lesson 7 Stratification part 2

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Published on November 30, 2008

Author: thomas.procopio

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Lesson 7part 2 : Lesson 7part 2 Theories of Stratification Poverty Davis – Moore Thesis : Davis – Moore Thesis 1945 – all societies are stratified. Functional approach – if it is so prevalent that we find this phenomena in all societies – then it must be serving a function for society. What is the function of social stratification? Davis – Moore Thesis : Davis – Moore Thesis 1. A variety of tasks must be completed in a society in order for that society to function properly – a variety of roles need to be filled. Society needs MDs, lawyers, teachers, trash collectors, janitors, etc. 2. Jobs that require more- skill/training/ability are usually higher stress and more vital (important) for a societies survival. Davis – Moore Thesis : Davis – Moore Thesis ? – How do you motivate people to train and acquire the skill and ability to take on a high stress vital role in society? You reward them financially – this is what creates stratification. The root cause of stratification is functional (benefits) society. Problems with Davis-Moore : Problems with Davis-Moore Tumin 1. How do you judge what roles are more vital to a society? (trash collector/MD – all of these roles need to be filled for a society to function properly. If we could quantify what jobs are more important – do we reward those positions to a greater degree (grade school teacher/pro athlete) Problems with Davis-Moore : Problems with Davis-Moore 2. They are creating an ideal type (utopia) that does not exist in the real world. Complete meritocracy If this thesis were correct those at the top of the hierarchy should be those that worked hard to gain the skill and ability needed to take on a vital position in society. What about those that inherit their family’s position? Poverty : Poverty relative/absolute Percentage of people in poverty : Percentage of people in poverty Slide 10: Why are people poor? John Rawls : John Rawls Asks an ethical question about the floor of society (those at the bottom of the hierarchy) What is a developed society? Should we only judge this by how economically rich a society is as a whole? Should we also consider how well a society treats those at the bottom? John Rawls : John Rawls “the veil of ignorance” – How would you organize a society – without knowing what your status would be? Most reasonable (moral) people would at least provide some type of floor. What about us? : What about us? Welfare – social security, W.I.C. – other “social benefits” Health care and the homeless. The able bodied v. the children/elderly H. Gans : H. Gans The functions of poverty. Econ functions- 1. Ensures the “dirty work” gets done. Provides a low wage labor pool. 2. Jobs are created to service the poor. Military, prison, police, pawn shops, dollar stores. 3. Prolong product usefulness. Day old bread, used cars, old homes – old/poorly trained/incompetent professionals. H. Gans : H. Gans Cultural function – Many cultural elements are created by the poor and adopted by the affluent. Music - blues, country, rap. Poetry/literature. Suffering a low status helps cultural creativity. Exaggeration to make a point. If we want to realistically do something about poverty we have to pay attention to the functions. Functional alternatives. Global Stratification : Global Stratification Modernization theory – Rostow – stages of modernization, and the role of the “rich”. Dependency theory – Wallerstien – “core” and “periphery” nations. How poor nations have become dependent on the rich.

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