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Structure of Social Stratification in the United States, The, CourseSmart eTextbook, 5th Edition

By Leonard Beeghley

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Feb 15, 2008


This text examines the structure of stratification in the United States, focusing on the way one's class location influences his or her life opportunities.

Beeghley uses three themes to illustrate social stratification: How power influences the distribution of resources in the United States; how social structure influences rates of events; and how social psychological factors influence how individuals act on, and react to, the situations in which they find themselves.

Table of Contents


1. Sociology and Stratification.

Theoretical Perspectives on Stratification: Karl Marx, Max Weber, Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore, Ralf Dahrendorf, Gerhard Lenski.

Modernity, the American Dream, and Anomie.

A Strategy for the Study of Stratification: Historical and Cross-National Dimensions of Stratification, Levels of Analysis and Stratification, Power and Stratification.

2. Race/Ethnicity and Stratification.

Dimensions of Racial and Ethnic Stratification: Racial and Ethnic Stratification in the United States, Racial and Ethnic Stratification in Cross-National Perspective.

Anomie, the American Dream, and the Impact of Racial and Ethnic Stratification.

The Individual and Racial and Ethnic Stratification: Public Place Discrimination, Organizational Discrimination.

Social Structure and Racial and Ethnic Stratification: Historical Variations in Racial and Ethnic Group Mobility, Racial and Ethnic Inequality Today.


3. Gender and Stratification.

Dimensions of Gender Stratification: Gender Stratification in the United States, Gender Stratification in Cross-National Perspective..

Some Consequences of Gender Stratification: Authority and Gender, Victimization and Gender.

The Individual and Gender Stratification: Women's Choices, Discrimination.

Social Structure and Gender Stratification: The Decline of Gender Stratification, The Continuation of Gender Stratification.

4.Social Class and Stratification: Occupational Prestige and Class Identification.

Occupational Prestige: Occupational Prestige in the United States, The Meaning of Occupational Prestige, Racial/Ethnic and Gender Differences in Occupational Prestige, The Stability of Occupational Prestige over Time, The Stability of Occupational Prestige across Societies?

Class Identification: Patterns of Class Identification, The Meaning of Class Identification, A Note on Employed Married Women.

5. Social Class and Stratification: Mobility and Status Attainment.

Social Mobility: Social Mobility in the United States,  Social Mobility in Cross-National Perspective.

Social Structure and Mobility: Structural Mobility, Circulation Mobility, An Example of Upward Mobility.

Status Attainment: Status Attainment in the United States, Status Attainment in Cross-National Perspective.

The Individual and Status Attainment: Two Vignettes, Social Class and Status Attainment.

Anomie, The Ameriacn Dream, and Stratification.

6. Political Participation and Power.

Types of Participation: Voting, Partisanship, Unruliness.

The Rate of Voting: Voting in the United States, Voting in Cross-National Perspective.

Social Structure and Voting: Type of Electoral System, Who Gets to Vote, Gerrymandering, Election Day, Registration Requirements, Degree of Inequality, A Note on Voting Technology and Counting the Votes.

Partisanship and the Role of Money in Elections: The Cost of Winning; Money, Winning, and Reelection; Where Does the Money Come From?; An Example.

Social Class and Political Partisanship.

Conclusion: Political Participation and Anomie.

7. The Rich.

The Characteristics of the Rich: Counting the Rich, The Basis of Great Wealth, The Concentration of Wealth.

The Historical Trend in the Distribution of Wealth: The Kuznets Hypothesis, The Colonial Era, The Nineteenth Century, The Twentieth Century, The Trend Since 1980.

The Origin and Expansion of Wealth.

Power and Wealth Inequality.

Social Class and Lifestyle.

8. The Middle Class.

Social Class and Job Perquisites: Paid Time-Off Benefits, Medical Benefits, Family Benefits, Pension Benefits, Top Level Perquisites.

Social Class, Income Inequality, and Income Transfers: Social Class and Income, Trends in Income Inequality, Tax Expenditures and Income Inequality, Income Inequality and Economic Prosperity, Power and Income Inequality.

Social Class, Life Chances, and Lifestyle.

9. The Working Class.

Social Class and Occupation: Working-Class and Middle-Class Occupations, Social Class and Job Setting.

Social Class and Job Security.

The Human Consequences of Unemployment: A Note on the Meaning of Work, Economic Deprivation, Psychological Stress, Familial Disruption.

Social Class, Life Chances, and Lifestyle.

On the Working Class.

10. The Poor.

Dimensions of Poverty: Poverty in the United States, Poverty in Cross-National Perspective, The Measurement of Poverty, Are the Poor Really Poor?

Public Assistance and Poverty: Characteristics of Public Assistance Programs, The Paradox of Public Assistance, The Benefits of Poverty.

The Individual and Poverty: Age, Race and Ethnicity, Family Characteristics, Low-Wage Job Skills, Work Experience.

Social Structure and Poverty: The Long-Term Fall in the Poverty Rate, The U.S. Poverty Rate Today.

Concluding Comments.

11. The United States in Global Context.

Poverty and Inequality in the United States and Developing Nations.

Explanations of Poverty and Inequality Around the World.

Inequality in the United States and Western Nations.

12. Reflections on the Study of Stratification.

Objectivity in the Study of Stratification.

Research Methods in the Study of Stratification.

Paradox in the Study of Stratification.



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Structure of Social Stratification in the United States, The, CourseSmart eTextbook, 5th Edition
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$55.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-58541-0