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CHAPTER 7: Stratification, Class, and Inequality
1. When sociologists study the existence of structured inequalities in a society, they refer to
that structure as:
a. social inequity
b. social iniquity
c. social stratification
d. strategic sociality
Answer: C
2. Sociologists stratify groups of people according to many characteristics. Which of the
following variables are usually NOT used to stratify groups?
a. gender
b. race
c. income
d. eye color
Answer: D
3. Which of the following is true of all systems of social stratification?
a. If a person no longer identifies with the other members of his or her category, he or she is
no longer classified at that level.
b. A person’s life chances are significantly influenced by his or her position.
c. Ranks tend to fluctuate rapidly and significantly over time.
d. Wealthy people are always ranked higher than poorer ones.
Answer: B
4. Which of the following accurately describes the stratification system?
a. The key to understanding stratification is to rely only on income—that is, the more money
you have, the greater your status.
b. To achieve a high status, you must have a comparable amount of income, education, and
occupational prestige.
c. It is impossible to have a high status without having a large income.
d. Income, education, and occupation often are in tandem, but there are notable exceptions.
Answer: D

5. ________ is a stratification system in which certain people are owned as property and
more or less deprived of all rights by law.
a. Slavery
b. Caste
c. Socialism
d. Capitalism
Answer: A
6. Which of the following is an explanation for why slavery was made illegal throughout the
a. it is an inefficient economic system
b. health insurance became too expensive for the slaves
c. slaves revolted during the American Civil War and declared their independence from the
d. slaves are not productive enough to fulfill supply-demand obligations
Answer: A
7. In a ________ system, a person’s social status is set at birth and is unchangeable.
a. slavery
b. caste
c. class
d. communist
Answer: B
8. Which of the following stratification systems incorporates marital endogamy as one of its
a. slavery
b. caste
c. communist
d. capitalist
Answer: B
9. In which country is caste based on broad occupational groupings?
a. India
b. South Africa
c. Russia

d. Saudi Arabia
Answer: A
10. Which of the following best describes the caste system?
a. It is another word for the Classical American Stratification Theory of Equality.
b. It is the stratification system found in most agricultural economies.
c. It is a stratification system based on one’s position at birth.
d. It is an open system of stratification.
Answer: C
11. Which of the following is NOT an example of a caste system?
a. Requiring Jewish families to live in a separate part of European cities, known as a ghetto.
b. Giving political and economic rights in South Africa only to people who were genetically
completely white.
c. Forcing children to accept their parents’ status as their own in India.
d. Inviting only certain individuals to join college fraternities and sororities.
Answer: D
12. Why has there been a decline in state-mandated caste systems?
a. As more women are elected to office, the moral issues surrounding castes will override the
political ones.
b. As more countries industrialize, the caste system becomes increasingly obsolete.
c. The United Nations has sent armies of soldiers into countries to destroy any remnants of
the caste system.
d. Countries that sanction the caste system have experienced serious boycotts from other,
more enlightened countries.
Answer: B
13. In which society is the term “class” most often used to analyze stratification?
a. hunting and gathering
b. industrialized
c. feudal
d. caste
Answer: B
14. What do sociologists call a large group of people who occupy a similar economic position
in society?

a. slaves
b. caste
c. estate
d. class
Answer: D
15. Which of the following conceptualizes the idea that your probability of economic success
is largely dependent on your background?
a. life chances
b. life course
c. caste
d. relations of production
Answer: A
16. In what way is a class system different from a slavery or caste system?
a. Class systems have rigid boundaries; the other systems have fluid boundaries.
b. People are born into a class and stay there for life; there is more social mobility in the other
c. Unlike the other systems, class is based on personal relationships.
d. Class systems are fluid because they are determined by neither religious nor legal
Answer: D
17. Which of the following statements about class systems is NOT accurate?
a. The boundaries between classes are very clear-cut.
b. Class systems are fluid.
c. Class positions are in some part achieved.
d. Class is economically based.
Answer: A
18. In Karl Marx’s theory, a class is made up of people who have the same relationship to the:
a. forces of nature
b. means of production
c. means of consumption
d. state

