Social Stratification - Abstracts
Structural Functionalism, Social Inequality, Social Stratification
English Social Stratification - Nature 150, 465-465 (17 October 1942)
Social stratification exists in most societies, yet upon the English it exerts a powerful,
subtle and complex influence, to a much greater extent than in younger culture-patterns.
Strangely, however, the subject has attracted very little attention from psychologists.
Life styles and social stratification: France and Norway compared. - An explorative study.
By Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund, University of Oslo and Yannick Lemel; CREST, INSEE.
Abstract: Comparing France and Norway, two countries belonging to different welfare state
regimes, we will in this paper take a new approach to the discussion on life styles and
social stratification. Instead of anchoring our definition of social stratification in
predefined concepts, such as social class or status, we will empirically explore the
latent patterns of both life styles and social stratification, and thereafter the
correlations between these latent patterns. As indicators of social stratification we use
education, household income and social status, and to measure life styles we use data from
two surveys on media and cultural consumption (Media og kulturforbruksundersøkelsen 2004,
Norway and module Pratiques culturelles et sportives, Enquête Permanente sur les
Conditions de Vie 2003, France).
Sociological research on life styles have usually correlated life style patterns
with social stratification, measured as social class or status. Bourdieus
homology-thesis correlates distinctions based on life styles and cultural consumption with
economic and cultural capital (Bourdieu 1979), whereas recent Weberian inspired research
across several countries persistently have found more differentiated life style patterns,
supporting the omnivore thesis, as advocated by Petersen (1992) (Chan (ed.) 2009). Whereas
patterns of life styles in these studies are explored empirically, both approaches rely on
theoretical definitions of social stratification, be it social class or status. We rely on
less precise theoretical concepts but we will nevertheless analyze social stratification
Our research design allows us to explore empirically, within the two countries, if social
stratification is best measured by one, two or more dimensions; and then to map associated
patterns of life styles onto this/these dimension(s). We would expect our findings to
differ somewhat between the two countries, but given that social stratification is a
pervasive element of all modern societies, we would also expect to find common empirical
patterns that may be of relevance to the way we could theoretically conceptualize life
styles and social stratification.
Social stratification and ethnicity in Transylvania: How does social class matter?
Veres, Valer, Publisher: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
Abstract: The effect of economic, social and cultural capital on individuals' social
position since 1989 is examined, focusing on the Hungarian ethnic minority in
Transylvania. Detailed analysis of the stratification of Hungarians from Transylvania
shows that the three groups constituting the middle class, that is, intellectuals,
craftsmen, and nonmanual workers, represent approximately 45-50 percent, which is below
the level characteristic of developed capitalist countries.
Social Stratification and Cultural Consumption: Music in England
Tak Wing Chan and John H. Goldthorpe - European Sociological Review 2007
In this article we use recent survey data to test three arguments on the relationship
between social stratification and cultural consumption: i.e. what we label as the
homology, individualization and omnivoreunivore arguments. We note various
conceptual and methodological problems in the ways these arguments have been advanced, and
stress in particular the importance of maintaining the Weberian distinction between class
and status. We concentrate on musical consumption and apply latent class models to
identify types of musical consumer. We then examine the social character of these types
through a regression analysis that includes a range of demographic and stratification
variables. As would be anticipated from a Weberian standpoint, type of musical consumption
proves to be more closely associated with status, and also with education, than with
class. In general, our results provide little support for the homology or
individualisation arguments. They are more consonant with the omnivoreunivore
argument, although a number of qualifications to this are also suggested.
Social Stratification and Mobility in the World System
Different Approaches and Recent Research
Volker Bornschier, Bruno Trezzini, University of Zurich
International Sociology, Vol. 12, No. 4, 429-455 (1997) DOI: 10.1177/026858097012004004
Abstract: This article briefly reviews earlier as well as recent approaches to world
social stratification and highlights changes in paradigms similar to those in national
stratification research. One reason for conceptual similarities in both fields is
increasing social differentiation, which triggered reconceptualizations.
In reviewing different approaches, the article focuses on the innovative contributions of
network analysis, which entered world stratification research in the 1980s, and outlines
its main findings.
