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Kerbo, Harold R. Social stratification and inequality : class conflict in historical, comparative and global. Social classes--United States. Social conflict--United States. Equality--United States. Social mobility--United States. S6K47 The inclusion of a website does not indicate an endorsement by the authors of McGraw- Hill, and does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented at these sites.
I n understanding human beings and human societies, no subject is more important than social stratification. A system of social stratification helps shape how people live, their. But people in general are usually less aware of the rather systematic social forces that structure such outcomes. This type of belief is especially strong among the nonpoor and whites in the United States, with its values of freedom and individualism. And finally, most people are aware of racial, ethnic, and gender inequalities.
In other words, sociology is concerned primarily with groups or aggregates of people, not individual biographies. For example, if sociologists want to understand. With this in mind, however, we can examine individual biographies as examples, and for the questions they raise. For maximum effect, let us consider a life history on each extreme of the stratification system in the United States.
These life histories and their details may seem a bit dated now, but as we will see, it is important to stress that. Angeles called Watts. There is some distinction in the place and timing of Michael's birth not only because he was born 6 months after his mother began a jail term but also because his birth occurred a few days after one of the worst race riots in U.
Despite considerable pressure to the contrary, Michael's mother Judy did not give up her baby born while in prison. During his 3 years in the foster home, Michael was healthy and developed with the likes and dislikes of any young child-he "hated green peas and haircuts"; he loved his toys, dog, and ice cream;. Judy was out of prison after 3 years, but she was also out of work and had no place to live. For the next 17 months she lived in 10 different locations-including her mother's apartment, two foster homes, her stepfather's back porch, and a truck.
She also tried her hand at being a pimp for gay men, which brought her considerably more money but also a life she rejected in order to provide a home for her children. Pregnant again at age 18, she gave up hustling for welfare and her children. Judy was happy when Michael was returned to her, although she wept for many days when Michael cried for his foster parents. She began receiving a welfare check, like , other people in the area.
Judy and her three children were forced to live with relatives in a three-bedroom apartment that was home for 13 people. To some extent, Judy and Michael's prospects improved when Judy married a man who was employed as a janitor.
They moved to a rented apartment of their own. Like most mothers, Judy loved her children and did her best to provide for them. Michael remembers she always wrote "I love you" on his lunch sack when he began school. She saved to buy Christmas presents for the kids, and did volunteer work at Michael's preschool. With marriage Judy had her fourth child.
But as is too often the case for many poor children, the relatively good times did not last. Judy's marriage began breaking up and she turned to drugs.
Again they moved, and again Judy was alone with her children. Their new apartment was not much better, but the rats were less of a problem. Judy was back on the welfare rolls, and the area they lived in was one of the most crime-prone and violent. Judy first placed Michael in a Catholic school to keep him away from the crime and gangs in the public school, but it did not last.
Both Judy and Michael describe being embarrassed when comparing themselves with the parents and children in this new school, with the embarrassment reaching a peak when Judy could not afford 11 cents for the required pencil and eraser at the school. Michael was placed in the public school. When he was 7 years old, Michael saw a man killed for the first time. Other residents in the area took all the ice cream out of the truck.
This was only the first of many people Michael saw killed before he was Michael's month-old sister was killed when she fell from their apartment stairs. Judy took the death with much grief and alcohol. Shortly afterward, when Michael was in the third grade, he was again placed in a foster home.
This time it was because of a child abuse charge against Judy. Michael had broken his arm but was unable to convince anyone that it had happened in a fall away from home. Again Judy found it difficult to live with her life. Michael remembers crying night after night for his mother. The alleged child abuse, however, did appear unfounded, and Michael was returned to Judy after a judge became convinced of her innocence.
He was arrested for shoplifting when he was in third grade. By the time he was l O there were other arrests and gang fights for Michael. By age 15 he had experienced anger over his mother's beating and gang rape by young boys, he had seen more men killed, and he had to bear the fact that his and his mother's possessions were stolen time and time again.
