Chapter 7: Economic Problems: Wealth and Poverty. Social Stratification

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Chapter 7: Ecnmic Prblems: Wealth and Pverty Scial Stratificatin What is Scial Stratificatin? Scial stratificatin is defined as a system by which sciety ranks categries f peple in a hierarchy There are
Chapter 7: Ecnmic Prblems: Wealth and Pverty Scial Stratificatin What is Scial Stratificatin? Scial stratificatin is defined as a system by which sciety ranks categries f peple in a hierarchy There are fur fundamental principles f stratificatin: Scial stratificatin is a characteristic f sciety -- nt just due t individual differences Scial stratificatin persists ver generatins Yet, mst scieties allw sme srt f scial mbility r changes in peple's psitin in a system f scial stratificatin Scial mbility may be upward, dwnward, r hrizntal Scial stratificatin is universal but variable (it changes) Scial stratificatin invlves bth inequality and beliefs Scial Stratificatin is patterned scial inequality. It is als the unequal distributin f scietal resurces. Saying that inequality is patterned indicates that the differences ccur: n a wide-scale basis with regularity and alng lines f certain specific, identifiable characteristics (race, class, and gender) Stratificatin is usually based n three majr premises: Pwer: the ability t impse ne s will n thers Prestige: the respect given by thers Prperty: frms f wealth Patterned: if we knw whether a persn r grup pssesses r des nt pssess certain traits, then we will be able t predict with reasnable accuracy hw this persn r grup is likely t fare in the scial hierarchy Scial Hierarchy: A set f ranked statuses Scial Inequality: Sme types f peple systematically experience advantages in sciety while ther types f peple are systematically disadvantaged in ur sciety Sme members f ur sciety are thught f as haves, and thers are thught f as have-nts. The determinatin f wh is scially advantaged and wh is included amng the ranks f the scially disadvantaged is based, in part, n certain characteristics these individuals pssess and, in part, n hw sciety values r devalues these characteristics Scial stratificatin affects peple s lives and can be manifested in varius ways in sciety. Scial Inequality is a structured and systematic phenmenn that affects peple in varius scial classes thrughut their lives. Because f this patterned inequality, scial stratificatin affects peple s life chances: Life Chances: Opprtunities that individuals d r d n have t engage in certain activities, and the pprtunities that they d r d nt have t accmplish certain gals simply because f where they are lcated in the scial hierarchy (ex. Smart children brn int wealth vs. pr families) The Prblem in Scilgical Perspective Ecnmic Systems and Changes Ecnmy - the scial system that prduces and distributes gds and services Capitalist ecnmies Private wnership f prperty Market based Prfit riented Inequality Scialist ecnmies Gvernment r cllective wnership f prperty Gvernment cntrls the prductin and distributin f gds Cllective welfare Equality Capitalism has cme t dminate the wrlds ecnmies Fur Ecnmic Prblems Facing the United States 1. Decline in real incme Incme rse frm WWII t the 1970 s Incme has declined ver the last 30 years The Nature f Pverty 2. Taxes Grwing share f incme ges twards taxes ( Tax Freedm Day ) The Prblem in Scilgical Perspective 3. The savings rate f Americans has drpped Less mney t invest in the ecnmy 4. Imprtatin f freign gds and rising debt The natinal debt and the ecnmy Three definitins f pverty Bilgical pverty r abslute pverty nt having the means t survive Relative pverty- living belw the standard within a sciety ( Relative t anther grup) Official pverty- gvernments definitin f pverty based n an incme level. The Scpe f the Prblem Pverty rate The pverty rate tday is abut 11% f the ppulatin r apprximately 33 millin peple Scial Inequality Scial inequality and the belief f equality Structural inequality inequality patterned int scieties scial institutins The Distributin f Incme and Wealth Distributin f Incme The tp quintile receives 47.2% f incme The secnd quintile receives 23% The third quintile receives 15.6% The furth quintile receives 9.9% The bttm quintile receives 4.3% Incme inequality is greater tday Distributin f wealth Ttal wealth f Americans 42 trillin Abut ten percent f families wn tw thirds