Social Stratisfication

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Marxism Pages: 5 (980 words) Published: May 15, 2013
Social Stratification:
* Social stratification refers to a situation in which people are divided into distinct groups ranked at different levels. The Hindu caste system is an example different castes have different levels of status depending on their supposed degree of religious purity. * Those at different levels in a stratification system may developa common subculture or way of life. TERMS ASSOCIATED TO STRATIFICATION

* Status: this refers to the amount of honour and prestige enjoyed by a person occupying a particular role in society. It is ascribed meaning fixed at birth or achieved status a person achieves during his/her lifetime. Parsons stated that traditional socisties have ascribed statuses and modern societies have achieved statuses. * According to WEBER status was derived from the amount of social honour or prestige an individual was accorded by other members of the society. * Status or honour is usually expressed by lifestyle * Status varies both within and between stratas

* Accodring to WEBER: the newly rich did not enjoy the same status as those who were born into wealth. E.g. a garbage collectors or a labourer who wins the lottery, would not be accorded the same degree of social honour or prestige as those who were born into wealth. * Social Class: socity is stratified on the basis of a social class system based on economic rewards (Popenoe 2000). * The class system is viewed as being fair as mobility is dependent upon hard work and achievement rather than ascription. * The class system is characterized by both hierarchy and stability (Popenoe 2000) * Theorists view (international):

* MARX: clases came about because the differences in income and wealth were so great the one small dominant group exploited the labout of other, a large mass of” propertyless” who owned nothing but their labour. * It is a key aspect of capitalist society having two major classes: a ruling class: Bourgeoisie and subject class: proletariat. * The ruling class uses the superstructure (political and legal system) to legitimize or justify position and prevent protests by the subject class. * Capitalism is the newest type of class society but it will also be the last. Eventually it will be replaced by a communist society in which the means of production (land, capital, factories, machinery etc.) * CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS: when working class unites to overthrow the bourgeoisie, e.g. MSJ representing the idea of working class mobility wishes to overthrow the powerful few. * Caribbean perspective

* All societies, share certain functional prerequisites. * One of these is role allocation- ensuring that roles are filled and performed effectively and conscientiously by properly trained people. Some jobs are more functionally important and some people have more ability than others. * To match the most able to the most important jobs. * Ensure that tedious unpleasant or dangerous jobs are filled, a rewards system is needed. * The better rewarded form a higher stratum

* This process is inevitable for society as it helps society to function better. * Criticisms
* According to Melvin Tumin
* Low paid and unskilled jobs just as vital as higher paid or more skilled jobs. * Stratification systems can demotivated those at the bottom * Stratification systems encourage hostility, suspicion and distrust. Marxist-based social theory which argues that individuals and groups (social classes) within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources (the wealthy vs. the poor) and that the more powerful groups use their power in...
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