SOC 100 Sec 006 Question Activity

What is Marx’s views on stratification?
Agreed with Weber that there was an economic basis on how people were stratified. Marx put far greater emphasis on the economic mode of production and believed stratification originated based upon a person’s relationship to it, claimed there was only two classes in capitalist societies: the bourgeoisie (owned means of production) and the proletariat (workers)

What is Weber’s views on stratification?
Agreed with Marx that there was an economic basis on how people were stratified. Weber did not believe economics were the sole basis of stratification, three factors primarily: class (mostly about economic purchasing power), status (noneconomic resources such as education and prestige) and power (ones ability to exert their will over others), gross sum of all of these factors contributes ultimately to ones life chances, Life chances, in Weber’s view, were the true measure of stratification and where you stood on society’s ladder.

What are the 4 systems of stratification?
Slavery, Castes, Estates, Social Classes

Compare and contrast the 4 systems of stratification as described by Schaefer
Slavery: most extreme form of social inequality for both individuals and groups, enslaved individuals are owned by other people, who treat human beings as property, just as if they were household pets or appliances

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.

How would a functionalist answer the following question, “Is Stratification Universal?”
Functionalists believe stratification is universal through the teaching of Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore. Davis and Moore believed society must distribute its members among a variety of social positions. This means that these positions must not only ben filled, but be filled by people with appropriate talents and abilities. Functionalists maintain a different system of rewards and punishments necessary for the efficient operation of society. Davis and Moore also believed that stratification is universal and society inequality is necessary to fill all of the positions.

How would a conflict theorist answer the following question, “Is Stratification Universal?”
Conflict theorists see stratification as a major source of societal tension and conflict. They do not agree with Davis and Moore that stratification is functional for a society, but rather conflict theorists argue that stratification will inevitability lead to instability and social change. This means it promotes social inequality and uses the dominant ideology to maintain the status quo. The dominant ideology describes a set of cultural beliefs and practices that help maintain powerful social, economic and political interests.

How would an interactionist answer the following question, “Is Stratification Universal?”
Interactionists believe stratification is universal by looking at how the groups interact with each other. It influences people’s lifestyles both similar to their own and those that are different. It influences inter group relations with people of the same lifestyle. Because of a person’s position in a particular social class, they are going to act and behave different when interacting with those outside of their class. Depending on what lifestyle an interactionist will examine, they will also examine the consumption of goods and services and the conspicuous leisure.

What makes up the poor class?
According to Schaefer, the poor class is made up of many things. Poverty is defined by the amount of income needed to support the number of people in the family. The government defines the poverty line for a family of four person is an income of $21,834. About 27% of all poor working adults work full time. The poor class is made up of people who want jobs, but the common belief is they are poor because they do not have jobs. Most people that are poor are the ages between 18-64. White non-hispanics are found to have a higher rate of poverty. Also Females house owners have a higher rate of poverty than males. Schaefer states the poor class in not static. With in a could of years people move above or bellow it. Lastly, Blacks and Latinos tend to be poor for more years than whites, because they have poor social mobility and less political power.

How are life chances related to poverty?
Life chances are reflected in the measures of housing, education, and health. Life chances are related to poverty because occupying a higher social class improves life chances, and brings greater access to social reward.

What are the types of social mobility?
Horizontal mobility is the movement of an individual from one social position to another of the same rank.

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).

What is social mobility is affected by?
Occupation impact on mobility: Occupation affects social mobility in men more than women. Although occupation may increase social mobility, it can just as easily decrease social mobility. In most cases, mobility is affected on a small scale… An individual is very unlikely to rise from the very bottom to the very top.

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.

What are Durkheim’s views on deviance?
Durkheim believes that punishment contributes to stability and if those punishments didn’t exist people might stretch the societal standards or conducts. He also developed the term anomie which describes a loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective.

What are Merton’s views on deviance?
Merton believes that we are all being deviant because we have the similar mindset of working to obtain money, but we’re all going about it in different ways.

Compare and constrast Durkheim’s and Merton’s views on deviance
They are both functionalist perspectives, both believe deviance is a positive thing, and they both play off the theory of anomie. They are different because Durkheim has one main view of deviance and Merton defines deviance with five different levels (forms of adaption). Those are Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, and Rebellion.