f wealth Abut 1% f husehlds cntrl crprate America ( stck wnership ) Wealth and pwer Rich and the wnership f crprate stck and ecnmic pwer Rich and financial advisrs and lbbyists The Extent and Impact f Pverty Scial change and the subjective cncern ver pverty Subjective cncern ver pverty The depressin f the 1930 s the new deal and pverty President Kennedy and pverty prgrams Michael Harringtn The Other America President Jhnsn and The War n Pverty The impact f pverty Pverty and the lack f suitable husing Pverty and unequal educatin Pverty and lw wage wrk Pverty and unequal justice Pverty and the quality f life Lking at the Prblem Theretically Symblic Interactinism The relative nature f pverty The symblic (scial) meaning f pverty Cmparisn levels Functinalism Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Mre and functinalism Inequality is functinal fr sciety The distributin f talent within the ecnmy Herbert Gans and the functins f pverty Cnflict Thery Karl Marx and the cnflict mdel f inequality Means f prductin and class relatins Interactin between the Burgeisie and prletariat The decline f false cnsciusness and the rise f class cnsciusness amng the prletariat Class revlt Mdificatins f Marx and the fcus n pwer relatins and inequality in sciety Research Findings Wh Are The Pr? African Americans and Latins are twice as likely t be pr in cmparisn t whites Pverty rate f minrities has declined in recent years Abut 16.2 percent f children live in pverty Pverty rate f children has increased Changes in family structure and pverty Large percent f pr children live in single parent female headed husehlds Divrce Out f wedlck births Lack f child supprt Lw paying jbs Trend twards the feminizatin f pverty Abut 10 percent f the elderly ver age 65 live in pverty Anther segment f the pverty ppulatin are wrkers whse incme are belw the pverty line The underclass and structural pverty Is There a Culture f Pverty? Oscar Lewis and his study f culture and the pr Intergeneratinal passed n frm ne generatin t the next Culture f pverty as a way f adapting (functinally) t the cnditins f pverty Hpelessness Despair Anmie Wh Rules America? C.W. Mills and The Pwer Elite Crprate Executives High Ranking Military Officers President and Cabinet Cmmn backgrund and interlcking directrates Cntrl vast amunts f bureaucratic resurces Shape the scpe f plicy Circulatin f Elite William Dmhff Ruling Class Super rich 1% f sciety Cntrl f crpratins thrugh stck wnership Shape public pinin and plicy thrugh the cntrl f bureaucratic resurces David Riesman and Rbert Dahl and the pluralist view f pwer Cmpeting interest grups Crss-cutting slidarities and divided lyalties Cuntervailing prcesses f pwer Gvernment as neutral and reacts t the plitical pressure f interest grups Inequality and Glbal Pverty Natins are stratified int rich and pr Industrial natins and residual pverty Least industrial natins and mass pverty Explanatins fr glbal inequality Rich natins explit pr natins Ecnmic clnialism Neclnialism Expliting lcal Elites Culture f pverty Scial Plicy Histrical Changes in Scial Plicy Clnial America and the religius respnse Pverty, Gd and sin The 1800 s urbanizatin and the relcatin f the pr t rural America Vluntary assciatins( Church grups) and the pr The 1930 s Rsevelt and the New Deal 1980 s and n the feminizatin f pverty Child care Jb training Child supprt Health care Scial Plicy Prgressive tax system and redistributin Fur Types f Public Assistance Prgrams Scial Insurance prgrams Jb skills and educatinal prgrams Welfare prgrams Wrkfare prgrams Private agencies and vluntary assciatins Frances Piven and Richard Clward - welfare prgrams as a way f regulating and cntrlling the pr Giving the pr mre mney the negative incme tax Educatin accunts Husing accunts Jbs Pverty will it increase r begin t diminish Ecnmic Inequality in the United States Scial stratificatin: the system by which sciety ranks categries f peple in a hierarchy Stratificatin prduces scial classes Categries f peple wh have similar access t resurces and pprtunities Any discussin f prblems such as pverty must include a discussin f incme and wealth Taxatin is a cmmn device used by the gvernment t reduce ecnmic inequality The Rich and the Pr: A Scial Prfile The rich : thse families wh fall within the tp 10 percent f incme distributin. The pverty line : the level f annual incme belw which a persn r family is defined as pr and thus entitled t gvernment assistance The pverty gap : the difference between the fficial pverty line and the actual incme f the typical pr husehld The Extent f Pverty Prfile f the U.S. pr Age: at greatest risk are children Race: African Americans and Hispanics Gender: wmen Family Patterns: single mthers Regin: the Suth and the West Scial Prblems Linked t Pverty Pr health The link between pverty and health is evident frm birth t ld age The infant mrtality amng the pr is twice the natinal average and amng the prest, fur times the natinal Death cmes earlier t the pr, wh are mre likely t die frm infectius diseases and vilence at any age Substandard husing Abut 500,000 peple are hmeless in the U.S. n a given night Up t 2 millin peple are hmeless at sme pint during the year Lw incme cupled with a decrease in available lw-incme husing leads t hmelessness Limited schling Pr children are less likely than rich children t cmplete high schl fewer pr children enter cllege and have less f a chance f cmpleting an advanced degree Uncertain wrk and the wrking pr Crime and Punishment Due t the fcus n street crime, the pr are mre likely t face arrest, trial, cnvictin, and prisn The pr depend mre n public defenders and curt-appinted attrneys, mst f whm are underpaid and verwrked Respnding t Pverty: The Welfare System Scial welfare prgram:an rganized effrt by gvernment, private rganizatins, r individuals t assist needy peple defined as wrthy f assistance Large gvernment-run welfare prgrams have three characteristics: they direct mney t specific categries f peple; they benefit many peple (e.g., the elderly, veterans, students, and farmers); and they d nt significantly change incme inequality Scial welfare has a lng and cntrversial histry in the United States The clnial era (the 1600s and 1700s); The earlier industrial era (the 19th century when attitudes tward the pr became mre negative); The twentieth century (with its saring immigratin and the 1929 great depressin, and Franklin Rsevelt s New Deal. ) Welfare Tday Changes in the welfare system began t ccur when President Clintn pledged in 1992 t end welfare as we knw it. The result was the Welfare Refrm Act f 1996 The public remains divided ver whether peple deserve help Welfare Refrm Act f 1996 Replaced federal AFDC prgram with a new state related prgram Temprary Assistance fr Needy Families (TANF). New rules require able-bdied peple receiving benefits t find a jb r enrll fr jb retraining within tw years. States can set their wn qualificatins benefits, but must limit assistance t tw cnsecutive years with a lifetime cap f five years. The prgram directs all states t mve half f single parents receiving welfare int jbs r retraining by 2002. Structural functinal analysis: Sme pverty is inevitable Scial pathlgy theries: fcus n persnal deficiency Scial disrganizatin thery: t much change Cntemprary functinal thery: inequality is useful Davis and Mre inequality actually helps sciety functin efficiently Herbert Gans pverty exists because many peple benefit frm it Symblic Interactin Analysis: Wh s t Blame? Explres the meanings that peple attach t thse wh are pr Criticism: althugh this apprach pints t sciety as the cause f pverty, it says little abut hw sciety makes sme peple pr Symblic Interactin Analysis: Wh s t Blame? Based n research by William Ryan- Pick a scial prblem Decide hw peple wh suffer frm the prblem differ frm everyne else Define these differences as the cause f the prblem Respnd t the prblem by trying t change the victims, nt the larger sciety Scial-Cnflict Analysis: Pverty Can Be Eliminated Marxist Thery: Pverty and Capitalism Pverty Invlves Mre than Mney: Cultural Capital Multicultural Thery: Pverty, Race, and Ethnicity Feminist Thery: Pverty and Patriarchy Plitics and Pverty: Cnstructing Prblems and Defining Slutins Plitics and Pverty: Cnstructing Prblems and Defining Slutins Cnservatives: Persnal Respnsibility fcus n persnal respnsibility, stressing the imprtance f selfreliance Liberals: Scietal Respnsibility view pverty as mre structural than it is individual; thus they lk fr scietal slutins Radicals: Change the System pverty is inherent in capitalist sciety, they dismiss scial welfare prgrams and tax plans advcated by liberals as little mre than a Band-Aid applied t the bdy f a persn with an incurable disease
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