Sociology Social Stratification Quiz Essay

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Social stratification
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the division of society into categories, ranks, or classes
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how social stratification can lead to social inequality
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if the divisions are based on individual characteristics and abilities
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social inequality
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the unequal sharing of scarce resources and social rewards
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closed system
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the movement between status levels is impossible
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open system
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movement between status levels is possible
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social inequality is greatest in which system
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closed
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caste system
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a person’s status is assigned at birth and the individual remains in that status resources and social rewards are distributed on the basis of ascribed statuses
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class system
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the distribution of scarce resources and rewards is determined on the basis of achieved statuses
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wealth
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is made up of one’s assets (value of everything a person owns and income (money earned)
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income
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money earned -distributed unequally in the U.S.
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functionalist theory
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view stratification as a necessary feature of the social structure -assumes that certain roles in society must be performed if the system is to be maintained -higher the rewards based on skill needed to perform role/role importance
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conflict theory
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see competition over scarce resources as the cause of social inequality -stratification comes from class exploitation
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techniques sociologists use to determine social class
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reputational, subjective, objective methods
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the American class system is based on
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achieved statuses -classes based on wealth, power, and prestige -lifestyle and beliefs vary among classes
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how much social mobility in the U.S.
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some
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social mobility
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movement of people within or between social statuses in a society
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reputational method
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asking people in a small community to rank its members
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subjective method
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asking individuals to determine their own social rank
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objective method
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define by income levels, occupation, and educational attainment
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objective method in the U.S.
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broken into 6 main social classes
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upper class
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-1% if pop. -prestigious unis -owners and executives of large companies -household income $1.3 mil -household wealth $16. mil
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upper middle class
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-14% -college/uni -business executives, professionals -income $150,000
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middle class
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-30% -high school, some college -lower-level managers, skilled craftworkers, supervisors, small business owners income $70,000
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working class (lower middle class)
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-30% -high school -factory workers, clerical workers, lower-level sales people -income $50,000
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working poor
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-13% -some high school -laborers, service workers -income $25,000 -near poverty line
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underclass
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-12% -some high school -undesirable jobs, underemployed, unemployed -income $15,000
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minority groups
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women jewish americans muslim americans native americans african americans hispanic americans asian americans
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poverty threshold for family of four
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24,250
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cultural pluralism
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smaller groups within a larger society maintain their unique cultural identities, and their values and practices are accepted by the wider culture
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assimilation
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process by which a person or persons acquire the social and psychological characteristics of a group
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subjugation
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state of being under control or secondary

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