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44 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
division of society into layers/strata of people who have unequal amts of scarce/desirable resources (life chances, social influence)
life chances
likely outcome of one's life based on social standing

-health, success, happiness
number of ppl who may never have met, but share similar sociologically interesting characteristics
social structure and strat
access to resources dependent on status
particular location in social structure
expectations, responsibilities associated with a status
functional integration and strat
system of strat holds society together- mutual dependency

-inequality is a good thing, gives ppl at bottom something to work for (profit motive)
power and strat
help us understand who's able to get what and why
culture and strat
statuses carry roles/expectations= function of culture

-diff cultures have diff prescriptions
people's valuable property
what you earn from working
influence over others
social esteem, respect, approval b/c a person possesses socially admirable traits
closed system of stratification
society in which it's difficult/impossible to move btwn strata

ex- us slavery
open system of stratification
no positions officially denied to citizens based on birth position

ex- us today
social class
ppl who occupy similar position w/i stratification system b/c they hold similar economic position
social class in America
"achieved" status, but class of one's parents= best predictor of own class

-actually very little movement
social equality
condition whereby no differences in wealth, power, prestige, status based on nonnatural conventions exist
two-directional relationship, one that goes both ways
ontological equality
notion that everyone equal in eyes of god
equality of opportunity
idea that inequality of condition is acceptable so long as the rules of the game remain fair
equality of condition
idea that everyone should have an equal starting point
equality of outcome
position that argues each player must end up with the same amount regardless of the fairness of the “game”
free rider problem
notion that when more than one person is responsible for getting something done, the incentive is for each individual to shirk responsibility and hope others will pull the extra weight
estate system
politically based system of stratification characterized by limited social mobility

ex- medieval feudal europe
caste system
religion-based system of stratification characterized by no social mobility
class system
economically based system of stratification characterized by relative categorization, somewhat loose social mobility
the working class
capitalist class that often exploits the working class
contradictory class locations
idea that people can occupy locations in the class structure which fall between the two pure classes
status hierarchy system
system of stratification based on social prestige
elite-mass dichotomy system
system of stratification that has a governing elite, a few leaders who broadly hold the power of society
society where status, mobility based on individual attributes, ability
socioeconomic status
individual’s position in stratified social order

*classify groups, individuals, families or households in terms of occupation, income, wealth, education
upper class
the economic elite, associated with income, wealth, power, prestige
middle class
term commonly used to describe those individuals with nonmanual jobs that pay significantly more than the poverty line
Social mobility
movement between different positions within a system of social stratification in any given society
structural mobility
mobility that is inevitable from changes in the economy

ex- decline in farm work, children of farmers must find new jobs
status attainment model
approach that ranks individuals by SES and seeks to specify the attributes characteristic of people who end up in more desirable occupations
conflict theory of stratification (marx)
capitalism= new sources of wealth
-divide classes in new ways
-proletariat vs. bourgeoisie

**wealth amassed by few
functionalist theory of stratification (Durkheim, Spencer)
inequality= good for society
*profit motive- incentive to work hard
*some jobs more important than others, should be paid more
power theory of stratification
ownership of means of production= important source of power

-bureaucratic power too
cultural theory of stratification (Weber)
wealth/power alone can't explain stratification
*prestige defined by culture!
maintenance of system of stratification
1) most ppl believe in its legitimacy, no alternative

2) ideologies (individualism, equal opp, american dream)