Social Stratification - Sociological Imagination - Solved Quiz, Exercises for Sociology. Ambedkar University, Delhi
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sangem29 December 2012

Social Stratification - Sociological Imagination - Solved Quiz, Exercises for Sociology. Ambedkar University, Delhi

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Social Stratification, Conspicuous Consumption, Socioeconomic Status, Working Poor, Underclass, Social Class, Life Chances, Cumulative, Working Poor, Ascribed Statuses. Its solved quiz for course of Sociological Imaginat...
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Chapter 8 Summary

CHAPTER 8 – Social Stratification

Fill in the Blank Select the missing terms from each section and place them in the correct blank space.

Section 1 Autonomy Castes Chattel Closed Conspicuous consumption Cumulative Formal Income Life chances Lower Lower-middle Lower-upper Open Power Prestige Property Slavery Social class Social stratification Socioeconomic status Underclass Upper-middle Upper-upper Wealth Working Working poor Social stratification is structured inequality between groups. A social class is a category of people with similar social standing based on wealth, education, power, prestige, and other valued resources. An open stratification system allows movement up or down. In a closed stratification system, movement from one social position to another is limited by ascribed statuses. In castes stratification is based on heredity. An extreme form of inequality is slavery, where people own others as property. In chattel slavery, people are bought and sold as commodities. Wealth is the money and other economic assets that a person or family owns, including property and income. Property includes buildings, land, or stocks and bonds. Incomeis money a person receives from wages, rents, or interest on savings accounts. Wealth builds; that is, it is cumulative and produces income. Social stratification includes prestige. The most prestigious occupations require more formal education, pay more, and offer greater autonomy. Social stratification also includes power, the ability of individuals or groups to achieve goals despite opposition. Socioeconomic status is an overall ranking of a person’s position in the class hierarchy based on income, education, and occupation. Upper-upper class members are extremely wealthy and value their privacy. They rarely appear on the lists of wealthiest individuals published by Forbes or Business Week. The lower-upper class is the nouveau riche and is more diverse than the upper-uppers. Most Americans describe themselves as middle class. The working class consists of skilled and semiskilled laborers, factory employees, and other blue-collar workers. The lower class has little education, few occupational skills, and work in minimum wage jobs. The working poor work at least 27 weeks a year but receive such low wages that they live in or near poverty. The underclass is persistently poor, segregated residentially, and relatively isolated from the rest of the population. Max Weber used the term life chances to refer to the extent to which people have positive stratification experiences and can secure the good things in life.

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CHAPTER 8 – Social Stratification

Fill in the Blank Select the missing terms from each section and place them in the correct blank space.

Section 2

Absolute poverty Culture of poverty Davis-Moore Demographic Economy Families with children Habitus Homelessness Horizontal Important Intergenerational Intragenerational Jobs Meritocracy Organization Poverty Qualified Relative Reward Social mobility Vertical Women Work Absolute poverty is not having enough money to afford the most basic necessities of life. Relative poverty is not having enough money to maintain an average standard of living. The poverty line is the minimal level of income that the federal government considers necessary for basic subsistence. Several theories work to explain poverty. The culture of poverty view argues that poor people have different values, attitudes and beliefs than those who are not poor. Many sociologists argue that a society’s organization creates and sustains poverty. One severe consequence of poverty is homelessness, including people who live in automobiles, have makeshift housing such as boxes and boxcars, or stay with relatives for short periods. Single men are 68 percent of the homeless, families with children 23 percent, and single women 9 percent. Most Americans believe in social mobility, a person’s ability to move up or down the class hierarchy. Horizontal mobility means moving from one position to another at the same class level. Vertical mobility refers to moving up or down the class hierarchy. Intragenerational mobility refers to moving up or down the class hierarchy over one’s lifetime. Intergenerational mobility is moving up or down the class hierarchy relative to the position of one’s parents. Many factors related to social mobility are structural, including changes in the economy, and the number of jobs. Three of the most important demographic factors affecting social mobility are education, gender, and race and ethnicity. On an individual level, the habits of speech and lifestyle that reflect our class position – called habitus – are influenced by socialization. Other factors, such as chance, are also important factors in upward mobility. The Davis-Moore thesis, a functionalist explanation, argues that stratification is beneficial for society because: society needs individuals to perform a variety of work; some positions are more important than others; the most qualified people must fill the most important positions; and society must reward the most qualified people. This view reflects a belief in meritocracy, a belief that individuals are rewarded for their achievements.

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CHAPTER 8 – Social Stratification

Fill in the Blank Select the missing terms from each section and place them in the correct blank space.

Section 3

Bourgeoisie Corporate welfare Dependency theory Feminization of poverty High-income Impoverished Low-income Middle-income Mobile More Patriarchal Poor Proletariat Reputation Responsibilities Self-interest Similar Social mobility Socialize Structural Symbols Upwardly World-system theory Karl Marx used a conflict approach to argue that the competition between the bourgeoisie (those who own the means of production) and the proletariat (workers who sell their labor for wages) drives social organization so that the powerful maintain their power and wealth. For example, corporate welfare provides direct subsidies, tax breaks, and assistance that the government has created for businesses. Marx predicted that the conflict between these two groups would eventually cause capitalism to crumble. However, workers did not become impoverished, as he predicted. People do not always act out of economic self-interest and this theory does not emphasize the ability of individuals to be upwardly mobile. Feminist theorists contend that in a patriarchal system men shape the social stratification system because they control a disproportionate share of wealth, prestige, and power. The feminization of poverty often results in women’s downward mobility. In addition to overcoming economic and educational inequities, women must also juggle domestic and workplace responsibilities. This approach typically focuses on poor women and places little emphasis on social mobility. Symbolic interactionists focus on how people act within social classes rather than why there is stratification. People in different social classes use symbols differently and socialize their children differently because of family background, education level, and income. Symbolic interactionists don’t explain why some people from similar backgrounds are upwardly mobile, while others are not. It is not clear why some people are more interested than others with status symbols and reputation. Also, this approach ignores structural factors that create and reinforce inequality. Globally, high-income countries are those with a developed industrial economy; these countries have more access to health services, safe water, and higher education than other countries. Countries with a developing industrial economy are considered middle-income countries; they have less access than high-income countries to education, health services, food. Low-income countries are the least industrialized and have little access to health services, education, and safe water. Like the structural explanation of stratification, dependency theory contends that low-income countries are poor because high-income countries exploit and dominate them. Similarly, world-system theory countries that dominate the world economy influence the economies of low-income countries because the workers depend on external markets for jobs.

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