X hits on this document

145 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

34 / 69

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

STUDENT GUIDE

31

Yet we have always had inequality in society.

We have always had a few privileged people and a large number of poor.

We have always had class inheritance within families, and we have always had opportunities limited by class in virtually every aspect of live:

government

education

health care

choice of neighborhood

the law and the courts

There are several reasons why inequality is difficult for us to see.

First, equal opportunity has been a central part of the heritage we have been taught.

Second, many people have come up to the United States from societies with much less opportunity, and have been able to succeed here where they would not have had the opportunity to succeed in their homeland.

Third, because of the tremendous industrial growth in the United States throughout most of the 20th century,  almost everyone’s position has improved over that of his or her parents.

Fourth, inequality is easily hidden, especially at the extremes of poverty and wealth.

The Meaning of Social Class

One’s class is most easily understood as one’s position in the class structure in society. One’s class position depends on economic criteria, the most easily understood being income and wealth.

Social class is like all other structures of which we are a part: It is made up of status positions (classes), each of which influences the actor’s actions by giving him or her

Power

Prestige

Privilege

Identity

Role

Perspective

Copyright © 2005 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Adult and Graduate Studies

Document info
Document views145
Page views145
Page last viewedSun Dec 04 02:23:24 UTC 2016
Pages69
Paragraphs1620
Words21127

Comments