Social Stratification 2011

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Social Stratification: the ranking of entire groups of
people based on their wealth, power, or prestige in
society; suggests inequality
Terms
Income: Salaries and wages (usually earned)
Wealth: all personal assets, including land, stocks,
and material possessions (can be inherited).
Power: The ability to control people with or without
their consent
Prestige: Respect, honor, or recognition people
receive from society
Systems of Stratification
 Ascribed: social position that is inherited.
 CASTE SYSTEM: Your social position is
forever related to the position of your
parents.
 INDIA has the most infamous caste system
 ENDOGAMY (Marriage within your caste) is
the norm
BRAHMANS / WARRIOR CLASS = UPPER CLASS
DALITS (UNTOUCHABLES) = LOWER CLASS
Achieved Status
 Achieved Status: social structure
allows all individuals to rise up
based on their abilities.
 CLASS SYSTEMS: Stratification of
society based on wealth, power, or
prestige (can be based on
Ascribed status or Achieved
status)
Class systems are inherently cruel
 Social Darwinism: The strong in society thrive and the
weak perish.
 Based on the NATURAL SELECTION in nature, “Survival of
the fittest”
 In human society when groups work together to keep other
social groups down there is no chance for SOCIAL MOBILITY
 The rich and powerful want to keep their riches and have the
means to stop even the strong from rising up, this perverts
NATURAL SELECTION and creates bitterness among the
lower classes
Karl Marx:
Sociologist / Father
of Communism
 Marx studied society under capitalism during
the industrial age
 He believed that there were two social classes:
 1. Bourgeoisie: the rich who controlled the
means of production (factories, and by
extension banks, government)
 Proletariat: the workers who have nothing of
value except their labor, which they trade for
income.
Karl Marx: CONFLICT THEORIST
 Marx believed the Bourgeoisie kept the workers
in a state of perpetual wage slavery.
 Workers create wealth but the owners keep it
all for themselves and exploit the workers.
 MARX’s MOTTO:
WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR
CHAINS!
MARX AND REVOLUTION
 MARX said the bourgeoisie will never give
up their wealth and control willingly
 He called for a REVOLUTION OF
PROLETARIAT to violently throw off the
oppression of BOURGEOISIE.
Social Class
 Sociologists MAX WEBER is connected to
the identification social class
 Class can be measured several ways
 SES: Socioeconomic status is a
comprehensive rating of an individuals
wealth, income, educational level, and
occupational prestige.
 Wealth and Income only
 Prestige only
The Class System: Geographic factors
New Jersey
Mississippi
Wage differences between the Rich and Poor
NY Times interactive graph
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