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What is social class?
"A status hierarchy by which groups and individuals are classified on the basis of esteem (regard, respect) and prestige (reputation, influence derived from achievements"
What is social class determined by?
- Occcupation, education and qualifications
- Income: personal, household and per capita
- Wealth or net worth, including ownership of land, property, means of production etc
What is the social class structure?
- Upper Class (10%)
- Middle Class (60%)
- Lower Class (30%)
What are the socio-economic factors effecting social class?
What are some unique class distinctions in australia?
- Geographic - urban vs rural
- Sports - e.g. rugby union (private schools - higher class) rugby league (public schools - lower class)
Status distinctions are maintained through the observation of rituals. What are some examples of these?
- the wearing of exclusive clothes
- the possession of servants/assistants
- need for manners, speech and social
- skills as well as ancestry
What is the Social Comparison Theory?
Individuals compare their own possessions against those of others to determin their relative social standing
What is invidious distinction?
We buy things to inspire envy in others through our display of wealth
What is conspicuous consumption?
Peoples desire to provide prominent visible evidence of their ability to afford luxury goods
What is Veblens (1899) Theory of Leisure Class?
- Leisure perpetuated distinction between classes
- Ruling classes throughout history have been associated with the possession and use of leisure
- No working person could ever know true leisure - only wealthy could be called leisurely
- Idle rich exploiting poor through conspicuous consumption of leisure - labour of poor used to increase wealth of rich
What leisure activities have the contemporary middle calss had increased participation in?
- Reading and use of library facilities
- Attend more cultural events, plays and musicals, visit museums and art galleries
- Engage in lifestyle sports (tennis, golf, sailing, snow and water skiing, outdoor activities - camping)
- Enjoy games of strategy such as bridge and chess
- More interested in education, visiting heritage sites and studying
- Travel more regularly
What leisure activities have the contemporary working calss had increased participation in?
- Games of chance - gambling, poker, betting on races, activities around home (tv), pub
- Playing competitive team sports - boxing, football, watching wrestling, roller derby and auto demilitions
What are the main reasons for the class divisions?
- different socialisation patterns and values
- a lack of expoure to wide range of leisure activities
- income and time
What is a reference group?
Gourps with whom we interact and who influence our attitudes, values and behaviour