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Social Stratification

Sample Research Paper: Max Weber’s Theory of Social Stratification: What He Influenced

❶When Rome was colonizing much of the known world approximately 2, years ago, it routinely took slaves from the lands it conquered. The situation of the woman is again entirely dependent on the man, since the society would not accept a woman who did not perform her usual role as a wife and a mother.

Essay about social stratification

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However, it must be clearly understood that social stratification does not mean the classification individuals on the basis of their qualities. It means an established system of classifying groups involving a horizontal division of society into 'higher' and 'lower' social status. The system of social stratification not only bestows prestige and privileges among the groups and elites but also restricts opportunities available to the people.

As such, it involves a system of providing inequality among the groups and their members. However, it is not a haphazard system of inequality; it is source of systematic and structured inequality, a hierarchy of social classes and their roles and statuses.

An unstratified society with total and real equality of its members is a myth that has been not yet realized. Various social scientists have given their respective views about social stratification. They have defined it as a system or phenomena of structured or systematic inequality of ranking in the society.

Some definitions of social stratification are given here: Tumin iii Social Stratification is the process by which individuals and groups are ranked in a more or less an enduring hierarchy of status. It is manifested in the existence of upper and lower social layers.

In simple words, we can say that social stratification is the phenomena which lead to the emergence of several hierarchically placed classes in each society To sum up, we can say that by Social Stratification the people get hierarchically organized and placed into several groups on the basis of their positions or statuses and roles in society.

By it every person and every group in society gets a particular position in the social system. In very simple words: Social Stratification is the name of formation of a hierarchy of social levels or positions in society.

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Use the following code to link this page:. The behaviour of Indian political system clearly bears the influence of caste based social stratification of society.

Therefore, those who are poor or ill are suffering punishment for having done something wrong in a past life. Some might view reincarnation as religious tradition.

Others might view it asideology, a set of values that people devise to rationalize a particular social custom. In the case of the caste system, the custom being rationalized is inequality. If an individual is poor, for example, blaming his or her circumstances on what he or she did in a past life absolves others in the society of the responsibility for providing any assistance.

Ideology also attempts to explain why some are in positions of wealth and power. Hindu tradition would say that the wealthy and powerful are being rewarded for what they did in a past life, and therefore they deserve every privilege they have. The Five Castes The Indian caste system has existed for about 3, years. There were four original castes, and one caste so low that it was not even considered to be part of the caste system: The Brahman caste usually consisted of priests or scholars and enjoyed a great deal of prestige and wealth.

The Kshatriya caste, or warrior caste, was composed of those who distinguished themselves in military service. The Vaishva caste comprised two sets of people—business-people and skilled craftspeople. The Shudra caste consisted of those who made their living doing manual labor. The Harijan, Dalit, or Untouchable caste was thought to comprise only inferior people who were so repulsive that an individual who accidentally touched one would have to engage in extensive ritual ablutions to rid himself or herself of the contamination.

There is no social movement in a caste system. An individual born into the Harijan caste cannot change his or her fate. Nor can someone be demoted to a lower caste; the caste into which a person is born is the caste he or she will have for life. Castes and Work Caste dictates the type of work an individual is allowed to do. Members of the Shudra caste, for example, are relegated to performing hard physical work regardless of their skill, intelligence, or ambition. Those born into the Brahman caste must attend university or become a member of the clergy, even though they may show no interest or aptitude toward that end.

Traditionally, love is not used as a basis for marriage in a caste system. Rather, parents arrange marriages, sometimes when the future bride and groom are still children. The Indian concept of marriage is that while love is wonderful, it is neither a necessary nor desirable condition of marriage.

If the couple is considered compatible in terms of major demographic variables, then the marriage is considered appropriate. Caste is one of the important variables, along with religion and educational level. Because the distinctions between these numerous castes have blurred over time, some people marry outside their caste. In general, however, caste is still considered an important determinant of whom one will marry.

When people do marry outside of their caste, they are likely to marry someone whose caste is only a few levels away from their own. Friendships, and relationships in general, are rare among members of different castes. They neither live nor work near each other and rarely have any contact with one another. The term apartheid refers to the total separation of the races.

White Europeans colonized South Africa starting in the seventeenth century, and the area remained part of the British Empire until its independence in The policy of apartheid, introduced in , relegated black people to a caste far below that of whites. Black people could not vote, receive an education, or mix with whites in any way. The work of Nelson Mandela and others who fought for black equality have made apartheid illegal in South Africa, but, like the caste system in India, some prejudice and discrimination remain.

Those born within a class system can choose their educational level, careers, and spouses. Social mobility, or movement up or down the social hierarchy, is a major characteristic of the class system. Social class attributes, categories. For centuries, sociologists have analyzed social stratification, its root causes, and its effects on society.

Theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber disagreed about the nature of class, in particular. Other sociologists applied traditional frameworks to stratification. Karl Marx based his conflict theory on the idea that modern society has only two classes of people: The bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production: The proletariat are the workers.

