SOCIAL STRATIFICATION

 

I.             INTRODUCTION[1]

Social stratification is “a system in which people are divided into layers according to their relative power, property, and prestige.”[2]

Sociologists’ concern with social stratification originates in the modern view that social structures, locations, and potentials are constructed, rather than God-given (and thus received) or necessary. In contrast, older notions of social position such as orders, ranks, and estates “with their essential metaphors of standing, stepping and arranging in rows, belong to a society in which position was determined by birth.”[3]

 “The task of contemporary stratification research is to describe the contours and distribution of inequality and to explain its persistence despite modern egalitarian or anti-stratification values.”[4]

The key components of stratified social systems include:

 

·         The institutional processes that define certain types of goods as valuable and desirable.

 

·         The rules of allocation that distribute these goods across various positions or occupations.

 

·         The mechanisms that link individuals to occupations and thereby generate unequal control over valued resources.


TABLE I[5]

Types of Assets, Resources, and Valued Goods Underlying Stratification Systems

Asset Group

Selected Examples

 

Economic

Ownership of land, factories, businesses, liquid assets, others’ labour power

 

Political

Household, workplace, societal authority

 

Cultural

High-status consumption practices, privileged life-style

 

Social

Access to high-status social networks, associations, clubs

 

Honorific

Prestige, good reputation, fame, religious or ethical purity

 

Civil

Rights of property, contract, franchise, membership in elective

assemblies, relative freedom of association & speech

 

Human

Skills, expertise, strength, experience, formal education, knowledge

 

 

 

TABLE II[6]

Stratification Parameters for Eight Social Systems

 

System

Principal Assets

Major Strata

Hunting/Gathering Society

 

 

     Tribalism

Human (hunting and magic skills)

Chiefs, Shamans and tribe members

Agrarian Society

 

 

     Asiatic Mode

Political (incumbency of state office)

Office-holders and peasants

     Feudalism

Economic (land and labour power)

Nobility, Clergy, and commoners

     Slavery

Economic (human property)

Slave owners, slaves, free men

     Caste Society

Honorific and Cultural (ethnic purity and pure manner of life)

Castes and subcastes

Industrial Society

 

 

     Class System

Economic (means of production)

Capitalists and workers

     State Socialism

Political (party and workplace authority)

Managers and managed

     Advanced  Industrialism

Human ( education, expertise)

Skill-based work groupings


II.           STRATIFICATION VARIABLES

A.           Economic Class—Karl Marx[7]

1.             Methodological Starting Point

The correct starting point for understanding social relations is the mode of production and the relation of the various groups within society to the means of production. The most important question is how does a given group relate to property, factories, excess money (capital).

The mode of production not only determines the type of society that arises but all aspects of the lives of its members.

A mode of production produces a “mode of life.”

2.             Model of Capitalistic Society

Marx used an architectural analogy for his model of social relations

Substructure: means of production

Superstructure: law, politics, family life, education, ideology, religion

3.             The Concept of Class

A class is a particular relation (i.e., owner, worker) to the means of production.  This objective relation is a “class-in-itself.”

Marx believed that the exploited classes would soon develop a consciousness of themselves as a class and develop a suitable political organization. When an objective class becomes conscious of itself as a class it becomes, in Marx’s terminology, a “class-for-itself.” Marx believed that class consciousness (class-for-itself awareness) would eventually overwhelm the false consciousness or ideology produced by the capitalist economy.

The classes in capitalism include: (1) bourgeoisie—capitalists, owners; (2) proletariat—labourers, workers; (3) lumpenproletariat—unemployable, beggars

4.             Alienation

Alienation is the process whereby people are distanced from the products of their labour and those around them.

·         Work is external to the person.

·         Work is only a means for satisfying other needs.

·         Work is forced.

·         It is not my work, but someone else’s labour.


B.           Social Status

Social status is one’s general standing vis-à-vis the other members of society or some subsection of it. It carries with it the idea of superiority and inferiority.

1.             Weber’s Critique of Marx

Karl Marx argued that all significant differences between persons could be traced back to differences in economic class and access to capital. Max Weber (1864-1920) argued, in opposition to Marx, that status or honour is a significant stratification variable that cannot be derived directly from economic relations.

Esteem groupings or honour strata cannot simply be identified with economic classes since some of these groupings—churches, clubs, etc.—draw their members from various classes. Further, many esteemed persons do not have high economic status—e.g., Olympic gold medalists, Mother Teresa.

Furthermore, property or the ownership of immense capital does not guarantee high status—e.g., the nouveau riche.

Typically, those with high social status also have economic-class power. However, as Weber insisted, stratification variables cannot be reduced into a single governing one.

2.             Prestige

Prestige has to do with respect or esteem. In North American culture, prestige is largely dependent on occupation.

Occupations that are ranked higher in prestige typically share four elements:[8]

·         They pay more

·         They require more education

·         They entail more abstract thought

·         They offer greater autonomy (freedom, or self-direction)

A 2005 survey by Harris Polling revealed that the highest prestige occupations in the USA were Firemen, Scientists, Doctors, Nurses, Military Officers and Teachers. The researchers concluded that the most prestigious occupations are all about helping others in need. Making money does not equal prestige in that business executives and stockbrokers were not ranked in the top 15. Neither is fame equal to prestige since entertainers and athletes did not crack the top 10.[9]


TABLE III[10]

Occupational Prestige in 60 Countries

 

Occupation

Average

 

Occupation

Average

 

 

 

 

 

University President

86

 

Professional Athlete

48

High Court Judge

82

 

Undertaker

34

Astronaut

80

 

Social Worker

56

Physician

78

 

Electrician

44

University Professor

78

 

Secretary

53

Lawyer

73

 

Real Estate Agent

49

Architect

72

 

Farmer

47

Dentist

70

 

Carpenter

37

Civil Engineer

70

 

Plumber

34

Psychologist

66

 

Jazz Musician

38

Airline Pilot

66

 

Bricklayer

34

Electrical Engineer

65

 

Barber

30

Sociologist

67

 

Truck Driver

33

Clergy

60

 

Factory Worker

29

Accountant

55

 

Store Sales Clerk

34

Banker

67

 

Bartender

23

High School Teacher

64

 

Lives on Public Aid

16

Author

62

 

Bill Collector

27

Registered Nurse

54

 

Cab Driver

28

Pharmacist

64

 

Gas Station Worker

25

Chiropractor

62

 

Janitor

21

Veterinarian

61

 

Waiter or Waitress

23

Classical Musician

56

 

Bellhop

14

Police Officer

40

 

Garbage Collector

13

Actor or Actress

52

 

Street Sweeper

13

Athletic Coach

50

 

Shoe Shiner

12

 

3.             Deference

Deference refers to the way in which we respond to those who have higher or lower status than ourselves. Deference (which includes actions of appreciation for those above us and derogation to those beneath us) consists of those behaviours that acknowledge our relative placement or social status.

Those who study deference emphasize that the interpersonal “relations of deference” are the most important components of social status. Social status is not just a static order of social positions—it is a dynamic of appreciation and derogation.

4.             Status Protection and Inconsistency

Status Protection: Once a given status has been achieved, there is a natural tendency to harden the boundaries just crossed and soften those “overhead.”

“When a section of society is threatened by invasion from below, as the English gentlemen were in varying degrees from the sixteenth century onwards, they protect themselves by constructing barriers to those attributes and symbols of social differences which are the most difficult to acquire. Conspicuous expenditure can be copied by those who get rich quick, but correct manners, the right accent and the ‘old school tie’ are esoteric mysteries and jealously guarded monopolies.”[11]

Status Inconsistency: Ordinarily persons have a similar ranking with respect to the major dimensions of social status—wealth, power, and prestige. When there is a marked difference between these dimensions, status inconsistency occurs. Status inconsistency may occur, for instance, when someone suddenly inherits great wealth.

Persons who have an inconsistent status typically wish to be treated in accordance with their highest status; others, however, often treat them in accordance with their lowest status.

A classic study by Ray Gold (1952) found that after apartment-building janitors unionized they made more money than some of the tenants they served. Tenants were irate over the fact that the janitors drove more expensive cars than they. The tenants began to “put the janitors in their place” through rude and derogatory remarks.


C.           Power  (C. Wright Mills, “The Power Elite”)[12]

“The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions having major consequences.” (161)

“Behind such men and behind the events of history, linking the two, are the major institutions of modern society. These hierarchies of state and corporation and army constitute the means of power; as such they are now of a consequence not before equaled in human history—and at their summits, there are now those command posts of modern society which offer us the sociological key to an understanding of the role of the higher circles in America.” (162)

Other institutions which are now pushed off to the side include the family, church, and college. Three institutions have become enlarged, administrative, and centralized: (1) The corporate economy; (2) The political order; and (3) The military order.

These enlarging hierarchies have become interlocked, effectively creating an inner circle—a power elite which is dependent on these enlarged institutions for its wealth, power, and prestige. Whereas in previous societies hierarchies of wealth, power and prestige were at least somewhat independent and potentially conflictive, American capitalistic society has merged all of these hierarchies, thereby reducing the potential for conflict.

Question: How does the emergence of a power elite fit with the American commitment to equality and democracy? Is this a de facto ruling social class?

Appraising Mill’s Account:

Since the publication of The Power Elite a great deal of research has investigated the nature of these consolidated institutions. Much of this research indicates that those who head these hierarchies are not nearly as powerful as Mills indicates.

“There are sets of pressures which bring elites together and at the same time force them apart. Some of these pressures have nothing to do with the motives of men in power but rather arise from the scale and complexity of organization. Important among the pressures making for the separation is the functional specialization that marks all modern institutions. . . . The specialization of knowledge thus reduces the possibility of interchange between the respective institutional orders. At the very top levels this specialization is important, for it prevents the complete encroachment of one power system on another, a condition which was less likely to exist in earlier historical periods.”[13]

With respect to these powerful hierarchies, many argue that the permanent bureaucracy actually holds the real power. The leaders of institutions are profoundly curbed by the organizations through which they must act. The massive power in these institutions is not simply the expression of the power of their leaders nor is it at their immediate disposal. Power, as it turns out, is much more diffuse within the bureaucratic structure which is often an unruly mass that cannot be easily moved by anyone.

D.           Income[14]

The average family income in Canada, as of 2008, is $71,400.00. After taxes, the average family is left with $59,500.00.[15]

 

 “The inequalities of wealth and income produce unequal life-chances—that is, chances for material and social rewards. Poverty translates into homelessness, ill health, short life expectancy, malnutrition and hunger, to mention only a few of its effects.” (464)

 

There has been very little change over the past fifty years in the share of income held by those in the following quintiles.

 

 

TABLE IV[16]

Shares of Total Income by Income Quintile, Canada, 1951, 1986, 2000

 

Quintile

Unattached

1951

Families

1951

Unattached

1986

Families

1986

Families

2000[17]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowest

2.7

6.1

5.3

6.3

5.2

Second

8.9

12.9

10.4

12.3

11.3

Middle

16.1

17.4

15.3

17.9

16.7

Fourth

25.8

22.4

24.2

24.1

23.3

Highest

46.6

41.1

44.7

39.4

43.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top/Bottom

17.3

6.7

8.4

6.3

8.4

 

 

Notice that there has been very little change over the past fifty years in the income distribution across the quintiles.

 

There are several ways of measuring poverty. One of the most common is LICO (low-income cut-off). Statistics Canada, which uses LICO, defines poverty as where 58.5 percent of income is spent on necessities—food, clothing, shelter. By this definition, a person is poor if she spends 58.5 percent (or more) of her income on necessities.

 

By this measure, 9.4 percent of Canadians are poor. This poverty rate has been in steady decline since 1997 when 15.0 percent of the population were considered poor by this measure. Two groups in particular are at very high risk of poverty: households with single female heads (23.4 percent) and unattached females (36.3 percent).[18]

 

Income levels are closely correlated with the quality of one’s diet, health status, life expectancy, and school performance. Since these effects are so broad, poverty tends to be reproduced from generation to generation.


