File Name: social stratification and mobility .zip
Most sociologists define social class as a grouping based on similar social factors like wealth, income, education, and occupation. These factors affect how much power and prestige a person has. Social stratification reflects an unequal distribution of resources. In most cases, having more money means having more power or more opportunities. Stratification can also result from physical and intellectual traits.
Most sociologists define social class as a grouping based on similar social factors like wealth, income, education, and occupation. These factors affect how much power and prestige a person has. Social stratification reflects an unequal distribution of resources. In most cases, having more money means having more power or more opportunities. Stratification can also result from physical and intellectual traits. Categories that affect social standing include family ancestry, race, ethnicity, age, and gender.
In the United States, standing can also be defined by characteristics such as IQ, athletic abilities, appearance, personal skills, and achievements. In the last century, the United States has seen a steady rise in its standard of living , the level of wealth available to a certain socioeconomic class in order to acquire the material necessities and comforts to maintain its lifestyle. The standard of living is based on factors such as income, employment, class, poverty rates, and housing affordability.
Because standard of living is closely related to quality of life, it can represent factors such as the ability to afford a home, own a car, and take vacations.
In the United States, a small portion of the population has the means to the highest standard of living. Wealthy people receive the most schooling, have better health, and consume the most goods and services.
Wealthy people also wield decision-making power. But as the study mentioned above indicates, there is not an even distribution of wealth. Millions of women and men struggle to pay rent, buy food, find work, and afford basic medical care. Women who are single heads of household tend to have a lower income and lower standard of living than their married or male counterparts. In the United States, as in most high-income nations, social stratifications and standards of living are in part based on occupation Lin and Xie Employment in medicine, law, or engineering confers high status.
Teachers and police officers are generally respected, though not considered particularly prestigious. At the other end of the scale, some of the lowest rankings apply to positions like waitress, janitor, and bus driver.
The size, income, and wealth of the middle class have all been declining since the s. This is occurring at a time when corporate profits have increased more than percent, and CEO pay has risen by more than percent Popken While several economic factors can be improved in the United States inequitable distribution of income and wealth, feminization of poverty, stagnant wages for most workers while executive pay and profits soar, declining middle class , we are fortunate that the poverty experienced here is most often relative poverty and not absolute poverty.
Whereas absolute poverty is deprivation so severe that it puts survival in jeopardy, relative poverty is not having the means to live the lifestyle of the average person in your country.
As a wealthy developed country, the United States has the resources to provide the basic necessities to those in need through a series of federal and state social welfare programs. This used to be known as the food stamp program. The program began in the Great Depression, when unmarketable or surplus food was distributed to the hungry.
It was not until that President John F. Kennedy initiated a food stamp pilot program. His successor Lyndon B. Johnson was instrumental in the passage of the Food Stamp Act in In , more than , individuals received food assistance. In March , on the precipice of the Great Recession, participation hovered around 28 million people.
During the recession, that number escalated to more than 40 million USDA. Does taste or fashion sense indicate class? Is there any way to tell if this young man comes from an upper-, middle-, or lower-class background?
For sociologists, categorizing class is a fluid science. Sociologists generally identify three levels of class in the United States: upper, middle, and lower class.
Within each class, there are many subcategories. One economist, J. Foster, defines the 20 percent of U. One sociological perspective distinguishes the classes, in part, according to their relative power and control over their lives.
In contrast, the lower class has little control over their work or lives. Below, we will explore the major divisions of U. Members of the upper class can afford to live, work, and play in exclusive places designed for luxury and comfort.
Photo courtesy of PrimeImageMedia. The upper class is considered the top, and only the powerful elite get to see the view from there. Money provides not just access to material goods, but also access to a lot of power. As corporate leaders, members of the upper class make decisions that affect the job status of millions of people. As media owners, they influence the collective identity of the nation. They run the major network television stations, radio broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, and sports franchises.
As board members of the most influential colleges and universities, they influence cultural attitudes and values. As philanthropists, they establish foundations to support social causes they believe in. As campaign contributors, they sway politicians and fund campaigns, sometimes to protect their own economic interests. While both types may have equal net worth, they have traditionally held different social standings. People of old money, firmly situated in the upper class for generations, have held high prestige.
Their families have socialized them to know the customs, norms, and expectations that come with wealth. Some study business or become lawyers in order to manage the family fortune. Others, such as Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, capitalize on being a rich socialite and transform that into celebrity status, flaunting a wealthy lifestyle. However, new-money members of the upper class are not oriented to the customs and mores of the elite.