According to Marx, the bourgeoisie in capitalist societies exploit workers. The owners pay them enough to afford food and a place to live, and the workers, who do not realize they are being exploited, have a false consciousness, or a mistaken sense, that they are well off. They think they can count on their capitalist bosses to do what was best for them. As the rich grew richer, Marx hypothesized that workers would develop a true class consciousness, or a sense of shared identity based on their common experience of exploitation by the bourgeoisie.

The workers would unite and rise up in a global revolution. Once the dust settled after the revolution, the workers would then own the means of production, and the world would become communist. No one stratum would control the access to wealth. Everything would be owned equally by everyone. As societies modernized and grew larger, the working classes became more educated, acquiring specific job skills and achieving the kind of financial well-being that Marx never thought possible.

Instead of increased exploitation, they came under the protection of unions and labor laws. Skilled factory workers and tradespeople eventually began to earn salaries that were similar to, or in some instances greater than, their middle-class counterparts. Social class for Weber included power and prestige, in addition to property or wealth. People who run corporations without owning them still benefit from increased production and greater profits.

Prestige and Property Weber argued that property can bring prestige, since people tend to hold rich people in high regard. Prestige can also come from other sources, such as athletic or intellectual ability.

In those instances, prestige can lead to property, if people are willing to pay for access to prestige. For Weber, wealth and prestige are intertwined. Power and Wealth Weber believed that social class is also a result of power, which is merely the ability of an individual to get his or her way, despite opposition.

Sociologists still consider social class to be a grouping of people with similar levels of wealth, prestige, and power. The Functionalist Perspective Sociologists Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore believed that stratification serves an important function in society.

In any society, a number of tasks must be accomplished. Some tasks, such as cleaning streets or serving coffee in a restaurant, are relatively simple. Other tasks, such as performing brain surgery or designing skyscrapers, are complicated and require more intelligence and training than the simple tasks. Those who perform the difficult tasks are therefore entitled to more power, prestige, and money. They believed that the rewards attached to a particular job reflect its importance to society.

He disagreed with their assumption that the relative importance of a particular job can always be measured by how much money or prestige is given to the people who performed those jobs.

That assumption made identifying important jobs difficult. Were the jobs inherently important, or were they important because people received great rewards to perform them? If society worked the way Davis and Moore had envisioned, Tumin argued, all societies would be meritocracies, systems of stratification in which positions are given according to individual merit. Ability would determine who goes to college and what jobs someone holds. Men are typically placed in a higher social stratification than women, regardless of ability.

A family with more money can afford to send its children to college. As college graduates, these children are more likely to assume high-paying, prestigious jobs. Conversely, people born into poverty are more likely to drop out of school and work low-paying jobs in order to survive, thereby shutting them off from the kinds of positions that are associated with wealth, power, and prestige.

Elite theory value, altimetry approach. Elite theory developed in part as a reaction to Marxism. It rejected the Marxian idea that a classless society having an egalitarian structure could be realized after class struggle in every society.

It regards Marxism as an ideology rather than an objective analysis of social systems. According to Elite theory man can never be liberated from the subjugation of an elite structure. The term Elite refers to those who excel. The classical elite theorists identify the governing elite in terms of superior personal qualities of those who exercise power. However later versions of elite theory places less emphasis on the personal qualities of the powerful and more on the institutional framework of the society.

They argued that the hierarchical organization of social institutions allows a minority to monopolize power. Another criticism of the elite theories against the Marxian view of distribution of power is that the ruling class too large and amorphous a group to be able to effectively wield power.

In their view power is always exercised by a small cohesive group of the elite. Elite theory argues that all societies are divided into two main groups a ruling minority and the ruled.

This situation is inevitable. If the proletarian revolution occurs it will merely result in the replacement of one ruling elite by another. Classical elite theory was propounded by Pareto and Mosca. Social mobility vertical, horizontal Social Mobility Individuals are recognized in society through the statuses they occupy and the roles they enact.

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Social stratification is a sociological phenomenon in which people in the society are placed in different ranks with reference to same economic conditions. Normally, there are those of a high standard and others of a low standard.

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Social stratification lies at the core of society and of the discipline of sociology. Social inequality is a fundamental aspect of virtually all social processes, and a person's position in the stratification system is the most consistent predictor of his or her behavior, attitudes, and life chances/5(10).

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- Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of individuals into divisions of power and wealth within a society. Social stratification relates to the socio-economic concept of class, consisting of the upper class, middle class, and lower class. This essay will give reasons to why social stratification is not entirely based on individual achievement, but also on discrimination, power, authority and wealth. What is Social Stratification? Social Stratification is a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy.

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social stratification essays Social stratification is a " system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy"(p). Stratification is society has four basic principles. First social stratification is a trait of society and not the differences created by individuals. Social Stratification Essay Social stratification defines any structure of inequality that persists in a society across generations. Social strata are groups of people — who belong to the same social class or have the same social level.