Chapter 7; Social Stratification

Unit 7.1
Global Stratification: From Slavery to Social Class
Caste System
a form of social stratification in which people’s statuses are determined by birth and are lifelong
Class System
a form of social stratification based primarily on the possession of money or material possessions
Endogamy
the practice of marrying within one’s own group
Ideology
beliefs about the way things ought to be that justify social arrangements
Social Mobility
movement up or down the social class ladder
Social Stratification
the division of large numbers of people into layers according to their relative property, power and prestige; applied to both nations and to people within a nation, society, or other group
Explain variations in slavery, its causes and conditions, and slavery today.
Slavery was common and based on debt, crime, and war, not race. In some places, slavery was temporary. In others, it was permanent and inheritable. Some slaves had power and wealth. Slavery still exists.
Summarize India’s caste system and the U.S. racial caste system.
Caste comes with birth, is lifelong, and is maintained by rules of pollution and marriage. India’s system, based on religion, has four main castes. U.S. slavery, based on race, was followed by a racial caste system, in which all whites were treated as superior to all blacks.
State how social class systems differ from slavery and caste systems.
Social class is based on things that can be acquired, so it is more fluid than the other systems.
Explain how gender fits into stratification.
Gender cuts across all systems of social stratification, with people being given or denied access to privileges based on their gender.
If you divide large groups of people into layers based on some characteristic, such as their wealth, or their access to some other privilege, you have what sociologists call
a. social power
b. equality
c. inherited rights
d. social stratification
social stratification
In every society of the world, gender is a basis for stratifying people. This means that because of their gender, people are
a. viewed as male or female
b. classified as male or female
c. allowed or denied access to the good things offered by their society
d. fearful of others, although they use various devices to disguise their feelings
allowed or denied access to the good things offered by their society
Throughout the history of the world, slavery, the system of social stratification in which some individuals own other individuals, has been common. Which of the following was not the usual reason for slavery?
a. race
b. debt
c. crime
d. war
race
Slavery was usually a lifelong condition, but not always. In this place, slaves had the right to buy themselves out of slavery. They knew what their purchase price was, and some were able to meet this price by striking a bargain with their owner and selling their services to others.
a. Greece
b. Tripoli
c. Rome
d. United States
Rome
The U.S. colonists developed ideas and beliefs that justified their practice of slavery. Part of their view that helped them see slavery as fair, and even necessary, was that slaves were inferior humans. Sociologists call such beliefs
a. ideology
b. rationalization
c. stereotypes
d. denial of reality
ideology
Slavery has a broad range of causes. Which of these statements is stressed in the text? Some analysts conclude that
a. racism didn’t lead to slavery, but, rather, slavery led racism.
b. slavery brought benefits to slaves.
c. skin color has almost always been the underlying reason for slavery.
d. in most societies, the superior people enslaved the inferior people.
racism didn’t lead to slavery, but, rather, slavery led racism.
Sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois, the first African American to get a Ph.D. from Harvard, made this statement
a. slavery was evil, but out of it arose a nation of proud Negroes who will change the world.
b. because we Negroes are the descendants of Africans, we all should move back to Africa, our mother continent.
c. we owe a debt of gratitude to the white slave owners.
d. gradually the entire white South became an armed camp to keep Negroes in slavery and to kill the black rebel.
gradually the entire white South became an armed camp to keep Negroes in slavery and to kill the black rebel.
The Indian government abolished the caste system in 1949. Today, caste in India
a. no longer exists
b. is practically nonexistent
c. is part of the ceremonies people follow at birth, marriages, and death
d. has become so popular that it has spread to Tibet and Sri Lanka
is part of the ceremonies people follow at birth, marriages, and death
After slavery ended in the Unites States, it was replaced by a stratification system which marked everyone from birth and in which all whites, even if they were poor and uneducated, considered themselves to have a higher status than all African Americans. This is an example of
a. a racial caste
b. a transitory system
c. slavery
d. social class
a racial caste
A primary difference between social class and stratification systems based on slavery and caste is that social class
a. originated long before the other two
b. is superior
c. is a response to changing social conditions while the other two are not
d. is more fluid, allowing movement up and down the class ladder
is more fluid, allowing movement up and down the class ladder
Unit 7.2
Three Worlds of Stratification
Global Superclass
a small group of people who make the major decisions that affect the rest of the world
Specify broad differences between the Most Industrialized, Industrialized, and Least Industrialized Nations.