Answer: B
19. Karl Marx called those who own the means of production ________ and those who make
their living by selling their own labor power for a wage ________.
a. capitalists; the working class
b. producers; consumers
c. merchants; peddlers
d. working class; capitalists
Answer: A
20. Max Weber’s concept of ________ is based on the amount of social honor, or ________,
others give to individuals or groups.
a. class; power
b. power; class
c. prestige; status
d. status; prestige
Answer: D
21. Max Weber referred to negatively privileged status groups as:
a. capitalists
b. working class
c. pariah groups
d. deviants
Answer: C
22. ________ argued that social stratification is functional, ensuring that the most talented
people fill the roles they are best suited for by rewarding them accordingly.
a. Karl Marx
b. Max Weber
c. Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore
d. Talcott Parsons
Answer: C
23. During the 20th century, the real income of blue-collar workers in Western societies has
________ overall, though it has ________ in the past 20 years.
a. increased significantly; dropped
b. increased significantly; increased only slightly

c. decreased significantly; increased
d. decreased slightly; increased significantly
Answer: A
24. The money a person gets from a wage or salary or from investments is ________; the
assets an individual owns are ________.
a. wealth; property
b. income; wealth
c. wealth; income
d. income; income
Answer: B
25. Which of the following best explains the relationship between wealth and income?
a. While race, education, and age influence income, wealth is independent of these variables.
b. Wealthy people almost always inherit their money, so there is no relationship between
wealth and income.
c. The same factors that limit people’s incomes also limit their ability to accumulate wealth.
d. Income disparities between rich and poor have increased in the past three decades, whereas
wealth disparities have decreased during the same time.
Answer: C
26. According to the Kuznets curve, inequality in capitalist societies:
a. decreases at first, stabilizes, then decreases again
b. increases at first, declines, then stabilizes at a relatively low level
c. decreases at first, increases rapidly, then stabilizes at a relatively high level
d. increases at first, stabilizes at a high level, then declines gradually
Answer: B
27. The accumulation of assets in the United States is:
a. impacted by factors such as family wealth and educational attainment
b. fair and equal among all groups
c. in direct proportion with the age, race, and sex of the population
d. based on a rigid caste system
Answer: A
28. What factor does NOT account for racial disparities in wealth and income?

a. education
b. parents’ social class
c. discrimination
d. age
Answer: D
29. Which of the following does NOT explain why the wealth gap is greater than the income
gap between blacks and whites?
a. historically lower incomes among blacks, which provided little or no opportunity to accrue
and pass on wealth
b. the legacy of discrimination, which provided little or no opportunity to obtain assets
c. more money spent on education by blacks, limiting their ability to save for the future
d. less social and cultural capital
Answer: C
30. Which of the following is a strong predictor of one’s occupation, income, and wealth in
later life?
a. educational attainment
b. parents’ religious background
c. stock market performance
d. access to technology, such as the Internet
Answer: A
31. According to the text, the upper class in the United States:
a. is made up of the wealthiest 20 percent of the population
b. has a distinctive lifestyle and is politically influential
c. does not include “new money” entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates
d. is accessible to all Americans with a college education
Answer: B
32. In which social class are you most likely to find mid-level managers and professionals?
a. upper class
b. upper middle class
c. lower middle class
d. working class

Answer: B
33. Members of the lower middle class:
a. may have relatively high status
b. make up about two-thirds of American households
c. most likely do not have a high school diploma
d. typically own large houses and luxury automobiles
Answer: A
34. People working in blue-collar or pink-collar occupations make up the:
a. lower middle class
b. upper middle class
c. old middle class
d. working class
Answer: D
35. What did NOT precipitate the emergence of the “new urban poor” in the last quarter
a. economic globalization, which led to high unemployment among the unskilled sectors of
the lower class
b. racial discrimination in hiring for the remaining low-skill jobs in urban centers
c. numerous individuals who lost all of their wealth because of investments in Ponzi schemes
d. the cycle of poverty that is reinforced among the poor
Answer: C
36. Social mobility refers to the:
a. migration of people from the city to the countryside
b. migration of people from the countryside to the city
c. movement of individuals and groups between class positions
d. ability of people in a society to engage in protest movements
Answer: C
37. How far an individual moves up or down the socioeconomic scale in his or her lifetime is
a. intragenerational mobility
b. intergenerational mobility

c. life course
d. structural mobility
Answer: A
38. If a person has a different class position from that of his or her parents or grandparents, he
or she has experienced:
a. intragenerational mobility
b. intergenerational mobility
c. structural mobility
d. exchange mobility
Answer: B
39. The term that Pierre Bourdieu uses for the advantages that a “good home” provides, such
as a parent’s involvement with a child’s homework, is:
a. status
b. prestige
c. life chance
d. cultural capital
Answer: D
40. In their classic study of social mobility in the United States, Peter Blau and Otis Dudley
Duncan found that:
a. the rags-to-riches story was quite common
b. educational attainment does not affect a child’s social position later in life
c. educational attainment drives occupational status
d. there has been significant long-range intergenerational mobility from working class to
middle class
Answer: C
41. Which of the following is an example of what Pierre Bourdieu refers to as cultural
a. a father’s income combined with a mother’s income
b. parents reading to their children and encouraging them to succeed
c. the amount of money the art museums, opera companies, and symphony orchestras charge
for admission
d. the combined income of workers at the capitol building in Washington, DC

