Soc100_v8_wk4_deviance_social_stratification_and_inequality

Reading Guide: Deviance, Social Stratification, and InequalityThis reading guide covers Chapters 7, 9, 11, and 12 in your textbook: Griffiths, H., Keirns, N., Strayer, E., Cody-Rydzewski, S., Scaramuzzo, G., Sadler, T., Vyain, S., Bry, J., & Jones, F. (2015).Introduction to sociology (2nd ed.). OpenStax College, Rice University.Review these notes to assist with your assignment this week.DevianceDeviance and Social ControlDeviance: behavior that does not conform with cultural norms or social standardsDeviance depends on a person’s culture and subculture; deviant actions may not be considered deviant in a different place or time.For example, actions such as smoking indoors, playing loud music, or being nude in public can be considered deviant or not, depending on when and where they happen. Deviance and Crime: Formal and Informal SanctionsInformal sanctions: forms of punishment for mild violations of social normsExamples of mild violations: cutting in line, eating with your fingers at a nice restaurant, texting during a film in a movie theaterExamples of informal sanctions: nasty looks, rude comments, isolation from social groupsFormal sanctions: forms of punishment for serious violations of social norms that are written lawsExamples of serious violations: murder, rape, theft, speedingExamples of sanctions: fines, jail time, criminal recordTheoretical Perspectives on DevianceFunctionalist perspectiveo A functional society needs deviance to reaffirm current social norms and to set boundaries for social control and morality.Conflict theorist perspectiveo Deviance and crime are caused by social and economic factors created by a wealthy elite class of people in power who maintain the status quo in society, decide what is deviant, and determine who gets criminalized for deviant behavior.Symbolic interactionist perspectiveo Deviance is behavior that is learned from social interactions with other people, either as a response to others’ reactions or by modeling their deviance.Social StratificationSocial stratification: society’s way of categorizing people by socioeconomic status, ranked by tiers based on factors that reflect an unequal distribution of resourcesSociologists recognize that social stratification is a society-wide system that makes inequalities apparent.Class system: a way of describing the level of someone’s social standing based on their individual accomplishments and social factorsExamples of class systems in the U.S.: lower, middle, and higher incomePrimary characteristics of each class serve as social boundaries between them.Socioeconomic status (SES) in a class system determines individuals’ life outcomes.Wealth: the value of assets owned by a householdWealth enhances one’s life chances by creating opportunities and desired stature, command over labor and businesses, and the ability to pass along status to children. Wealth is less equally distributed and more concentrated than income; wealth begets wealth and is more stable across generations from parentsTheoretical Perspectives on Social StratificationFunctionalist perspectiveo Different social classes exist because they serve a purpose needed in society.o Social roles that are more important for the functioning of society receive greater rewards. For example, doctors are part of a higher-class status than janitors based on their importance, due to society’s need for them. Conflict theorist perspectiveo Inequality is systematically created and maintained by those with control over resources.o Advantages are based on characteristics such as class, race or ethnicity, or age.Symbolic interactionist perspectiveo Social standing is affected at a micro-level in everyday interactions with people who typically share the same social group.o People often show symbols of their social status through preferences in style or appearance.Race and EthnicityRace: a socially defined category based on perceived physical differences between groups of peopleSocial construction of race: the belief that race is not biologically identifiable; race is a social construct because racial categories change over timeEthnicity: a socially defined category based on a group’s shared cultural factors, such as language, religion, nationality, or historyMinority group: any group of people singled out from the rest of society to be treated differently or unequallyStereotype: an over-generalized belief about a group of people who share a characteristicRacism: a set of beliefs and practices about the superiority of one racial or ethnic group over anotherPrejudice: a biased thought process based on flawed assumptions about a group of peopleDiscrimination: actions taken against individuals to treat them unequally because of their race or ethnic group; usually motivated by prejudicePrivilege: benefits or advantages that some people enjoy because they are part of a dominant group that receives preferential treatment over othersTheoretical Perspectives on Race and EthnicityFunctionalist perspectiveo Racial and ethnic differences exist because they serve an important function in society; racial inequality can strengthen bonds between in-group members through pushing away out-group members.Conflict theorist perspectiveo Conflict between racial and ethnic inequalities arises when the dominant group perceives a threat from a minority group to their power and control over scarce resources.Symbolic interactionist perspectiveo Everyday interactions between members of the dominant group reinforce their assumptions about the racial or ethnic identities that symbolize minority groups.Gender, Sex, & SexualitySex: biologically determined physiological differences between males and femalesGender: a person’s internal perception of their gender as determined by role differences in our society and cultureGender differences are a product of socialization and other forms of social control.Traditional masculine vs. feminine gender role stereotypes are reinforced agents of socialization.Sexism: the prejudiced belief that one sex is superior to anotherTheoretical Perspectives on Gender, Sex, & SexualityFunctionalist perspectiveo Gender roles function to regulate sexual behavior and ensure cohesion in a marriage and stability in a family.o Changes in gender roles undermine social institutions and are therefore dysfunctional to society.Conflict theorist perspectiveo Socially dominant groups actively work to promote their views of sexuality and can deny social and economic advantages to subordinate groups, causing conflict between groups over resources.Symbolic interactionist perspectiveo Gender roles are learned social behaviors that are reinforced through symbols of “femininity” or “masculinity” that society shares.