A major concern of the authors lies in the integration of these theoretical explanations
of successful or failed efforts in late development, explanations which are either
situated on the level of the international or the national stratification system. Starting
from the fact of the remarkably different economic performance of the semiperipheral
countries like Taiwan and South Korea, as compared to Mexico and Brazil, the article
explains such differentiation by - among other things - the interplay of internal
stratification and world economic position, an interplay subsumed under the authors'
concept of `the world market for protection and social order'.
MIGRATION AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
Bipluralism and the Western Democratic State
Gerald D. Jaynesa, Department of Economics and of African American Studies, Yale
Du Bois Review: Social Science and Research on Race (2007), 4:5-17
Abstract: The dawn of the twenty-first century confronts Western democracies with a
racialized class problem. The globalization of capitalismmass geographic movement of
peoples, capital, and markets on scales unprecedented since the Atlantic slave
tradehas brought poor migrants into affluent nations. Migrants' descendants are
replicating conditions associated with poor Blacks. Affluent Western democracies are
hurtling toward biplural stratification defined by a multiracial underclass. Racialized
class stratification stems from economic policies. Capitalist democracies' edifice of
social policiessanctioning expectations of rising prosperity, welfare safety
nets for minimal consumption, low-wage migration policieserroneously assumed
that jobs and wages would continuously grow to absorb expanding populations. Overuse of
low-wage migration policies commodified work relations in low-skilled jobs. Acculturated
to demand affluent living standards and egalitarian human relations, educationally
deprived descendants of migrants find commodified work regimens repellent. Despite large
populations of jobless natives, some maintain that affluent democracies need more migrants
to do the jobs that natives won't do. But jobless youth are alienated and prone to agency,
as riots in England, the United States, and, more recently, France and other areas of
Europe suggest. To avert the solidification of biplural societies, social policy must slow
rates of migration from low living-standard economies, expand minimum wages and income
transfers to working-citizen households, and provide documented immigrants clear avenues
to citizenship. This agenda is more likely to succeed in the United States, where minority
voting strength is gathering considerable momentum.
The Cognitive Origins of Social Stratification
Abstract: In evolutionary psychology, cultural phenomena are explained with reference to
evolved psychological processes. This paper presents an economic approach to explore this
link by demonstrating how social stratification can arise in game-playing populations as a
result of social categorisation of and inference from arbitrary agent traits. The computer
simulation of the model demonstrates that agents' increasing ability to categorise
opponents in the chicken game generates an increasing number of social groups whose
members share commonality of fate both in terms of opponent behaviour and payoff levels.
Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006
Privacy and social stratification
Marx, Gary T., Publisher: Transaction Publishers, Inc.
Abstract: Technology is a double-edged sword with respect to social stratification and it
appears that society is becoming increasingly stratified on the basis of access to
information. New surveillance technologies are likely to sustain and even strengthen
traditional forms of social stratification since it is control over information, a
characteristic of privacy which leads to stratification in society.
Social Stratification in Bogota: From Public Politics to the Dynamics of Social
univ.humanist., Jan./June 2008, no.65, p.139-172. ISSN 0120-4807.
This paper presents results from two research projects aimed at inquiring about
socioeconomic stratification in Bogota from the perspective of its value as representation
of social order and hierarchy. Although socioeconomic stratification was implemented as a
targeting mechanism of subsidies for the poorest households with the objective to enable
them to have domiciliary potable water, electricity, sewer, gas and telephone, the policy
has deeply affected the way social differences are collectively evoked. Research results
from projects conducted in Bogota between 2005 and 2007, based on a variety of sources and
methods, are approached with a view on social representations as a group of ideas and
practices that are collectively shared and socially generated. Conclusions deal with
issues of stratification and socio-spatial segregation, as well as the present
configuration of representations about social differences.
The Chinese Social Stratification after 1949 - Li, Yi.
