SOC 208 Social Stratification (3 credits)

Social stratification refers to systematic, patterned inequality in the access and distribution of opportunities, rewards and resources across social categories. Students will learn about the sociological approaches to understanding social stratification and inequality and the processes by which various statuses across the stratification spectrum come to be seen as undesirable, legitimate, or natural. This course focuses on industrialized societies, but does not preclude comparison to other economic systems and societies across the globe. Furthermore, the course addresses major forms of social stratification through a historical lens, especially those related to age, class, race, gender, and various social statuses related to work, privilege, wealth, politics and power. The course examines whether forms of stratification are inevitable, the relationship of industrialization and deindustrialization to stratification, and whether theories of a ruling class are well founded in post-industrial capitalism. Prerequisite: English and reading placement at college level or permission of instructor.