The Most Industrialized Nations rank higher than the other two in measures of property, power, and prestige – the three main elements of social stratification. The average person in the Industrialized Nations has more access to basic indicators of well-being – from electricity to food – than does the average person in the Least Industrialized Nations but less than those who live in the Most Industrialized Nations.
Explain what the new global superclass is.
A super-wealthy group of about 6,000 people, from all three worlds of stratification, whose interests run together, form a new global superclass. Their influence in world affairs appears to be growing.
Just as the people within a nation are stratified, so are the world’s nations. Before the breakup of the Soviet Empire in 1989, this model was used to refer to the three major groups of nations
a. First World, Second World, and Third World
b. Developed Nations, Developing Nations, and Undeveloped Nations
c. Most Industrialized, Industrialized, and Least Industrialized
d. Wealthy Nations, Average Nations, and Poor Nations
First World, Second World, and Third World
Today, this model is often used instead of First, Second, and Third Worlds (but it is not used in this text)
a. Most Powerful Nations, Nations of Average Power, and Least Powerful Nations
b. Developed Nations, Developing Nations, and Undeveloped Nations
c. Most Industrialized, Industrialized, and Least Industrialized
d. Wealthy Nations, Average Nations, and Poor Nations
Developed Nations, Developing Nations, and Undeveloped Nations
The author has chosen this model to refer to the three worlds of global stratification
a. First World, Second World, and Third World
b. Developed Nations, Developing Nations, and Undeveloped Nations
c. Most Industrialized, Industrialized, and Least Industrialized
d. Wealthy Nations, Average Nations, and Poor Nations
Most Industrialized, Industrialized, and Least Industrialized
The United States and Canada in North America; Great Britain, France, Germany, and Switzerland in western Europe; Japan in Asia; and Australia and New Zealand in Oceania are part of this group of nations
a. Most Industrialized
b. Industrialized
c. Least Industrialized
d. Second World
Most Industrialized
Most of the nations of the former Soviet Union and its former satellites in eastern Europe are part of this group of nations
a. Most Industrialized
b. Industrialized
c. Least Industrialized
d. Second World
Industrialized
Most of the world’s people live in this group of nations
a. Most Industrialized
b. Industrialized
c. Least Industrialized
d. Second World
Least Industrialized
With today’s fast communication and travel, a new social class has emerged, one that unites its members around the globe. This group is small, with only about 6,000 members. The richest 1,000 of this class have more wealth than the 2 1/2 billion poorest people on this planet. This group is called the
a. new rich
b. old, powerful super-rich
c. new global superclass
d. global controllers
new global superclass
Unit 7.3
How Did the World’s Nations Become Stratified?
Colonialism
the process by which one nation takes over another, usually for the purpose of exploiting its labor and natural resources
Culture of Poverty
the assumption that the values and behaviors of the poor make them fundamentally different from other people, that these factors are largely responsible for their poverty, and that parents perpetuate poverty across generations by passing these characteristics to their children
Globalization of Capitalism
capitalism (investing to make profits within a rational system) becoming the globe’s dominant economic system
World System Theory
economic and political connections that tie the world’s countries together
Contrast three theories of global stratification: colonialism, world system theory, and the culture of poverty.
Colonialism: the countries that industrialized first got a jump on the rest of the world, conquering areas and exploiting their resources. World System Theory: industrialization led to the world being divided into four groups of nations: the core, semiperiphery, periphery, and external areas, with the core exploiting the resources of the others. Culture of Poverty: the culture of some nations (poverty, fatalism) holds some nations back.
Explain why most sociologists reject the culture of poverty explanation.
Sociologists reject the culture of poverty because it places blame on the nations not on their exploitation.
This explanation of how the world’s nations became stratified stresses that the countries that industrialized first got the jump on the rest of the world. They used their new wealth to produce armaments and exploit weaker nations
a. amount of resources
b. culture of poverty
c. world system theory
d. colonialism
colonialism
This explanation of how the world’s nations became stratified stresses that industrialization led to the world being divided into four groups of nations: the core, semiperiphery, periphery, and external areas, with the core exploiting the resources of the others
a. amount of resources
b. culture of poverty
c. world system theory
d. colonialism
world system theory
This explanation of how the world’s nations became stratified stresses that the characteristics of some nations (such as poverty, a religion of fatalism) hold them back
a. amount of resources
b. culture of poverty
c. world system theory
d. colonialism
culture of poverty
Most sociologists prefer colonialism and world system theory to the culture of poverty because
a. the culture of poverty places blame on the poor nations themselves
b. the culture of poverty does not consider the role of religion
c. colonialism took place first
d. world system theory places the emphasis on global development
the culture of poverty places blame on the poor nations themselves
Unit 7.4
Why is Social Stratification Universal?
