How does wealth factor into our understanding of social class? Can incorporating dimensions of wealth and housing improve our models for social class? Although Max Weber defined class as connected to economic interests across multiple markets, dimensions of wealth and housing appear less often in studies of social class than those related to the income, occupation, and education. Wealth, however, is a central component for determining life chances. Wealth provides occupational and entrepreneurial opportunities within the labor market, it supports and funds education, and it creates added protection in times of financial distress. It also has the potential to help social scientists better define and measure social class. I use recent Canadian Survey of Financial Security (SFS) data to discuss some of the potential connections between wealth, housing, income, and education and push for a broader understanding of social class that incorporates wealth. I then discuss how these analyses help to inform dimensions of the Great Canadian Class Study (GCCS), an on-going collaborative project where we are using multiple data sources to provide a better understanding of the complicated dynamics behind social class in Canada.
About the Speaker
Dr. Michelle Maroto is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta and Director for the Certificate in Applied Social Science Research. Her research interests include social stratification, gender and family, race and ethnicity, labor and credit markets, and disability studies. Her projects address the many dimensions of wealth inequality, the role of household structure in determining economic security, and labor market outcomes for people with different types of disabilities. In her current work on disability, Dr. Maroto has been working with Dr. David Pettinicchio and team of research assistants to survey and interview people with disabilities and chronic health conditions to better understand how they have been managing under COVID-19. In addition to this work, Dr. Maroto is currently embarking on a large-scale mixed methods project, The Great Canadian Class Study, that will bring together secondary data, multiple online surveys, and in-depth interviews to provide a better understanding of the complicated dynamics behind social class in Canada.
This event will be held virtually, via Zoom. Registration is required.