“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

do americans use class wealth to punish others?

Health Inequalities and The Glasgow Effect

can the rich and resourceful and intelligent design a system to “destroy those they judge as useless to there money”?


Labeling others is common in our society. In this lesson, we discuss the specifics of labeling theory, including when and why people are labeled. We also distinguish between retroactive and projective labeling and briefly discuss Travis Hirschi’s control theory.
Labeling Theory
Watch: Labeling Theory(0:06)
In a previous lesson, we discussed deviance: any action that is perceived as violating a society’s or group’s cultural norm. Robbing a store and driving faster than the speed limit are examples of deviant behavior. However, labeling theory proposes deviance is socially constructed through reaction instead of action. In other words, according to this theory, no behavior is inherently deviant on its own. Instead, it’s the reaction to the behavior that makes it deviant or not.

Labeling theory helps to explain why a behavior is considered negatively deviant to some people, groups, and cultures but positively deviant to others. For example, think about fictional vigilantes, like Robin Hood and Batman. Batman is labeled in different ways depending on the public’s reaction to his escapades. Some people have a negative reaction and label him as a criminal. Others have a positive reaction and label him as a hero. Different reactions are typically based on group or cultural norms and values.

Another example is when a person is responsible for the death of another. When are they labeled as a ‘murderer’ or a ‘killer?’ The reaction to death sometimes depends on the circumstances. The person responsible will be viewed differently depending on the reason, whether it’s murder, war, self-defense, or an accident.

How people react to or label a killing depends on the reason behind it
Labeling Theory Murder Example
Primary vs. Secondary Deviance
Watch: Primary vs. Secondary Deviance(1:39)
Studies related to labeling theory have also explained how being labeled as deviant can have long-term consequences for a person’s social identity. Consider primary deviance, which is an initial violation of a social norm – about which no inference is made regarding a person’s character. Primary deviance includes minor deviant acts that just about everyone does once or twice, like playing hooky from school or work. These behaviors have little reaction from others and therefore, have little effect on a person’s self-concept.

On the other hand, secondary deviance is when a person repeatedly violates a social norm, which leads others to make assumptions about that person and assign a label to him or her. Some examples of labels are ‘criminal,’ ‘psycho,’ ‘addict,’ and ‘delinquent.’ Secondary deviance gets such a strong reaction from others that the individual is typically shunned and excluded from certain social groups.

For example, the dynamic between nerds and jocks is portrayed in popular culture all the time. Typically, there is someone who is intelligent but socially awkward and becomes labeled as a ‘nerd.’ Once labeled, that person is considered unpopular and shunned by the popular ‘jocks.’

Watch: Stigma(3:02)
Once a person has been labeled by others through secondary deviance, it is common for that person to incorporate that label into his or her own self-concept. They develop a stigma, or a powerfully negative label that greatly changes a person’s self-concept and social identity.

Someone in high school that has been labeled as a nerd, for example, may begin to think of himself or herself as a loser due to other people’s opinions and treatment. Someone who has been stigmatized usually has lower self-esteem and may even behave more deviantly as a result of the negative label. The stigmatized person may find it easier to come to terms with the label rather than fight it.

Playing hooky from work is an example of primary deviance
Primary Deviance Example
Retrospective and Projective Labeling
Watch: Retrospective & Projective Labeling(3:50)
The consequences of being stigmatized can be far-reaching. A stigma operates as a master status, overpowering other aspects of social identity. Unfortunately, once people stigmatize an individual, they have a difficult time changing their opinions of the labeled person, even if the label is proven to be untrue. They may also engage in retrospective labeling, interpreting someone’s past in light of some present deviance.

For example, people would likely discuss the past of someone who is labeled a ‘murderer.’ They might say something like, ‘He was always a violent boy.’ Even if that person was no more violent than his peers, people would re-label the actions of his youth in light of his current label.

Similarly, people may engage in projective labeling of a stigmatized person. Projective labeling is using a deviant identity to predict future action. For example, imagine that Batman is no longer considered a hero by anyone – instead, everyone thinks he is a dangerous criminal. The people might say something like, ‘One of these days he’s going to destroy the entire city.’ They are projecting by imagining what he might do in the future.

Conflict Theory


Hirschi’s Social Control Theory

n this lesson, we discuss the social conflict approach to deviance, including the connection between deviance and power as well as deviance and capitalism. We also discuss the difference between white-collar and blue-collar crime and define corporate crime and organized crime.
Social Conflict Theory
Watch: Social Conflict Theory(0:05)
What social patterns exist between social classes and what problems are caused by the conflict between them? How does social class affect deviance? These are questions asked by sociologists when considering the social conflict theory. Social conflict theory is all about inequality in society. It proposes that laws and norms reflect the interests of powerful members of society. In other words, social order is maintained through competition and conflict, and the ‘winners’ – those with the most power and the greatest economic and social resources – benefit by taking advantage of the ‘losers.’ We discuss social conflict theory several times throughout this class, as it is one of the major sociological theories of how society operates as a whole. In this lesson, though, we’ll focus on what this theory suggests about deviance.

