Castes: hereditary ranks that are usually religiously dictated and that tend to be fixed and immobile, differs as it is a system that is dictated by religion
Estates: a system of stratification under which peasants were required to work land leased to them by nobles in exchange for military protection and services, also known as feudalism, was the nobles’ ownership of land, which was critical to their superior and privileged status
Social Classes: social ranking based on economic position in which achieved characteristics can influence social mobility, In contrast to the slavery and caste systems, the boundaries between classes are imprecisely defined, and one can move from one stratum, or level, of society to another.
Vertical mobility is the movement of an individual from one social position to another of a different rank (higher or lower).
Intergenerational mobility is the change in the social position of an individual relative to their parents.
Intragenerational mobility is the change in social position within an adult’s life (not in relation to the individual’s parents).
Education impact on mobility: More education yields more mobility. “An individual born into a poor family but who graduates from college has a 1 in 5 change of entering the top fifth of all income earners” (Schaefer 2011:208).
Race/Ethnicity impact on mobility: Minorities are at a disadvantage in regard to mobility. Compared to Whites minorities are more likely to experience downward intergenerational mobility and are less likely to climb the social ladder (Schaefer 2011).
Gender impact on mobility: Compared to men, women have fewer employment opportunities. On the other hand, women have access to more clerical jobs than their male counterparts. These clerical positions, however, decrease a woman’s social mobility.
Globalization: Division b/c cheap labor can be found outside the US, causing salaries to be lower
Technology Changing: replacing skilled workers with new technologies
Weak wage-setting institutions: fewer workers represented by labor unions
Deregulation: forced companies to control labor costs
The middle class slowly began shrinking over time, but the elite began to grow. More specifically, progress since the 1940’s there’s still an occupational gap between blacks and whites and blacks are still underrepresented at the bottom and whites are overrepresented at the top, and the same thing goes for the Hispanic population. Jobs went from labor intensive to service intensive. There were also noticeable tendencies during the Age of Growing Inequality: men’s earnings have stagnated, women’s earnings have increased and the distribution of men’s earnings and distribution of women’s earnings have become more unequal. In the 1970’s data shows that the elite’s wages have climbed significantly (esp. CEO’s), and at the bottom wages have stagnated or fell.