SOC Benokraitis – Chapter 8

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intergenerational mobility
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moving up or down the class hierarchy relative to the position of one’s parents.
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intragenerational mobility
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moving up or down the class hierarchy over one’s lifetime.
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vertical mobility
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moving up or down the class hierarchy.
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horizontal mobility
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moving from one position to another at the same class level.
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social mobility
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a person’s movement up or down the class hierarchy.
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feminization of poverty
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the higher likelihood that female heads of households will be poor.
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poverty line
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the minimal level of income that the federal government considers necessary for basic subsistence.
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relative poverty
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not having enough money to maintain an average standard of living.
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absolute poverty
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not having enough money to afford the most basic necessities of life.
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life chances
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the extent to which people have positive experiences and can secure the good things in life because they have economic resources.
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underclass
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people who are persistently poor and seldom employed, segregated residentially, and relatively isolated from the rest of the population.
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working poor
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people who work at least 27 weeks a year but receive such low wages that they live in or near poverty.
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conspicuous consumption
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lavish spending on goods and services to display one’s social status and to enhance one’s prestige.
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socioeconomic status (SES)
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an overall ranking of a person’s position in the class hierarchy based on income, education, and occupation.
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power
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the ability of individuals or groups to achieve goals, control events, and maintain influence over others despite opposition.
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prestige
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respect, recognition, or regard attached to social positions.
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wealth
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the money and other economic assets that a person or family owns, including property and income.
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social class
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a category of people who have a similar standing or rank in a society based on wealth, education, power, prestige, and other valued resources.
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closed stratification system
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a system in which movement from one social position to another is limited by ascribed statuses such as one’s sex, skin color, and family background.
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open stratification system
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a system that is based on individual achievement and allows movement up or down.
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social stratification
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the hierarchical ranking of people in a society who have different access to valued resources, such as property, prestige, power, and status.
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meritocracy
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a belief that individuals are rewarded for what they do and how well rather than on the basis of their ascribed status.
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Davis-Moore thesis
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the functionalist view that social stratification benefits a society.
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proletariat
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workers who sell their labor for wages.
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bourgeoisie
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those who own the means of production and can amass wealth and power
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corporate welfare
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an array of direct subsidies, tax breaks, and assistance that the government has created for businesses.

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