BIASIOLLI, FRANCIS CARROLL; PHD

                         UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, 1980
                         SOCIOLOGY, DEMOGRAPHY (0938)

                         Variations in regional, national, and international distributions of wealth, power, and income have
                         provided grist for sociological mills from the beginning of the discipline. This dissertation belongs to that
                         stream of analysis formed by the confluence of general conflict theory and world system analysis. These
                         two perspectives are brought together in a theoretical argument designed to explain first, the distribution
                         of wealth across social systems which are economically integrated in an industrial network, and secondly,
                         the distribution of income within the individual social systems themselves. The theoretical argument
                         developed and tested in this dissertation contends that: (1) Any economically integrated industrial
                         network can be divided into two basic regions or territories-- the Core (or Center) and the Periphery. The
                         distinction between these two structural positions arises largely from the fact that the Core region tends
                         to be more cohesive and in greater control of its internal development and growth than does the
                         Periphery. Growth and development in the Periphery is frequently the result of external forces and
                         influence. (2) Those factors which operate to determine structural location within the network influence
                         not only internal relations within social systems, such as internal distributions of power and resources, but
                         also external relations between social systems including, in particular, relations of dependency. (3) The
                         two structural regions (Core and Periphery) can each be further divided into core social systems and
                         peripheral areas. Here again the essential distinction is the degree of cohesion and domestic control of
                         growth and development. (4) The set of all core social systems (regardless of whether they lie in Core or
                         Periphery regions) can be arranged into a rough hierarchy based on relative ability to influence the
                         network economy. (5) The relative wealth of any of the core social systems, although the result of many
                         factors, is significantly affected by both position in the core hierarchy and structural location in the
                         network. (6) Each of these three factors (wealth, position in the core hierarchy, and structural location)
                         influences the internal distribution of power (both sociopolitical and socioeconomic) within social
                         systems. (7) The distribution of income within each core system is largely a reflection of the distributions
                         of sociopolitical and socioeconomic power found therein. This theoretical argument was expressed
                         graphically in a path model which was then tested, using structural equation techniques, on a
                         cross-sectional sample of one-hundred-and-fourteen SMSAs of the United States whose 1970
                         population was in excess of 250,000. The testing of the model tended to provide strong support for the
                         theoretical argument: over sixty percent of the variation in income concentration within the SMSAs of the
                         sample, over fifty percent of the variation in power concentration within the SMSAs of the sample, and
                         nearly fifty percent of the variation in wealth across the SMSAs of the sample was 'explained' by the
                         model. In the course of the analysis two findings emerged suggesting some modification of the model
                         and questions for further research. In the first place, although concentration of power accounted for
                         close to sixty percent of the variation in income concentration, inclusion of the other background
                         variables (structural location, position in the core hierarchy, and wealth) increased the proportion of
                         explained variance by some ten to twenty percent. This finding suggests that the impact of the
                         background variables on income concentration is not completely transmitted through the intervening
                         concentration of power variables as initially predicted. Secondly, and of greater interest, it appears that
                         the core (metropolitan) hierarchy is multidimensional with different dimensions of dominance or influence
                         leading to different structural consequences within the network and within social systems themselves.
                         The conclusion suggests that this multidimensional aspect of the stratification of social systems may
                         roughly parallel the class, status, and power dimensions of the stratification of individuals.


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