Meritocracy
a form of social stratification in which all positions are awarded on the basis of merit
Compare the functionalist and conflict views of social stratification.
Functionalists say that the stratification of a society is inevitable because the important positions of society must offer more benefits in order to recruit more capable people to fill them.
Conflict Theorists agree that the stratification of society is inevitable, but that it comes about when one group gains power and uses it to benefit themselves and to oppress those beneath them. In the classic view of conflict theory, this process will end only when the workers gain class consciousness, rebel, and take over the means of production. Some conflict theorists analyze conflict not just between owners and workers, but wherever it occurs.
This is the basic position of functionalists
a. life is constantly changing so any functional analysis must be temporary
b. social stratification benefits mainly those in power
c. once we determine what works in a society, we have the key to explaining social stratification
d. the patterns of society that are not functional disappear, while those that are functional continue
the patterns of society that are not functional disappear, while those that are functional continue
It is inevitable that society will be stratified, said functionalists Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore, because
a. there are always people who will take advantage of others
b. some people work hard, but others slack off
c. the more important positions must offer greater rewards to get more qualified people to take the greater responsibilities
d. the engine of human history is class struggle
the more important positions must offer greater rewards to get more qualified people to take the greater responsibilities
Sociologist Melvin Tumin criticized the functionalist argument. One of his points was that if stratification worked the way functionalists say, then
a. everyone would fail
b. society would be a meritocracy
c. the United States would be more powerful than it is
d. there would be little or no unemployment
society would be a meritocracy
Another criticism that Tumin made of the functionalist argument is that
a. we have no independent measures of the importance of society’s positions
b. garbage collectors are more important than college teachers
c. physicians are overpaid
d. the government should not set a minimum wage
we have no independent measures of the importance of society’s positions
Conflict theorists disagree with the functionalist position. Karl Marx argued that social stratification comes about because
a. the important positions have to be filled by the most qualified people
b. capitalists interfere with the natural solutions to class conflict
c. there aren’t enough resources to be divided equally
d. one group gains control over society’s resources
one group gains control over society’s resources
Marx said that human history consists of two parts. One part is small groups of people using their power to control society’s resources to benefit themselves and to oppress those beneath them. The other part is
a. trying to motivate the more qualified people to take the more demanding positions
b. providing more educational opportunities for the poor
c. the oppressed groups trying to overcome their domination
d. recognizing ability and accomplishments on a wide level in society, not just in the smaller groups in power
the oppressed groups trying to overcome their domination
Wilbert, a greeter at Wal-Mart, was trying to form a union. Afraid of getting fired, he talked to his fellow workers privately, one by one. He told them that they were all oppressed, that the managers represented the interest of the company’s owners. Only by uniting could they overcome their oppression. Conflict theorists would say that Wilbert was trying to
a. get a raise
b. raise class consciousnesses
c. raise morale
d. make trouble
raise class consciousnesses
Not all of today’s conflict theorists focus on the class struggle between owners and workers. They
a. also analyze conflict among workers
b. try to find functions wherever they are
c. try to look to the future, rather than relying on past situations
d. are doing research on how men are coming to have less power than women
also analyze conflict among workers
Unit 7.5
What Determines Social Class?
Bourgeoisie
Marx’s term for capitalists , those who own the means of production
Class Consciousness
Marx’s term for the awareness of a common identity based on one’s position in the means of production
False Class Consciousness
Marx’s term to refer to workers identifying with the interests of capitalists
Means of Production
the tools, factories, land, and investment capital used to produce wealth
Proletariat
Marx’s term for the exploited class, the mass of workers who do not own the means of production
Compare the views of Marx and Weber on social class.
Marx said that there was just one basis for social class: People’s position in the means of production, which makes them either a capitalist (owner) or a worker. Weber said there are three basis of social class: property, power, and prestige. Each of these can lead to the others.