TABLE V[19]

The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on the Distribution of Income, 1985

Families/ Unattached Individuals (in bold)

 

 

Quintile

Income Before Transfers

 %

Total Income (including transfers) %

Income After Tax

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowest

2.5

0.1

6.3

5.2

7.2

6.1

Second

10.9

4.5

12.3

10.2

13.3

11.7

Middle

18.1

14.2

17.9

15.0

18.3

16.2

Fourth

25.6

27.3

24.1

24.2

23.8

24.1

Highest

42.9

54.0

39.4

45.4

37.3

42.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top/Bottom

17.2

540

6.3

8.7

5.1

6.9

 

 

Bolaria and Wotherspoon suggest that food banks are voluntary (i.e., non-governmental) responses to major structural changes in the economy. Although they were originally designed to be a short-term response to the economic recession in Canada in the early 1980s, they have become a permanent fixture of the social landscape. (471)

 

·         During March 2009, 794,738 persons were assisted by food banks.

·         During March 2009, 37% of those served were children.

·         Since 1989, the use of food banks has grown by 91 percent.

·         There are now 673 food banks in Canada and over 2800 affiliated institutions.[20]

 

Critical questions: Does the existence of this extensive network of food banks encourage governments to reduce their social supports such as welfare and low-income assistance? Does the existence of food banks permit employers of low-income persons to keep wages low knowing that food assistance is available? Do food banks lead to higher rents and thus indirectly support landlords rather than the poor?

 

Bolaria and Wotherspoon conclude that although food banks provide a necessary service, often staffed by well-meaning volunteers, they support the current economic system by encouraging lower wages, less governmental expenditure, and the social control of the poor.

 

 

 

 

 

 


TABLE VI[21]

Share of Total GDP of World’s People:

Richest 20 Percent Versus Poorest 20 Percent

 

Year

Richest 20% vs. Poorest 20%

1960

30 Times

1970

32 Times

1980

45 Times

1989

59 Times

1997

74 Times

 

 

TABLE VII[22]

Global Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993

 

Percentage of World’s Population

Percentage of World Income 1988

Percentage of World Income 1993

Difference (%)

1988-1993

 

 

 

 

Top 2%

9.3

9.5

+0.2

Top 5%

31.2

33.7

+2.5

Top 10%

46.9

50.8

+3.9

Bottom 10%

0.9

0.8

-0.1

Bottom 20%

2.3

2.0

-0.3

Bottom 50%

9.6

8.5

-1.1

Bottom 75%

25.9

22.3

-3.6

Bottom 85%

41.0

37.1

-3.9

 

 


TABLE VIII[23]

Earned Income per Capita, By Province, 1951-2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Province

1951

1961

1971

1981

1986

1997

2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newfoundland

47.7

53.2

54.8

53.4

55.2

69.5

90.4

PEI

49.6

53.5

57.0

59.0

59.4

66.1

82.5

Nova Scotia

66.7

75.0

74.2

73.4

74.6

79.1

89.2

New Brunswick

61.1

64.1

68.1

64.9

67.1

77.1

85.2

Quebec

77.1

89.5

87.8

89.9

91.4

94.7

91.1

Ontario

124.6

121.1

119.2

110.6

112.4

109.1

108.1

Manitoba

88.6

93.5

93.7

92.9

93.2

92.0

88.6

Saskatchewan[24]

64.2

67.2

78.7

98.5

98.2

84.5

86.8

Alberta

98.2

100.3

98.6

114.4

110.2

97.9

106.2

BC

103.2

113.7

109.5

109.7

110.1

105.1

102.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disparity Gap (High/Low)

2.61

2.27

2.17

2.14

2.04

1.65

1.31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE IX[25]

Average Total Income (after transfers but before tax)

In 2008 dollars

 

 

1994

2000

2008

 

 

 

 

All Family Units*

57,600

64,500

71,400

Elderly Families

52,400

54,800

63,200

Non-Senior Families

73,500

84,700

94,500

      Two-parents w/ children

79,600

92,000

103,500

      Lone-parent families

35,400

41,000

49,000

 

 

 

 

Unattached Individuals

29,600

31,900

36,800

      Elderly Male

32,800

29,800

37,500

      Elderly Female

23,100

26,100

29,500

      Non-Elderly Male

33,600

36,900

42,100

      Non-Elderly Female

27,700

29,400

33,500

 

*A family is a group of individuals sharing a common dwelling who are related by blood, marriage, common-law relationship or adoption.


 

 

TABLE X[26]

Average Canadian Incomes, Transfer Payments, and Taxes, 2005

 

 

Income Before Transfers

Average Transfer Payments

Average

Income

Tax

Average Income After Tax

 

 

 

 

 

Economic Families

57,700

3,900

8,600

56,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Families (head 65+)

22,100

22,000

2,900

40,400

 

Couples without children

63,700

200

10,400

55,700

 

Two-parents with children

72,800

2,700

11,600

65,700

 

Female lone-parent families

22,200

6,800

500

30,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unattached Individuals

18,100

500

2,000

21,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE XI[27]

People In Low Income, Percentage of Population, 1995, 2008

 

 

1995

2008

 

 

 

All People

14.5

9.4

   Children (under 18 years)

17.5

9.1

   Elderly (65 years and older)

8.7

5.8

 

 

 

Persons in Families

11.4

6.3

   Children in two-parent families

11.7

6.5

   Children in female, lone-parent families

50.7

23.4

 

 

 

Unattached Persons

35.0

27.2

   Elderly

24.1

15.6

   Non-elderly

39.1

31.3


Figure I[28]

Employment Earnings for Canadian Males, 1969-1993

 

 

 

 

Figure II[29]

Low-Income Family Dependence on Governmental Transfers

 


III.          FUNCTIONS/DYSFUNCTIONS OF STRATIFICATION

A.           Functions of Stratification

1.             What is Functionalism: A Review[30]

Functionalists claim that society is analogous to a self-adjusting machine.

A society or group is a system of integrated and interrelating parts.

Social systems tend to be relatively stable; change is usually gradual.

2.             The Functional Necessity of Stratification  (Davis and Moore[31])

Thesis: Stratification is a functional necessity in all social systems.

“[T]he main functional necessity explaining the universal presence of stratifi-cation is precisely the requirement faced by any society of placing and motivating individuals in the social structure.” (39)

All societies must find ways to motivate persons to undertake important positions and, once there, to remain motivated. They must use rewards of some kind as inducements for their most important positions and they must distribute these rewards differentially according to the importance of the position.

“Social inequality is [a] . . . device by which societies insure that the most important positions are conscientiously filled by the most qualified persons. Hence every society, no matter how simple or complex, must differentiate persons in terms of both prestige and esteem, and must therefore possess a certain amount of institutionalized inequality.” (40)

3.             The Two Determinants of Positional Rank

a)             Functional Importance

Every society must insure that less important positions do not compete successfully with more important positions.

b)            Difficulty of Obtaining Credentials

Every society must see to it that the rigors of experience and training are offset by rewards for those who would undergo them. In order to encourage suitably talented persons to undergo the rigors and relative deprivation of the lengthy training process, ample rewards must be available to successful candidates.

B.           The Dysfunctions of Stratification (Melvin Tumin[32])

1.             Moore and Davis’s Theses Summarized, 47-48

2.             Tumin’s Evaluation of Moore and Davis’s Theses

a)             M & D Thesis: Certain positions in any society are more functionally important than others and require special skills for their performance.

Tumin’s Response: If the social system is a system how can some of its components be ‘less important’ than others? 

Rejoinder to Tumin: Moore and Davis’s claim is actually two claims: (1) That some positions are functionally more important, and (2) that some require special skills. The functionalist could give up (1) and still hold that (2) justifies stratification.

b)            M & D Thesis: Only a limited number of individuals in any society have the talents which can be trained into the skills appropriate to these “important” positions.

Tumin’s Response: The more rigidly stratified a society is the less likely it is able to discover, recruit, and nurture scarce talents. Fully “functionalized” societies actually discourage the discovery of talent in subsequent generations since “access channels” are differentially distributed by virtue of the previous generation’s social positioning.

Tumin’s Response: Rewards in one generation not only correlate positively with opportunities in the next, but also with motivation in the next. “The existing system of privilege arises not from current functions, but from historical conditions.”[33]

Rejoinder to Tumin: Tumin is addressing the issue of maximal functionality not whether there are only a limited number of talented persons available. Even a maximally functional society will require a stratification system.

c)             M & D Thesis: The conversion of talents into skills involves a training period during which sacrifices of one kind or another are made by those undergoing the training.

Tumin’s Response: The so-called training period is typically underwritten by the parents of the trainee with money garnered from their privileged social position.

Tumin’s Response: The deprivation of the trainee is easily recouped within ten years of professional work, if not sooner. The training deprivation can only justify differential compensation for the initial ten-year “recovery” period.

Tumin’s Response: When the non-monetary perks of professional practice are considered the deprivations of the training period—which are slight—are more than offset.

Rejoinder to Tumin: Tumin doesn’t address the sacrifices which many professional careers exact from their incumbents during the course of their careers—e.g., long hours, high overhead, crushing responsibilities, little leisure time, family neglect, etc. Further, is it fair to compare the earnings of professionals with their average peers?

d)            M & D Thesis: In order to induce talented persons to undergo these sacrifices and acquire the training, their future positions must carry an inducement value in the form of a differential.

Tumin’s Response: Other reward and motivation systems are conceivable; differentials are not needed in all conceivable societies.

Rejoinder to Tumin: What Tumin overlooks is that “social service,” “joy in work” and “intrinsic work satisfaction” themselves would and do provide differentials. Would a society stratified along these lines not have to offer differential status, esteem, religious regard, etc. to the incumbents of certain offices?


IV.         ASCRIPTIVE PROCESSES        

A.           Introduction

Ascription is the process whereby one is assigned to social strata on the basis of relatively permanent and fixed personal features, e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, or age.

1.             Minority Groups

Minority groups = groups which are singled out for unequal treatment by a dominant group. They need not be a numerical minority, e.g., women worldwide or blacks in South Africa.

“Membership in a minority group is an ascribed status; that is, it is not voluntary, but comes through birth.”[34] Do the early Christians (who were not Christians by birth) fit this definition?

2.             Statistical Portrayal of Ethnic/Racial Groups

 

TABLE XII

Ethnic Composition of Canada with Selected Ethnic Groups and Characteristics, 2001[35]

 

 

TABLE XIII[36]

Ethnic Origins of the Population, by Province, 1986

 

 

Province

British

French

Brit. & French

Brit./Fren. & Other

Other

Newf’d

89.0

2.0

4.3

2.4

2.3

PEI

69.1

8.9

12.1

6.7

3.2

Nova S.

62.7

6.2

9.3

13.1

8.6

N.B.

46.9

33.3

10.0

6.6

3.2

Quebec

5.9

77.8

2.7

2.7

11.0

Ontario

43.8

5.9

5.7

14.3

30.2

Manitoba

29.6

5.3

3.4

17.7

44.0

Sask.

29.8

3.4

2.8

22.5

36.1

Alberta

34.4

3.3

3.9

22.3

36.1

BC

41.8

2.4

3.7

19.6

32.5

Canada

33.6

24.4

4.6

12.6

24.9

 

3.             Prejudice

Prejudice is a negative (or positive) pre-judgment; an unwarranted generalization based, at best, on a limited sample; an attitude. Discrimination is unfair treatment directed at another; an action.

Social distance is seen by some as a measure of prejudice. Emory Bogardus [1968] asked his research subjects the following questions to determine their social distance from various groups:[37]

·         I would marry or accept [a person from group ‘x’] as a close relative.

·         I would accept as a close friend.

·         I would accept as a next-door neighbour.

·         I would accept in my school or church.

·         I would accept in my community but would not have contact with.

·         I would accept as a resident of my country but not in my community.

·         I would not accept at all even as a resident of my country.

Difficulties in Measuring Prejudice:

·         Over-reporting of socially desirable opinions.

·         Context effects: students who are fraternity members vs. non-fraternity members. The former tend to express more prejudiced opinions. Are they freely expressing pre-existing opinions or have new ones formed?

