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- Condition in which members of society have different amounts of wealth, prestige, and power.
- Example: Rich and Poor
The hierarchical arrangement of members of society
Systems of Stratification
- Closed System: Slavery, Caste, Estate
- Class System: System of social ranking based on $$. Achieved characteristics can affect social mobility.
Class System in U.S.
- Upper Class: 5% of the population
- Middle Class: 45% of the population
- Working Class: 35% of the population
- Poor/Lower Class: 15% of the population
Small, exclusive group that occupies the highest levels of status and prestige
Upper Class: "New Rich"
- Individuals who may have been born in to poor, working-or middle-class families, but climbed the social ladder called "new rich"
- Example: Little Wayne, Real Housewives
University degrees, authority on the job, and high income.
Minimum of a high school diploma or a community college degree.
Middle Class and the American Dream
- Four factors have eroded the American Dream for this class:
- 1. Escalating housing prices
- 2. Occupational insecurity
- 3. Blocked mobility on the job
- 4. Cost of living squeeze that has penalized younger workers, even when they have more education and better jobs than their parents.
Semiskilled workers, in routine, mechanized jobs, and workers in pink collar occupations.
Live just above to just below the poverty line.
People who are poor, seldom employed, and caught in long-term deprivation.
Exists when people do not have the means to secure the most basic necessities of life
Exists when people may be able to afford basic necessities but are still unable to maintain an average standard of living
Official Poverty Line
The federal income standard that is based on what is considered to be the minimum amount of money required for living at a subsistence level.
Some social inequality is necessary for the smooth functioning of society and thus is inevitable.
Powerful individuals and groups use ideology to maintain their favored positions in society at the expense of others. Wealth is not necessary in order to motivate people.
The beliefs and actions of people reflect their class location in society.