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Abstract: Sociology of China is incomplete without the understanding on Chinese social
stratification. There are no insightful analysis and reliable assessment on Chinese social
stratification as of today. Chinese social stratification is like a pyramid, consisted of
peasant, worker, capitalist, and cadre. Peasant and worker are constants. There are
substantial researches on Chinas peasant, worker, and capitalist. However, so far
little research has been done on cadre class. Based on complete and rich data, this
research gives a coherent and consistent picture of Chinese social stratification, through
the structure and evolution of Chinas cadre system.
Using Metaphors in Dynamic Social Stratification Visualizations
Gousie, M.B. Grady, J. Burrage, B. Grossman, R. Machado, D. Milewski, S. Stuetzle, C.
Dept. of Math & Comput. Sci., Wheaton Coll., Norton, MA;
This paper appears in: Information Visualisation, 2008. IV '08. 12th International
Conference. Abstract: We present three information visualizations for studying social
stratification. Each Web-based applet uses a different metaphor to display U.S. Census
income data along with the categories of race, marital status, and profession. Each system
is completely dynamic, affording the user the choice of categorical variable to compare,
as well as the choice of categories within each visualization. Two different user
interfaces have also been implemented. The systems are described, compared, and their
respective merits and deficiencies discussed.
Testing and Social Stratification in American Education
Eric Grodsky, John Robert Warren, and Erika Felts
Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 34: 385-404 (Volume publication date August 2008)
We focus on how standardized testing in American education has reflected, reproduced, and
transformed social inequalities. We begin by describing inequalities in test score
distributions by race/ethnicity, social origins, and gender over time. We then define
learning, cognitive ability, and opportunity to learn, each of which influences the
results of standardized tests. Next, we offer a brief history of standardized testing's
role in American education. We then discuss the relationship between social stratification
and measurement issues that arise in the context of standardized testing and the
contemporary uses and misuses of standardized testing for diagnostic purposes,
accountability, and gatekeeping. We conclude by reflecting on the past, present, and
future role of testing in social stratification.
The associations of social class and social stratification with patterns of general and
mental health in a Spanish population
Carles Muntaner, Carme Borrell, Joan Benach, M Isabel Pasarín and Esteve Fernandez
International Journal of Epidemiology 2003;32:950-958
Background Social class, as a theoretical framework, represents a complementary approach
to social stratification by introducing social relations of ownership and control over
productive assets to the analysis of inequalities in economic, political, and cultural
resources. In this study we examined whether measures of social class were able to explain
and predict self-reported general and mental health over and above measures of social
Methods We tested this using the Barcelona Health Interview Survey, a cross-sectional
survey of 10 000 residents of the citys non-institutionalized population in 2000. We
used Erik Olin Wrights indicators of social class position, based on ownership and
control over productive assets. As measures of social stratification we used the Spanish
version of the British Registrar General (BRG) classification, and education.
Health-related variables included self-perceived health and mental health as measured by
Results Among men, high level managers and supervisors reported better health than all
other classes, including small business owners. Low-level supervisors reported worse
mental health than high-level managers and non-managerial workers, giving support to
Wrights contradictory class location hypothesis with regard to mental health. Social
class indicators were less useful correlates of health and mental health among women.
Conclusions Our findings highlight the potential health consequences of social class
positions defined by power relations within the labour process. They also confirm that
social class taps into parts of the social variation in health that are not captured by
conventional measures of social stratification and education.
SOCIAL STRATIFICATION, CAPITALSKILL COMPLEMENTARITY, AND THE NONMONOTONIC EVOLUTION
OF THE EDUCATION PREMIUM
Macroeconomic Dynamics (2004), 8:3:295-309 Cambridge University Press, YISHAY D. MAOZ and
Abstract: This paper presents a model that generates a nonmonotonic evolution of the
return to education. The model highlights the role played by socioeconomic stratification
in the joint determination of the supply of educated labor and the supply of physical
capital. The recent theoretical literature attributes the increased education premium of
the last decades to skill-biased technological progress. In contrast, our explanation is
based on capitalskill complementarity and endogenous accumulation of physical and
human capital in an environment characterized by credit constraints.
The influence of globalization and social stratification on pandemic processes.
Kozlov AA, Skvorcov NG; International Conference on AIDS.
