Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Social Class in the United States What is Social Class? Definition: A large group of people who rank close to one another in property, prestige, and power.

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. What is Social Class? Property: material possessions: animals, bank accounts, bonds, buildings, businesses, cars, machinery, jewelry, furniture, land, and stocks Distinction Between Wealth and Income

Wealth: The total value of everything someone owns, minus the debts. Income: Money received, usually from a job, business, or assets. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. What is Social Class? Distribution of Property: Ownership of

property (real estate, stocks and bonds, and so on) is not distributed evenly: 10 percent of the nations families owns 75 percent of the wealth, and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans own more than one-third of all assets in the United States. Distribution of Income: The top 20 percent of U.S. residents receive half (50.3 percent) of all

the income in the United States; the bottom 20 percent receives 3.4 percent. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Distribution of the Property of Americans

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Dividing the Nations Income Each one-fifth of the U.S. population receives approximately the same proportion of national income today as it did in 1935.

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. What is Social Class? Power: The ability to get your way, despite resistance. Democratic Faade: An ideology promoted by the elites to legitimate and perpetuate their

power. Power Elite: C. Wright Mills term to refer to those who make the big decisions in U.S. society. This group shares the same ideologies and values, belongs to the same clubs, and reinforces each others world view 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

In his 1956 publication entitled The Power Elite, Mills defined the "power elite" as consisting of a triumvirate of those individuals occupying the dominant positions in the dominant institutions (military, economic and political) of the U.S. The power elites decisions had enormous consequences, not

only for the U.S. but the rest of the worlds population. The oligarchs comprising this elite can be generally grouped into one of six types: 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. the "Metropolitan 400" - members of historically notable local families in the principal American cities as represented in the Social Register

"Celebrities" - prominent entertainers and media personalities the "Chief Executives" - presidents and CEOs of the most important companies within each industrial sector the "Corporate Rich" - major landowners and corporate shareholders the "Warlords" - senior military officers, most importantly the Joint Chiefs of Staff the "Political Directorate" - "fifty-odd men of the executive branch" of the U.S. federal government, including the senior leadership in the Executive

Office of the President, sometimes drawn from elected officials of the two major political parties, but usually professional government bureaucrats Source: Wikipedia (The Power Elite, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_Elite) 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. What is Social Class?

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. What is Social Class? Prestige: Respect or regard. Occupations and Prestige: Occupations are the primary source of prestige. Highest prestige occupations:

They Pay More They Require More Education They Entail More Abstract Thought They Offer Greater Autonomy

Displaying Prestige 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. What is Social Class? Status Consistent: Ranking high or low on all three

dimensions of social class. Status Inconsistency: Ranking high on some dimensions of social class and low on others. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Marxs Model of the Social Classes 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Sociological Models of Social Class

Updating Weber (Gilbert and Kahl) Capitalist Class The Upper Middle Class The Lower Middle Class The Working Class The Working Poor The Underclass

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. The U.S. Social Class Ladder 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Consequences of Social Class Physical Health

Mental Health Family Life Choices of Husbands and Wives Divorce Child Rearing 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Consequences of Social Class Education Religion

Politics Crime and the Judicial System 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Social Mobility Intergenerational: The change that family members make in social class from one generation to the next.

Upward: Movement up the social class ladder. Downward: Movement down the social class ladder. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Social Mobility Structural: Movement up or down the social class ladder that is due to changes

in the structure of society, not to individual efforts. Exchange: About the same numbers of people moving up and down the social class ladder, such that, on balance, the social class system shows little change. Women and Social Mobility 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Poverty Poverty line: Official measure of poverty; calculated to include incomes that are less than three times a low-cost food budget. Who Are the Poor? The Geography of Poverty RaceEthnicity

Education The Feminization of Poverty Old Age 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Patterns of Poverty 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Race-Ethnicity and U.S. Poverty 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Who Ends Up Poor? Poverty by Education and Race-Ethnicity 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Poverty The Feminization of Poverty: Refers to the situation that most poor families in the U.S. are headed by women. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Births to Single Mothers 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. How Long Does Poverty Last?

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Why are People Poor? Social Structure Features of society deny some people access to education or training in job skills Characteristics of individuals

Poverty triggers 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Welfare Reform Reforming Welfare The Conflict View Where Is Horatio Alger? The Social Functions of a Myth

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Welfare Reform Horatio Alger Myth: The belief that due to limitless possibilities anyone can get ahead if he or she tries hard enough.

2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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