Deviance and Power
Watch: Deviance and Power(1:07)
First, the theory suggests that who or what is labeled as deviant depends on who has the most power. The relatively small ‘power elite’ in our society are much less likely to carry the stigma of deviance than anyone else. Even if they are suspected of deviant behavior, the powerful have the resources to resist deviant labels. Consider a scenario where a rich CEO of a company and a struggling factory worker both commit the same crime. We’ll say that they were both caught in possession of illegal drugs. Which person do you imagine will be more severely punished? It’s likely that the CEO has the resources to get off lightly or at least to keep it quiet. The factory worker, on the other hand, is likely to receive full punishment and have his criminal deviance advertised.

White-Collar vs. Blue-Collar Crime
Watch: White-Collar vs. Blue-Collar Crime(2:06)
The comparison of these two individuals leads us into a discussion about white-collar versus blue-collar crime. These types of criminal deviance get their names from the traditional dress of the person committing that style of crime. White-collar refers to the traditional button-up dress shirts worn by powerful businessmen, usually paired with a tie. Blue-collar refers to the uniforms worn by average workmen in factories and shops.

So, as the name suggests, white-collar crime is committed by people of high social positions, frequently as part of their jobs. White-collar crimes typically don’t involve violence; instead, they are generally money-related and include embezzlement, business fraud, bribery, and similar crimes. Many of these crimes go unknown to the public. Blue-collar crime is committed by the average working American. Blue-collar crimes range from violent law-breaking to thievery and are sometimes committed as a way to improve living conditions. They are usually highly visual and are more likely to attract police to the scene.

Again, social conflict theory is all about inequality, so one of the most important differences between these two types of crime is the fact that the punishment for committing them is disproportionate. For example, a more likely criminal scenario involving our factory worker and CEO would involve the factory worker vandalizing a local business and the CEO committing serious fraud to avoid giving up part of his wealth. The factory worker committing vandalism has committed a blue-collar crime. If caught, he would be fined and probably arrested, possibly even spending several months in prison. The CEO committing fraud has committed a white-collar crime. Even if someone calls him into question or he is caught, he would likely only receive a slap on the wrist. A government study found that, as of 2009, those actually convicted of fraud were punished with a fine yet ended up paying less than 10% of what they owed by hiding some of their assets.

Corporate vs. Organized Crime
Watch: Corporate vs. Organized Crime(4:32)
There are two other types of crime that run parallel to white-collar and blue-collar crime but are committed by entire organizations instead of just individuals. Corporate crime refers to illegal action by a company or by someone acting on its behalf. It ranges from knowingly selling faulty or unsafe products to purposely polluting the environment. Parallel to white-collar crime, most cases of corporate crime receive little to no punishment and many are never even known to the public.

There is also organized crime, which refers to illegal goods or services being provided by a business or group of people. It includes selling illegal drugs, fencing stolen items, loan sharking, and more. Most people would probably associate organized crime with the mafia. While the mafia is a good example, they are not the only criminal organizations.


How American Rich Kids Bought Their Way Into the British Elite
The nouveau riche of the Gilded Age had buckets of money but little social standing—until they started marrying their daughters to titled, but cash-strapped, British nobles

By Angela Serratore
AUGUST 13, 2013
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39 9 131 45 5 3.1K
Image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/marlborough-vanderbilt-wedding-history-small.jpg

image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/wedding1-500×348.jpg

From “The Marlborough-Vanderbilt Wedding,” Chicago Tribune, 1895.

Consuelo Vanderbilt’s wedding day had finally arrived, and all of New York (and then some) was aflutter. Crowds lined Fifth Avenue, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride on her way to St. Thomas Episcopal Church. She was quite possibly the most celebrated of all the young heiresses who captured the attention of Gilded Age Americans, and her wedding was the peak of a trend that had, in recent decades, taken the world by storm: American girls, born to the richest men in the country, marrying British gentlemen with titles and centuries of noble lineage behind them.

Consuelo’s catch was considered one of the finest—Charles Spencer-Churchill, the future Ninth Duke of Marlborough, who stood to become lord of Blenheim, an estate second only to Buckingham Palace. The bride, already considered American royalty, would become a duchess, bestowing upon her family the highest social standing (for which her mother, Alva, who was often snubbed by “old New York”, and who viewed her husband’s money as gauche, was desperate).

And yet on November 6, 1895, the bride was less than thrilled:

I spent the morning of my wedding day in tears and alone; no one came near me. A footman had been posted at the door of my apartment and not even my governess was admitted. Like an automaton I donned the lovely lingerie with its real lace and the white silk stockings and shoes…. I felt cold and numb as I went down to meet my father and the bridesmaids who were waiting for me.

image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/consuelo_vanderbilt98.jpg

Consuelo Vanderbilt. Wikimedia Commons.

Conseulo Vanderbilt loved another—a rich other, but an American without a title or an English country estate. But her marriage to Marlborough was non-negotiable.

