Fourth Edition ANTHONY GIDDENS ● MITCHELL DUNEIER ● RICHARD P.APPELBAUM ● DEBORAH CARR Chapter 7: Stratification, Class, and Inequality Homeless to Harvard © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 2 Social stratification • Social stratification is structured inequality between groups. • This inequality may be based on economics, gender, race, religion, age, or another factor. • Three key aspects: Class, status, and power—from Max Weber • What is at stake is power. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 3 Characteristics of stratification systems Three primary characteristics: •Systems of inequality are organized around groups with a shared characteristic. •The social location of a group is significant in terms of the life chances of members. •Rankings of groups change only very slowly. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 4 Three basic models • Slavery—ownership of certain people • Caste—status for life • Class—positions based on economics © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 5 Class systems • In modern societies, class systems dominate. • While class systems do allow for social mobility, opportunities are not evenly distributed across social groups. • Class has a significant impact on many aspects of life, including education, occupation, place of residence, marriage partner, and more. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 6 Questions about class systems • Two important debates today: 1. Will caste systems develop into class systems as we observe global structural change? 2. Is inequality declining in class systems as a result of expanded social programs, e.g., education? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 7 Figure 7.1 The Kuznets Curve © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. How do stratification systems look today? • In modern, industrialized societies, there is little overt support for rigid systems of inequality. • Remaining caste systems appear to be transitioning into class systems. • From the time of World War II to the 1970s, class boundaries appeared to soften, but they have been hardening since the 1970s. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 9 Marx and class conflict • Karl Marx was very interested in class relations in capitalist societies. • Class was determined solely by one’s relation to the means of production. – Proletariat and bourgeoisie – Group membership utterly determined life chances. • Ultimately, the proletariat would overthrow the bourgeoisie, ending the reign of capitalism. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 10 Weber: Class and status • For Max Weber, position in a stratification system was not based on economics alone: social status was also significant. • Weber’s multidimensional approach is attractive to those who believe that social prestige and power can be independent of economics. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 11 Functionalist approaches • Functionalist theorists attempt to understand what role inequality plays in keeping society at equilibrium. • Davis and Moore (1945) argued that stratification benefited society by ensuring that the most important roles would be filled by the most talented and worthy people. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 12 What is social class? • Social class is some mixture of: – Wealth – Income – Education – Occupation © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 13 Race and wealth • Though race is not an actual component of class, there is a clear intersection. • Research shows that nonwhites generally have less wealth and education than other social groups. • Nonwhites are also much more likely to experience discrimination when buying homes. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 14 Social Inequality in the U.S. Median net worth of American families based on various social factors Source: U.S. Federal Reserve Board 2009. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 15 Social Inequality in the U.S. Median net worth of American families based on various social factors EDUCATION $300,000 No high school High school Some college College degree $225,000 AGE 0 55 35 65 45 75 $150,000 RACE OR ETHNICITY Nonwhite or Hispanic White, non-Hispanic HOME OWNERSHIP $75,000 Renter Owner $0 SOURCE: U.S. Federal Reserve Board 2011. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Social Inequality in the U.S. Median net worth by percentile $2m $1m $0 0% 25% 50% 75% 90% 100% PERCENTILE OF NET WORTH SOURCE: U.S. Federal Reserve Board 2011. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Income distribution Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census 2010b. Figure 7.2 Distribution of Income in the United States, 1967–2010 © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. The recession • The increase in subprime lending to minority communities led to disproportionate rates of default and foreclosure among those same groups, beginning in 2006. • Following this, the real estate bubble burst, and recession set in. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Higher education • College graduates earn approximately $20,000 more per year, $650,000 more over a 40-year work life, than nongrads. • There is also stratification within college graduates: Degrees emphasizing numerical competency higher incomes • Finishing high school is still critical © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Occupational prestige Occupation Accountant Cab driver Carpenter Classical musician Electrical engineer Garbage collector Journalist Physician Police officer Real estate agent Registered nurse Secretary Shoe shiner Social worker Sociologist Waiter or waitress © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Rank (1 = most prestigious; 16 = least prestigious) _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ 21 The rankings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Physician Electrical engineer Sociologist Accountant Registered nurse Classical musician Police officer Journalist Social worker Secretary Real estate agent Carpenter Cab driver Waiter or waitress Garbage collector Shoe shiner © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 22 The American middle class • The United States understands itself as a middle-class society. • This fits with strongly held ideologies, including classlessness, meritocracy, and the work ethic. • Middle-class ideologies tend to promote the reproduction of inequality. