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Glossary of soc7

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Social Stratification
the hierarchical arrangement of large social groups based on their control over basic resources
Life chances
Max Weber’s term for the extent to which individuals have access to important societal resources such as food, clothing, shelter, education, and healthcare
Social Mobility
the movement of individuals or groups from one level in the stratification system to another
Intergenerational mobility
the social movement (up/down) experienced by family members from one generation to the next
Intragenerational mobility
the social movement (up/down) of individuals within their own life
Slavery
an extreme form of stratification in which people own other people
Caste system
a system of social inequality in which people’s status is permanently determined at birth based on their parents’ ascribed characteristics
Class system
type of stratification based on the ownership and control of resources and on the type of work people do
Capitalist class
Karl Marx’s term for the class that consists of those who own and control the means of production
Working class
Those who must sell their labor to their owners in order to earn enough money to survive
Alienation
a feeling of powerlessness and estrangement from other people and from oneself
Class conflict
Karl Marx’s term for the struggle between the capitalist and working class
Wealth
value of all a person’s assets, including income, property, and income producing property
Prestige
the respect or regard with which a person or status position is regarded by others
Power
According to Max Weber, the ability of people or groups to achieve their goals despite opposition from others
Socioeconomic status (SES)
a combined measure that, in order to determine class location, attempts to classify individuals, families, or households such as income occupation and education
Pink-collar Occupations
relatively low paying, nonmanual, semiskilled positions primarily held by women
Underclass
those who are poor, seldom employed, and caught in long term deprivation that results from low levels of education and income and high rates of unemployment
Income
the economic gain derived from wages, salaries, income transfers, and ownership of property
Official poverty line
the federal income standard that is based on what is considered to be the minimum amount of money required for living at a subsistence level
Absolute poverty
a level of economic deprivation that exists when people do not have the means to secure the most basic necessities of life
Relative poverty
a condition that exists when people may be able to afford basic necessities but are still unable to maintain an average standard of living
Feminization of poverty
the trend in which women are disproportionately represented among the individuals living in poverty
Job deskilling
a reduction in the proficiency needed to peform a specific job that leads to a corresponding reduction in the wages for that job
Meritocracy
a hierarchy in which all positions are rewarded based on people’s ability and credentials

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