Beginning in the 1870s, American girls with money had been flocking to Britain in droves, ready to exchange railroad cash and mining stocks for the right to call themselves “Lady.” (“Downton Abbey” fans will surely recognize Cora Crawley as one of their ilk.) The appeal was clear. The heiresses, unlikely to be admitted to the highest ranks of New York society, would gain entry to an elite social world, and who needed Mrs. Astor’s drawing room when she could keep company with HRH the Prince of Wales?

And Britain’s upper crust would get a much-needed infusion of cash. For a British gentleman to work for money was unthinkable. But by the end of the 19th century it cost more to run a country estate than the estate could make for itself, and the great houses slid dangerously close to disrepair. By marrying a Vanderbilt or a Whitney, a future duke could ensure not just the survival of his family’s land and name, but also a life enhanced by easy access to money, something he certainly wouldn’t get if he married a peer.

By 1895 (a year in which America sent nine daughters to the peerage), the formula had coalesced into a relatively simple process. Mothers and their daughters would visit London for the social season, relying upon friends and relatives who had already made British matches to make introductions to eligible young men. Depending on the fortunes of the girl in question, several offers would be fielded, and her parents, weighing social and financial investments and returns, would make a selection. So such marriages were basically transactional alliances. Even in 1874, the union of Jennie Jerome and Lord Randolph Churchill—which would give the Western world both Winston Churchill and a great deal to talk about—would reflect the beginnings of the trend.

Born in Brooklyn in 1854, dark-haired Jennie captivated Lord Randolph, son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, with startling suddenness. Within three days of their initial meeting, Jennie and Randolph announced their plans to marry.

image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/jennie.jpg

Jennie Jerome in the 1880s. Wikimedia Commons.

Neither the Jeromes nor the Randolphs were thrilled. Jennie’s parents thought Lord Randolph, in proposing to their daughter before consulting with them, was in serious breach of etiquette. Not to mention that, as a second son, he wouldn’t inherit his father’s title.

The Randolphs were aghast at their son’s choice of an American bride from a family no one knew anything about, and the more they learned about the Jeromes, the more they disliked the match. Leonard Jerome, Jennie’s father, was a flamboyant speculator in stocks and a noted chaser of comely opera singers; her mother, Clara, was occasionally accused of having Iroquois ancestry. Despite owning property in the right part of town (the Jerome Mansion stood at the corner of 26th Street and Madison Avenue), the Jeromes were not considered worthy of the upper echelons of New York society.

Jerome, the duke wrote to his lovestruck son, “drives about six and eight horses in New York (one may take this as an indication of what the man is).” Despite his daughter’s charms, he was a person “no man in his sense could think respectable.”

The Jeromes, though, had two advantages that could not be overlooked. The first was a personal endorsement of the match by Edward, Prince of Wales, who had met Jennie in social settings and liked her. The second was pecuniary.

Randolph had no money of his own, and the measly allowance his father provided would not have been enough for the couple to live on. The Jeromes would be aligning themselves with one of Britain’s most noble families, and for that they were expected to pay handsomely. Leonard Jerome came up with 50,000 pounds plus a 1,000-pound yearly allowance for Jennie (something unheard-of in British families), and the deal was done. In April 1874, Jennie and Randolph were married.

Seven months after the wedding, Lady Randolph gave birth to Winston. (She claimed a fall had induced premature labor, but the baby appeared full-term.) A second followed in 1880, though motherhood did not seem to have slowed Jennie’s quest for excitement. She and Randolph both had extramarital affairs (she, it was rumored, with the Prince of Wales, even as she remained close with Princess Alexandra, his wife), though they remained married until his death, in 1895. (The jury is still out on whether he died of syphilis contracted during extracurricular activities.)

Jennie came to have great influence over the political careers of her husband and son, and remained a force on the London social scene into the 20th century. She also came to represent what the British saw as the most vital kind of American girl—bright, intelligent and a bit headstrong. When Jennie’s essay “American Women in Europe” was published in the Pall Mall Magazine in 1903, she asserted, “the old prejudices against them, which mostly arose out of ignorance, have been removed, and American women are now appreciated as they deserve.” They were beautiful (Jennie Chamberlain, an heiress from Cleveland, so charmed the Prince of Wales he followed her from house party to house party during one mid-1880s social season), well-dressed (they could afford it) and worldly in a way their English counterparts were not. As Jennie Churchill wrote:

They are better read, and have generally traveled before they make their appearance in the world. Whereas a whole family of English girls are educated by a more or less incompetent governess, the American girl in the same condition of life will begin from her earliest age with the best professors…by the time she is eighteen she is able to assert her views on most things and her independence in all.

Despite their joie de vivre, not all American brides were as adaptable as Lady Randolph, and their marriages not as successful. The Marlborough-Vanderbilt match, for one, was significantly less harmonious.