People who are prejudiced against one racial or ethnic group are likely to be prejudiced against other groups as well. Eugene Hartley [1946] asked his research subjects about their attitude towards Jews, blacks, Asians, etc. and Wallonians, Pireneans, and Danireans. Most who expressed prejudicial views about blacks, Jews, etc. also did so regarding the three fictitious groups.[38]

4.             Theories of Prejudice

a)             Psychological. There are two major psychological theories of prejudice. The first suggests that frustrations can lead to scapegoating a minority that is allegedly responsible for the frustration. A second theory suggests that there is a certain personality type that typically gives rise to prejudicial attitudes. The authoritarian personality is both insecure and inordinately attached to authority figures and their views.

b)            Sociological. Three main sociological theories purport to account for the existence of prejudice. Functionalist theories appeal to positive functions which prejudice contributes, including, in-group loyalty and solidarity, especially in highly competitive situations. Conflict theories suggest that capitalists exploit and exacerbate racial and ethnic tensions in order to divide workers. This inter-worker rivalry permits a dual market where members of the minority can be paid less. Symbolic interaction theories argue that labelling is essential in order to maintain prejudice. Prejudicial stereotypes create self-fulfilling prophecies.

5.             Patterns of Intergroup Relations: A Continuum

Figure III[39]

 

B.           Racial and Ethnic Stratification

Race refers to the classification scheme based on the overt biological characteristics that distinguish one group from another. Ethnicity refers to the cultural characteristics, such as a common heritage, language, etc., which distinguish one group from another.

1.             Discussion of  “Social Stratification: Class and Racial Inequality”[40]

The maintenance of a mature capitalistic economy in Canada requires low-status occupations. In general, non-white immigrants fill these positions, e.g., cleaning jobs, seasonal farm workers, piece work garment workers, nannies.

The debate as to why this stratification occurs centres on whether it is caused by (a) the structural features of capitalistic societies, or (b) the cultural and/or psychological characteristics of the group members themselves.

Those who favour explanation (b) allege that certain racial or ethnic groups lack motivation, have lower (monetary) aspirations than the general populace, have reduced needs to excel or out-compete their peers, refuse mobility within the capitalist economy, have lower IQs, refuse assimilation into mainstream society, or belong to a “culture of poverty.”

Critical sociologists (such as Satzewich) criticize these claims with the following counterclaims:

·         These “explanations” confuse cause with effect

·         IQ tests are culturally-specific and biased

·         These “explanations” blame the victim

·         These “explanations” ignore the systematic effects of racism

a)             Population and Labour Force Participation

The British and French proportions of the population of Canada are declining. Non-traditional sources of labour are becoming increasingly important in the Canadian economy.

Question: What type of labour positions are these likely to be?

Discuss Figure 7.2, 179

b)            Institutional Racism

Institutional racism refers to institutional-based discriminatory practices, which derive from the policies and structures of the society as a whole. It is often argued that institutional racism prevents or restricts certain groups from entering Canada. Immigration controls have historically matched the flow of immigrants with lower-sector employment needs—e.g., the recent “point” system.

e.g., Chinese labourers were forced to immigrate as single persons even if they were married and had to face rapidly escalating “head taxes.”

e.g., Caribbean domestics were given permission to work only as domestics. They could only come without their spouses and children.

e.g., The government’s treatment of aborginals who could not vote in Federal elections until the 1960s; the Chinese in BC who could not vote in provincial elections until the 1940s.

Discuss Table 7.5, 187-88

The problem of the split labour market: (a) different pay scales for recent immigrants and non-whites; (2) devaluation of foreign credentials and experience.

“From the above it should be clear that racism has not been a secondary, anomalous feature in an otherwise free, equal, and universalistic Canadian society. Institutional racism has had important effects on particular groups of people, and the expressions of institutional racism have had strong, although not entirely determinate, links to the process of production.”  (184)

2.             Discussion of N. Lemann, “The Origins of the Underclass”[41]

“Today, after years of efforts to end poverty and discrimination, the ghettos are worse than they were in the sixties.” (32)

“[T]he bifurcation of black America, in which blacks are splitting into a middle class and an underclass that seems likely never to make it.” (33)

“Every aspect of the underclass culture in the ghettos is directly traceable to roots in the South.” (35) The culture of poverty and dependency came north with the underclass into large urban centres like Chicago. This underclass was held in check by the presence of other classes in the ghettos until the mid-1960s.

Prior to the 1960s the ghetto was segregated by race, not class.  And because “the segregation was by race, the ghetto was fairly well integrated by class.”[42]

Civil Rights leaders shifted from fighting ghetto poverty to fair access to better employment and housing. Progress towards these goals by many working and middle-class blacks actually led to the de-populating of the ghettos and a residual and permanent underclass. (35)

“The result of the exodus from the ghettos is dramatic, both in the statistics and on the streets—the ghettos have lost considerable population, and they are not just bad today but also empty.” (35)

“The ‘losing ground’ phenomenon, in which black ghettos paradoxically became worse during the time of the War on Poverty, can be explained partly by the abrupt disappearance of all traces of bourgeois life in the ghettos and the complete social breakdown that resulted.” (53)


C.           Gender Stratification

1.             Introduction

Sex refers to the biological characteristics that distinguish males from females. Gender, on the other hand, is a social concept, the understandings of masculine/feminine behaviours that vary from setting to setting. Sex is inherited; gender is learned.

Research in gender stratification focuses on the unequal access of males and females to power, prestige, and property.

“The reluctance of political leaders and legislators to formally recognize that people suffer discrimination because of their gender, race, age, and other characteristics, indicates the existence of structural barriers to the full realization of equality in Canadian society.”[43]

2.             The Feminization of Poverty

TABLE XIV[44]

Persons in Low Income After Tax, By Sex and Age Group, Percent, 1994, 2008

 

Category

Female %

1994

Female %

2008

Male %

1994

Male %

2008

 

 

 

 

 

All Persons

15.1

9.9

12.9

9.0

     Children (0-17 yrs.)

16.7

8.8

15.9

9.3

     Adults (18-64 yrs.)

15.1

10.7

13.1

9.8

     Seniors (65+ years)

11.9

7.6

4.2

3.6

 

 

 

 

 

Persons in Families

11.8

6.6

10.1

5.9

     Children in 2-Parent Families

10.6

6.5

10.6

6.5

     Children in Fem. Lone-Parent Fam.

48.2

23.4

48.2

23.4

     Adults

11.2

6.7

8.5

5.4

     Seniors

2.5

1.8

2.2

1.5

 

 

 

 

 

Unattached Individuals

36.9

29.0

33.0

25.4

     Senior

25.6

17.1

13.3

12.1

     Non Senior

44.6

36.3

36.1

27.9

 

“The greatest predictor of whether a Canadian family is poor is the gender of the person who heads the family. Most poor families are headed by women. In 1993 in Canada, the average working couple with children earned almost $60,000 a year before tax; the average income for single mothers was $8,500 below the poverty line. Ninety percent of Canadian families headed by single mothers under the age of 25 were below the poverty line; among single mothers aged 25-44, this figure was 58 percent. The three main causes of this phenomenon, called the feminization of poverty, are divorce, births to unwed mothers, and the lower wages paid to women.”[45]

Duffy and Mandell suggest that the following reasons contribute to the feminization of poverty:[46]

i.              Traditional gender ideologies
ii.             Inequities in the labour force, including lower pay and the stigmatization of “women’s work.”
iii.            Flaws in family law
iv.            Family breakdowns
v.             The ideal of the unpaid stay-at-home mother
vi.            Responsibilities for child care, elder care, and housework

“The Economic Council of Canada’s five-year survey of Canadian incomes found women’s incomes (adjusted for family size) dropped by about 39 per cent when they separated or divorced and thereafter rose only slightly. Three years after the marriage breakup, women’s incomes were still 27 per cent below their earlier level. Men’s income (adjusted for family size), in contrast, increased by an average of 7 per cent.”[47]

3.             Education

TABLE XV[48]

University Degrees Granted in Canada, 1984-2003

 

 

1984

1994

2003

% Increase

1984-2003

BA or First Prof. Degree

 

 

 

 

     Males

45,367

53,483

56,055

24%

     Females

47,489

73,055

87,881

85%

     Total

92,856

126,538

143,936

55%

 

 

 

 

 

Master’s Degrees

 

 

 

 

     Males

8,637

10,901

13,898

61%

     Females

5,931

10,391

15,120

155%

     Total

14,568

21,292

29,018

99%

 

 

 

 

 

Earned Doctorates

 

 

 

 

     Males

1,368

2,453

2,244

64%

     Females

510

1,099

1,617

217%

     Total

1,878

3,552

3,861

106%

 

 

 


TABLE XVI[49]

Educational Attainment, Percent, 1999, 2009 (age 15+)

 

 

Males

Males

Females

Females

 

1999

2009

1999

2009

 

0-8 years

10.5

6.7

11.2

7.2

Some High School

18.9

14.8

18.1

13.4

Graduated from High School

18.3

19.6

20.1

20.2

Some Postsecondary

8.7

8.2

9.1

8.3

Postsecondary certificate or Degree

27.8

30.7

27.7

30.6

University Degree

15.8

20.0

13.8

20.3

 

 

 

 

 

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

 

4.             The Workplace

a)             Sexual Harassment

The increasing presence of women in the workforce and the consciousness-raising of feminists have brought sexual harassment into the open. The term itself was not coined until 1976.[50]

Today the term refers to the use of one’s occupational position to force unwanted sexual demands on someone; the legal definition includes nonsexual behaviours—an abusive or hostile work environment based on gender that impairs one’s ability to perform one’s job.[51] Sexual harassment usually occurs between a male superior and a female subordinate but it also occurs between males, between females, and between a female superior and male subordinate.

A study of Ontario undergraduates in 1985 found that 74 percent of female students had experienced a sexual insult, 29 percent had received a sexual invitation, 7 percent had received sexual intimidation, and 11 percent have been sexually assaulted. In many cases these experiences are structured by power differentials between the harasser and the student.[52]

b)            The Pay Gap

The average male university graduate earns about $800,000 more in his career than a female university graduate. This amounts to an average of $20,000 a year more for the male graduate.

 

 

 

 

TABLE XVII[53]

Average Earnings of Full-Year, Full-Time Workers by Sex, Canada, 1996-2005

Constant 2005 $

 

Year

Women

Men

W/M %

 

 

 

 

1996

35,700

49,400

72.3

2001

38,000

54,400

69.6

2005

39,200

55,700

70.5

 

The gender pay gap has remained stubbornly consistent for the past several decades.

There must be some explanation for the gender pay gap. “Maybe women tend to choose lower-paying jobs, such as primary school teaching, whereas men are more likely to go into better-paying fields, such as business and engineering? Researchers have found that about half the pay gap is due to such factors. The balance, however, is due to gender discrimination.”[54]

Even women with equal or better qualifications within a given profession (to rule out differentials based on which profession is chosen) are paid less and the gap appears to grow as they continue in their careers.

 

TABLE XVIII[55]

Percentage of Working-Class Positions Filled by Women

 

Position

U. S.

Canada

Norway

Sweden

Finland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clerical, Sales and Services

66

64

60

66

66

Goods & Distribution

34

24

28

26

40

State Employment

31

38

55

63

38

Unskilled Jobs

86

79

81

77

83

 

“As women have entered the labour force in ever larger numbers, a rising share of supervisory and middle-management positions have opened up to them. Women have acquired real economic powers in the public sphere to a degree unprecedented in Western history. Our Canadian results indicate that women encounter the ‘glass ceiling’ to further advancement near the top of the class pyramid, where they begin to compete for positions that involve the exercise of significant authority over men, particularly over senior men.”[56]

c)             The “Mommy Track”[57]

Women are much more likely to interrupt their careers for the sake of family situations (births, deaths, elderly relatives, etc.) than men. Everyday household tasks also cause more stress for career women. For these reasons and others, women are more likely to withdraw from the labour force than men.

