Sociology Chp. 7

Social Stratification
the division of society into groups arranged in a social hierarchy (page 182)
Social Inequality
the unequal distribution of wealth, power, or prestige among members of a society (page 182)
Slavery
the most extreme form of social stratification, based on the legal ownership of people (page 182)
Caste System
a form of social stratification in which status is determined by one’s family history and background and cannot be changed (page 183)
Apartheid
the system of segregation of racial and ethnic groups that was legal in South Africa between 1948 and 1991 (page 183)
Social Class
a system of stratification based on access to such resources as wealth, property, power, and prestige (page 184)
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
a measure of an individual’s place within a social class system; often used interchangeably with “class” (page 184)
Intersectionality
a concept that identifies how different categories of inequality (race, class, gender, etc.) intersect to shape the lives of individuals and groups (page 184)
Upper Class
an elite and largely self-sustaining group who possess most of the country’s wealth; they constitute about 1 percent of the U.S. population (page 185)
Upper-Middle Class
social class consisting of mostly highly educated professionals and managers who have considerable financial stability; they constitute about 14 percent of the U.S. population (page 185)
Middle Class
social class composed primarily of white-collar workers with a broad range of education and incomes; they constitute about 30 percent of the U.S. population (page 186)
White-Collar
a description characterizing lower-level professional and management workers and some highly skilled laborers in technical jobs (page 186)
Working Class or Lower-Middle Class
social class consisting of mostly blue-collar or service industry workers who are less likely to have a college degree; they constitute about 30 percent of the U.S. population (page 186)
Blue-Collar
a description characterizing skilled and semi-skilled workers who perform manual labor or work in service or clerical jobs (page 186)
Working Poor
poorly educated manual and service workers who may work full-time but remain near or below the poverty line; they constitute about 13 percent of the U.S. population (page 186)
Underclass
the poorest group, comprising the homeless and chronically unemployed who may depend on public or private assistance; they constitute about 12 percent of the U.S. population (page 186)
Status Inconsistency
a situation in which an individual has differing levels of status in terms of wealth, power, prestige, or other elements of socioeconomic status (page 187)
Feudal System
a system of social stratification based on a hereditary nobility who were responsible for and served by a lower stratum of forced laborers called serfs (page 187)
Wealth
a measure of net worth that includes income, property, and other assets (page 188)
Prestige
the social honor people are given because of their membership in well-regarded social groups (page 188)
Social Reproduction
the tendency of social classes to remain relatively stable as class status is passed down from one generation to the next (page 191)
Cultural Capital
the tastes, habits, expectations, skills, knowledge, and other cultural assets that help us gain advantages in society (page 191)
Homogamy
the tendency to choose romantic partners who are similar to us in terms of class, race, education, religion, and other social group membership (page 192)
Heterogamy
choosing romantic partners who are dissimilar to us in terms of class, race, education, religion, and other social group membership (page 192)
Everyday Class Consciousness
awareness of one’s own social status and that of others (page 192)
Hypergamy
marrying “up” in the social class hierarchy (page 193)
Hypogamy
marrying “down” in the social class hierarchy (page 193)
Social Mobility
the movement of individuals or groups within the hierarchical system of social classes (page 198)
Closed System
a social system with very little opportunity to move from one class to another (page 198)
Open System
a social system with ample opportunities to move from one class to another (page 198)
Intergenerational Mobility
movement between social classes that occurs from one generation to the next (page 198)
Intragenerational Mobility
the movement between social classes that occurs during the course of an individual’s lifetime (page 198)
Horizontal Social Mobility
the movement of individuals or groups within a particular social class, most often a result of changing occupations (page 198)
Vertical Social Mobility
the movement between different class statuses, often called either upward mobility or downward mobility (page 199)
Structural Mobility
changes in the social status of large numbers of people as a result of structural changes in society (page 199)
Relative Deprivation
a relative measure of poverty based on the standard of living in a particular society (page 199)
Absolute Deprivation
an objective measure of poverty, defined by the inability to meet minimal standards for food, shelter, clothing, or health care (page 199)
Culture of Poverty
entrenched attitudes that can develop among poor communities and lead the poor to accept their fate rather than attempt to improve their lot (page 203)
Just-Word Hypothesis
argues that people have a deep need to see the world as orderly, predictable, and fair, which creates a tendency to view victims of social injustice as deserving of their fates (page 203)
Residential Segregation
the geographical separation of the poor from the rest of an area’s population (page 204)
Disenfranchisement
the removal of the rights of citizenship through economic, political, or legal means (page 204)
Digital Divide
the unequal access to computer and Internet technology, both globally and within the United States (page 205)
Meritocracy
a system in which rewards are distributed based on merit (page 207)
Simplicity Movement
a loosely knit movement that opposes consumerism and encourages people to work less, earn less, and spend less, in accordance with nonmaterialistic values (page 208)