage to the new world, supposed to be freed but weren't
a hierarchy is formed on...
1. power 2. property 3. prestige
people may become slaves due to...
1. debt 2. violation of law 3. war and conquest
who were the first slaves?
women - sex and labour: due to their vulnerability and ability to reproduce and the fact that they stayed behind during war
what is the relationship between slavery and racism?
slavery lead to racism - a way of making an excuse to why these people were slaves
your place in stratification determined by birth - lifelong
ascribed status
status you're born with - cannot change, control, or escape it
achieved status
the status you earn, this status cannot change your ascribed status
every individual is liked to a large extended family network which holds great importance
categories of people who share similar economic wealth - social mobility (individuals can move up the layers)
4 categories of class in Marx's capitalist system
1. bourgeoisie 2. petty bourgeoisie 3. proletariat 4. lumpenproletariat
owners - own means of production
petty bourgeoisie
middle class, usually shop owners
workers, only have labour to sell
reserve army of labour - no rights/say
Weber's views on social class
social inequality is multidimensional and class is only one aspect
Weber's 3 ways to explain social inequality
1. property (class) 2. prestige ( status) 3. power (party)
who were the servants in the new world after the indentured servants escaped?
Aboriginals - knew the land too well and also managed to escape
who were the servants in the new world after the Aboriginals escaped?
Africans - had no way of getting home and didn't know the land or how to survive so they couldn't escape
why are caste systems and clans diminishing?
urbanization and industrialization making people more anonymous
upper class: old money
inherited wealth
upper class: new money
developed own riches - recently acquired
upper middle class
high authority/independence on job, university education, high income
lower middle class
some post-secondary education, low level management
working class
unskilled, low paying jobs
working poor
just above poverty line jobs
under class
low levels of education, little or no connection to job markets
Porter's views on social class
capitalist system has changed since Marx - power is at the root of inequality now, not property - those with power = elites who control society
5 types of elites
1. economic 2. political 3. bureaucratic 4. ideological 5. labour
economic elites
investors, own factories, most wealth, affect our employment
political elites
shape laws of land (prime minister, judges)
bureaucratic elites
deputy ministers and public servants -decide how many forms you fill out, backroom stuff
ideological elites
celebrities, journalists, give out ideas, change your opinions
labour elites
run unions, influence policies about labour
2 facts about elites
1. all elites are drawn from narrow sector or population 2. pattern of systematic interactio

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