This is Karl Marx’s term for tools, factories, land, and investment capital
a. investments
b. the means of investments
c. the fabric of society
d. the means of production
the means of production
According to Marx, the only basis for determining social class is someone’s position in
a. the means of production
b. property, power, and prestige
c. whatever distinguished one group from another
d. the social class scale
the means of production
According to Marx’s analysis, the two social classes are the bourgeoisie (capitalists), those who own the means of production, and the workers, those who work for the owners. His term for workers was
a. unknown except for a select few in his conspiracy against the capitalists
b. always changing
c. proletariat
d. changed by his followers from worker to working people
proletariat
Marx did not consider farmers, peasants, beggars, and self-employed professionals as social classes because he said they lacked
a. the money to buy class
b. class consciousness
c. the education that class requires
d. a strong enough desire to get ahead
class consciousness
At work in the nail factory, Buzz was talking to his friends about his plans. He said that he had saved $5,000 and was going to rent a small place on Baltimore Avenue, where he was going to open a little sandwich shop. If it was successful, as he was sure it would be, he was going to open a larger one. He might even franchise his idea. He said he could imagine, “Buzz’s Sandwiches” all across the country. In Marx’s terms, Buzz is illustrating
a. false class consciousness
b. an inadequate business plan
c. undercapitalization
d. megalomania
false class consciousness
Max Weber agreed with Marx that property is important, but he said it was only part of the picture. Social class, Weber said, is made up of these three elements
a. the means of production, capitalists, and the bourgeoisie
b. money, education, and property
c. property, power, and prestige
d. reputation, prestige, and property
property, power, and prestige
Ronald Reagan, and actor, was elected governor of California and then to two terms as President of the United States. His election illustrates this reason that Weber disagreed with Marx
a. power can be exchanged for prestige
b. prestige can be exchanged for power
c. immigrants can succeed in the United States
d. property can be exchanged for prestige
prestige can be exchanged for power
Unit 7.6
Social Class in the United States
Income
money received, usually from a job, business, or asset
Power
the ability to carry out your will, even over the resistance of others
Power Elite
C. Wright Mills’ term for the top people in the U.S. corporations, military, and politics who make the nation’s major decisions
Prestige
respect or regard
Social Class
according to Weber, a large group of people who rank close to one another in property, power, and prestige; according to Marx, one of two groups: capitalists who own the means of production or workers who sell their labor
Status
the position that someone occupies in a social group
Status Consistency
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; also called status discrepancy
Wealth
the total value of everything someone owns, minus the debts
Distinguish between wealth and income, and state how property and income are distributed in the United States.
Wealth is the value of someone’s property minus the debts, while income is a flow of money. Wealth is concentrated. 10% of U.S. families own 70% of the nations wealth. Income inequality is growing.
Explain the term power elite and the controversy that surrounds this term.
C. Wright Mills used the term “power elite” to refer to a small group of people who make the countries major decisions. This analysis violates the dominant ideology of equality.
Summarize the basis for occupational prestige and how status inconsistency works.
Higher prestige goes to occupations that pay more, require more education and abstract thought, and offer more independence. The status inconsistent, who are likely to be interacted with on the basis of their lower status, tend to become politically racial.
Connie, who just worked out her financial statement, was shaking her head. Her 500 acres of land carry a heavy mortgage, and the region is undergoing a drought. When she totaled the value of her land and mechinary minus what she owes, her net worth came to just $329. Sociologists call this $329 her
a. ideological facade
b. shrinking assets
c. debt
d. wealth
wealth
When William read this chapter, he was shocked. (Okay, William gets shocked easily.) He could hardly believe how unequally property is distributed in the United States, that 10% of the nation’s families own this percentage of the nation’s wealth
a. 40%
b. 50%
c. 60%
d. 70%
70%
If we make an income pyramid out of a child’s blocks, with each layer portraying $500 of income, the peak would be far higher than Mount Everest. A few families would be there, but the average U.S. family would be
a. half way to the top of Mount Everest
b. one fourth the way up Mount Everest
c. one tenth the way up Mount Everest
d. 10 feet off the ground
10 feet off the ground
Income inequality decreased from 1935 to 1970. Since 1970, income inequality has
a. continued to decrease
b. increased
c. evened out
d. disappeared
increased
In support of C. Wright Mills’ analysis that a power elite makes the big decisions, some sociologists point out that most U.S. Presidents have come from this group
a. CEOs
b. lawyers
c. millionaire white men from families with “old money”
d. entrepreneurs
millionaire white men from families with “old money”