Answer: B
42. Researchers of social mobility, from Peter Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan in the 1960s to
Pierre Bourdieu in the 1980s, have shown that:
a. educational attainment has no effect on ultimate social status
b. the family’s social status affects a child’s educational attainment
c. cultural capital is learned rather than inherited
d. parental involvement has no effect on a child’s education
Answer: B
43. Which of the following is an issue associated with downward mobility?
a. An increased number of corporate executives and mid-level managers have experienced
downward mobility because of the economic recession of the late 2000s.
b. Downward mobility is associated only with blue-collar jobholders who were fired because
of political changes.
c. Nearly all people accept downward mobility graciously because a job with less pressure
reduces personal anxiety.
d. Downward mobility is more common among women than men.
Answer: A
44. The condition in which people do not have adequate resources to maintain their health is
a. relative poverty
b. absolute poverty
c. downward mobility
d. the poverty line
Answer: B
45. When one is poor compared to the standards of living of most people, this is called:
a. relative poverty
b. absolute poverty
c. downward mobility
d. exchange mobility
Answer: A
46. In which country are the distinctions greatest between its richest and poorest citizens?
a. Germany

b. Israel
c. Japan
d. United States
Answer: D
47. The 2009 poverty line for a family of four in the United States was an annual income of
$27,570. How did the government determine this number?
a. A joint session of Congress estimated the cost of living in Washington, DC, and then
divided that number by the number of members of Congress.
b. It calculated a daily nutritious diet to be $3.86 per person and all other basic necessities to
be $7.72 per person per day.
c. It calculated the average cost of living in each of the four regions of the United States and
divided that number by the average cost of rent in those locations.
d. It calculated the average salaries of the Fortune 500 CEOs and divided that number by five
to determine the bottom quintile in the United States.
Answer: B
48. What is meant by the phrase “feminization of poverty”?
a. the fact that poor women must act in a way that will encourage men to notice them
b. the idea that when men look for a partner, they prefer women with less education than
c. the notion that poor women do not want high-paying masculine jobs such as being a lawyer
or a physician
d. the increase in the proportion of the poor who are women
Answer: D
49. In which country is the poverty rate for children the highest?
a. United States
b. Canada
c. England
d. France
Answer: A
50. Which is NOT an outcome of exclusion?
a. Those who live in rurally isolated communities do not have access to quality health care.
b. Inner-city neighborhoods suffer high crime rates.

c. There are fewer homeless people because excluded families have decided to live together
to share expenses.
d. Economic exclusion prevents individuals from contributing to the fiscal well-being of the
Answer: C
51. The fastest-growing group among the homeless population in the United States is:
a. substance abusers
b. the mentally ill
c. elderly men
d. families with children
Answer: D
52. How has globalization contributed to the increasing inequality in American society?
a. Some companies now outsource production to other countries to hire laborers who will
work for lower wages, leaving fewer jobs for Americans.
b. The most skilled U.S. workers are moving to other parts of the world to find employment,
leaving the least-trained workers to fill open jobs.
c. Despite the high import of technology into the country, there is still a digital divide because
not everyone has Internet access.
d. Not everyone can afford to purchase imported luxury items like automobiles and
electronics, thereby creating a bigger gap between the haves and the have nots.
Answer: A
1. By the end of the 19th century, human slavery had been eliminated from the world once
and for all.
Answer: False
2. It is much easier for a person to experience social mobility in a class system than in a caste
Answer: True
3. People from humble backgrounds have as much of a chance at becoming wealthy in the
United States as do people from more prosperous backgrounds.
Answer: False
4. Max Weber argued that class divisions derive from resources such as people’s skills,
credentials, and qualifications.
Answer: True

5. Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore provided a functionalist explanation of stratification,
arguing that it has beneficial consequences for society.
Answer: True
6. Over the past century, Western societies have virtually eliminated the income inequality
that characterized earlier eras.
Answer: False
7. Educational attainment and the social class of one’s parents are both strong predictors of
one’s class position.
Answer: True
8. Globalization of the economy has contributed to a significant decrease in wealth and
income inequality in the United States.
Answer: False

Test Bank for Essentials of Sociology
Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum, Deborah Carr
9780393932379, 9780393674088, 9780393937459, 9780393918830

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