This dilemma prompted Felice Schwartz (1989) to suggest that corporations should develop a “mommy track” which would allow women to continue in their careers but have time to attend to other duties.

Critics of this proposal suggest that the “mommy track” would perpetuate the myth that family matters are primarily female concerns and it would give men a lock on the most senior positions that require relentless and uninterrupted commitment.

There is evidence that those women who do succeed in the male-dominated sectors of the economy are more likely to have never married, or if married, to have fewer children or to be childless. A study of British managers found that 33 percent of the female managers were unmarried as opposed to 8 percent of the male managers.


SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS

I.             THE FAMILY

A.           A Statistic Profile of the Family in Canada

 

TABLE XIX[58]

Family Structure by Province, Per Cent, 1991

 

 

Lone

Parent

Common

Law

Married

Couple

Total

Families

Family

Size

No Children

At Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NF

11.9

6.6

81.4

150,715

3.3

25.1

PEI

12.9

5.9

81.1

33,895

3.2

30.3

NS

13.5

8.2

78.2

244,615

3.1

33.8

NB

13.4

8.0

78.6

198,010

3.1

31.9

PQ

14.3

16.3

69.4

1,883,230

3.0

34.1

ON

12.6

6.7

80.7

2,726,740

3.1

35.0

MB

13.1

7.4

79.4

285,935

3.1

35.8

SK

11.7

6.9

81.4

257,555

3.2

36.7

AL

12.4

8.9

78.6

667,985

3.1

34.4

BC

12.1

9.6

78.3

887,660

3.0

40.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAN ‘71

9.4

 

 

5,042,600

3.7

 

CAN ‘81

11.3

 

 

6,309,200

3.3

 

CAN ‘91

12.9

9.8

77.2

7,366,170

3.1

35.1

CAN ‘01

18.3

 

 

7,059,835

3.0

36.5

CAN ‘06

15.9

15.5

68.6

8,896,840

3.0

38.4

 

 

TABLE XX[59]

Census Families, 1971-1996, Canada

 

 

1971

1981

1986

1996

 

 

 

 

 

Total Census Families

5,054,450

6,325,315

6,733,845

7,837,865

2-Person Families

1,582,530

2,398,870

2,690,005

3,404,345

3-Person Families

1,040,720

1,397,370

1,533,005

1,768,675

4-Person Families

1,057,310

1,528,375

1,649,945

1,805,060

5-Person Families

663,125

673,936

639,125

655,545

6-Person Families

359,210

226,995

168,315

158,075

7-Person Families

185,925

61,170

35,835

31,780

8+ Person Families

165,630

36,605

17,615

14,370

Total Persons in Families

18,781,060

20,603,660

21,196,030

23,907,975

Average Persons per Family

3.7

3.3

3.1

3.1

Total Persons Not in Families

2,208,325

3,193,720

3,577,080

4,482,710

 

 


 

TABLE XXI[60]

Census Families, Canada, 1981-2001

 

Family Type

1981

1991

2001

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

All Families

6,325,315

7,355,730

8,371,010

+32

Married Couple Families

5,259,340

5,682,815

5,901,425

+12

Common-Law Families

352,155

719,275

1,158,410

+229

Male Lone-Parent Families

124,380

165,240

245,825

+98

Female Lone-Parent Families

589,435

788,395

1,065,360

+81

 

 

  • In Quebec, 29.8 per cent of all unions were common-law in 2001—three times the rate in USA
  • Only 9.4 per cent of the couples in PEI were common-law in 2001
  • 17 per cent of the children in Canada under 6 years of age had common-law parents in 2001[61]

 

TABLE XXII[62]

Live Births to Unmarried Canadian Women as a Percentage of Births in Her Age Group, 1974-1987

 

Year

Under 20

20-24

25 and Over

All Ages

 

 

 

 

 

1974

36.3

8.2

3.2

9.3

1976

43.0

9.5

3.7

10.5

1977

48.4

11.1

4.6

11.3

1978

51.4

12.2

4.7

11.7

1979

54.3

13.5

5.2

12.2

1980

56.8

15.1

5.9

13.2

1981

60.5

17.0

6.6

14.2

1982

64.2

19.3

7.4

15.5

1983

66.0

21.2

8.4

16.2

1984

68.9

23.0

8.9

16.8

1985

71.6

25.4

10.0

17.8

1986

74.8

27.9

10.6

18.8

1987

76.8

30.6

11.8

20.1

 

 

 

 

 

1989

Canada

 

 

23.0

2005

Canada

 

 

25.9

1989

Quebec

 

 

35.6

2005

Quebec

 

 

55.1

1988

US Whites

 

 

17.7

2000

US Whites

 

 

27.1

1988

US Blacks

 

 

63.5

2000

US Blacks

 

 

68.5


TABLE XXIII[63]

Divorce Rate, Canada, 1925-1997

(Divorce rate = number of divorces per 1000 population)

 

Year

Rate

 

 

1925

0.06

1930

0.09

1940

0.21

1950

0.39

1960

0.39

1970

1.40

1980

2.59

1985

2.44

1990

2.82

1995

2.62

1997

2.23

 

 

TABLE XXIV[64]

Children in Lone-Parent Families as a Percentage of all Children, 1931-2006

 

Year

Percentage (approximate)

 

 

1931

12

1941

10

1951

8

1956

7

1961

7

1966

7

1971

10

1976

11

1981

12.5

1986

14.5

2001

20.9

2006

25.8

 

 

 

B.           Discussion of B. Whitehead, “Dan Quayle was Right”


C.           Discussion of L. Miller, “Family Problems and Problem Families”

“[S]ocial problems are made, not discovered.”[65]

 

“[S]ocial conditions . . . do not become social problems until some group makes them an issue—that is, targets them, labels them deviant, and attempts to put them on the social agenda.” (132)  Which comes first: the “problem,” or the problematic definition?

 

 “[T]he roster of ‘urgent’ family problems—the ‘slum’ and immigrant families of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the alternative family forms of recent decades (divorced and ‘blended,’ gay/lesbian, and lone-parent families); and the ‘problem’ that spans the entire period, the employed mother—all have this in common: they are defined as inadequate environments for the upbringing of the child.” (136)

 

“[A] roster of claims about the nature and needs of the child, as set out in the cult of domesticity, is the cover for unjustified attacks upon legitimate and workable alternative familial arrangements (emphasis added).” (142)

 

“[T]his means that the ‘problem’ in a problem family does not lie in the domestic arrangement itself, but in the degree of public challenge it is seen to pose for the rhetoric of domesticity. . . . it is family rhetoric, not family structure, that the state is interested in policing.” (145)

 

“The study of family problems is the study of historical and political process whereby one community tries to impose its version of the good family upon other less powerful communities . . . Only if we ask for whom they are a problem will we be able to see why relatively harmless forms of domestic life have been attacked, while other blatant injustices, such as the abuse of women, were perceived as unproblematic for so long (emphasis added).” (154)


II.           EDUCATION

A.           Introduction

Education is increasingly seen as providing access to economic goods, both for the qualified individual and for Canadian society as a whole. The most prominent societal rationales for higher education are couched in terms of “competitiveness” or “economic advancement.”

 

B.           Educational Expansion in Canada

 

TABLE XXV[66]

Total Public Expenditures on Education, All Levels, Canada, 1950-1996

 

Year

Total Expenditures ($000,000)

Per cent of GDP

1950-51

438.8

2.4

1960-61

1706.0

4.4

1970-71

7676.0

9.0

1980-81

22300.2

7.2

1990-91

48677.9

7.3

1995-96

59135.0

7.6

 

Total education expenditures in Canada between 1950 and 1996 rose by a factor of 135 (438 million vs. 59.1 billion per annum), from 2.4% of GDP to 7.6%.

 

Due in part to the massive expenditures on education, educational costs have been increasing scrutinized and politicized. Education is typically described as a “commodity” that can be rationally managed in order to keep the country competitive.

 

 

TABLE XXVI[67]

Full-Time Enrollment in Canada, All Levels of Study, 1950-2008, in 000s

 

Year

K-12

College

University

Total

1950-51

2625

28

64

2717

1960-61

4204

49

114

4368

1970-71

5888

166

310

6364

1980-81

5106

261

383

5750

1990-91

5141

325

532

5998

1995-96

5459

390

573

6422

   2007-08[68]

5109

609

1066

6784

 

Increasingly private individuals are being asked to shoulder more of the cost of their education. Record numbers of students are borrowing record amounts to finance their educations.  For instance, 62% of university grads in 1990 (compare with 50% in 1982) borrowed to finance their education. Increased reliance on private funds means, of course, that many lower income students will be unable to afford a post-secondary education.[69]

 

C.           Educational Opportunity and Attainment

“[T]he incomes and occupations of students’ parents have a strong impact on enrolment in post-secondary programs. . . [A] student’s socio-economic background is positively correlated with his or her educational aspirations and enrolment in educational programs, and influences even more strongly the student’s eventual level of educational attainment.”[70]

 

 

TABLE XXVII[71]

Educational Attainment, Canada, 1951, 1991, 2001

 

Attainment

1951

1991

2001

 

 

 

 

Less than Grade 9, ages 25+

55%

 

11%

No HS Diploma, ages 25+

 

37%

29%

    Aboriginals, ages 25+

 

45%

39%

HS Diploma, ages 25+

 

23%

23%

Trades Certificate, ages 25+

 

12%

12%

College Diploma, ages 25+

 

12%

16%

University Degree, ages 25+

2%

15%

20%

    Aboriginals, ages 25-64

 

 

8%

 

 

D.           Discussion of Cote and Allahar, “Troubles in Paradise

See next page


 

Higher Education

 

 

1.         What percentage of young adults (aged 20-24) were in school in:[72]

1911:  __________

2011:  __________

 

2.         What percentage of all grades given out in university were ‘As’ in:[73]

1960: __________

2011: __________

 

3.         What percentage of all grades given out in university were ‘Bs’ in:[74]

1960:  _________

2011:  _________

 

4.         What was the average grade in university in:[75]

1960:  _________

2011:  _________

 

5.         How many hours of school work (outside class) by a university student in the:[76]

1960s:  ________ hrs/week

2000s:  ________ hrs/week

2010s:  ________ hrs/week

 

6.         What % of students are engaged, partially engaged, or disengaged in their education:[77]

Engaged: ___________________

Partially Engaged:  ___________

Disengaged:  ________________ 

 

7.         What percentage of USA students made no gains in critical thinking, analytical thinking, and written communication skills over their entire four years of university:[78]

No gains:  __________

 

 

Emerging Issues:

 

·         The rise of credentialism

·         Grade inflation and high expectations

·         Mutual disengagement compact between professors and students

·         Emerging nations and middle-class jobs

 

E.        Economic Benefits from Formal Education

“In many cases, the diploma or degree is irrelevant for the work that must be performed.”[79] Is this claim by our textbook really so?

 

Diplomas or degrees often serve as “automatic sorting devices.”[80]

 

“On average, the unemployment rate among high school leavers is higher, their wages are lower, and they are less likely to work full-time, full-year compared to high school graduates.”[81]

 

TABLE XXVIII[82]

Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment, Percentage, By Sex, 1996

 

Education

Men

Women

Less than Grade 9

15.3

14.0

HS Graduates

9.9

9.4

Post-Secondary Certificate

Or Diploma

8.2

8.1

University Degree

4.7

5.7

 

 

TABLE XXIX[83]

Earnings, Full-Year, Full-Time Workers, Aged 15+, Canada

 

 

 

Education

Attained

 

 

Total

Workers

 

 

Earnings <$20,000

 

Earnings

$20,000-

$59,999

 

 

Earnings

>$60,000

 

Average

Earnings

(2000)

Change in Average Earnings 1990-2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HS or Less

3,653,360

881,790

2,386,880

384,690

$34,631

0.8%

College/ Trades

2,897,755

433,410

1,971,815

492,530

$41,072

1.7%

University

2,134,115

173,065

1,168,915

792,135

$61,156

4.0%

Totals

8,685,000

1,488,000

5,527,000

1,669,000

$45,620

 

 

 

TABLE XXX[84]

Median Net Worth by Educational Attainment, Canada, 2000

 

Educational Attainment

of Household Head

Net

Worth

Did not complete HS

$62,000

Completed a Bachelor’s Degree

$117,500

Completed a Professional Degree

$323,000

 


III.          RELIGION

A.           Introduction

Rather than determining the truthfulness of religious beliefs, sociologists determine whether they are believed and, if so, what social consequences issue from them.