Int Conf AIDS. 2002 Jul 7-12; 14: abstract no. E11501. Biomedical Center
On the border of the centuries we face a new strike of cataclysm that carries a global
nature. The new and emerging infections slip through international borders and come to
global world almost without a barrier. Since old times poverty was the most reason of
death and sickness. The leading factors that brought people to sickness are unequal
ability to access information and medical services, prevalence of high risk sexual
behavior and low social status of the poor people. Globalization is a new factor which
influences the pandemic processes in addition to poverty and infectious agents which have
been on arena for centuries. Scientists must take into consideration this new factor as it
will be playing the key role in the future epidemiology of AIDS, STIs and other
infections. Globalization is playing both negative and positive effect on population's
health. Expansion of the trade with goods and services can cause damage to health and
environment, travel and mass displacement of people create additional global threat for
population's health. On the other hand, in global world today it is much easier to bring
medicine to the end users in endemic areas. The fresh example is reduction of prices for
antiretrovirals and other medicines by international drug corporations for Africa.
Globalization also gives opportunity for people to access prevention and therapeutic
information from global electronic sources like Internet and specialized online databases
like Medline. Our analysis is finding new intercommunications between globalization and
pandemic processes around the world, especially on the African continent, where they hit
the lower social strata. It is obvious that the spreading of AIDS and infectious diseases,
particularly sexually transmitted diseases, has much interconnectivity with the spreading
of globalization processes.
The relationship between cultural consumption and social stratification in Hungary
Abstract: Drawing on data from a recent time-budget survey, this paper investigates the
relationship between cultural consumption and social stratification in Hungary. Education
continues to exert a powerful influence on cultural consumption just as it did under
communism. A major change from the communist era is that cultural consumption is now also
strongly affected by income. Social status exerts an effect on cultural participation,
although not one as straightforward as expected. The probability of being active rather
than inactive does rise with individuals status in a rather steep linear fashion.
But individuals status does not have any significant influence in differentiating
among types of cultural consumer. However, what does appear as a significant influence in
this regard is the fathers status. This latter finding suggests that in
post-communist Hungary the direct intra-familial transmission of inequalities is becoming
a yet more powerful process than before. The analyses suggest that in terms of
stratification by education, income and status, the most salient dividing line is that
between actives and inactives. As regards the types of consumer, three groups have emerged
from these analyses: univores, exclusives and omnivores. Univores who are in
general at the lowest status level in other countries seem to have been to some
extent displaced 'upwards' by the unusually large numbers of the culturally inactive.
Exclusives can hardly be taken as forming a social as well as a cultural elite; rather
they appear to be the remains of the intelligentsia of the communist era. If
there is, in present-day Hungarian society, a pattern of cultural consumption that can be
associated with socially more advantaged groups, it is that of the omnivores.
The Relationship Between Social Stratification and All-Cause Mortality Among Children in
the United States: 1968-1992
John H. DiLiberti - From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Illinois College of
Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, Illinois.
PEDIATRICS Vol. 105 No. 1 January 2000, p. e2 ELECTRONIC ARTICLE:
Background. US childhood poverty rates have increased for most of the past 2 decades.
Although overall mortality among children has apparently fallen during this interval,
these aggregate mortality rates may hide a disproportionate burden imposed on the least
advantaged. This study assessed the impact of social stratification on long-term US
childhood mortality rates and examined the temporal relationship between mortality
attributable to social stratification and childhood poverty rates.
Methods. Using US childhood mortality data obtained from the Compressed Mortality File
(National Center for Health Statistics) and a county-level measure of social
stratification (residential telephone availability), I evaluated the impact of social
stratification on long-term trends (1968-1992) in age-adjusted mortality and compared the
resulting attributable proportions to trends in childhood poverty rates.
Results. Between 1968 and 1987 the proportion of US childhood deaths attributable to
social stratification decreased from .22 to .17. Subsequently, it increased to .24 in
1992, despite continuous declines in overall childhood mortality rates. These proportions
correlated strongly with earlier childhood poverty rates, taking into account an apparent
9-year lag. Among black children comparable trends were not observed, although throughout
this time period their mortality rates were far higher than among the rest of the
population and declined more slowly.