What is the Functionalist perspective’s explanation of deviance?
According to Schaefer, a functionalist’s view of deviance as a common part of human existence, with positive and negative consequences for social stability. Deviance helps to define the limits of proper behavior. The functionalist approach explains why rule violations continue to happen despite pressure to conform and obey.

What is the interactionist perspective’s explanation of deviance?
Interactionist theorists seek to understand how a person comes to commit crime and why some people commit crimes while others don’t. The two major explanations for crime are: the Cultural Transmission, and the Social Disorganization Theory.

How does Cultural Transmission theory explain deviance?
According to Cultural Transmission, people learn how to commit crimes from those around them and will be more likely to commit crimes if their primary group has attitudes that are favorable towards crime and other forms of deviance. This goes along with the Labeling Theory which states that a person’s self-identity and actions may be influenced and determined by those around them. If you live in a gang-ridden area and some of your family members in directly involved in a gang, you are much more likely to join a gang than someone whose family is not involved in that kind of life.

How does Social Disorganization theory explain deviance?
According to this theory, the increase in crime is due to the breakdown of communal relationships; Those that are less involved in families, the community, and social organizations, are more likely to commit crimes unless the group supports crime and deviance.

What is the conflict perspective’s explanation of deviance?
Conflict theorists point out that people with power protect their own interests and define deviance to suit their own needs.. The perspective advanced by conflict and labeling theorists forms quite a contrast to the functionalists approach to deviance. Functionalists see standards of deviant behavior as merely reflecting norms. Conflict and labeling theorists point out that the most powerful groups in a society can shape laws and standards, while also determining who is and who is not prosecuted as a criminal.

What is the feminist perspective’s explanation of deviance?
Emphasizes the deviance including crime, tends to flow from economic relationships. Traditionally men had greater earning power than their wives. As a result, wives may be reluctant to report acts of abuse to the authorities, and lose what may be their primary or even sole source of income. However as women have taken more active and powerful roles both in the household and in business, these gender differences in deviance and crime have narrowed.

What are the different types of crimes?
Victimless crimes, Professional crimes, Organized crimes, White collar and technology-based crimes, Transnational crimes

Describe Victimless crimes
the willing exchange of adults of widely desired but illegal goods and services (ex. prostitution), despite the belief that no one is harmed during the exchange, many individuals object because illegal drug use contribute to an enormous amount of personal and property damage along with other illegal exchange.

Describe Professional crimes
it’s a career criminal, a person does crime as a day-to-day occupation who develops skills and techniques. And due to these skills and techniques they are less likely to get convicted. They also become part of a subculture with similar criminals and consult with colleagues with demands, also a hierarchy is developed with the most skilled criminals at the top.

Describe Organized crimes
a group that resembles a company that regulates relations among criminal enterprises involved in illegal activities that sets territory and prices on goods and services. It also serves as a mean of upward mobility as successful groups infiltrates businesses and evade law enforcements. Undergoes ethnic succession which often reflects the diversity of the latest immigrants (Jewish Americans in 1920s to Italian Americans in 1930s). Could also be transnational, for instance: drug and arms smuggling.

Describe White collar and technology-based crimes
illegal actions and behavior committed in business activities, often by affluent, respect people It acts by individual or corporation. Criminals can embezzle by using any technologies such as “computer crime”

Describe Transnational crimes
violation of multiple national laws or crime(s) committed across multiple national borders such as child trafficking. Technology has facilitated illegal activities across borders. Other types of transnational crimes include terrorism, bankruptcy, corruption and bribery of public officials, and illegal money transfers.

What is the Middleton Study?
The Middleton study wanted to show how the American class changed in a small town due to industrialization. At first, they found that there were only two groups, business and working class, but the increase of population, machinery, and the importance of money drew them apart from each other. For example, before industrialization, people gained prestige from their experience and age, but now prestige was based on their financial status. The two groups, the business and working class, were not enough to separate the six different classes that resulted from the technological change which were now three manual and three non-manual classes.

What is the Warner’s Yankee City study?
A study by Warner that took place in Yankee City researching class distinctions of people in the city. It was first hypothesized that class distinctions were determined by economic differences, but it was then observed that some people placed higher or lower than their income would allow. This then made them realize that class distinction was not just based on economic but social variables (such as prestige, income, lifestyle, etc.) as well. They noticed children often inherited parents class, time affected stratification placement because then can become mobile over time.