B.           Religious Affiliation in Canada

TABLE XXXI[85]

Religious Affiliation in Canada, by Percentage of Population

 

Affiliation

2001

Change ’91-01

Median Age

Roman Catholic

43.2%

4.8%

37.8

United Church

9.6%

-8.2%

44.1

Anglican

6.9%

-7.0%

43.8

Presbyterian

1.4%

-35.6%

46.0

Lutheran

2.0%

-4.7%

43.3

Baptist

2.5%

10.0%

39.3

Pentecostal

1.2%

-15.3%

33.5

Salvation Army

0.3%

-21.9%

39.3

Evan. Miss. Church

0.2%

48.4%

35.2

CMA

0.2%

11.9%

35.2

Greek Orthodox

0.7%

-7.1%

40.7

Mormons

0.3%

8.4%

28.7

Jewish

1.1%

3.7%

41.5

Aboriginal Spirituality

0.1%

175.1%

25.0

Muslim

2.0%

128.9%

28.1

Hindu

1.0%

89.3%

31.9

Pagan

0.1%

281.2%

30.4

No Religion

16.2%

43.9%

31.1

No Religion—USA[86]

14%

75%

N/A

 

C.           Religious Commitment in Canada

TABLE XXXII[87]

Church Attendance for Roman Catholics and Protestants, Canada, 1946-1992, % Agreeing

 

            “Did you happen to attend church (or synagogue) in the last seven days?”

 

1946

1956

1965

1975

1985

1992

Roman Cath.

83

87

83

61

43

43

Protestants

60

43

32

25

29

32

National

67

61

55

41

32

33

 


 

TABLE XXXIII[88]

Religious Profile and Beliefs of Canadians and Americans, 1996

 

Category

United States

Canada

Religion is an important part of life

79%

58%

Pray Weekly

71%

47%

Attend Church Weekly

40%

21%

Read Bible Weekly

43%

21%

Identify Themselves as Christians

76%

68%

Identify Themselves as “Nothing in Particular”

10%

16%

Identify Themselves as an Evangelical

25%

11%

“Highly Committed” Evangelicals

13%

5%

Religion is Important to Their Political Thinking

41%

19%

Could Not Name One National Christian Leader

42%

76%

Could Not Name Who Denied Jesus 3 Times[89]

 

54%

Could Not Name the Second Book of the Bible

 

75%

 

 

TABLE XXXIV[90]

Canadians and Evangelical Indicators, % Agreeing, 1993, 1996, 2003

 

Indicator

1993

1996

2003

Forgiveness Through Christ

61%

63%

66%

Jesus is the Son of God

84%

80%

76%

Committed Life to Christ

29%

35%

44%

Attend Church Weekly

23%

21%

19%

 

 

“Only about 40 percent of Canadians claim to be committed [as opposed to just interested or not interested at all] to Christianity or some other religion (an additional 2 percent), with less than half of them demonstrating the belief, practice, experience, and knowledge deemed central to commitment.”[91]

 

 

 

D.           The Consumerization of Religious Belief

“[T]he tendency of Canadians [is] to reject Christianity as an authoritative system of meaning, in favour of drawing on Judeo-Christian ‘fragments’—selected beliefs, practices, and organizational offerings—in a highly specialized, consumer-like fashion. . . . Canadians select fragments of other nonnaturalistic systems—astrology, ESP, and so on—without adopting entire systems . . . fragments are perhaps more functional than all-encompassing religions in a society that requires people to compartmentalize their experiences in order to play a number of diverse roles.”[92]

E.           Current Trends in Religious Participation[93]

“[R]eligion lasts longer than involvement with organized religion ever does. The reason is not complex: religion is something that is learned and sustained, rejected or rekindled primarily in family contexts. Consequently it is invariably interwoven with memories of family life.”

“[W]hile only about two in ten people across the country are currently attending services every week, close to nine in ten nonetheless continue to identify with a religious group. . . . some 90% are identifying with the religion of their parents.” (153f)

“[M]ost Canadians still include religion as part of how they define themselves.” (155)

1.             Not Going and Not Gone

“[N]ominal affiliates are hard to shed.”

Some 85% of the marginally affiliated either agree or strongly agree with the following description: “Some observers maintain that few people are actually abandoning their religious traditions. Rather, they draw selective beliefs and practices, even if they do not attend services frequently. They are not about to be recruited by other religious groups. Their identification with their religious traditions is fairly solidly fixed, and it is to these groups they will turn when confronted with marriage, death, and frequently, birth. How well would you say this observation describes YOU?”

“Its not that they’re leaving; it’s just that they’re not coming.” –Anglican Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy of Toronto

2.             The increasing number of Canadians who report “no religion”

Most tend to wear this label for a fairly short time. (158)

At least 50% of the age cohort (18-34 in 1975) had abandoned this label between 1975 and 1990. (158)

For a young person to say that they don’t have a religious preference is very different than saying that they don’t have a religious culture. (158)

“Ongoing identification, latent commitment, and cultural legacies all point to the fact that religion continues to be a very real part of the memories of Canadians. They might be out of sight, but their religion is not out of mind.” (168)

3.             The Imminent Crisis

a)             The Aging Church in Canada

“The most devout people in the country are Canadians 55 [ as of 2006, 65 ] and older. They attend more, give more, profess more, and endorse more” (96).

TABLE XXXV[94]

Involvement and Importance by Age for Select Religious Groups, 1990, Percentage

 

Ages

Aver

RC

Angl

UC

Cons.

Members

18-34

18

18

20

18

49

 

35-54

31

32

31

21

50

 

55+

42

38

39

58

70

Weekly Attendance

18-34

14

15

7

8

54

 

35-54

23

30

13

12

56

 

55+

37

51

21

25

62

Religion Important

18-34

16

18

12

8

44

 

35-54

23

28

13

9

55

 

55+

45

57

32

40

61

Confidence in Leaders

18-34

28

38

14

16

45

 

35-54

35

44

29

23

47

 

55+

47

62

38

47

N/A

 

“The disappearance of people 55-plus over the next three decades will have nothing less than dramatic consequences for organized religion in Canada.” (97)

b)            The Emerging Generation

“The overall lack of involvement of children and teenagers in church programs . . . is beginning to show—dramatically.” (99)

“Growing numbers of young Canadian parents are not involved or committed . . . only about one in four are exposing their children to religious groups. Fewer adults than in the past have a faith to pass on. As the cycle repeats itself between new generations, involvement and commitment will further dissipate.” (100)

“As they reach adulthood, they [young people] do what their parents do—they keep their religious affiliations, but take their religion in very small pieces, that is, selected beliefs, practices, and professionally rendered services. Young people are following in parental footsteps in having religions that are characterized by consumption rather than commitment.” (100-01)

[By extrapolating current trends] in 2015 only 15% of the population will be weekly attenders (vs. 23% in 1990); total church membership will drop to 4.5 million (vs. 5.8 million in 1990); Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Churches will see their weekly attenders drop by 1/3 to 1/2 in spite of a general population increase; Conservative Protestant churches will manage to hold their own numerically, but not gain any significant “market share.” (104)

4.             The Coming Resource Crash

a)             The Diminished Work Force

“Currently a disproportionate number of the people carrying out the work of the country’s religious groups are in the over-55 category.” (105)

By 2015 human resources pools will in many cases drop by 30-50%. It is not likely that these remaining pools will be as involved in church-related activities as their parents. This further compounds the problems of ministering to an ever-growing general population. (106)

b)            Capital Chaos

A much higher percentage of older Canadians give to religious organizations than the younger cohorts. Canadians who are under 35 give a average of $80.00/year to churches vs. $170.00/year for 55+.

TABLE XXXVI[95]

Member per Capita Giving by Group, 1990, in Dollars

 

Group

Amount

Presbyterians

451

Anglican

385

United Church

301

Christian & Missionary Alliance

2393

Free Methodist

1740

Baptist: Union of West. Canada

1427

Mennonite Brethren

1286

Baptist: Ontario and Quebec

1183

Baptist: North American

1165

Evangelical Free Church

1134

Baptist: Atlantic

456

 


 

IV.         MASS COMMUNICATION[96]

A.           Closure and Group Experiences

“The merging of many formerly distinct situations through electronic media . . . an homogenizing effect on group identities” (131).

“Minority affiliations were once based on isolated information-systems and very distinct group experiences. . . . Members of today’s minority groups are united in their feelings of restriction from certain rights and experiences . . . [which] may be the result of the sudden increase in access to a larger, more inclusive information environment” (132-33).

“[I]t is impossible to consider the whole country or world as one’s ‘neighborhood’ or ‘village.’ Subgroups develop or continue to exist . . . but their boundaries are blurred by the massive sharing of information through electronic media. Indeed, people must now make a conscious effort to maintain distinctions in group identities that were once taken for granted” (135).

[What are the effects of the “Electronic Church” on the expectations and experiences of local church members? What are the local effects of having these Christian “celebrities” available to church members every day of the week?]

B.           The Undermining of Group Locations

“Electronic media have had a tremendous impact on group identity by undermining the relationship between physical location and information access. . . . The identity and cohesion of many groupings and associations were fostered by the fact that members were ‘isolated together’ in the same or similar locations: homes or offices, ghettos or suburbs, prison or stores, playgrounds or bars” (143).

“Electronic media begin to override group identities based on ‘co-presence,’ and they create many new forms of access and ‘association’ that have little to do with physical location. . . . Shared physical location fosters a shared perspective which, in turn, reinforces group solidarity” (144).

“Electronic media affect social roles because they bypass the communication networks that once made particular places unique. More and more, people are living in a national (or international) information-system rather than a local town or city” (146).

“Thus, many of the traditional behavioral characteristics of ‘place’—those dependent on isolation—are overridden. Indeed, electronic media have given insularity of thought and place a bad name” (147).

“Many of today’s groupings are based on single, superficial attributes shared in common rather than on an intimate web of complicated interactions and long-term shared experience” (149).


V.          HEALTH CARE

A.           A Brief History of Health Care in Canada[97]

The first hospital insurance plan in Canada was introduced in Saskatchewan in 1947 but it wasn’t until 1972 that all Canadians had insurance coverage for hospital and medical services. These benefits were mandated through the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act and the Medical Care Act.

A major impetus for the development of universal health care was the 1964 Hall Royal Commission on Health Services. Justice Emmett Hall recommended that the Federal and Provincial governments remove the economic barriers that prevented many Canadians from having access to necessary medical care.

Funding for Medicare, as this program would be called, was initially divided between Ottawa and the Provinces on a 50-50 basis, provided that the provincial plans met five requirements:

1.             Accessibility: reasonable access should be guaranteed to all Canadians.

2.             Comprehensiveness: all necessary medical services should be guaranteed, without dollar limit, and should be available solely on the basis of medical need.

3.             Universality: All Canadians should be eligible for coverage on uniform terms and conditions.

4.             Portability: Benefits should be transferable from province to province.

5.             Administration by a not-for-profit agency or commission.

By the mid-1970s, the Federal government was quite concerned with the rapidly escalating costs associated with Medicare (see Table XXXVII). In order to reduce its burden, the federal government revised the way it funded its portion of Medicare.

The Established Programs Financing Act of 1977 and the Canada Health and Social Transfer Program of 1996 provided block funding to the provinces based on a per capita formula. Services rendered were no longer paid on a 50-50 basis. By 1989 it is estimated that the Federal government’s contribution shrank to 38%. Cuts in Federal transfers to the provinces would have further reduced the Federal percentage but for the serious cost reduction programs undertaken by the provinces.