Conclusions. Despite declining childhood mortality rates between 1968 and 1992, children
living in the least advantaged counties continued to die at higher rates than those living
in the most advantaged counties. This differential worsened considerably after 1987, and
by 1992 had a substantive impact on US life expectancy at birth, resulting in perhaps the
most significant (in terms of years of life lost) reversal in the health of the US public
in the 20th century. Key words: socioeconomic status, children, mortality, social
stratification, life expectancy.
The economics of early social stratification
Rowthorn, Robert, Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés, Rodríguez-Sickert, Carlos
Abstract: We develop an endogenous fertility model of social stratification with two
hereditary classes: a warrior elite and a peasantry. Our model shows that the extra cost
warriors must incur to raise their children and to equip them for war is the key
determinant of (1) the relative sizes of both classes, and (2) the warriors' economic
privileges in terms of income and consumption. The higher the cost of warrior children,
the greater the economic privileges of warriors will be, and the smaller the ratio of
warriors to peasants will be. Historical evidence confirms this prediction. Finally, we
identify conditions under which the military function of warriors may legitimise their
Social Stratification and its Indices: A Critique
Authors: Hooshang Nayebi; Hamid Abdollahyan - Hamid Abdollahyan, Department of
Communication, University of Tehran, Iran; University of Tehran, Iran
Abstract: Social stratification, which is an aspect of social inequality, has persisted as
an important social issue. Indeed, according to Miller, 'Nearly 30 percent of all research
articles in major sociological journals [were] devoted to social stratification in 1990.'1
Usually, social stratification is used as an independent and explanatory variable in
empirical research. Yet, despite its theoretical and methodological merits, sociologists
have failed to reach a consensus on its conceptual or measurement indices. Scholars often
use various indices that do not necessarily provide an explicit theoretical conception,
and, consequently, it is not known to what social category these indices refer. Marsh
writes: 'in order for it to have explanatory power, it is important that it is adequately
theorized, otherwise circular explanations occur. For example, if Registrar-General's
classification is found to be related to some lifestyle variables, this can only be deemed
an explanation if one can be sure that the class schema is not itself just a proxy for
lifestyle groupings.'2 To show the importance of the social stratification index, scholars
such as Marie Haug argue that it is a critical concept for the whole discipline of
sociology: 'Overcoming measurement shortcomings in the fundamental sociological concept of
stratification calls for top scientific priority for the whole discipline.'3 In this
article, we first highlight the importance of re-conceptualizing social stratification by
describing the concept based on the postulates of functionalist theory. Its importance is
highlighted further by examining its differential implications from Karl Marx's concept of
The Disenchanted Voter - Emotional Attachment, Social Stratification, and Mediated
Politics in Mexico's 2006 Presidential Election
Sallie Hughes, University of Miami
Manuel Alejandro Guerrero, Iberamerican University
The International Journal of Press/Politics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 353-375 (2009)
This study of micro-level political decision making responds to an initially perplexing
phenomenon that appeared in the 2006 Mexican presidential election, what the authors call
the disenchanted voter. The authors found that participants in their longitudinal,
qualitative study expressed extreme dissatisfaction with politics, politicians, and the
outcomes of a young democracy yet voiced enthusiasm for voting. Checks after the ballot
revealed they actually did vote. In this article, the authors argue that this unlikely
constellation is explained by participants' emotional appraisals of mediated campaign
messages about a polarizing presidential candidate. Grounded in an individual's class
position, emotional appraisal of this candidate generated fear in wealthy participants and
hope in poorer participants. The coping mechanism, or "secondary assessment" of
the candidate, was the firm decision to vote. Based on these findings, the authors propose
a model of disenchanted voting that integrates research on emotional appraisal and the
social construction of emotions with election salience and personal political efficacy.
These findings may be of use in economically polarized democracies beyond Mexico. However,
the authors question whether long-term polarizing political discourse is a viable antidote
to disenchantment with the uneven economic and social justice outcomes of Latin American
Social Stratification on the Swahili Coast: From race to class?
Constantin F. (1989). Africa, 59, 2, 145-159.
