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Unit One ­ Basic Concepts

Life chances ­ Max Weber used this term to describe people's opportunites for obtaining
material goods, services & cultural experiences. Sociological way of talking about `living
standards'. Covers things like possessions, decent education, health care, pleasures. Weber
thinks an individual's class depicts you life chances…

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Unit two ­Income & Wealth

2.1 Income

Income is usually regarded as best measure of economic wellbeing.
Income is a `flow' of money a person receives within a given time period.
Original income refers to income from employment, pensions & interest on savings.
Disposable income original income plus state benefits…

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o Labour market ­ most important reason for widening income gap because majority
of household income is derived from employment. Goodmand & Shephard (2002)
highlight following factors
Polarisation of `work rich households' and `workless households' . Women
have joined the workforce so number of `work rich households' are
increasing. However,…

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inheritance, saving accumulation, the legal opportunities for which are clearly related
to class' Reid (1998).

Unit 3 ­ Workplace inequalities

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3.1 The changing economy

Globalisation ­ McGrew (1992) defines globalisation as the process by which decisions and
activities in one part of the world come to have significant consequences for people in other
parts of the globe. The world becomes more and more `connected'. Interaction between
nations becomes more frequent…

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flexibility referes to post-fordist techniques and operating methods. Numerical flexibility
refers to various ways in which firms try to match number of workers to volume of work.
Numerical flexibility - shedding workers is most dramatic form of numerical flexibility.
Redundancy was once used as a result of cyclical downturns in…

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private sector and less public sector employment, more part time work. (Bryson & Gomez,
o Occupational challenge ­ first half of the twentieth century saw increase in clerical
work and expansion of professions but manual work still dominated. 2nd half of
twentieth century saw devline in manual workers and…

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Forms of work ­ men are more likely to be self employed 70% of self employed are men.
Women are more likely than men to be part time workers, 40% of female workers are
Horizontal segregation ­ men and women likely to be employed in different sorts of

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Problems of interpretation ­
o Not enough information available.
o Limited sample sizes ­ ethnic minorities only 8% of population.
o Classifications ­ how are people assigned to ethnic groups?
o Ethnic diversity ­ ethnic population is small yet very diverse, need to be aware when
making generalisations.
o Internal…

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and social standing, and over the years such indexes have been found to correlate with a
range of factors, such as rates of infant mortality, access to education, voting behaviour, and
so on' Crompton (1993).
there are problems with measuring class by occupation; no automatic link between
occupation and income,…


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