Alva Vanderbilt determined early on that only a noble husband would be worthy of her daughter. She and a team of governesses managed Consuelo’s upbringing in New York and Newport, Rhode Island, where the heiress studied French, music and other disciplines a lady might need as a European hostess. Consuelo was meek, deferring to her mother on most matters. Before the wedding she was described by the Chicago Tribune as having “ all the naive frankness of a child,” an affectation that may have endeared her to the American public, but would be no match for the heir to Blenheim. After they met at the home of Minnie Paget (nee Stevens), a minor American heiress who acted as a sort of matchmaker, Alva went to work ensuring the union would take place. It was settled that the groom would receive $2.5 million in shares of stock owned by Consuelo’s father, who would also agree to guarantee the yearly sum of $100,000 to each half of the couple.

image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/439px-Duke_Marlborough_Singer_Sargent-366×500.jpg

The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough with their children. Painted by John Singer Sargent in 1905. From To Marry an English Lord.

“Sunny,” as the future duke was known, made little effort to hide his reasons for favoring an American bride; Blenheim Palace needed repairs his family couldn’t afford. After the wedding (it is rumored that in the carriage ride after the ceremony, Sunny coldly informed Consuelo of the lover waiting for him in England) he went about spending her dowry restoring the family seat to glory.

Consuelo, for her part, was less than pleased with her new home:

Our own rooms, which faced east, were being redecorated, so we spent the first three months in a cold and cheerless apartment looking north. They were ugly, depressing rooms, devoid of the beauty and comforts my own home had provided.

Unlike her previous American residences, Blenheim lacked indoor plumbing, and many of the rooms were drafty. Once installed there, some 65 miles from London, Consuelo would travel little until the next social season (she was lucky, though; some American brides wound up on estates in the North of England, where getting to the capital more than once a year was unthinkable), and in the drawing room she was forced to answer questions nightly about whether she was yet in the family way. If Consuelo failed to produce an heir, the dukedom would pass to Winston Churchill (Lady Randolph’s son), something the current duchess of Marlborough was loath to see happen.

Consuelo and Sunny’s relationship deteriorated. He returned to the womanizing he’d done before their marriage, and she looked elsewhere for comfort, engaging for a time in a relationship with her husband’s cousin, the Hon. Reginald Fellowes. These dalliances were not enough to keep the Marlboroughs happy, and in 1906, barely ten years after their wedding, they separated, divorcing in 1921.

If the Vanderbilt-Marlborough marriage was the high point of the American ascent to the noble realm, it was also the beginning of a backlash. Sunny’s courtship of Consuelo was seen as almost mercenary, and the men who followed him in the hunt for an heiress looked even worse. When Alice Thaw, daughter of a Pittsburgh railroad magnate, agreed to marry the earl of Yarmouth in 1903, she hardly could have guessed that on the morning of her wedding the groom would be arrested for failure to pay outstanding debts and that she would have to wait at the church while her intended and her father renegotiated her dowry.

image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/tumblr_m2pg3qIy6q1qakblyo1_500.png

“The Yarmouth-Thaw Wedding Pictures,” the Pittsburgh Press, 1903.

American fathers, too, began to doubt the necessity of having a duchess in the family. Frank Work, whose daughter Frances’ marriage to James Burke Roche, Baron Fermoy, would end with Frances accusing her husband of desertion, went on record as strongly opposing the practice of trading hard-earned money for louche husbands with impressive names. His 1911 obituary, printed in the New-York Tribune, quoted from an earlier interview:

It’s time this international marrying came to a stop for our American girls are ruining our own country by it. As fast as our honorable, hard working men can earn this money their daughters take it and toss it across the ocean. And for what? For the the purpose of a title and the privilege of paying the debts of so-called noblemen! If I had anything to say about it, I’d make an international marriage a hanging offense.

Ideal marriages, wealthy fathers thought, were like the 1896 match between Gertrude Vanderbilt and Henry Payne Whitney, wherein American money stayed put and even had the chance to multiply.

Much of the Gilded Age matchmaking that united the two nations occurred under the reign of Edward VII, who as Prince of Wales encouraged social merriment equal to that of his mother Queen Victoria’s sobriety. When Edward died, in 1910, the throne passed to his son George V, who, along with his British-bred wife, Mary, curtailed the excess that had characterized his father’s leadership of Britain’s leisure class. Nightly private parties throughout a social season began to seem vulgar as Europe moved closer to war. In New York, Newport and Chicago, the likes of Caroline Astor began to cede social power to the nouveaux riche they had once snubbed, and as the American economy became the domain of men like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, their daughters had little reason to spend their inheritances restoring 17th-century castles when they could stay home and be treated as royalty by the press and the public.

Though American girls quit looking for husbands across the pond, the influence of the ones who did become duchesses and baronesses left an indelible mark on the British landscape. American women financed the repair and restoration of once-shabby estates like Blenheim and Wrotham Park, backed political ambitions (Mary Leiter, a department-store heiress from Chicago, used her father’s money to help her husband, George Curzon, become the viceroy of India), and, in the case of Jennie Jerome, gave birth to children who would lead Britain squarely into the 20th century.