Abstract: This paper considers the social stratification of the Swahili, i.e. of the
people living along the African Indian Ocean coast from Lamu to Sofala, including the
coastal islands. From the early Middle-Ages to the postcolonial years, the East African
coast has been open to foreign demographic and cultural influence. Besides several waves
of seaborne immigration, groups of migrants also arrived from the African interior. A
rough relationship existed between immigration and social stratification: the most recent
seaborne group of settlers constituted a new stratum superimposed on earlier ones and
became the new dominant group. Migrants from the interior occupied the lowest strata of
the social structure. This pattern lasted until independence, at which point it became
evident that the lowest social group (the 'natives') could in fact destabilize the
hierarchy. The old social order, legalized along racial lines, was transformed into a new
social order with the appearance of a class system. (Source: ASC Documentation).
GROUP DIFFERENCES IN STANDARDIZED TESTING AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
By: Wayne J. Camara and Elizabeth Schmidt, The College Board
Abstract: To illustrate the pervasiveness of score differences by racial/ethnic groupings,
as well as by socioeconomic status, multiple measures of educational achievement were
examined. In addition to examining differences in the scores on high-stakes admission
tests (e.g., SAT ACTTM, GRE~, GMAT~, MCAT®, LSAT~) and other standardized measures (e.g.,
NAEP, NELS), differences in academic preparation, high school grades, class rank and
performance on Advanced Placement Program~ (AP~) Examinations were also investigated.
Subsequent differences on important educational outcomes such as college course grades,
overall college GPA, and graduation rates were examined as well, particularly in relation
to how well measures such as the SAT I, high school grades, class rank, and the quality of
high school courses completed are used to predict these outcomes.
Results indicate that the score gaps that are observed in admission tests and among
members of different racial and ethnic groups and different socioeconomic groups are also
found in other standardized tests and in other measures of educational attainment. It is
hypothesized that these differences are a powerful illustration of an important social
problem: inequitable access to high quality education. Programs that are attempting to
address these inequalities, as well as the need for further research efforts, are also
Continuity and Change in the Social Stratification of Aging and Health Over the Life
Course: Evidence From a Nationally Representative Longitudinal Study From 1986 to
2001/2002 (Americans' Changing Lives Study) James S. House, Paula M. Lantz, Pamela Herd
The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Abstract: Objectives. This article overviews previously published and ongoing research
from the Americans' Changing Lives (ACL) Study, a longitudinal study of a nationally
representative sample of 3,617 adults aged 25 years and older when first interviewed in
1986, focusing on socioeconomic disparities in the way health changes with age during
middle and later life, especially in terms of compression of morbidity/functional
Methods. A variety of descriptive and multivariate regression and growth curve analyses
are done on the ACL sample, now surveyed over four waves spanning 15.5 years between 1986
and 2001/2002 with continuing mortality ascertainment via the National Death Index, death
certificate searches, and informant reports.
Results. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses indicate that socioeconomic
disparities in health are small in early adulthood, increase through middle and early old
age, and then lessen again in later old age. In other terms, compression of
morbidity/functional limitations into the later stages of the life course is realized to a
much greater degree among the better educated compared with the less educated.
Cross-sectional evidence suggests that this reflects differential exposure to or
experience of a wide range of psychosocial, environmental, and biomedical risk factors for
health (and perhaps their differential impact at different ages and life stages), as well
as variations in biological robustness and frailty and also perhaps in the strength of
social welfare supports for health at different life stages. Longitudinal analyses reveal
several new insights: (a) The flow of causality is much greater from socioeconomic
position to health than vice versa; (b) education plays a greater role relative to income
in the onset of functional limitations, whereas income has much stronger effects on their
progression or course; and (c) educational disparities in the onset and hence of
compression of functional limitations over the life course have increased strikingly in
later middle and early old age (ages 5584 years) since 1986.
Discussion. The results indicate that understanding and alleviating social disparities in
health are both theoretically and methodologically quintessential problems of life course
analysis and research.