Researchers have studied the characteristics of jobs that have high prestige. Which of these is not one of these characteristics? The jobs
a. pay more
b. have been in the family a long time
c. require more education
d. require more abstract thought
have been in the family a long time
After Helmuth earned his M.D. degree at Harvard, he began a successful private practice and became an investor in innovative medical products. His net worth is now in the millions. Helmuth is
a. status consistent
b. status inconsistent
c. status conscious
d. trying to clime the social class ladder
status consistent
Unfortunately, Helmuth has been fraudulently billing Medicare. It was front page news when he was arrested and brought to trial. Found guilty, he was given probation. He can keep his medical license, but he must provide 1,000 hours of community service, giving free medical care to the poor. Helmuth is
a. status consistent
b. status inconsistent
c. status conscious
d. barely holding onto the social class ladder
status inconsistent
From Ray Gold’s study of apartment-house janitors who unionized and made more money than some of their tenants, we can conclude this: Because people are trying to maximize their own position, when they interact with people who are status inconsistent, they may respond according to
a. how they feel at the moment
b. the cues they receive during the particular interaction
c. these people’s lowest ranking
d. these people’s highest ranking
these people’s lowest ranking
Individuals who are status inconsistent confront one frustrating situation after another. they claim the higher status, but are handed the lower one. This situation tends to make status-inconsistent people
a. intolerant of others
b. politically racial
c. depressed
d. fearful of interacting with others
politically racial
Unit 7.7
A Social Class Model
Underclass
a group of people for whom poverty persists year after year and across generations
Summarize the six-tier social class model developed by Kahl and Gilbert,
The Capitalist Class: the wealthiest 1%, is divided into “old” and “new” money.
The Upper Middle Class: 15%, the most shaped by education, manage the corporations owned by the capitalist class, run their own businesses, or pursue professions.
The Lower Middle Class: 34%, hold the technical and lower-level management positions, have mainstream lifestyles, but are plagued by insecurity.
The Working Class: 30%, have low education and highly insecure jobs.
The Working Poor: 15%, have the least education and depend on food stamps and local food pantries to survive.
The Underclass: 5%, live on welfare, food stamps, and food pantries. Life is tough there.
At the top of the U.S. social class is a tiny 1% that is worth more than the entire bottom 90% of the country. In the social class model developed by Kahl and Gilbert, this group is called the
a. decision makers
b. oppressors
c. controllers
d. capitalist class
capitalist class
Almost all members of the capitalist class graduate from college, where many have studied law or business. After college, they tend to
a. try for the highest-paying job they can find
b. manage the family fortune
c. take a year off and travel around Europe and Asia
d. withdraw from public life
manage the family fortune
The capitalist class is divided into two groups, those with “old” and “new” money. Those with “old” money don’t trust those with “new” money because those with “new” money have not attended the “right” schools, and they don’t
a. participate in the same social networks
b. read the same books or watch the same movies
c. ask the right questions
d. give to the same charities
participate in the same social networks
The children of the new-moneyed can ascend into the top part of the capitalist class – if they go to the right schools and
a. give to the right charities
b. learn how to dress according to the new standards
c. send their children to old-money schools
d. marry old money
marry old money
This class is the most shaped by education
a. capitalist
b. upper middle
c. lower middle
d. working
upper middle
Members of this class follow orders given by members of the upper middle class. Filling the technical and lower-level management positions, they can afford mainstream lifestyles, but they feel a lot of insecurity
a. upper middle
b. lower middle
c. working
d. working poor
lower middle
One of the greatest fears of this class is being laid off. With only a high school diploma, the average member of this class has little hope of climbing up the class ladder. Job changes usually bring “more of the same,” so most concentate on getting ahead by achieving seniority on the job rather than by changing their type of work
a. upper middle
b. lower middle
c. working
d. working poor
working
Although they work full-time, millions from this class depend on food stamps and local food pantries to survive on their meager incomes
a. lower middle
b. working
c. working poor
d. underclass
working poor
Members of this class are on the lowest rung of the social class ladder. Most members of other classes consider these people the “ne’er-do-wells” of society
a. lower middle
b. working
c. working poor
d. underclass
underclass
The homeless are part of this class
a. lower middle
b. working
c. working poor
d. underclass
underclass
Unit 7.8
Consequences of Social Class
Explain how social class affects people’s lives.
Social class leaves hardly any aspect of life untouched. Health: Both physical and mental health improves as you go up the social class ladder, as does health care.
Family Life: Wealthy parents have more input into their children’s choice of spouse, and the poor are more likely to divorce.