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 23 The American Superrich • 1940s: 13,000 people worth > $1 million • 2008: 6.7 million millionaire households, 371 billionaires • 2013: 5.22 million millionaires © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 24 Social mobility • Social mobility is the movement of people up or down the stratification system. • Class systems allow for more movement than slave or caste systems. • Even so, it remains quite difficult to achieve upward, intergenerational social mobility. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 25 Rising income inequality © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 26 Poverty • Despite the wealth of resources and opportunities in the United States, poverty remains a significant social problem. • Sociologists discuss two general types of poverty: absolute poverty and relative poverty. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 27 Poverty in the United States • A full 14.3% of the population in 2009 was in poverty (44 million people); this is the highest rate among the major industrialized nations and the highest here since 1994. • 25% of these people are working. • 19 million are living in extreme poverty—near starvation levels. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 28 Measuring poverty • Poverty is calculated using a formula from the 1960s, whereby the poverty line is based on an income three times the cost of monthly groceries. • 2013: $22,350 for a family of 4 © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 29 Why are the poor poor? • Poverty is not simply the result of not working hard. • Explanations for poverty are diverse. • What we know is that low earnings (often based on a low minimum wage) make it very hard to “get ahead.” • Also, the poor have less educational attainment, less health insurance, and, more broadly, diminished life chances. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 30 Gender and poverty • Sociologists often discuss what is called the feminization of poverty. • Because of social changes, including divorce and the increasing normalization of single parenting, there are more femaleheaded households today than throughout modern U.S. history. • Of these families, 29.3% were poor in 2009, compared to only 5.8% of married households. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 31 Children in poverty • In 2009: – 15 million children lived in poor families – 43% lived in “economically insecure” families These numbers are higher for nonwhite children © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 32 The elderly and poverty • Health care is the single biggest problem for the elderly when it comes to economics. • Why? © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 33 Explanations for poverty • Sociologists have many empirical explanations for poverty, but by and large they all fall under one of two themes: – Blaming the victim (culture-of-poverty arguments) – Blaming the system (social exclusion, structural arguments) © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 34 Poverty and social problems • Social welfare systems • Homelessness • Lack of basic medical care • Educational segregation • People turn to nonconventional means to make money. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 35 This concludes the Lecture PowerPoint Presentation for Chapter 7: Stratification, Class, and Inequality For more learning resources, please visit our online StudySpace at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/soc/essentials-of-sociology7/ W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 1. What is social stratification? a. the existence of structured inequalities among individuals and groups in a society b. a system in which success is based on who you know c. a system based on the simple fact that some people are lucky and others are unlucky d. a condition that results when people’s social mobility is hindered, such as in caste or slavery systems © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 37 Clicker Questions 2. If someone is poor when compared with the standard of living for most people, he or she experiences a. absolute poverty. b. relative poverty. c. downward mobility. d. structural mobility. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 38 Clicker Questions 3. What is the basis of Karl Marx’s theory of class? a. Class is a by-product of the Industrial Revolution. b. Modern societies are divided into those who own the means of production and those who sell their labor. c. People with power will always use it to protect their material interests. d. Class is a transitory system of stratification between feudal estates and the classlessness of communist society. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 39 Clicker Questions 4. What term describes the movement of individuals or groups among different social positions? a. social mobility b. social exclusion c. social structure d. vertical advancement © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. 40 Clicker Questions 5. What did Max Weber add to Karl Marx’s theory of class? a. Weber argued that income was more important than property in determining class standing in modern society. b. Weber argued that marketable skills were as important as property in determining class standing and that status was as important as class as a dimension of stratification in modern society. c. Weber argued that society was much too complex for anything remotely resembling Marx’s historical materialism (his theory of history). d. Weber understood the enduring significance of the middle class. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 6. Which of the following systems of stratification permit the least amount of mobility? a. caste b. class c. slavery d. clan © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc. Clicker Questions 7. Since the early 1970s, inequality in the United States has a. increased. b. decreased. c. remained approximately the same. d. become more difficult to measure. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc.