Lecture 7: Stratification

Stratification

  1. The way society is organized in layers or strata
  2. Hierarchical ranking of people into classes
  3. Rich-poor, powerful-powerless, highly-less educated
  4. Examines
  5. Shape of inequality
  6. Mobility
  7. Variability over time
  8. Micro-interactions
  9. Ways We Can Stratify
  10. Income
  11. The sources of financial revenue received by an individual
  12. Employment, investment, retirement or pension funds, government assistance, or money from a third party
  13. Wealth
  14. The value or worth of all possessions and assets owned by an individual
  15. Subtracting the value of all assets from debts owed by an individual to establish net worth
  16. Social Inequality
  17. The differential and unequal distribution of goods, services, resources, and power creates a hierarchical social system
  18. Income Inequality
  19. The unequal distribution of income between individuals or households within a given economy
  20. Largest in urban centers
  21. Wealth Inequality
  22. The unequal or disproportionate accumulation and distribution of wealth between individuals
  23. Why Social Inequality?
  24. Functionalism
  25. Davis-Moore Thesis
  26. The greater the importance of a position within society, the higher its associated reward
  27. More training = more exclusive = greater sacrifice = more pay
  28. Conflict
  29. Inequality is a product of the social and economic structure
  30. Reinforced through hegemonic control
  31. Reproduction of inequality 
  32. Capital
  33. Human Capital
  34. Investment in education and training
  35. Leads to more success in the market
  36. Cultural Capital
  37. Cultural resources that parents pass down to their children, like language, knowledge, traits, preferences, or behaviours
  38. Status cues for social class
  39. Social Capital
  40. Networks or connections that individuals possess
  41. Better job opportunities, higher incomes, escape poverty, increase wealth, more access to credit
  42. 2 Ways to Think About Global Inequality
  43. Modernization Theory
  44. Inequality from dysfunctional characteristics of poor countries
  45. Lack of; investment capital, western-style business practices, western-style governments. A lot of corruption
  46. Dependency Theory
  47. Critical of modernization
  48. Powerful countries impoverish the less powerful
  49. Colonialism and imperialism
  50. Source of raw materials, cheap labour, markets, wealth transfer
  51. Multinationals siphon wealth
  52. Why Poverty?
  53. LICO
  54. Low Income Cut-Offs
  55. Threshold below which a family will devote a larger share of its income to necessities
  56. About 12% of Canadians live in poverty
  57. Feminization of Poverty
  58. Women are more likely to be poor and women make up a growing proportion of the poor
  59. Lower employment rates
  60. Earn less
  61. Work in lower-paying jobs
  62. More likely to work part-time
  63. More likely to miss work due to caregiving obligations
  64. More likely to head single-parent households
  65. Disability
  66. Over 2 million Canadians live with disabilities, which can increase their risk of living in poverty
  67. Slightly under half of Canadians with disabilities face difficulties severe enough so as to prevent them from working
  68. Many people with disabilities actively looking for employment
  69. Challenges:
  70. Require more time off work
  71. Being less able to work for continuous periods
  72. Differences in skills, education, and job choice are compared to the population
  73. Health concerns compelling them to pursue part-time work
  74. Other Factors
  75. Talent
  76. Economic Cycles
  77. Social Psychological Factors
  78. Discrimination
  79. Region
  80. Community Supports


  1. Social Mobility: Is Society “Fair”?
  2. Social Mobility
  3. Upward or downward movement of individuals or groups among class positions
  4. Changes in occupation, wealth, income
  5. Intergenerational
  6. Occurs between generations
  7. Intragenerational
  8. Occurs within a generation
  9. Intergenerational Income Elasticity
  10. A measure of social mobility comparing the income of parents with those of their children when the children become adults
  11. Measures the extent to which a parent’s income predicts their child’s income
  12. Intragenerational
  13. Canada IGE is 0.32, meaning 32% of a child’s income in adulthood depends on parent’s income
  14. High mobility - nearly 7-% of your income depends on things like education, not the class you were born into
  15. Tax Policy
  16. Progressive Taxation
  17. Tax rate increases as taxable amount increases
  18. Redistribution
  19. Transferring funds to social assistance or development programs
  20. Minimum Wage
  21. Jan 2018 - Increase from $11.60 to $14
  22. Jan 2019 - Increases to $15
  23. Stagnation of the bottom quintile due to stagnating minimum wage


  1. Effects of Minimum Wage
  2. Pros
  3. Increase earnings if the most precarious or vulnerable groups in the bottom quintile
  4. Ripple effect increases wages of 15th percentile workers
  5. Poverty reduction
  6. Cons
  7. Job loss (59,000)
  8. Lack of new jobs created
  9. Reduction in hours and benefits
  10. Increase costs for consumers
  11. Shift to skilled labour
  12. May not relieve poverty as it does not target this group


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