THE NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF STRATIFICATION
Meaning of Stratification
Stratification is an institutionalized pattern of inequality in which social categories are ranked on the basis of their access to scarce resources (Brinkeoff and White, 1988). “Strata” means “layers”
Social stratification is a system whereby people rank and evaluate each other as superior or inferior and on the basis of such evaluation, unequally reward one another with wealth, authority, power and prestige. Inequality refers to the unequal distribution of scarce resources such as: Wealth – how much of the resources of society are owned by certain individuals.
- includes income and properties
- it is an element of social stratification
Prestige – degree of honor one’s position evokes.
- is an element of status
Power – the degree to which one directs, manages, or dominates others BASIC PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
1. It is universal in nature.
2. The existence of a social stratification has many consequences for individuals and groups. 3. Social stratification is a characteristic of society. It is not simply a function of individual differences. 4. Social stratification persists over generation. It transcend from one generation to another. 5. Social stratification is supported by patterns of belief.
IMPORTANCE OF STRATIFICATION
1. Through stratification, men all over, dispel discrimination, stereotyping and prejudice. 2. Men will exert effort in competing with others to attain a status that commands power, privileges and opportunities. 3. Knowledge of social stratification may enable man to adapt to his social environment. 4. Improvement of man’s standard of living.
5. Effect economic development in a society.
6. Attainment of a harmonious and stable society.
THREE MAJOR TYPES OF STRATIFICATION SYSTEM
The Caste System- Pure caste system are closed, with no social mobility at all. The individual’s rank or position is fixed for life on the basis of ascribed or inherited characteristics. Within this system, the individual is simply born into a particular level called a caste and remains in that caste for life. Thus, mobility from one caste to another is impossible. Example of a caste system in India
- priest and scholars
- class of warriors
- merchant and farmers
- laborers and peasant
The Estate System- This system was characteristic of Europe during the medieval times. It is quite similar to the caste system in that it was relatively closed and rigid but mobility was possible. Three major feudal estates during the medieval times
- The kings, the nobles and the military aristocracy
-high-ranking religious leaders to the lower ranking
officials of the church. Peasantry
- farmers, laborers, serfs
The Estate System- In this system, an individual’s class position within the society is determined by his or her personal effort and ability rather than by factors relating to birth. Thus, there is a great deal of social mobility, with people moving up and down the class scale and everyone having an equal chance to attain social and economic rewards. CONSEQUENCES OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
Stratification affects life chances.
The members of a particular social class have more or less the same life chances of securing the good things in life, such as freedom, a high standard of living, leisure, deference, or whatever things that are highly valued in given society. Stratification affects life styles.
Social classes differ in what they learn, how they behave and how they regard the world around them. Stratification affects prestige.
one of the consequences of social stratification is the amount and kind of attention one receives. Thus, the higher the status of an individual the more likely he is to receive attention from others. THE SOCIAL CLASS
Meaning of Social Class
1. Social class refers to a group of...
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