Social Transformation & Social Stratification
by: TsingHua Original Author: Journal of Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical
Engineering (Social Sciences Edition)
The article firstly supposes that one of the characteristics of modern Chinese social
stratification is disidentification. It is detailedly represented as the
disidentifications in the aspects of household identification, organizational
identification and unitary identification. The household disidentification is undergoing a
developing process from the peripheral to the core, from the manipulative level to
institutional level; the organizational disidentification is propelled forward
perfunctorily and connotatively. The unitary disidentification stems from or is
represented as the mutation of unit itself, and originates from or is represented as the
relationship changes between the unit and individual persons.
The article secondly suggests that another characteristic of the modern Chinese social
stratification is its disadministtation, which refers to the signs or tendency of
centrifugalization of the administrative standings which occupy the axis status in the
process of class division, and the reasons that caused this change are the reform within
the system and development outside of the system
The Inequality of Fair Play: Lottery Gambling and Social Stratification in Germany
Jens Beckert and Mark Lutter
Mark Lutter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Paulstr. 3, 50676 Cologne,
Germany. European Sociological Review 2009 25(4):475-488; doi:10.1093/esr/jcn063
On the basis of a telephone survey conducted on a random sample of the German residential
population, we examine the distribution effects state lotteries have on Germany's social
structure. Lotteries are highly taxed economic transactions, whose proceeds make up a
considerable share of public fiscal revenues. Our analysis shows that lotteries are a form
of regressive taxation. Using key demographic indicators, such as age, citizenship, and
levels of income and education, we demonstrate the effects of fiscal redistribution.
Health inequality in adolescence. Does stratification occur by familial social background,
family affluence, or personal social position?
Koivusilta, Rimpelä and Kautiainen
BMC Public Health 2006, 6:110doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-110
Abstract: Background: Two new sets of stratification indicators family's material
affluence and adolescent's personal social position- were compared with traditional
indicators of familial social position based on parental occupation and education for
their ability to detect health inequality among adolescents.
Methods: Survey data were collected in the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey in 2003
from nationally representative samples of 12-, 14- and 16-year-old Finns (number of
respondents 5394, response rate 71%). Indicators of the familial social position were
father's socio-economic status, parents' education, parents' labour market position.
Indicators of material affluence were number of cars, vacation travels, and computers in
the family, own room and amount of weekly spending money. Adolescent's personal social
position was measured as school performance. Measures of health were long-standing
illness, overweight, use of mental health services, poor self-rated health and number of
weekly health complaints. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was applied to study the
associations between stratification indicators and health variables.
Results: All three groups of indicators of social stratification showed inequality in
health, but the strongest associations were observed with the adolescent's personal social
position. Health inequality was only partly identifiable by the traditional indicators of
familial social position. The direction of the inequality was as expected when using the
traditional indicators or personal social position: adolescents from higher social
positions were healthier than those from lower positions. The indicators of family's
material affluence showed mainly weak or no association with health and some of the
indicators were inversely associated, although weakly.
Conclusion: In addition to traditional indicators describing the socio-structural
influences on the distribution of health among adolescents, indicators of family's
material affluence should be further developed. Adolescents' personal social position
should be included in the studies of health inequalities.
The Household Registration System and Social Stratification in China: 1955-1996
Wu, Xiaogang, and Donald J. Treiman. 2004. "The Household Registration System and
Social Stratification in China: 1955-1996. Demography , 41(2): 363-384.
Abstract: The Chinese household registration system (hukou) may be the most important
determinant of differential privilege in state socialist China. Urban registrants are
entitled to the best jobs, education, housing, and health care -- all of which are
unavailable to those with rural registration. Thus, transforming one's hukou status from
rural to urban is a central aspect of upward mobility. But given that hukou status is
essentially ascribed at birth, how do rural hokou holders affect this change to urban
status? Using data from a 1996 national probability sample, we found that education,
communist party membership, and military service are the main determinants of
rural-to-urban status changes.