What is the Coleman and Rainwater study?
Coleman and Rainwater wanted to produce warner’s study, but in metropolitan areas. They could not duplicate the detailed investigation that warner conducted. Their question and interviews produced many results do to open ended questions. They noticed there was a difference between family, and new money but its easier to tell if you are close to the top. the upper-class tended to live extravagant lives, but those with new money are not considered the top because they do not have the right background. They made distinctions in the lower classes as well making a semi-poor lower class.

What are the wage tendencies in the Age of Growing Inequality? Why is there growing inequality of wages?
Since 1970, theres been an increase the number of wealthy and the concentration of wealth. This is because of rapid growth of income at the top, emergence of new fortunes associated with tech, finance and high growth sectors of econ, declining tax rates for top income bracket, and rising stock markets since early 1980’s. Since 1970’s earnings gap between highs school and college educated workers has widened. Since Post-Industrial era, women started to be more involved in the workforce but still had certain categories and lower wages of jobs. Minorities underrepresented at top of occupation structure and overrated at the bottom.

What are growing in equality in wages caused by?
Economic restructure from manufacture based service producing

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

What is Occupational Structure?
Occupational Structure is defined as the proportional distribution of workers in the different occupational categories that shifts when the economy is transformed throughout previous centuries.

How has occupational structure changed over the years?
As seen on Figure 3.2 (Gilbert, 53) the American occupational structure started mainly off as agricultural (i.e farming). That is until the 1950’s when blue-collar jobs (i.e craftsmen, service workers, operatives, laborers, etc.) were the primary sources of occupation. By the 1980’s white-collar workers constituted more than half of the labor force (i.e, sales worker, mangers, professionals, etc.). Women have increasingly gotten more involved in the workforce throughout the years as well. In the 1870’s women were only involved in the workforce 15%, and by 2000 over 47% of women were in the workforce. The Black occupational structure has transformed as well. From 1940-1980 the weekly earnings of the full-time black worker rose 400%, but in the 1940’s the black workers were still given the three lowest occupational categories. The black-white wage gap had begun shrinking, but by the 1980’s it had begun widening again. Hispanic workers also went through occupational structure changes, such as the median hourly wage of Hispanic men was 64% that of non-Hispanic white men and for Hispanic women, 74%.
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.

According to Gilbert, why is there a trend toward greater inequality in the distribution of wealth and income?
there is a trend toward greater inequality in the distribution of wealth and income is that the growth of individual’s incomes at the top of the distribution has allowed them to acquire new investments, while at the same time, those at lower levels of the distribution have their incomes “stagnated.” new technology and other business models have created an environment where people can get into the higher level of wealth distribution and continue to thrive. Many people who are in the top level of distribution now, were not there 30 years ago. The new markets that are emerging are propelling some individuals way ahead of others due to their ingenuity. Big business has control over political groups, allowing them to influence tax rates (lowering them) to allow for a greater retention of their wealth. So, those that already have the most wealth are able to create an environment where they can keep what they have, and obtain even more. Also, the rise of the stock market has allowed the securities that were already held by the wealthy to grow even more.

According to Kochar, Fry and Taylor, in what ways has the 2007-8 recession and the 2009 “bounce back” from the recession impacted White, Latino/Hispanic, Black, and Asian racial and ethnic groups in the United States?
The recession decreased the median value of home equity for all racial groups but the bursting housing market and recession greatly impacted racial and ethnic minorities. For example, Latinos net worth dropped 66% and home equity decreased most for Latinos while Blacks net worth dropped 53%. Whites net worth dropped 16% but have been able to bounce back because of the stock market. Asians, before recession in 2005, had greater median household wealth than median white households until the recession. Asians net worth decreased 54%.

How are Kochar’s, Fry’s and Taylor’s findings related to the Age of Growing Inequality?
The findings are related to Age of Growing Inequality because they are another outcome of this increasing inequality in the U.S. This age of inequality not only impacts racial and ethnic minorities but also Whites. The recession and burst of housing market are related to changes in occupational structure and class structure in a post-industrial society, increasing wealth and power of corporations (numerous strategies including outsourcing and downsizing, tax breaks, influence government policy), increasing inequality of wages, and deregulation.