The women, too, were changed. Jennie Jerome, after her husband’s death, married two more Englishmen (one of them younger than her son Winston), and other American girls who divorced or outlived their first husbands stayed on in their adoptive country, occasionally marrying other peers and tending to the political and marital careers of their children.

image: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/files/2013/08/Consuelo_Vanderbilt_mit_Winston_Churchill-500×416.jpg

Consuelo Vanderbilt and Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace, 1902. Wikimedia Commons.

After she divorced Sunny, Consuelo Vanderbilt married Lt. Jacques Balsan, a French balloonist and airplane pilot, and the two would remain together until his death in 1956, living primarily in a château 50 miles from Paris and, later, a massive Palm Beach estate Consuelo called Casa Alva, in honor of her mother.

Consuelo’s autobiography, The Glitter and the Gold, appeared in 1953 and detailed just how miserable she’d been as the Duchess of Marlborough. But perhaps, during her time as a peer of the realm, something about that life took hold of Consuelo and never quite let go. She died on Long Island in 1964, having asked her family to secure her a final resting place at Blenheim.


Balsan, Consuelo, The Glitter and the Gold, 1953; Lady Randolph Churchill, “American Women in Europe,” Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine, 1903; DePew, Chauncey, Titled Americans 1890: A List of American Ladies Who Have Married Foreigners of Rank; MacColl, Gail, and Wallace, Carol McD., To Marry an English Lord, Workman Publishing, 1989; Sebba, Anne, American Jennie: The Remarkable Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, W.W. Norton & Company, 2007; Cannadine, David, The Rise and Fall of the British Aristocracy, Vintage, 1999; Lovell, Mary S., The Churchills, Little Brown, 2011; Stuart, Amanda Mackenzie, Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and Mother in the Gilded Age, Harper Perennial, 2005; “Frank Work Dead at 92”, New-York Tribune, 17 March 1911; “The Marriage of Marlborough and Vanderbilt,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 27 October 1895; “She is Now a Duchess,” New York Times, 7 November 1895.

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How Money Changes The Way We Think And Behave
01/06/2014 10:24 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
4.1 K
Carolyn Gregoire Senior Writer, The Huffington Post
The term “affluenza” — a portmanteau of affluence and influenza, defined as a “painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste, resulting from the dogged pursuit of more” — is often dismissed as a silly buzzword created to express our cultural disdain for consumerism. Though often used in jest, the term may have more truth than many of us would like to think.

Affluenza was even used as a defense in a recent, highly publicized drunk driving trial in Texas, where a 16-year-old boy claimed that his family’s wealth should exempt him from responsibility for the deaths of four people. The boy got off with 10 years’ probation and therapy (which his family will pay for), angering many for what they saw as the law’s unfair leniency.

Psychologist G. Dick Miller, who acted as an expert witness for the defense, argued that the boy was suffering from affluenza, which may have kept him from comprehending the full consequence of his actions.

“I wish I had not used that term,” Miller later told CNN. “Everyone seems to have hooked on to it.”

Whether affluenza is real or imagined, money really does change everything, as the song goes — and those of high social class do tend to see themselves much differently than others. Wealth (and the pursuit of it) has been linked with immoral behavior — and not just in movies like The Wolf of Wall Street. Psychologists who study the impact of wealth and inequality on human behavior have found that money can powerfully influence our thoughts and actions in ways that we’re often not aware of, no matter our economic circumstances. Although wealth is certainly subjective, most of the current research measures wealth on scales of income, job status or measures of socioeconomic circumstances, like educational attainment and intergenerational wealth.

Here are seven things you should know about the psychology of money and wealth.

More money, less empathy?

[Image: monopoly game]

Several studies have shown that wealth may be at odds with empathy and compassion. Research published in the journal Psychological Science also found that people of lower economic status were better at reading others’ facial expressions — an important marker of empathy — than wealthier people.

“A lot of what we see is a baseline orientation for the lower class to be more empathetic and the upper class to be less [so],” study co-author Michael Kraus told TIME. “Lower-class environments are much different from upper-class environments. Lower-class individuals have to respond chronically to a number of vulnerabilities and social threats. You really need to depend on others so they will tell you if a social threat or opportunity is coming and that makes you more perceptive of emotions.”

While a lack of resources fosters greater emotional intelligence, having more resources can cause bad behavior in its own right. University of Berkeley research found that even fake money could make people behave with less regard for others. Researchers observed that when two students played monopoly, one having been given a great deal more Monopoly money than the other, the wealthier player expressed initial discomfort, but then went on to act aggressively, taking up more space and moving his pieces more loudly, and even taunts the player with less money.

Wealth can cloud moral judgment.

[Image: morality]

It is no surprise in this post-2008 world to learn that wealth may cause a sense of moral entitlement. A UC Berkeley study found that in San Francisco — where the law requires that cars stop at crosswalks for pedestrians to pass — drivers of luxury cars were four times less likely than those in less expensive vehicles to stop and allow pedestrians the right of way. They were also more likely to cut off other drivers.