Over the years various provinces have tried to discourage the over-use of health services by introducing small co-payment fees for hospital and physician’s services. Follow-up studies reveal that these co-payments do in fact reduce the use of medical services but they affect the poorest (and least healthy) most adversely. One study in Saskatchewan found that after the introduction of such fees, the poor were twice as likely not to see their physician because of the fees than the general population.


TABLE XXXVII[98]

Total Expenditures on Health, Canada,

in 2005 $

 

Year

Total

$000,000

% of GNP

Canada

% of GNP

USA

1975

12,199

7.0

8.5

1980

22,298

7.1

 

1985

39,842

8.2

10.5

1990

61,023

9.0

13.0

1995

74,076

9.1

 

2000

97,981

9.1

13.6

2005

141,969

10.4

 

[99]2009

183,121

11.9

 

 

 

B.           The Social Distribution of Health Care in Canada

1.             Sex/Gender Differences in Health

TABLE XXXVIII[100]

Prevalence of Health Problems, by Sex, Canada, 1978-1979

 

Health Problem

Male

Female

Total

Mental Disorders

36.3

63.7

100

Diabetes

39.2

60.8

100

Thyroid Disorders

13.7

86.3

100

Anemia

12.4

87.6

100

Headache

26.5

73.5

100

Sight Disorders

37.5

62.5

100

Hearing Disorders

59.0

41.0

100

Hypertension

37.1

62.1

100

Heart Disease

50.6

49.4

100

Dental Problems

43.6

56.4

100

Gastric/Duodenal Ulcers

58.6

41.4

100

Digestive Disorders

41.7

58.3

100

Skin Disorders

36.6

63.4

100

Arthritis/Rheumatism

34.6

65.4

100

Limb/Joint Disorders

50.6

49.4

100

Trauma

56.6

43.4

100

Total Problems

41.4

58.6

100

 

 

“Women get sicker, but men die quicker.” Women tend to use the health care system more frequently; they take more time off of work; have more surgery; and use more prescription drugs.

What sociological reasons may account for this paradox that women appear to be sicker but live an average of 5 years longer than men?

2.             Social Class Differences in Health Care

Social class is directly related to one’s health and health care needs. Low socio-economic status correlates with higher rates of infectious disease, lower life expectancy, and a higher mortality from all causes.

In many cases the provision of health care is dominated by what Julian Hart (1971) called the inverse care law, that is, “availability of good medical care tends to vary inversely with the need for it in the population served.” The higher need for health care is often matched with low accessibility to health care due to distance and a lack of trained medical personnel.

 

TABLE XXXIX[101]

Relative Probability of Family Physician Use and Need for Health Care in the Last Year,

by Household Income Quintiles, 1985 and 1991

 

 

I

II

III

IV

V

1985

 

 

 

 

 

Visited Physician in Previous Year

1.04

.98

1.04

1.00

1.00

Had Activity-Limiting Health Problem

2.48

1.81

1.48

1.10

1.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

1991

 

 

 

 

 

Visited Physician in Previous Year

1.05

1.04

.98

1.01

1.00

Had Activity-Limiting Health Problem

3.50

2.33

1.67

1.50

1.00

 


SOCIAL ISSUES

I.             URBAN SOCIOLOGY

A.           What is an Urban Area?

The definition of an urban area varies from time to time and from country to country. In Greece, for instance, urban areas include only those cities which have more than 10,000 residents. In Albania only four hundred residents qualifies as urban. In the USA and Mexico the minimum population for an urban area is 2,500 residents. According to Statistics Canada, it is only 1,000 residents.

It seems inappropriate to label both Caronport (with its population of about 1,000) and Toronto (with its 5 million residents) as urban areas in the same sense. (According to the Saskatchewan government’s definition of ‘urban’, Caronport need only have 665 residents in order to qualify as urban.) In 1931 the federal government introduced a new census category, CMA (= Census Metropolitan Area), to distinguish between these vastly different so-called “urban” settings.

A Definition of City: “A place in which a large number of people are permanently based and do not produce their own food.[102] For sociologists, a city is primarily the physical manifestation of particular types of social organization.

B.           Urbanization in Canada

TABLE XL[103]

Percentage of Urban (1000+) Population, by Province & Territory, 1901-2006

 

Prov

1901

1911

1921

1931

1941

1951

1961

1971

1981

1996

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nfld

 

 

 

 

 

43

51

57

59

57

57

PEI

15

16

19

20

22

25

32

38

37

44

44

NS

28

37

45

47

52

55

54

57

55

55

54

NB

23

27

35

35

39

43

47

57

51

49

50

Que

36

45

52

59

61

67

74

81

78

79

79

Ont

40

50

59

63

68

73

77

82

82

83

81

Man

25

39

42

45

46

56

64

70

71

72

70

Sask

6

16

17

20

21

30

43

53

58

63

64

Alta

16

29

31

32

32

48

63

74

77

80

80

BC

46

51

51

62

64

69

73

76

78

82

81

Yukon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

58

NWT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

57

Nunavut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

35

42

47

53

56

62

70

76

76

78

78


“In the past 30 years, a quarter of a million people left their rural homes in Saskatchewan in a massive migration to Regina and Saskatoon, says a report by the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary-based think-tank that examines Western Canadian issues.

Between 1966 and 1996, the number of people in urban centres grew by more than 61% in Saskatchewan, the biggest increase in Canada, more than double that of Alberta and nearly five times that of Manitoba.

However, unlike Alberta, whose overall population grew by 84% in that 30-year period, Saskatchewan’s overall population grew by a mere 3.7%.”[104]

C.           Urban Ecology (The Interaction Among Various Components of the City)

1.             Concentric Zone Model  (See Henslin, Sociology, 5th Can. ed., 393, Fig. 17.6)

Burgess (1925) developed a model of city ecology based on the concepts of segregation, competition, invasion, succession, and natural areas.

Segregation is the tendency of certain activity patterns or groups to cluster and for these clusters to resist other activity patterns and groups. If the group is successful in resisting encroachment a natural area is formed.

Competition is when one group/activity encroaches on another, e.g., the invasion of blacks into a formerly Italian area and the subsequent displacement of blacks by an invasion of Hispanics. This dynamic displacement is called succession.

Burgess used Chicago as a model. Chicago was analyzed into five zones of concentric rings: (1) Central Business District; (2) Transition zone [competition between poor people and commerce for old residential areas]; (3) Working-class houses; (4) Middle-class residential zone; and (5) the commuter zone.

2.             Sector Model

This model (Hoyt, 1939) of urban ecology recognizes the importance of transportation arteries and the distribution of urban functions along them.

City development patterns emanate out from the central core in wedge-shaped natural areas. The model can account for high-prestige residential areas in city centres. It also takes into account the location and effect of zoning laws which, for instance, designate certain transportation arteries as Truck Routes and thereby define certain zones as industrial or commercial regions.

The sector model recognizes the importance of motor transportation in the development and transformation of the city.

3.             Multiple Nuclei Model

This model of the city (Harris and Ullman, 1945) rejected the analysis of the city in terms of concentric circles or wedge-shaped radiations from a central core. It sees the city as a collection of diffused nuclei, each with a central location and each distinctively marked off from other clusters.

This model recognizes that distinct functional groupings occur within major cities, groupings often indebted to the automobile. 

D.           Technoburbs[105]

“The most important feature of postwar American development has been the almost simultaneous decentralization of housing, industry, specialized services, and office jobs; [and] the consequent breakaway of the urban periphery from a central city it no longer needs.” (184)

This is the emergence of a new type of city (the “technoburb”). The suburbs are no longer dependent on the central city but on the transportation arteries around the periphery of the city which, ironically, were constructed to facilitate the suburban commute into the city centre.

“[T]he very existence of the decentralized city is made possible only through the advanced communications technology which has so completely superseded the face-to-face contact of the traditional city.”  (184)

The technoburb is seemingly unable to support the types of culture and architecture that is associated with the central city; it relies absolutely on the automobile and the diverse traffic patterns and destinations enabled by the same; it restores some of the linkage between work and residence; it fundamentally excludes persons without ample means; and, it erodes the old city and its decaying residential zones.


II.           RURAL SOCIOLOGY

A.           “Rural Issues and Problems”[106]

1.             Introduction

Rural life is often thought to be free of the social disorganization, conflict, deviance, and personal and social pathologies of the urban setting. However, the following structural transformations in agriculture have had negative consequences for rural populations:

·         intensive farming and the rise of agro-business

·         increased chemical and machinery inputs

·         depopulation

·         declining medical, police, and educational services, and

·         the “cost-price squeeze”

2.             Master Trends in Canadian Agriculture

See Figure 1: Number and Size (Acreage) of Farms, 1921-1986, (395).

According to Stats Canada, the average farm size in 2006 was 728 acres.

The “cost-price squeeze” and the shift from labour-intensive to capital-intensive production contribute to the dramatic loss of small-to-medium family farms.

Due to increased chemical, machinery, and genetic inputs agricultural productivity doubled between 1961 and 1984.

These factors are behind the centralization of farming into large agri-businesses, the depopulation of rural areas, and the transfer of agricultural profits to distant shareholders and owners.

Many farmers are becoming wage-employees of large corporate entities. Will this trend finally result in the “proletarianization” of all farmers?

Approximately 1000 square kilometres of rural land in Canada was converted to urban use between 1976 and 1981. In Ontario alone, this amounted to a loss of 4 percent of all prime farmland.

On the Canadian prairies there has been a reduction of 40% in organic materials in the soil since first cultivation. This necessitates increased usage of chemical fertilizers. These fertilizers, in turn, raise the acidity of the soils and reduce their long-term productivity. Economic pressures force farmers to increase production at the risk of lessened long-term sustainability of the agricultural ecosystem by (a) growing higher yield crops with their higher nutrients needs; (b) increasing pesticide use; (c) decreasing ground water qualities; (d) implementing high-risk crop rotation and planting techniques; and (e) creating highly toxic working environments.

3.             Farm Income

TABLE XLI[107]

Realized Net Farm Income, Canada, 2002-03, Millions of Dollars

Province

2002

2003

(Projected)

% Change

 

Nfld

1.7

7.1

+322

 

PEI

20.1

10.5

-48

 

NS

-7.4

0.4

 

 

NB

21.9

-1.1

-105

 

Que

398.3

552.2

+39

 

Ont.

115.0

-43.8

-138

 

Man.

507.7

113.1

-78

 

Sask.

606.7

-465.3

-177

 

Alta.

976.0

-229.6

-124

 

BC

104.5

43.0

-59

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

2,744.6

-13.4

-100

 

 

Between 1995 and 2000 Saskatchewan lost 11.2% of its farms (n = 6,397). During that period operating expenses rose by 15.2% while farm receipts only rose by 4.8%. In 2000, nearly half of all Sask. farm families had their major source of income from off-farm employment. Nearly 40% of Sask. farm families had zero or negative incomes in 2000; and an additional 23% had less than $10,000 in net farm income. By 2001, Saskatchewan had only 123,385 people living on a farm. This represents a drop of 15% in the previous five years. Canada, as whole, experienced a similar 14.6% decline in farm residents in this same five-year period.[108]

In Saskatchewan, agriculture now contributes a mere 1% to the total income in the province. In 1959, it contributed 49%. Saskatchewan residents received 15 times as much income from government transfers (pensions, employment insurance benefits, child tax benefits, etc.) as from farm income. Less than 5% of the Sask. population work in agriculture (for all of Canada, the figure is less than 1%).[109]

4.             Rural Social Conditions

There has been and is a continuous transfer of the young and talented, assets, and services from rural areas to urban areas. Is this creating a rural “underclass”?

Rural areas have poorer housing stocks, fewer homes with central heating and fewer homes with indoor bathrooms. Minorities in rural pockets (often first nations peoples) face very serious problems with low wages, impoverishment, and poor housing.

The relative decline in rural populations (especially rural farming populations) has greatly weakened their political influence.

5.             Rural Crime

Contrary to the popular belief, rural crime rates are not dramatically lower than larger urban settings.  See Table 5: Police-Reported Crime Data (409).

All reported-crime statistics must be interpreted with some caution (police reporting strategies, factors which discourage reporting, available crime opportunities, etc.)