He had seen his mother sick because of hunger, and he had stolen food. Michael still lived in the area of the Watts riot, which in the s had an even. Given changes in the U. Of course, there is a strong possibility that he will be in and out of prison as well, if not killed, like many young people in places such as Watts, where the leading cause of death for men is gunshot.
We can feel sorry and angry for, and about, Judy and Michael; but sorrow and anger are not the intent of the preceding description.
We will consider the questions this case presents for the study of social stratification after we examine the case of David. David was born at the other end of the stratification system in this country-at the top. His parents were not only rich, but they were among the superrich and powerful. David was born in , the youngest of six children.
David, like Michael, grew up in a number of dwellings, though, as might be expected, there were a number of differences. For one, the several dwellings were all owned by the family-all at. Then, for the weekends, there was the Pocantico Hills estate in New York.
At Pocantico, David and his brothers and sister could "go to the stone stables and have the riding master take them out on the trails; they could check out one of the fleet of electric cars that sailed silently around the grounds" Collier and Horowitz Here the children could go sailing in the many boats or go on long walks to the "cabin" deep in the woods on the estate Collier and Horowitz Venezuelan ranch, and a ranch in the Grand Teton Mountains Dye We would expect that David was much like Michael as a 2-year-old child.
He was. But David had a much. After this young age, the differences grew much wider. David did not grow up with street crime and violence, it is doubtful he ever saw a man killed, and his schools were much different. He went to the elite Lincoln School near the Pocantico Hills estate, then.
As a young child, David appeared serious and "responsible," and he was informally selected from among his brothers to carry on the family business interests Collier and Horowitz ; Dye He spent 3 years at that job, and in he was promoted to a vice president.
By he was senior vice president; in. He retired from these positions in Before retirement, David Rockefeller was described as the most powerful private citizen in the United States-"the only man who would have to step down to become president of the United States" Collier and Horowitz ; Dye Rockefeller "is the equivalent of a head of state.
Kennedy Library, and as director of the Council. He repeatedly turned down cabinet posts offered by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Collier and Horowitz David Rockefeller is noted for his hard work, but he does have the time and means to play. He is part owner of a French vineyard; in his Pocantico home, he. One must not forget his beetle collection bugs, not Beatie records ; dating back to his childhood days, his collection is reported to be one of the best in the world, with two species named after him Collier and Horowitz But these two life histories have been presented for a more important reason; they suggest several questions that must be considered in any study of social stratification.
A popular explanation especially in the United States for wealth and poverty is directed toward individual qualities. The poor, in turn, are believed to be poor. Also, we must ask how many among the poor have exceptional talent, or even average talent, that is never given a chance to develop. If a poor child were adopted at birth by a family like the Rockefellers,.
But this presents further questions. How does class background influence how people turn out or where they end up in the class system?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. The 8th edition of Social Stratification and Inequality continues to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date exploration of the economic and social divisions in human societies. Extensive comparative information, as well as an overview of how social stratification has changed and evolved over time, gives readers a global perspective on class conflict. Praised for its thorough research and scholarship, Social Stratification and Inequality includes current statistics and the latest trends in the field. Read more Read less.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or. Some ancillaries, including electronic and print components, may not be available to customers outside the United States. Kerbo, Harold R. Social stratification and inequality : class conflict in historical, comparative and global. Social classes--United States.
In his Politics, Social stratification is ancient. Social hierarchy is believed to be natural and unavoidable. For example, a person can wear the best-looking jeans, thus being considered stylish. They are nomadic and rely on readily available food and fiber from nature. Stylish life is a common aspect among the people in modern society. According to Tumin, the nature of Social Stratification becomes clear from its following features: 1.
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Unlimited access to the largest selection of audiobooks and textbooks aligned to school curriculum on the only app specifically designed for struggling readers, like students dealing with dyslexia, blindness or other learning differences. Harold Kerbo continues to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date exploration of the economic and social divisions in human societies.
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Since the earliest-known writings on the nature of human societies, there has been recognition that social stratification is a central part of all human organization Lenski More recently, during the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu wrote of the feudal system of social stratification and its inequities Zeitlin ; Strasser
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