They have not established old-money social ties. People with new money might flaunt their wealth, buying sports cars and mansions, but they might still exhibit behaviors attributed to the middle and lower classes.
These members of a club likely consider themselves middle class. Many people consider themselves middle class, but there are differing ideas about what that means. That helps explain why, in the United States, the middle class is broken into upper and lower subcategories. Comfort is a key concept to the middle class. Middle-class people work hard and live fairly comfortable lives. Upper-middle-class people tend to pursue careers that earn comfortable incomes.
They provide their families with large homes and nice cars. They may go skiing or boating on vacation. Their children receive high-quality education and healthcare Gilbert In the lower middle class, people hold jobs supervised by members of the upper middle class. They fill technical, lower-level management or administrative support positions.
Compared to lower-class work, lower-middle-class jobs carry more prestige and come with slightly higher paychecks. With these incomes, people can afford a decent, mainstream lifestyle, but they struggle to maintain it. In addition, their grip on class status is more precarious than in the upper tiers of the class system. When budgets are tight, lower-middle-class people are often the ones to lose their jobs. This man is a custodian at a restaurant. His job, which is crucial to the business, is considered lower class.
The lower class is also referred to as the working class. Just like the middle and upper classes, the lower class can be divided into subsets: the working class, the working poor, and the underclass. Compared to the lower middle class, lower-class people have less of an educational background and earn smaller incomes. They work jobs that require little prior skill or experience and often do routine tasks under close supervision. Working-class people, the highest subcategory of the lower class, often land decent jobs in fields like custodial or food service.
The work is hands-on and often physically demanding, such as landscaping, cooking, cleaning, or building. Beneath the working class is the working poor. Like the working class, they have unskilled, low-paying employment. However, their jobs rarely offer benefits such as healthcare or retirement planning, and their positions are often seasonal or temporary.
They work as sharecroppers, migrant farm workers, housecleaners, and day laborers. Some are high school dropouts. Some are illiterate, unable to read job ads. How can people work full-time and still be poor? Even working full-time, millions of the working poor earn incomes too meager to support a family. Even for a single person, the pay is low. A married couple with children will have a hard time covering expenses. Members of the underclass live mainly in inner cities.
Many are unemployed or underemployed. Those who do hold jobs typically perform menial tasks for little pay. Some of the underclass are homeless.
Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health pp Cite as. Social stratification refers to differential access to resources, power, autonomy, and status across social groups. Social stratification implies social inequality; if some groups have access to more resources than others, the distribution of those resources is inherently unequal. Societies can be stratified on any number of dimensions. In the United States, the most widely recognized stratification systems are based on race, social class, and gender. Unable to display preview.
Don't have an account? Through an ethnographic exploration of everyday life infused with Marxist urbanism and critical theory, this work charts out the changes taking place in Muslim neighbourhoods in Delhi in the backdrop Through an ethnographic exploration of everyday life infused with Marxist urbanism and critical theory, this work charts out the changes taking place in Muslim neighbourhoods in Delhi in the backdrop of rapid urbanization and capitalist globalization. It argues that there is an implicit materialist logic in prejudice and segregation experienced by Muslims. Further, it finds that different classes within Muslims are treated differentially in the discriminatory process.
Article Information, PDF download for Social Stratification and Mobility, Open epub () "Social stratification and mobility: Problems in the measurement of.
Once production of your article has started, you can track the status of your article via Track Your Accepted Article. Help expand a public dataset of research that support the SDGs. The study of social inequality is and has been one of the central preoccupations of social scientists.
When we initiate new courses, or revise old ones, many of us would like to be able to consult the syllabi constructed by our colleagues who have taught similar courses. To meet this need for courses concerned with social stratification, social mobility, and social inequality, the Research Committee on Social Stratification and Social Mobility RC 28 , with the generous technical support of the California Center for Population Research, has established an archive of syllabi for such courses. These syllabi have been contributed mainly by our members, although anyone teaching pertinent courses is welcome to add syllabi to our collection. To contribute, please submit your syllabus in. Your syllabus usually will be added to the collection in just a few days.
Most sociologists define social class as a grouping based on similar social factors like wealth, income, education, and occupation. These factors affect how much power and prestige a person has. Social stratification reflects an unequal distribution of resources.
PDF | This article briefly reviews earlier as well as recent approaches to world social stratification and highlights changes in paradigms similar.Reply