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SOC 303 Notes 1/17/2013

Differentiation: the recognition that there are a wide variety of social roles in the
Inequality: roles are differentially rewarded in the economy.
Stratification: understanding of the rules and institutional mechanisms that make
inequality relatively permanent.

Material/socioeconomic outcomes:
-income: the amount of money you make
-wealth: the value of everything you have minus the debt.

symbolic outcomes:
-status, honor, prestige

social/occupational mobility: the movement across the occupational structure
intergenerational mobility: mobility across generations
intragenerational mobility: mobility in your life
power vs authority
power: the ability to impact on the life of others by any means necessary
authority: the ability to influence others through legitimate means.
Race: social definition of people on the basis of perceived biological characteristics
Ethnicity: social definition of people on the basis of perceived cultural characterisics
Ideology: a belief system that is used to justify an existing set of economic
Individualism: your socioeconomic fate is a product of what you bring to the table

SOC 303 Notes 1/22/2013
Precept #1 levels of stratification and inequality are fluid and always changing.
Precept #2 the causes of stratification are fluid and always changing
Precept #3 ideologies of stratification are fluid and always changeable
General trend- since 1985 the proportion of elite and poor households has increased
while the proportion of middle and working class households has decreased.

Explanation of income and wealth distribution
Deindustrialization: movement from a manufacturing based infrastructure to a
service based infrastructure.
Job ladders: in older manufacturing jobs there were links between lower level and
higher level positions

Sociopolitical factor: the relationship b/w attitudes we have and how they impact on
public policies.
In 1996 Bill Clinton signed a law that greatly limited the scope of welfare.
Supply side economics: those who own business should pay a smaller proportion in
taxes so that they can generate more jobs. This has been the dominant ideology in
post-1980 America.

SOC 303 Notes 1/30/2013
Dynamics of social and occupational mobility
How open is our society?
How much opportunity is there?
We live in a society that says all opportunities are open to everyone

General trends

Among those who were poor in 1985, 66% ended up in poverty, 20% ended
up in working class, 14% ended up in middle class
71% poor, 15% working class, 14% middle class
Discrepancy between ideology and the reality: mobility rates are relatively
1 Elite
2 Middle class
3 Working class
4 Poor

1. Mobility rates in the United States are higher than only three out of 27
industrialized countries. Upward mobility rates are relatively low
2. When mobility does take place it does on the basis of a finite gradation
3. Mobility usually occurs in the middle (working-> middle)
4. Downward occupational mobility has accelerated

Trends by racy and ethnicity
1. Upward mobility rates are lower for ethnic groups than whites
2. When mobility takes place among ethnic groups, it occurs in a finite
gradation to a greater degree than compared to whites.
3. Among minority groups, when mobility does take place the movement is in
the middle more so than compared to whites.
4. Rates of downward mobility are greater among minority group members
than whites.

Trends by gender
1. Rates of upward mobility are lower among women than men
2. When mobility does take place, in a greater proportion of women than men,
the movement is one gradation up.
3. When mobility does take place, in a greater proportion of women and men,
the movement is in the middle.
4. Rates of downward mobility are higher in women than men

Trend #1: mobility rates becoming increasing lower with time. Middle class
jobs are declining.
Theres a system called Sponsored Mobility. A system of mobility- when
somebody you know reaches down and gives you a chance.
A lot of downsizing decisions are based on seniority.

SOC303 2/5/13
CH. 1, 2, 4, 12 of Kerbo for Exam 1

Occupational mobility is defined as getting a job higher up than where you
The status attainment perspective: Fathers education and occupation is a
strong predictor of sons aspirations for education. Education predicts
o a socio-psychological theory
o supply side theory
o white male sample
New structuralism: an attempt to add additional factors to the status
attainment model to explain what happens in a wider range of groups.

Exam Review
Structure of the exam
Three essay questions, pick two
Exam tips
Write an outline before beginning to write

Course material
Chapter 1: definitions, trends and interpretations of social stratifications, statistics,
interpretation of those trends. Interpretation focused on economic and socio-
political explanations.
Chapter 4: paradigms of social stratification. Trends of occupational mobility in the
United States. Three trends of mobility: in general, race, gender. Each had four
parallel points. Interpretations of trends in mobility.
Chapter 12: status attainment theory.