B.           The Decline of Rural Ministry in Saskatchewan[110]

The depopulation of rural areas has profoundly affected rural churches:

(1)           High pastoral turnover;

(2)           Lack of money and programs;

(3)           Fewer volunteers;

(4)           Out-migration of the young and talented;

(5)           Summer interns are unaffordable;

(6)           Greatly-increased distances involved in visitation;

(7)           More dealings with stress-related issues;

(8)           Poor pastoral training in stress-related care;

(9)           Families move nearer to health-care and educational facilities;

(10)         Many pastors must find a second job to supplement their income.

Unlike their predecessors, rural churches are not informationally isolated from the larger trends in the urban society. For instance, members or rural churches often have direct personal experience with mega-programmatic models of ministry and bring these expectations back into their rural setting. These programmatic assumptions are explicit in Linda Wegner’s article and in the minds of those doing rural ministry. “[W]ith fewer hands to help at the church, they [rural pastors] must somehow offer programs to meet the needs of various age groups in the congregation. . . . Churches have sometimes had to choose between groups in their own congregation when offering services because they can’t serve the needs of all their members. The older [members of the] congregation sometimes don’t have programs because the leadership is giving so much work to the younger age [group]” (12).

On a more positive note, churches in rural areas are beginning to co-operate across denominational lines in light of their diminishing resources. Churches have also played visible roles in trying to retain governmental and health services in rural Saskatchewan. Pastoral and church interest in community issues is becoming more visible as the survival interests of churches and small towns converge.


III.          MODERNIZATION

A.           Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability[111]

Issues of economic development can no longer be separated from environmental issues. Economic development problems have become globalized: local development has worldwide repercussions and worldwide development shapes local events. During the 1980s a growing literature tried to reconcile the contradiction between economic development, environmental preservation, and sustainable growth.

1.             The Ideology of the Information Society

During the early 1980s many predicted that the information society would eliminate the need for paper in the workplace. In actuality, new information technologies have led to an increased demand for higher quality paper (291).

See advertisement for International Paper in The Atlantic Monthly, March 1998.

High-grade paper consumption grew by 100% between 1970 and 1988. On a worldwide basis, shipments of writing/bond papers increased by 40% between 1980 and 1987. It is estimated that in the U.S. alone approximately 190 billion pages of documentation are generated every day! (291f). This is equivalent to a 12,000 mile-high stack of paper being used every day in the U.S. alone.

High-grade pulp (as opposed to newsprint, cardboard, etc.) demands a chemically-intensive manufacturing process. The demand for whiter, better paper means an increased reliance on chlorine bleach to whiten the paper. This, in turn, generates massive volumes of chemical effluent.

The ever-increasing demand for paper has pushed pulp-processing plants further from the urban consumption centres and has led to new corporate interest in the boreal forests of northwestern Canada.

2.             Externalizing as a Cost-Containment Strategy

Externalization refers to the process whereby expenses incurred in manufacturing are pushed outside the corporate cost structure and into the environment. In many cases, this means doing chemical processing at sites distant from urban consumers, offloading pollutants into this distant environment, relocating volatile labour pools to the hinterland so that the ups and downs of the business cycle affect those workers rather than unionized, urban workers.

Some of the externalities of the pulp-processing industry include: clear-cutting damage to the ecosystem; chlorine bleach disposal; volatile job prospects; air-borne pollution; interference with traditional occupations—fishing, hunting, trapping—and ways of life; and, damage to roads by heavy equipment.

It is typically in the interest of corporations to externalize as many costs as possible. The environmental movement of the past few decades can be seen as an attempt to re-internalize some of the externalized costs of doing business by forcing companies to “clean up their act” or face bad publicity.

Many remote regions are willing—at least initially—to bear a disproportionate share of these externalities in order to improve their employment prospects.

B.           The Age of Social Transformation[112]

“[I]t is the social transformations, like ocean currents deep below the hurricane-tormented surface of the sea, that have had the lasting, indeed the permanent, effect” (54).

1.             The Rise and Fall of the Blue-Collar Worker

Since the decline of the farmer and domestic servants coincided with the rise of the industrial workers comparatively little social disruption occurred. At the beginning of the twentieth century farmers and domestic servants were everywhere, but they were isolated and unorganized. However, the new class of industrial workers was extremely visible and concentrated in specific areas (56). “No class in history has ever risen faster than the blue-collar worker. And no class in history has ever fallen faster” (56).

The rise of the industrial worker from 1900 to 1960 was remarkable, including huge “absolute” increases in wages, benefits, working conditions, and political power.

By 1990, industrial workers were in significant decline worldwide. They are being replaced by “technologists” who work with their hands and with theoretical knowledge. Example: Engineering lab at the University of Buffalo. The displacement of industrial workers by the new “knowledge” workers is unlike the displacement of farmers and domestic servants by industrial workers in that the former groups were suitably qualified and skilled for industrial jobs and moved rapidly into them. The same is not true for those seeking to enter “knowledge” jobs.

2.             The Rise of the Knowledge Worker

“The rise of the class succeeding industrial workers is not an opportunity for industrial workers. It is a challenge.  . . . [T]he great majority of the new jobs require qualifications the industrial worker does not possess and is poorly equipped to acquire” (62).

The most highly sought-after skills will be learning skills—the rapid acquisition of additional specialties as job markets emerge and close. Intellectual and learning flexibility will be essential in the future. Knowledge workers, in an important sense, own the tools of production—specialized ‘knowledges’ (to use Drucker’s term). This new “capital” gives knowledge workers greater freedom from any particular institution but greater dependence on institutional contexts in general.

3.             The Social Sector

The traditional community is unable to take care of social tasks, due largely to increased mobility and instability. Drucker argues that the failure of government to provide a vital social context for modern life is apparent. Additionally, he believes that the corporation, which attempted to provide a social context for its workers, has also come up short.

The failure of these institutions to provide the necessary support for the continuance of society leads Drucker to propose the need for a “social sector.” He believes that the rise of huge numbers of social-sector, volunteer-based, organizations in the USA in recent years is evidence of the emergence of a social sector. (There are over 1 million such organizations in the USA alone.)

The tasks that should be increasingly assigned to these social-sector organizations are the tasks of creating human health and well-being, including a more vital form of public citizenship.

“The knowledge society has to be a society of three sectors: a public sector of government, a private sector of business, and a social sector” (76).

4.             The Need for Social and Political Innovation

“We are beginning to understand the new integrating mechanism: organization. But we still have to think through how to balance two apparently contradictory requirements. Organizations must competently perform the one social function for the sake of which they exist—the school to teach, the hospital to cure the sick, and the business to produce goods, services, or the capital to provide for the risks of the future. They can do so only if they single-mindedly concentrate on their specialized mission. But there is also society’s need for these organizations to take social responsibility—to work on the problems and challenges of the community. Together these organizations are the community. The emergence of a strong, independent, capable social sector—neither public sector nor private sector—is thus a central need of the society of organizations” (80).


SELECTED CANADIAN ISSUES

       

I.             DEMOGRAPHY

A.           Introduction

Demography, the study of population changes, typically examines fertility, mortality, and internal and external migration.

B.           Fertility

TABLE XLII[113]

Total Births and Crude Birth Rate, Canada,

1921-2009

 

Year

Number of Births

Crude Birth Rate--per 1,000 Population

1921

264,879

29.3

1931

247,205

23.2

1941

263,993

22.4

1951

381,092

27.2

1961

475,700

26.1

1971

362,187

16.8

1981

371,346

15.3

1990

405,486

15.3

1998

342,418

11.2

2002

331,522

10.5

2009

 

    11.3[114]

 

 

TABLE XLIII[115]

Total Fertility Rates (Average Number of Children a Woman Will Bear in Her Lifetime),

Selected Industrialized Nations, 1950-1989, 2005

 

Country

1950

1960

1970

1980

1989

2005

Replacement Minimum

Canada

3.46

3.90

2.33

1.75

1.77

1.54

2.1

Quebec

3.81

3.76

1.97

1.70

1.61

 

2.1

USA

3.09

3.65

2.48

1.84

2.01

 

2.1

Sweden

2.28

2.20

1.92

1.68

2.01

1.77

2.1

Germany

2.10

2.37

1.99

1.45

1.39

 

2.1

France

2.93

2.73

2.47

1.95

1.62

1.94

2.1


TABLE XLIV[116]

Population by Age Group, Canada, 1989-2006

 

Age

July 1, 1989

July 1, 1994

July 1, 2000

July 1, 2006

% Change ’89-‘06

 

 

 

 

 

 

0-14 Years

5,683,400

5,967,100

5,870,888

5,579,835

-1.8

15-64

18,671,400

19,812,800

21,029,302

21,697,805

+16.2

65+

3,024,500

3,471,500

3,849,897

4,335,255

+43.3

80+

 

 

 

1,167,310

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

27,379,300

29,251,300

30,750,087

31,612,895

+14.4

 

 

C.           Mortality

TABLE XLV[117]

Life Expectancy for Males and Females, in Years, at Birth, Canada

 

Year

Male

Female

1931

60.00

62.10

1961

68.35

74.17

1991

74.55

80.89

1998

76.10

81.50

2006

78.30

83.00

 

 

D.           Internal Migration

TABLE XLVI[118]

Internal Migration by Type and Period, Percentage

 

Migration Stream

1966-1971

1976-1981

Urban to Urban

63.7

61.7

Urban to Rural

15.7

19.1

Rural to Urban

16.3

13.5

Rural to Rural

4.3

5.7

 

The majority of migrants in Canada are no longer moving from rural to urban areas but between urban areas (interurban migration).

In 1986, 56% of the population of Canada had not moved within the past five years; 24% had moved within the same census subdivision; 14% had moved within the same province; 4% had moved to a different province; and 2% had moved from outside Canada. This mobility pattern is almost unchanged from 1961.[119]

TABLE XLVII[120]

Net Interprovincial Migration, 1961-2009

 

 

1961-66

1966-71

1971-76

1976-81

1981-86

2002-03

2008-09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nlfd/NL

-15,213

-19,344

-1,857

-18,983

-15,051

-14

2332

PEI

-2,969

-2,763

3,754

-829

751

571

-559

NS

-27,124

-16,396

11,307

-7,140

6,895

777

-1255

NB

-25,680

-19,599

16,801

-10,351

-65

-628

-537

Que

-19,859

-122,736

-77,610

-156,496

-81,254

-1732

-10666

Ont

85,369

150,712

-38,560

-57,826

121,767

-1814

-18738

Man

-23,471

-40,690

-26,827

-42,218

-2,634

-1189

-1541

Sask

-42,094

-81,339

-40,752

-9,716

-2,974

-4223

4108

Alta

-1,983

32,005

58,571

186,364

-31,676

12,081

23006

BC

77,747

114,964

92,285

122,625

7,382

-4591

4673

Yukon

 

 

 

 

 

 

126

NWT

 

 

 

 

 

 

-850

NT

 

 

 

 

 

 

-99

 

 

E.           Population and Growth Components, Canada

TABLE XLVIII[121]

Population and Growth Components, in Thousands, 1851-2001

 

Period

Population at End of Period

Total Population Growth

Births

Deaths

Immigration

Emigration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1851-61

3,230

793

1,281

670

352

170

1861-71

3,689

459

1,370

760

260

410

1871-81

4,325

636

1,480

790

350

404

1881-91

4,833

508

1,524

870

680

826

1891-01

5,371

538

1,548

880

250

380

1901-11

7,207

1,836

1,925

900

1,550

740

1911-21

8,788

1,581

2,340

1,070

1,400

1,089

1921-31

10,377

1,589

2,415

1,055

1,200

970

1931-41

11,507

1,130

2,294

1,072

149

241

1941-51

13,648

2,141

3,186

1,214

548

379

1951-56

16,091

2,433

2,106

633

783

185

1956-61

18,238

2,157

2,362

687

760

278

1961-66

20,015

1,777

2,249

731

539

280

1966-71

21,568

1,553

1,856

766

890

427

1971-76

23,450

1,882

1,755

824

1,053

358

1976-81

24,820

1,371

1,820

843

771

278

1981-86

26,101

1,280

1,872

885

677

278

1986-91

28,031

1,930

1,933

946

1,199

213

1991-96

29,672

1,641

1,936

1,024

1,137

229

1996-01

31,111

1,439

1,704

1,095

1,051

270


F.            Immigration

TABLE XLIX[122]

Percentage of Population Foreign-Born,

By Provinces, Territories and Selected Cities, Canada, 1991-2006

 

Area

1991

1996

2001

2006

 

 

 

 

 

Nfld & Lab.