Another study suggested that merely thinking about money could lead to unethical behavior. Researchers from Harvard and the University of Utah found that study participants were more likely to lie or behave immorally after being exposed to money-related words.

“Even if we are well intentioned, even if we think we know right from wrong, there may be factors influencing our decisions and behaviors that we’re not aware of,” University of Utah associate management professor Kristin Smith-Crowe, one of the study’s co-authors, told MarketWatch.

Wealth has been linked with addiction.

[Image: alcoholism]

While money itself doesn’t cause addiction or substance abuse, wealth has been linked with a higher susceptibility to addiction problems. A number of studies have found that affluent children are more vulnerable to substance abuse issues, potentially because of high pressure to achieve and isolation from parents. Studies also found that kids who come from wealthy parents aren’t necessary exempt from adjustment problems — in fact, research found that on several measures of maladjustment, high school studies of high socioeconomic status received higher scores than inner-city students. Researchers found that these children may be more likely to internalize problems, which has been linked with substance abuse.

But it’s not just adolescents: Even in adulthood, the rich outdrink the poor by more than 27 percent.

Money itself can become addictive.

[Image: money rich]

The pursuit of wealth itself can also become a compulsive behavior. As Psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton explained, a compulsive need to acquire money is often considered part of a class of behaviors known as process addictions, or “behavioral addictions,” which are distinct from substance abuse:

These days, the idea of process addictions is widely accepted. Process addictions are addictions that involve a compulsive and/or an out of control relationship with certain behaviors such as gambling, sex, eating and yes, even money… There is a change in brain chemistry with a process addiction that’s similar to the mood altering effects of alcohol or drugs. With process addictions engaging in a certain activity, say viewing pornography, compulsive eating or an obsessive relationship with money, can kick start the release of brain/body chemicals, like dopamine, that actually produce a “high” that’s similar to the chemical high of a drug. The person who is addicted to some form of behavior has learned, albeit unconsciously, to manipulate his own brain chemistry.

While a process addiction is not a chemical addiction, it does involve compulsive behavior — in this case, an addiction to the good feeling that comes from receiving money or possessions — which can ultimately lead to negative consequences and harm the individual’s well-being. Addiction to spending money — sometimes known as shopaholism — is another, more common type of money-associated process addiction.

Wealthy children may be more troubled.

[Image: rich kids of instagram]

Children growing up in wealthy families may seem to have it all, but having it all may come at a high cost. Wealthier children tend to be more distressed than lower-income kids, and are at high risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, cheating and stealing. Research has also found high instances of binge-drinking and marijuana use among the children of high-income, two-parent, white families.

“In upwardly mobile communities, children are often pressed to excel at multiple academic and extracurricular pursuits to maximize their long-term academic prospects — a phenomenon that may well engender high stress,” psychologist Suniya Luthar in “The Culture Of Affluence.” “At an emotional level, similarly, isolation may often derive from the erosion of family time together because of the demands of affluent parents’ career obligations and the children’s many after-school activities.”

We tend to perceive the wealthy as “evil.”

[Image: mansion]

On the other side of the spectrum, lower-income individuals are likely to judge and stereotype those who are wealthier than themselves, often judging the wealthy as being “cold.” (Though it is also true that the poor struggle with their own set of societal stereotypes.)

Rich people tend to be a source of envy and distrust, so much so that we may even take pleasure in their struggles, according to Scientific American. University of Pennsylvania research demonstrated that most people tend to link perceived profits with perceived social harm. When participants were asked to assess various companies and industries (some real, some hypothetical), both liberals and conservatives ranked institutions perceived to have higher profits with greater evil and wrong-doing across the board, independent of the company or industry’s actions in reality.

Money can’t buy happiness (or love).

[Image: mountaintop couple]

We tend to seek money and power in our pursuit of success (and who doesn’t want to be successful, after all?), but it may be getting in the way of the things that really matter: Happiness and love.

There is no direct correlation between income and happiness. After a certain level of income that can take care of basic needs and relieve strain (some say $50,000 a year, some say $75,000), wealth makes hardly any difference to overall well-being and happiness and, if anything, only harms well-being: Extremely affluent people actually suffer from higher rates of depression. Some data has suggested money itself doesn’t lead to dissatisfaction — instead, it’s the ceaseless striving for wealth and material possessions that may lead to unhappiness. Materialistic values have even been linked with lower relationship satisfaction.

But here’s something to be happy about: More Americans are beginning to look beyond money and status when it comes to defining success in life. Only around one-quarter of Americans still believe that wealth determines success, according to a 2013 LifeTwist study.

Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski are taking The Third Metric on a 3-city tour: NY, DC & LA. Tickets are on sale now at thirdmetric.com.


What the 1% Don’t Want Us to Know
April 18, 2014
The median pay for the top 100 highest-paid CEOs at America’s publicly traded companies was a handsome $13.9 million in 2013. That’s a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new Equilar pay study for The New York Times.

These types of jumps in executive compensation may have more of an effect on our widening income inequality than previously thought. A new book that’s the talk of academia and the media, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners.