1. Trends and interpretations in stratification

2. Paradigms in stratification

3. Occupational mobility and status attainment theory

SOC 303 Notes 2/28/2013
Urban Underclass
A form of permanent poverty.
Occurs in areas such as urban inner cities: socially isolated from the world so
nobody cares.
Racial minority population.
Life expectancy is lower
Infant mortality rate is 9x as high.
Income is 70% below average.
40% of students complete high school.
It has not always been this way.
Still had social stratification and inequality but was integrated.
More stable: had funding. Every other house was middle class, creating a
Had a good mix of working class and middle class.
Great white flight (1960-1980):
o Business full or relocated so WC+MC left and took resources with
them (jobs).
o Deindustrialization reduced good jobs.
o Became more global economy.
1980 flight for black middle class
o growing isolation and concentration of poverty
o no buffer housing: areas deteriorated exponentially.

Individualistic school of thought
Culture of poverty: impoverished people are lazy and engage in activities that are
counterproductive to society.
This creates an alternative value system
Independence and perpetuation of these values.
There are elements of fatalism, resignation, hedonistic nature, inability or
unwillingness to defer gratification, values that stress lack of work ethic

Structural factors that create different opportunities across communities.

Racism, prejudice, and the urban underclass

Theory 1: the non-racial account
Maintains that the racial composition of the urban underclass is irrelevant.
The logic goes that it just so happens that blacks were caught in the wrong
place at the wrong time.

Theory 2: racial view
They say of course race is meaningful. Prejudice and discrimination are
fundamentally related to the rise of perpetuation of the urban underclass.

Homelessness in America
Homeless: defined as not having a roof over your head for a period of time.
It can be permanent or semi-permanent.
Measurement of homelessness difficult because these people have no
They are the bottom of the economic barrel.
Homelessness is increasing in America every year.

A profile of the homeless
The homeless have a diverse population.
Mentally ill
Drug addiction
Approximately 15-20% of the homeless population are children (under age
20% of the homeless population contains intact families.
A proportion are individuals who have experienced some serious trauma in
their life and homelessness is a result from this.
Individuals who are downwardly mobile (job loss, lack of resources)
People who work full-time.

What causes homelessness in the United States?
In the case of homeless children- physical and sexual abuse
Loss of a loved one
Loss of a job
Proliferation of dead-end jobs
No safety net/support system
Mental issues
Drug addiction

You dont become homeless if you have a support system.
Safety Nets/support systems
Personal/informal- friends, family, relatives
Institutional/formal- methadone clinics, job retraining centers, homeless
shelter, foster care
In the last 20 yrs 50% of shelters have closed. Shelters provide an address,
clothing, how to act (job interviews), connection to other services.
SOC 303 3/21/13
Exam is next Thursday

There are much lower rates of mobility than we ideally think we have. We
live in a more stagnant society than we think we do, despite what the
ideology says.
Kohns thesis:
o (1) The adoption of values of parents- personality formation or your
orientation towards the world, how you view the world. Is the world
open? Are rules and procedures negotiable? How do you view
authority? Tolerance for diversity?
o (2) How parents socialize their children

SOC 303 4/2/2013
Racial and Ethnic Stratification

Minority groups have a high rate of in migration
Minority groups have higher fertility rates.
Minority groups are younger than whites on average.
Latinos and African Americans are more than three times as likely to find
themselves in poverty compared to whites.
For every dollar earned by a white male in America in 2010, a latino or black
male earned 0.75 cents. With similar education and work experience, the gap
is still about 15%.
Whites are about 5x as likely to gain significant managerial positions
compared to blacks and latinos.

To what extent do race and ethnicity still matter and why does it matter?
We are going to examine two paradigms of racial and ethnic stratification.
1. Classic assimilation theory:

SOC 303 4/4/2013
The Ethnic Enclave
3. Coethnic labor- creates quid pro quo: you help me Ill help you.
First generation Cubans were economically successful.
The second generation (Marielitos) were not successful.

SOC 303 4/9/2013
How much does race matter in structuring the life chance opportunities for African
Americans in the labor market?

1850-1900: Caste oppression. The southern economy was rural and agriculture
based. During this fifty year period race meant everything.

1900-1950: Competitive period, race meant nearly everything.

1950+: Class subordination. Social class competes with race.