What are some of the factors that affect social mobility? Can these be overcome?, SOC110 Social Stratification assignment help

During Module 5, we have studied social stratification and how it influences what goes on in many social interactions among people. After you have read the reading assignment and lecture for this module, please respond to all parts of the discussion by Sunday, October 9, 2016:

  1. What are some of the factors that affect social mobility? Can these be overcome?
  2. Do you believe the structural-functionalist or the social-conflict approach best explains social stratification? Why?
  3. Is it possible for members of a minority group to be racist? Why or why not?
  4. When you think of various groups (race, class, and gender) in society, which ones have the most power and which ones have the least? What and who are some examples? Has this changed over time? Do you think it will change in the future?  Why or why not?

Write your responses in two to three paragraphs. Be sure to incorporate terms, concepts, and theory from your readings to support your comments. Remember to respond to the posts of at least two other students in this class

By Sunday, October 9, 2016, post your response to the appropriate Discussion Area. Review and comment on your peers’ responses. Complete your participation for this assignment by Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

Textbook chapters to cite

Macionis, J. J. (2016). 
Society: The Basics, 14th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from 
https://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/9781323330944/

On line Lecture to cite 

[img src=”http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_img.gif” alt=”” height=”23″ width=”106″> The Consequences of Race and Gender
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Race is socially constructed.  In other words, race exists only because people in society have placed importance on particular biological traits, like skin color or eye shape.  Unfortunately, race is a major stratifier in society.  Looking at different racial and ethnic groups, we can see that most minorities make less money, have less education, and even shorter life spans than the white majority. 

In recent years, we have seen major strides towards equality by many racial groups.  For example, President Barack Obama is African American.  African Americans, in general, experienced many changes in the 20th century.  Migration to northern cities brought greater work opportunities. A national civil rights movement won crucial battles that resulted in ending legal support for racially segregated schools. Civil rights acts improved the opportunities for African Americans in employment and use of public transportation. Problems persist, though, in the social standing of African Americans. The median income of African Americans is significantly lower than Caucasians. African Americans are more likely to be poor and continue to be over-represented in low-paying jobs. Unemployment rates have remained twice as high as for Caucasians.

Currently, immigration remains a hot topic in America.  There are many debates examining the pros and cons of immigration and monitoring legal and undocumented immigrants.  For example, what are your thoughts on a fence along the border between Mexico and the United States? 

The Consequences of Gender

Higher education was traditionally the domain of males. However, this pattern has been changing in recent decades. Over one-half of all college students today are females, and females earn 52 percent of all M.A. degrees. Furthermore, females are pursuing programs traditionally dominated by males. However, significant differences still exist, particularly in the percentage of Ph.D.s granted and in the areas of law and medicine.

Another problem that exists is the unequal salary between men and women.  Women typically earn 77 cents to the dollar that men make for the same work.Additionally, there are few women CEOs, and when they do have that position, they are subjected to high levels of scrutiny compared to male CEOs. 

While the political power of women has increased dramatically during the last century, in the highest levels of government women’s roles are still minimal compared to men’s.

[img alt=”” width=”106″ height=”23″ src=”http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_img.gif”> Social Stratification Theorists and Theories
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Davis-Moore Thesis

Although many consider social stratification problematic and central to many social ills, the Davis-Moore thesis suggests that social stratification has been found to be universal because it is useful to society as a whole. This thesis points out that when there are varying rewards for different kinds of work, people are motivated to pursue occupational positions at higher levels.  However, Davis-Moore, while justifying social stratification, does not adequately explain why some positions are more valued or rewarded more than others.  For example, teachers are paid substantially less than professional basketball players.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx was critical of the capitalist system because he claimed that those who owned the means of production would naturally exploit the working class who provided labor for wages.

Max Weber

Max Weber’s work identified the elements that define the various social and economic positions of people. There are three elements in his approach to inequality. These are economic position, status, and power.

Gerhard Lenski and Jean Lenski

The work of Gerhard and Jean Lenski shows that when there is an increase in the level of technology in a society, there is a corresponding increase in social inequalities. They also found a reversal of this trend in highly developed industrial societies. However, with the new postindustrial society that we are in today, there is a further increase in the inequalities in society.  In other words, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Global Perspective

Another factor that influences how much social stratification may exist is poverty. Worldwide, there is much greater social stratification in societies that are less industrialized and less wealthy. About half of the world’s population lives in unindustrialized societies where there is greater social stratification. It has also been found that there is a much greater gender bias against women in agrarian societies.

[img src=”http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_img.gif” alt=”” height=”23″ width=”106″> Modernization Theory

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Modernization theory holds that before a society can develop and become more technologically advanced, it must first abandon its traditional culture.

W. W. Rostow

W. W. Rostow is a theorist who has analyzed modernization and concluded that there are four stages in the transition of a society from a poor agrarian to a wealthy industrialized society. The stages of development are as follows:

  1. Traditional.
  2. Take-off.
  3. Drive to technological maturity.
  4. High mass consumption.

Using modernization theory, some have argued that poor nations that desire to make the transition to wealthy and technologically advanced societies need to adopt the following from wealthy nations:

  1. Population control programs.
  2. Agricultural and industrial technology.
  3. Capital investment.

There are some commentators who argue that wealthy nations do not act to assist other nations in becoming technologically advanced. Others suggest that the process of becoming an advanced technological society is not the same for every nation.

[img src=”http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_img.gif” alt=”” width=”106″ height=”23″> Dependency Theory

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Other critics, using dependency theory, suggest that poorer nations exist because they are required to allow the wealthy nations to exist and dominate them. These theorists point to colonialism from the past and the actions of multinational corporations today to support their claims.  Dependency theory argues that poor countries were better off before colonialism since wealthier nations drain them of their resources.

[img src=”http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_img.gif” alt=”” height=”23″ width=”106″> Conclusion

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Social stratification and inequality are important concepts in sociology. As we have discussed, every society has its own strata or levels and its own way of ranking people and groups from high to low. Social stratification is usually measured in terms of income, wealth, race, and gender. Once the various levels of stratification have been defined, the consequences of stratification are explored in sociology.

Our discussion of social stratification concludes our study of sociology.  Through this course, you have been exposed to theory, methodology, culture, socialization, family, deviance, and stratification.  Hopefully you can now examine the world around you in a critical light and see how we are all affected by society and its elements.

 
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