This week, Bill talks with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, about Piketty’s “magnificent” new book.

“What Piketty’s really done now is he said, ‘Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on.’ He’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth.”

Krugman adds: “We’re seeing inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagined we’re nothing like.”

Producer: Gina Kim. Segment Producer: Lena Shemel. Editor: Rob Kuhns. Intro Producer: Lena Shemel. Editor: Sikay Tang. Outro Producer: Rob Booth.
Editor: Sikay Tang.

Wealth Inequality in America, Perception vs Reality




Social stratification is a society’s categorization of people into socioeconomic strata, based upon their occupation and income, wealth and social status, or derived power (social and political). As such, stratification is the relative social position of persons within a social group, category, geographic region, or social unit. In modern Western societies, social stratification typically is distinguished as three social classes: (i) the upper class, (ii) the middle class, and (iii) the lower class; in turn, each class can be subdivided into strata, e.g. the upper-stratum, the middle-stratum, and the lower stratum.[1] Moreover, a social stratum can be formed upon the bases of kinship or caste, or both.

The categorization of people by social strata occurs in all societies, ranging from the complex, state-based societies to tribal and feudal societies, which are based upon socio-economic relations among classes of nobility and classes of peasants. Historically, whether or not hunter-gatherer societies can be defined as socially stratified or if social stratification began with agriculture and common acts of social exchange, remains a debated matter in the social sciences.[2] Determining the structures of social stratification arises from inequalities of status among persons, therefore, the degree of social inequality determines a person’s social stratum. Generally, the greater the social complexity of a society, the more social strata exist, by way of social differentiation

The Key Factors For Social Stratification Sociology Essay
Published: 23, March 2015

As a key factor, the social stratification lies at the core of sociology, which affects our life everyday. Conceptually, the social stratification is defined as: ‘A system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy.’ (Macionis & Plummer, 2008, p. 232.)

In daily community life, individuals are stratified into various hierarchies of class, age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and etc. Some of those are divided by the nature law and others by the social law. The next few paragraph will focus on the dimension of social law and explain how the related rule of stratification, the class, works in community life. The essay will argue that class permeates in community life.

“The class stratification is a form of social stratification in which a society tends to divide into separate classes whose members have differential access to resources and power.” (Breen, Richard, and David Rottman,1995.) There is always a gap of economy and culture between different classes. Individuals are always born into their class, and then there would be flows between different level of classes through the social mobility.


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The wealth would usually be the source power for the class stratification. When people who are on the same economic and cultural level appear the difference between much more wealthier or less wealthier, it begins. Following the change of time, a large number of wealth is congregated into the hand of a small number of people. When the difference between people becomes rich and poor, so that people spread out more from one another economically, the social class is set up. At that time, due to people are no longer belonging to the same economic level, the cultural gap appears. On the other hand, it is not possible for people of different class to roll back to the same start line. The lower class loses more of its influence and wealth as the upper class gains more influence and wealth, further dividing the classes from one another.

As the product of the class stratification, the social class is usually defined as economic or cultural arrangements of group in society. In the modern Western context, the social class is always stratified into three layers: upper class, middle class, and lower class. Each class may be further subdivided into smaller classes.

Stratified according to these rules, there are three levels in Australia’s social class: upper class, middle class and the working class. Mainly by the upper class who is in control, and the owners of capital. The middle class includes those people who take non-manual. Some in this class of professional doctors, accountants, engineers and so on. Mainly by working class occupations, in essence, is the manual.

When it comes to symbols, which show the class are not all adjacent to the two classes can give a clear dividing line. The upper class can wear expensive clothes, driving expensive cars and living in senior housing market.



It’s not a money talk society. “Take clothes for example, other than money, there are other factors that influence the clothes that a person may choose to put on. For example some well-off teenagers may have clothes in line with the fashion more that those that would be said to be of their class.”(social Australia) In this rule, someone can dress in a style which rather than his class. In the same way, in middle class they may wear expensive clothes and buy fancy cars from a loan. The upper class symbols are such things as the entertainment preference, engagement in certain types of sporting activities, like golf, racing boats, GPmoto, and so on.

The social mobility, it has own definitions, features and some different types of mobility in essence ,and its a great thing to discuss the justice problem of those major types of social mobility, all of these things refers to the degree to which an individual’s or group’s status is able to change in terms of position in the social hierarchy. “On some facts, material wealth and the ability of an agent to move up the class system. Such a change may be described as “vertical mobility,” in contrast to a more general change in position” (Bertaux, Daniel & Thomson Paul , 1997)

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So we can get that mobility is enabled to a varying and debatable extent by economic capital, cultural capital (such as higher education or an authoritative accent), human capital , social capital ,physical capital , and symbolic capital .compared with history, In modern nation states, policy issues such as welfare, medicine, education and public transport . In other societies religious affiliation, caste membership, or simple geography may be of central importance. The extent to which a nation is open and meritocratic is fundamental: a society in which traditional or religious caste systems dominate is unlikely to present the opportunity for social mobility.