Education: The wealthy send their children to exclusive prep schools and colleges.
Religion: The social class tends to go to different denominations, with Episcopalians and Baptists as examples.
Politics: The farther up the social class ladder, the more likely people are to be Republican. The working class is more liberal on economic issues and more conservative on social issues.
Crime and the Criminal Justice System: The classes commit different types of crime, street and white-collar, which are reacted to differently by law enforcement.
As you go up the social class ladder, health improves. As you go down the ladder, health get worse. Which of these was NOT given as a reason for the worse health of the poor?
a. a two-tier system of medical care
b. lifestyles of the poor
c. life being harder for the poor
d. more birth defects among the poor
more birth defects among the poor
Melinda’s parents were concerned that she was seeing Tommy, who lives with his mom, who cleans house for a living. To put distance between them, they sent Melinda on a summer study tour of the capitals of Europe. One of her classmates was Philippe from Paris, with whom she now talks almost daily. Melinda wonders why she was ever interested in Tommy. Melinda’s parents are probably members of this class
a. capitalist
b. lower middle
c. working
d. working poor
capitalist
Betty and John would love to get their daughter, Jayne, into Andover, but their chances are between slim and next to none. They know their chances will improve if they can get Jayne into a private preschool that feeds into Andover. They have just hired a tutor to teach Jayne, now 4-years-old, to look the preschool interviewer in the eye when she talks to her. Betty and John are probably members of this class
a. capitalist
b. upper middle
c. lower middle
d. working
upper middle
Dick and Jane are upset that the federal government did not extend the period of unemployment benefits and that some state governments are trying to limit union activities. Dick and Jane just went to the polls. It is likely that they voted for the
a. Democrats
b. Republicans
c. Independents
d. Greens
Democrats
Jake was arrested for holding up a McDonald’s. It is likely that Jake is a member of this class
a. capitalist
b. upper middle
c. lower middle
d. working poor
working poor
Gerald was arrested for securities fraud. He had faked the income in his company’s annual report, whose stock is sold on the New York Stock Exchange. Gerald is probably a member of this class
a. capitalist
b. upper middle
c. lower middle
d. working poor
capitalist
It has been several years since Myra lost her job. After her husband left her and she lost her house, she has been bouncing from one homeless shelter to another. Myra is probably a member of this class
a. lower middle
b. working
c. working poor
d. underclass
underclass
Unit 7.9
Social Mobility
Describe the three types of social mobility.
Intergenerational Mobility refers to children moving to a social class different than that of their parents.
Structural Mobility refers to large numbers of people changing their social class when changes in the structure of society open and close opportunities.
Exchange Mobility refers to an exchange among classes – that is, large numbers of people going up and down the social class ladder with little change in the social class structure.
Explain where women fit in studies of social mobility.
Only sons used to be included in research on social mobility. Daughters are now included, but sociologists have not determined how to classify the social class of wives.
Downward Social Mobility
movement down the social class ladder
Exchange Mobility
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
Intergenerational Mobility
the change that family members make in social class from one generation to the next
Structural Mobility
movement up or down the social class ladder that is due more to changes in the structure of society than to the actions of individuals
Upward Social Mobility
movement up the social class ladder
Vickie could hardly wait to leave home. Since she was a child, she had been dissatisfied with her mother’s housekeeping and bothered by her father’s drinking. More times than she care to recall, she had been embarrassed by food stamps. After Vickie graduated from college, she took a position as an accountant. From there, she became treasurer of the company. Vickie’s change in social class is an example of what kind of mobility?
a. opportunity
b. exchange
c. structural
d. intergenrational
intergenrational
Jules was one of the millions of working and lower-middle classes who took advantage of the new computer opportunities. He took night classes in programming and became a programmer in 3-D technology. The huge change in social class brought about by the new technology represents what kind of social mobility?
a. opportunity
b. exchange
c. structural
d. intergenrational
structural
Where Jules found opportunity and moved up the social class ladder, Gloria’s experience took her in the other direction. Gloria was one of the millions of people who moved down the social class ladder when the economy deteriorated. The millions up and the millions down have left the class structure intact. What type of social mobility is this?
a. opportunity
b. exchange
c. structural
d. intergenrational
exchange
Research on the social mobility of women has uncovered this theme – that of parents
a. encouraging their daughters to postpone marriage and get an education
b. buying computers for their daughters
c. hiring tutors for their daughters
d. spending time teaching them sports
encouraging their daughters to postpone marriage and get an education
Unit 7.10
Poverty
Explain what the poverty line is and why it is inadequate.