1.5

1.6

1.6

1.7

PEI

3.2

3.3

3.1

3.6

NS

4.4

4.7

4.6

5.0

NB

3.3

3.3

3.1

3.7

Quebec

8.7

9.4

9.9

11.5

Ontario

23.7

25.6

26.8

28.3

Manitoba

12.8

12.4

12.1

13.3

Sask.

5.9

5.4

5.0

5.0

Alberta

15.1

15.2

14.9

16.2

BC

22.3

24.5

26.1

27.5

Yukon

10.7

10.4

10.6

10.0

NWT

4.9

4.8

6.4

6.9

NT

 

 

1.7

1.6

Canada

16.1

17.4

18.4

19.8

 

 

 

 

 

Toronto

38.0

41.9

43.7

45.7

Vancouver

30.1

34.9

37.5

39.6

Regina

8.4

8.0

7.4

7.7

 

 

Immigrants to Canada are increasingly coming from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.[123]

Most immigrants live in major urban areas. 32% of all Canadian immigrants live in metropolitan Toronto alone.

Immigrants are more likely to have a university degree and more likely to have less than a grade nine education. This discrepancy is in large part due to the lack of formal education for many immigrant women.

Immigrant men tend to earn more than non-immigrant men, whereas immigrant women tend to earn less than non-immigrant women (educational differences may account for virtually all of the disparity).


II.           QUEBEC SOCIETY

A.           Quebec Prior to 1960

The Treaty of Paris transferred the territory of New France to British rule in 1763. Prior to the treaty, the contest between the French and English was predominantly a dispute over the control of resources; after the treaty, the dispute revolved around the control of institutions in what is now known as Quebec.

After 1763, it was widely held that Quebec would be transformed into an Anglo-Saxon territory with English settlers and institutions predominating. With tensions mounting in the American colonies, the British adopted the Quebec Act in 1774. The Act sought to accommodate the Francophones in Quebec in order to reduce the risk of their joining in the mounting hostilities to the south. Abandoning the forced assimilation of the previous period, the Quebec Act accepted French civil law, reaffirmed the freedom of Catholic worship, and reinforced the Church’s privileges.[124]

The Quebec Act provided for two parallel societies, each based on a different institutional, religious, legal, and political tradition. Confederation (1867) sought to accommodate the interests of both “charter” groups. The division of powers between the provinces and the federal government was determined on the basis of those issues that divided the English from the French and those that did not. The federal government assumed responsibility for the latter (administration, military, foreign policy, economic policy, etc.) while the provinces were given responsibility for the divisive issues (education, family policy, and municipal organizations).

 

TABLE L[125]

Comparison of Enterprises Under French-Canadian, English-Canadian and Foreign Control, 1961

(As a Percentage of the Labour Force for Each Sector)

 

Sector

French

Canadians

English Canadians

Foreign

 

 

 

 

Agriculture

91.3

8.7

0.0

Mining

6.5

53.1

40.4

Manufacturing

21.7

47.0

31.3

Construction

50.7

35.2

14.1

Trans./Comm.

37.5

49.4

13.1

Wholesale Trade

34.1

47.2

18.7

Retail Trade

56.7

35.8

7.5

Finance

25.8

53.1

21.1

Services

71.4

28.6

0.0

 

 

 

 

Total all Sectors

47.3

37.7

15.0

 

 


TABLE LI[126]

Average Labour Income of Male Salary and Wage Earners

by Ethnic Origin, Quebec, 1961

 

Ethnic Origin

Labour Income

Income Index

 

 

 

All Origins

3,469

100.0

British

4,940

142.4

Scandinavian

4,939

142.4

Dutch

4,891

140.9

Jewish

4,851

139.8

Russian

4,828

139.1

German

4.254

122.6

French

3,185

91.8

Italian

2,938

84.6

Aboriginal

2,112

60.8

 

British firms dominated the commercial life of Quebec until the 1960s and beyond.[127] Business, particularly large business, was part of the British domain; agriculture, religion, and politics were part of the French domain. In 1960, the British dominated the upper levels of the business world. In 1961, British-origin men in Montreal earned, on average, 49 per cent more than French-origin men. Similarly, English-origin men were 57 per cent more likely to be professionals or managers, and 45 per cent less likely to be blue-collar workers than French-origin men.[128]

 

As late as 1960, Quebec was remarkably undeveloped with respect to government services, due to the fact that a very conservative Catholic Church controlled education, health, and welfare. Government intervention in business matters was largely unknown.

During the period leading up to 1960, there were increasing demands for new labour laws, state control of education, a modernizing of the curriculum (more sciences, less classical languages), and economic development.

B.           Quebec Modernization (“The Quiet Revolution”)

Major legislative reforms were introduced in the period between 1960 and 1966. These reforms sought to adjust Quebec institutions to the social and industrial realities impinging on them.

These modernizations diminished the authority of the Church and correlated with increasing calls for more freedoms from the encompassing Anglophone hegemony.

The modernization of the Quebec State failed to resolve a set of interrelated issues: the demographic decline of the Quebecois; the assimilation of immigrants into English, rather than French, culture; and the use of English as the language of business.

Many Francophone professionals found employment in expanding governmental bureaucracies, the educational system, and the new Crown corporations; Anglophones, however, still dominated business (finance, transportation, and staples).

In the 1970s the activist Quebec State began to turn its attention to areas within Quebec society dominated by English interests and institutions. It soon became apparent that English domination in certain areas was systemic and could not be eliminated without new constitutional powers.

C.            Demands Made by the Quebec Government in 1987

·         Recognition of the “distinct society” status of Quebec as the homeland and guardian of North American French culture

·         Veto over federal constitutional changes

·         Three supreme court justices must come from Quebec

·         Control over the number and language of all immigrants to Quebec

·         Limit the Federal Government’s ability to interfere with provincial jurisdictions through competing or complementary programs and targeted money

 

D.           Discussion Issues Raised by a CBC News Program[129]

·         Will Quebec’s separation further isolate the rest of Canadian Francophones living in other provinces? Does this diminish the role of Quebec as a guardian of North American French culture?

·         Can Quebec itself be partitioned into sovereign territories? For instance, could aboriginal peoples or the island of Montreal break from a separated Quebec? At what level of aggregation is succession possible or impossible?

·         Can a union without unity be coherently conceived? Is sovereignty-association possible?

·         How should “distinct society” be defined—as linguistic, cultural, and jurisdictional uniqueness or as full-blown nationhood?

·         What makes a people, a people?  “The goal is not to separate, but to become”— a participant from Quebec.

·         Is the alienation of western Canada from central Canada similar to Quebec’s alienation? (e.g., $145 billion of net outflow from the west to central Canada between 1961 and 1988). The west fears that granting new and unique powers to Quebec will further consolidate central Canada vis-à-vis the west.

·         Can a suitable terminology be found to describe the problem? Can Quebec be called a “province” without implying a type of federalism?

·         Is the rhetoric of threatened separation merely a leveraging device for a new role in the federal state?

·         How are Quebec’s concerns related to the calls from many quarters that the Federal government should radically decentralize its powers?


III.          ABORIGINAL PEOPLES[130]

A.           Definitions and Demography

Status [Legal or Registered] Indians: Persons who are registered with the Federal government according to the current criteria laid down by the government.

Nonstatus [or Nonregistered] Indians: Persons of First Nations ancestry not registered with the Federal government or who have had their status rights extinguished.

Metis:  Persons of mixed aboriginal and nonaboriginal ancestry.

Inuit:  [Formerly Eskimos] Persons of the far north (typically) who crossed the Bering Strait at some earlier point

TABLE LII[131]

Total Aboriginal Population, Canada and Provinces, 1996, 2001, 2006

 

 

Total Aboriginals 1996

Total Aboriginals 2001

Total Aboriginals 2006

Aboriginals as % of Population, 2006

Aboriginal Growth Rate 1996-2006

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

799,010

976,305

1,172,790

3.6

46.8

NS/Nfld

26,580

35,795

47,625

3.3

79

NB/PEI

11,200

18,335

19,000

2.1

70

Quebec

71,415

79,400

108,430

1.4

51.8

Ontario

141,520

180,315

242,495

1.9

71

Manitoba

128,680

150,040

175,395

14.9

36

Sask.

111,245

130,185

141,890

14.4

27.5

Alberta

122,835

156,220

188,365

5.6

53.3

BC

139,644

170,025

196,075

4.5

40.4

Yukon

6,175

6,540

7,580

18.1

22.7

NWT/NT

39,690

41,450

45,500

62.6

14.6

 

There were 564,870 Status Indians in 2006, who belonged to 605 bands. There are 2,284 Indian reserves in Canada; however, less than 1000 are inhabited.

A 1985 Amendment to the Indian Act allowed many non-status Indians (as many as 200,000) to be reinstated as status Indians—this has caused a dramatic decrease in the number of non-status Indians and a correlative rise in the number of status Indians. Most recently, Census Canada now asks persons to self-identify as aboriginal or not. This has led to a dramatic increase in those counted as aboriginal. For instance, those who identify themselves as Metis almost doubled (+91%) between 1996 and 2006.

Aboriginal peoples are, as whole, much younger than the general Canadian population.  Their median age is 27 years; for the general population, it is 40 years. Aboriginals, aged 0-14, make up 30 percent of their population. 0-14 year olds make up only 17 percent of the general Canadian population.

B.           Social Institutions

1.             Health

TABLE LIII[132]

Health-Related Conditions in (On Reserve) Native Communities

 

Location

·       15% of households are more than 50 km from the nearest large town.

 

 

Water Supply

·       75% of communities have individual or community wells.

·       In 50% of communities, at least some houses use a piped system.

·       In almost 25% of communities, some or all residents rely on ‘self-haul’ methods.

 

 

Sewage

·       Most communities use a septic system or equivalent.

·       About 22% of communities have a piped waste water system with treatment.

·       A substantial proportion use pit privies or leaching pits.

·       32% of households do not have indoor plumbing.

 

 

Emergency Medical Evacuation

·       In 50% of communities, patients can be evacuated to hospital in 30 minutes or less.

·       Iin 5% of communities, medical evacuations can take 3 hours or more.

·       Most communities (74%) can evacuate patients by road; the rest require some combination of road, water, or air.

 

 

Local Services

·       14% of communities have ambulance service.

·       42% of communities have a child-care worker.

 

The mortality rate among aboriginals, including infant mortality, is about double that of the general population. For those between 5-19 years, the mortality rate is four times that of the general population. (205) The suicide rate is about three times that of the general population.

Aboriginals suffer from higher rates of infectious disease: tuberculosis rates are about 43 times as high as among non-aboriginals; diabetes is also rampant.

2.             The Economy

Table 8.7, 213

                                    Table 8.8, 213

 

When compared with other Canadians of the same educational background and occupational status, aboriginals average 20 percent less income. (214) [What are the effects of the rural settings of many reserves on these findings?]

 

3.             Correctional Institutions

TABLE LIV[133]

Aboriginals as a Percentage of Provincial/Territorial Prison Population, Canada, 2003-04, 2006

 

 

Province/

Territory

Aboriginals as % of Prisoners

Aboriginals as % of Population, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

BC

19.8

4.5

 

Alberta

38.7

5.6

 

Saskatchewan

80.2

14.4

 

Manitoba

68.2

14.9

 

Ontario

8.8

1.9

 

Quebec

2.4

1.4

 

NS

7.3

1.5

 

NB

8.9

2.0

 

NL

n/a

3.2

 

PEI

2.0

0.8

 

Yukon

72.9

18.1

 

NWT