There are some unique but common phenomenon in societies, which is slavery and its an example of low social mobility because, For the enslaved people, in fact, there is no upward mobility, and their owner, is actually illegal downward.

Social mobility is discuss upward, but it is a double sided phenomena, it has upward mobility, and may have relative downward mobility. If merit and fortune play a larger role in life chances than the luck of birth, someone may manage their social position, and someone may also move downward relative to others. This is the risk of be in power, to encourage people in power to increasingly devise and commission political, law, education, and allow them strengthen their economic mechanism. But, through control this trend, it s possible in a growing economy for there to be greater upward mobility than downward ,as has been the case in Western Europe.

Official or legally recognized class designations do not exist in modern western democracies and it is considered possible for individuals to move from poverty to wealth or political prominence within one generation. Despite this formal opportunity for social mobility, recent research suggests that Britain and particularly the United States have less social mobility than the Nordic countries and Canada. These authors state that “the idea of the US as ‘the land of opportunity’ persists; and clearly seems misplaced.”( Jo Blanden; Paul Gregg and Stephen Machin (April 2005). “Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America” (PDF). The Sutton Trust.)( Matthew Taylor (25 April 2005). “UK low in social mobility league, says charity”. London: The Guardian.)( Obstacles to social mobility weaken equal opportunities and economic growth, says OECD study, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Economics Department, 10/02/2010.)

Not only in countries of different types of social mobility, it can also change over time. Comparison of the United States the United Kingdom, existing between the two countries in different historical periods have different degree of social mobility. In the long run, from the mid-19th century, the United States with low inequality and social mobility is very high. In the 19th century, the United States has far higher than the social mobility in Britain, as in ordinary schools movement and open public school system, the greater the agricultural sector, and high geographic mobility of the U.S.. However, in the 20th and 21st century, half of the social dynamics between the two countries the differences have narrowed, because there are two countries, growing social inequality, especially in the United States. In other words, the individual’s family background, social status is more than today’s forecast is 1850.

In this long river, it takes several centuries in social mobility and across types of countries, it can also continue for a long time. Comparing the United States to the United Kingdom, “This progress persist over two countries during different historical periods. In the United States in the mid-19th century inequality was low and social mobility was high. In the late 19th century, the U.S. had much higher social mobility than in the UK, due to the common school movement and open public school system, a larger farming sector, as well as higher geographic mobility in the United States”(new world encyclopedia)

The most typical examples in American upward mobility include Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton, who were born into working-class families yet achieved high political office in adult life, and Andrew Carnegie, was a poor immigrants when he first arrived in America, then became a steel magnate. Examples from other countries include Ramsay MacDonald was a farm worker and baby sitter became the UK’s first prime minister. Joseph Cook, was a miner when he was nine and became Australian prime minister.

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To sum up, the inequity, especially in wealth area, give the birth to the social class. Under the social stratification, the social mobility makes the community life changeable. Leading upward or downward social mobility effectively is the key for the stability of the community life.

Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer “Rich people don’t create jobs”


Social inequality is the existence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions or statuses within a group or society. Let’s examine some causes and effects of poverty and test our knowledge with a quiz.
Definition of Social Inequality
Watch: Definition (0:18)
Social inequality is the existence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions or statuses within a group or society. Although the United States differs from most European nations that have a titled nobility, the U.S. is still highly stratified. Social inequality has several important dimensions. Income is the earnings from work or investments, while wealth is the total value of money and other assets minus debts. Other important dimensions include power, occupational prestige, schooling, ancestry, and race and ethnicity.

Causes of Social Inequality
Watch: Causes (0:54)
There is little question that many people in the U.S. are better off than most other people in the world. That being said, poverty also impacts millions of people in the U.S. Why do such social inequalities exist? Let’s examine the two prevailing explanations of poverty: blaming the poor and blaming society.

One approach to explain poverty is to blame the poor – that the poor are responsible for their own poverty. There is some evidence to support this theory, because the main reason people are poor is the lack of employment. According to this view, society has plenty of opportunities for people to realize the American dream, and people are poor because they lack the motivation, skills, or schooling to find work.

Another approach to explain poverty is to blame society- that society is responsible for poverty. While it is true that unemployment is a main contributor to poverty, the reasons people don’t work are more in line with this approach. Loss of jobs in the inner city is a major contributor to poverty. There simply isn’t enough work to support families.


Unequal – social inequalities in health

is what you “understand” programed into you by the rich?

are we told just to “Man up”?

Humanity Divided: Confronting Inequality in Developing Countries

system or genetics? or something more? spiritual problem?

self imposed addictions or modified programmable behavior by a system leading to controlable identies that those control will not question because those who control “believe” what they feel/think/create about themselves as created and so did the “others” they convince in that “system”?

environment or “something more”?

does pollution we are exposed part of the “programming” of society? is pollution a part of “unethical human experimaentaion to punish humans not fit to live”?

are we conditioned to desire “effecincy” and “more” without “limits” and come to “expect it”? why?