Social Stratification, Health, and Violence in the Very Young
Boyce, W. Thomas - Ann N Y Acad Sci, Volume 1039, pp.47-68
Inequalities in human social groups contribute in important ways to the initiation and
perpetuation of violence. Because both social inequalities and interpersonal aggression
emerge in early life, it is important to study their developmental origins in the
collective and individual behavior of young children. As young as 2 years of age, children
assemble stable, linearly transitive dominance hierarchies when brought together in novel
social groups. Just as the consequences of socioeconomic status may be due in part to
experiences of social ordering per se, subjective childhood experiences of occupying a
lesser or greater position on a scale of social influence may similarly affect health,
safety, and behavior in early development. Children's experiences with social ordering may
represent a first, formative encounter with the hierarchical social relations that affect
health and susceptibility to violence over the human lifespan. We have studied the health
correlates of group stressors, dominance positions, and biobehavioral reactivity within
cohorts of preschool children and semi free-ranging rhesus macaques. Social position is
ascertained using naturalistic observations of critical dyadic events, and
stress-reactivity is measured using assessments of behavioral and biological responses to
standardized challenges. Outcome measures, including indicators of mental and physical
health and interpersonal injuries, have been assessedin the case of
childrenwith parent- and teacher-report questionnaires, child self-report protocols,
and frequent, objective physical examinations of the child andin the case of rhesus
monkeyswith daily observations of violence-related injuries. Results to date have
suggested the following provisional conclusions: (1) Children and monkeys form stable,
linearly transitive social hierarchies in which identifiable subgroups of individuals
occupy dominant and subordinate social positions. (2) Individuals occupying subordinate
positions within the social group show exaggerated adrenocortical and/or autonomic
reactivity to challenge and disproportionate rates of chronic medical conditions or
violent injuries. (3) Stress-reactivity, naturally occurring stressors, and social
position are interactively predictive of rates of morbidity. Monkeys who displayed high
biobehavioral reactivity sustained disproportionate numbers of violent injuries during a
confinement stressor. Children who were high in the dominance hierarchy and low in
reactivity showed significantly higher rates of externalizing mental health symptoms,
while those who were in subordinate social positions and high in reactivity showed higher
prevalences of internalizing symptoms. In conclusion, the prevention of youth
violenceand other forms of early disorderwill require a deeper, developmental
understanding of the "headwaters" of aggression and victimization in early
childhood and a stronger accounting of how early social inequalities set trajectories
toward healthy or disordered behavior.
Understanding the Mechanism of Social Stratification in Contemporary China
Liu Xin - INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY, SOCIOLOGICAL STUDIES Vol.20 Bimonthly No.5 September,
Abstract: This study develops a 'power generation theory' to explain the mechanism of
social stratification in contemporary China. The author argues that in the process of
marketization and reform of decentralization and profit-sharing, public power generates
'rent-seeking ability' while it exerts as redistributive power. Rent-seeking ability plays
a role in social stratification in a different way that redistributive power has been
taking, and power elite incumbents are able to use rent-seeking ability to gain private
interests. Meanwhile, marketability also has an effect on social stratification in so far
as the market mechanism counts. Thus, the basic institutional arrangement of socialist
market economy determines that redistributive power, rent-seeking ability, and
marketability co-constitute the dynamic basis of social stratification. The hypotheses
about income inequality based on the proposed theory are well supported by a sampling
survey data collected in Wuhan in 2003. The research findings suggest that the 'power
generation theory' offers a better explanation than the previously dominant 'power
transition theory' and 'power persistence theory' for the phenomena of elite
circulation/reproduction in Contemporary China.
Social Inequality and the Sociology of Life Style: Material and Cultural Aspects
of Social Stratification. (Focus on Economic Sociology) - Bogenhold, Dieter
The American Journal of Economics and Sociology
ABSTRACT. The rising importance of dimensions such as age, gender, nationality, ethnicity,
political attitudes, and multiple choices to organize the notion of "life
course" has made the older class concept appear obsolete to the research sociologist.
My thesis is that the current expanding discussions of life styles are not necessarily a
substitute but a valuable supplement to social stratification theory. Life style research
can contribute to the question of the relevance of the class concept. The result of my
investigation shows that life style research, when connected to the writings of Thorstein
Veblen, Georg Simmel, and Max Weber, can enrich research in the social sciences.