The poverty line is the official measurement of where poverty begins. Inadequacies: based on a wrong assumption , that the poor spend one-third of their incomes on food; the line is the same regardless of the area’s cost of living; food stamps, rent subsidies, and welfare are not counted as income.
List some stereotypes of poverty and explain why they are true or untrue.
– Poverty is unusual. False. Over a 4-year period, one-third (32%) of all Americans experienced poverty for at least 2-months. About half the population will experience poverty at some point before they reach age 65.
– People with less education are more likely to be poor. True. Most definitely.
– Most poor people are poor because they do not want to work. False. About 40% of the poor are under the age of 18, and another 10% are age 65 and older. About 30% of the working-age poor work at least half the year.
– The poor are trapped in a cycle of poverty. True and False. Most poverty lasts less than a year, but just over half of those who escape poverty will return to poverty within 5-years.
– Most children who are born in poverty are poor as adults. False. By the time they grow up , most Americans who were poor as children are no longer poor.
– Most African Americans are poor. False. More than half of all African American adults work at white-collar jobs, about 22% at the professional or managerial level.
– Most of the poor are African Americans. False. There are more poor whites than any other group.
– Most of the poor are single mothers and their children. False. About 38% of the poor match this stereotype, but 34% of the poor live in married-couple families, 22% live alone or with non-relatives, and 6% live in other settings.
– Most of the poor live on welfare. False. Only about 25% of the income of poor adults comes from welfare. About half comes from wages and pensions, and about 22% from Social Security benefits.
Discuss causes of poverty of children of single mothers and functions of the Horatio Alger myth.
The cause is often assumed to be births to single mothers, but children born to wealthy single mothers are not poor. Nor are those in countries where the governments offer extensive support systems. The Horatio Alger Myth, which motivates people to achieve, stabilizes society by placing the blame for failure on the individual, not the structure of society.
Horatio Alger Myth
the belief that due to limitless possibilities anyone can get ahead if he or she tries hard enough
Poverty Line
the official measure of poverty; calculated to include incomes that are less than three times a low-cost food budget
Which of these was not pointed out as an inadequacy of the poverty line?
a. the poor spend about one-fifth of their income on food, not the one-third assumed when the poverty line was drawn up
b. the poverty line is the same throughout the country, regardless of a region’s cost of living
c. the poverty line violates the basic American value that people should support themselves
d. the poverty line does not count food stamps, rent assistance, and subsidized child care as income
the poverty line violates the basic American value that people should support themselves
In sociology, the word stereotype refers to
a. wrong, negative ideas
b. ideas we gain from our experiences that we generalize to similar things
c. changes in ideas, from positive to negative
d. generalizations that, when tested, prove to be wrong
ideas we gain from our experiences that we generalize to similar things
Is poverty unusual or common? Which of these statements is true?
a. about half of Americans will experience poverty at some time before they reach age 65
b. this year, about half of Americans are poor
c. about one of five Americans will be poor at some time during their lives
d. about one of ten Americans will be poor at some time during their lives
about half of Americans will experience poverty at some time before they reach age 65
Which statement is true?
a. most of the poor live on welfare
b. most children who are born in poverty are poor as adults
c. there are more poor whites than poor people of any other race-ethnic group
d. most poor people are poor because they do not want to work
there are more poor whites than poor people of any other race-ethnic group
This group has the lowest rate of poverty
a. African Americans
b. Native Americans
c. Whites
d. Asian Americans
Whites
We have just had a major historical shift in the physical location of poverty. Today, poverty is most common in
a. the suburbs
b. cities over 100,000 people
c. rural areas
d. cities over 500,000 people
the suburbs
Which group of Americans is the most likely to be living in poverty?
