Sociolgy Test 2 Essays

question

1. Explain the estate system, caste system, class system, and status hierarchy system, using examples.
answer

-estate system: politically based system of stratification characterized by limited mobility. Ex: American south prior to Civil War -caste system: religion-based system of stratification characterized by social mobility;hard to move up. Ex: found in South Asia, India -class system: an economically based hierarchy system characterized by cohesive, oppositional groups and somewhat lose social mobility; Karl Marx and Max Weber. Ex: position in the economic market; upper class, middle class, etc. -status hierarchy system: a system of stratification based on social prestige; Weber. Ex: a claim to a specific lifestyle or leisure (skater punk), membership to an exclusive organization (Daughters of American Revolution)
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Discuss the difference between race and ethnicity. How does symbolic ethnicity fit into explanations of ethnicity?
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-Race: externally imposed, involuntary, usually based on physical differences, hierarchical (minorities lower ranked), exclusive (you don’t get to check more than one box), unequal -Ethnicity: voluntary (you choose), self-defined, nonhiearchal, fluid and multiple (irish and german) cultural (based on differneces such as language, food, music, etc.), planar (much less about unequal power than race) Symbolic ethnicity is a matter of choice for middle-class Americans. It has no risk of stigma and confers the pleasures of feeling like an individual. Identifying with a past or future nationality. White person choosing to idenitfy as Irish v. not choosing to idenitfy self as black or Asian because features give away ethnicity
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Explain the difference between absolute poverty and relative poverty. Give examples of each.
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-absolute poverty: the point at which a household’s income falls below the neccessary level to purchase food to physically sustain its members. Ex: falling below poverty line -relative poverty: a measurement of poverty based on a percentage of the median income in a given location. Ex: anyone with less than half the median income is considered poor; used to compare poverty rates of dif. countries
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Family structure, size and birth order are determinants of mortality. Larger families have higher child mortality rates, why might this be?
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The resources that are key to survival (food, etc.) are stretched thinner in these households. There is less supervision because its harder to supervise the more children there are. First born children are more likely to die young because the first child is an experiment in which parents learn through trial and error. Also, first borns are more likely to be unplanned pregnancies– improper neonatal care.
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Describe gender inequality at work. Distinguish between the phenomena of glass ceiling v. glass escalator.
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-sexual harassment, lower pay, jobs loss male-attractiveness -glass ceiling: an invisible limit on women’s climb up the occupational ladder; can’t move up in company past certain point -glass escalator: the promotional ride men take to the top of a work organization, especially in feminized jobs; when men enter women jobs they excel quickly

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