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Social Differentiation

Social Differentiation: Patterns and Processes

Edited by Danielle Juteau
Series: Trends Project
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Social Differentiation
    Book Description:

    Social Differentiationexamines the economic, political, and normatively defined relations that underlie the construction of social categories. Social differentiation, embedded in inequalities of power, status, wealth, and prestige, affects life chances of individuals as well as the allocation of resources and opportunities.

    Starting with a theoretical framework that challenges many traditional analyses, the contributors focus on four specific strands of social differentiation: gender, age, race/ethnicity, and locality. They explore the historically specific social practices, policies, and ideologies that produce distinct forms of inequality, in turn revealing and explaining such issues as the formation and maintenance of a gendered order; the privileging of prime-age workers; the penalties incurred by visible minorities in the labour market; the highly disadvantaged position of Aboriginals; and the economic decline of agriculture, resource, and fishing dependent regions. By paying special attention to political processes, norms, and representations, and by indicating how social policies shape economic functioning and relate to normative definitions, this book will interest policy-oriented researchers and decision-makers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8002-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Laura Chapman
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Danielle Juteau
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. 1. Introducing Social Differentiation
    (pp. 3-24)
    Danielle Juteau

    This volume of the Trends series proposes a multidimensional analysis of social differentiation, which is treated here as an economic, political, cultural, and normatively oriented process. This process is viewed as materially based, underlying the construction of gendered, ethnicized, racialized, and age- and spatially related social categories. The specific perspective adopted in this book, providing its unity and coherence, will be compared to other analyses of differentiation. Our use of the term social differentiation will be distinguished from functionalist and neo-functionalist endeavours to examine social change at the societal level and from recent attempts linking social categories solely to processes...

  7. 2. Gender Differentiation and the Standard/Non-Standard Employment Distinction: A Genealogy of Policy Interventions in Canada
    (pp. 25-80)
    Leah F. Vosko

    In the early 1970s, the Royal Commission on the Status of Women described gender inequality in the labour market in terms of womenʹs predominance in non-standard forms of employment, low rates of pay, and limited access to training. The Commission linked such disparities to womenʹs disproportionate responsibility for unpaid domestic work and ʹtraditional and contemporary myths that have tended to keep women dependent and subordinate.ʹ¹ The passage of a third decade is cause for the reappraisal of the post-1970 gender order, which involved greater access to the labour market for women shaped partly by public policy developments. Instead of assessing...

  8. 3. Finding a Niche: Age-related Differentiations within the Working-age Population
    (pp. 81-116)
    David Cheal

    The principal feature of changing age differentiation within the working-age population is the way in which economic production, and its payoffs in wages and benefits, has tended to accumulate among middle-aged people. This trend will be referred to here as the privileging of prime-age workers. The most prominent aspect of the privileging of prime-age workers is the way in which full-time employment has tended to become concentrated in the 30-55 age group. As we shall see, that is only one part of the picture of relative advantage and relative disadvantage between the middle aged and the young.

    In recent years,...

  9. 4. Visible Minorities in Canadian Society: Challenges of Racial Diversity
    (pp. 117-154)
    Peter S. Li

    As with many other modern societies, Canadaʹs demographic composition is ethnically heterogeneous, in the sense that its citizens have come from many countries of origin and cultural backgrounds. However, since the late 1970s and early 1980s, there has been a growing perception that Canadian society has become more diverse as a result of an influx of immigrants from non-traditional source regions, mainly Asia and Africa. The perception of Asia and Africa as non-traditional immigrant-sending sources and of Asians and Africans as newcomers to Canada is not without grounds, since historically immigrants from these regions were not welcome in Canada, and...

  10. 5. Aboriginal People, Public Policy, and Social Differentiation in Canada
    (pp. 155-204)
    Terry Wotherspoon

    Aboriginal people generally occupy highly disadvantaged positions relative to the Canadian population. As documented in several sources, most notably the 1996Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal people as a whole rate well below national averages on key socio-economic indicators of well-being and success. Persons identifying themselves as being of Aboriginal ancestry earn less, have less education, have lower rates of labour force participation, and are under-represented in key occupations and organizational positions in comparison with the general population. Aboriginal people are also more likely than the average to experience conditions associated with social disadvantage and marginalization....

  11. 6. Spatially Based Social Differentiation in Canada′s Future: Trends in Urban/Non-urban Differences in the Next Decade
    (pp. 205-252)
    Chris Southcott

    This chapter examines the current structure of urban/non-urban differences in Canada by focusing on trends in social differentiation. Historically, Canadian governments have had to develop policies to deal with inequalities among regions and rural decline. Most agree that globalization, technological change and the information revolution, and postindustrialism in general, will have an effect on how governments deal with spatially based social and economic problems. Some suggest that sub-trends such as the ʹde-spacializationʹ of production, new communications technology, and the increased importance of recreational and leisure services will have a positive effect on these differences. Some in fact talk about, and...

  12. 7. Differentiation, Social Policy, and Citizenship Rights
    (pp. 253-260)
    Danielle Juteau

    Through the analyses and explanations provided, this book fills the gap observed by Jane Jenson in her influential article on social cohesion,¹ in which she notes that recent Canadian literature on inclusion and exclusion does not account for patterns of distribution of resources and power based on social relations such as sex/gender, race, and language. We have identified the dynamics fuelling new patterns of racialized, gendered, spatial, and age-related social differentiation in Canada. We have linked social differentiation to economic, political, and normatively determined processes that affect the life chances of individuals, produce social boundaries, and structure social categories that...

  13. References
    (pp. 261-301)