a. children
b. teenagers
c. young adults, between the ages of 20 and 25
d. college students
children
In 1960, a different era to be sure, about 1 of 20 U.S. children was born to a single woman. Today this total runs about
a. 2 of 20
b. 4 of 20
c. 5 of 20
d. 8 of 20
8 of 20
To make the point that the birth of children to single mothers is not the cause of the children’s poverty, the author stresses that
a. single mothers all over the world give birth to children
b. some countries have a higher birth rate to single mothers and a lower rate of child poverty
c. the U.S. rate of birth to single mothers is the highest in the industrialized world
d. the U.S. rate of child poverty is the highest in the industrialized world
some countries have a higher birth rate to single mothers and a lower rate of child poverty
In the 1800s, Horatio Alger wrote popular stories of boys who overcame severe obstacles to reach success. The Horatio Alger Myth is functional for society because it
a. encourages people to strive for success and places blame for failure on the individual
b. places its emphasis on the efforts of boys, who are being overlooked in the school system
c. tells stories of success in a compelling way
d. stresses the need for education, encouraging people to sacrifice so they can go farther in school
encourages people to strive for success and places blame for failure on the individual
According to Erik Wright’s modification of Marx’s model of social class, managers sell their _____ to the bourgeoisie and also exercise authority over others.
a. goods
b. prestige
c. labor
d. property
labor
According to the class typologies developed by Joseph Kahl and Dennis Gilbert, the largest of the six classes is the _____ class.
a. upper
b. under
c. lower middle
d. upper middle
lower middle
According to the typology of social class developed by Kahl and Gilbert, the class at the lowest rung that experiences next to no chance of moving up the social ladder is referred to as the _____.
a. underclass
b. downtrodden
c. least class
d. subliminal class
underclass
According to _____ theorists, the purpose of the welfare system is to maintain an army of reserve workers.
a. structural
b. functionalist
c. symbolic interactionist
d. conflict
conflict
What is the main reason for the feminization of poverty?
a. A greater number of men graduate from college than do women
b. Female heads of household earn 30% less income than male heads of household
c. The glass ceiling prevents women from advancing in the workforce
d. Genetic differences between males and females influence mathematical ability
Female heads of household earn 30% less income than male heads of household
Based on the author’s account of the relationship between physical health and social class, which of the following statements would be most accurate?
a. There is an inverse relationship between social class and physical health
b. There is no observable relationship between social class and physical health
c. There is a positive relationship between social class and physical health
d. Social class is only related to physical health among minorities
There is an inverse relationship between social class and physical health
Although the working class is more liberal on _____ issues, this class tends to be more conservative on _____ issues.
a. social; economic
b. economic; social
c. economic; religious
d. religious; economic
economic; social
Wright Mills coined the term _____ to refer to the collection of people who make the big decisions in U.S. society.
a. upper class
b. leisure class
c. corporate class
d. power elite
power elite
The upward or downward movement in social class by family members from one generation to the next describes _____ mobility.
a. intergenerational
b. intragenerational
c. structural
d. exchange
intergenerational
The social class most shaped by education is the _____.
a. capitalist class
b. upper middle class
c. lower middle class
d. working class
upper middle class
According to world system theory, _____ have dominated the world marketplace.
a. core nations
b. semiperipheral countries
c. peripheral countries
d. nations in the external area
core nations
Which theoretical explanation of world stratification is least accepted by sociologists?
a. colonialism
b. culture of poverty
c. functionalism
d. world system theory
culture of poverty
Those that live in the world’s least industrialized countries are likely to be _____.
a. destitute
b. childless
c. educated
d. medicated
destitute
_____ is one of the least industrialized countries in the world.
a. France
b. New Zealand
c. Cambodia
d. Japan
Cambodia
According to one theory, stratification occurred in the world once some countries were able to colonize other countries, thus enabling the colonizing country to dominate the colonized nation and _____.
a. shut it down
b. take advantage of its assets
c. wipe it off the map
d. become more like the country it had conquered
take advantage of its assets
Approximately _____ of the people in the U.S. are lower middle class.
a. 11 %
b. 22%
c. 34%
d. 45%
34%
Approximately _____ of Americans are part of the working poor.
a. 15%
b. 20%
c. 25%
d. 30%
15%
Who has ownership of the means of production?
a. The secretariat
b. The proletariat
c. The bourgeoisie
d. The levanderie
The bourgeoisie
How much you own minus how much you owe is your _____.
a. success
b. status
c. power
d. wealth
wealth
In the early 1960s, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson had no major responsibilities and could make no key governmental decisions even though he was second in line to the presidency of the United States. In other words, Johnson had no real _____.
a. stress
b. power
c. status
d. success
power
The higher one’s social class, _____.
a. ironically, the poorer an education one is likely to get
b. the more schooling one tends to get
c. the less schooling one tends to need
d. the less one has to spend on education
the more schooling one tends to get
Most members of other classes essentially perceive those in the underclass as _____.
a. terrorists
b. bums
c. thugs
d. clowns
bums