Global StratificationImportant ideas are in (azul)…the second to last soclecture ever, woot!!
Systems of Social Stratification• Social stratification refers to a hierarchy ofprivilege based on property, power, andprestige.• Every society stratifies its members, and inevery society men as a group are placedabove women as a group
Systems of Social Stratification• Four major stratification systems are slavery,caste, estate, and class• The essential characteristic of slavery is thatsome people own other people• In a caste system, status is determined by birthand is lifelong.• The estate system of feudal Europe consisted ofthe nobility, clergy, and peasants• A class system is much more open than theseother systems, for it is based primarily on moneyor material possessions.
Systems of Social Stratification
What Determines Social Class?• Karl Marx argued that a single factordetermines social class: If you own the meansof production, you belong to the bourgeoisie;if you do not, you are one of the proletariat.• Max Weber argued that three elementsdetermine social class: property, power, andprestige.
Why Is Social Stratification Universal?• To explain why stratification is universal,functionalists Kingsley Davis and WilbertMoore argued that to attract the mostcapable people to fill its important positions,society must offer them greater rewards.• Melvin Tumin said that if this view werecorrect, society would be a meritocracy, withpositions awarded on the basis of merit.
Why Is Social Stratification Universal?• Conflict theorists argue that stratification isthe outcome of an elite emerging as groupsstruggle for limited resources.• Gerhard Lenski suggested a synthesis betweenthe functionalist and conflict perspectives.
How Do Elites Maintain Stratification?• To maintain social stratification within anation, the ruling class adopts an ideologythat justifies its current arrangements.• It also controls information and usestechnology. When all else fails, it turns tobrute force.
Comparative Social Stratification• The most striking features of the British classsystem are speech and education.• In Britain, accent reveals social class, andalmost all of the elite attend “public” schools(the equivalent of U.S. private schools).• In the former Soviet Union, communism wassupposed to abolish class distinctions. Instead,it merely ushered in a different set of classes.
Global Stratification: Three Worlds• World’s nations can be divided into threegroups: the Most Industrialized, theIndustrializing, and the Least Industrialized.• This layering represents relative property,power, and prestige.• The oil-rich nations are an exception.
Global Stratification: ThreeWorlds• The main theories that seek to account forglobal stratification are• Colonialism• world system theory• culture of poverty.
Global Stratification: ThreeWorlds
Maintaining Global Stratification• There are two basic explanations for why theworld’s countries remain stratified.• Neocolonialism is the ongoing dominance ofthe Least Industrialized Nations by the MostIndustrialized Nations.• The second explanation points to theinfluence of multinational corporations.• The new technology gives further advantageto the Most Industrialized Nations
Strains in the Global System• All stratification systems have contradictionsthat threaten to erupt, forcing the system tochange.• Currently, capitalism is in crisis, and we seemto be experiencing a global shift in economic(and, ultimately political) power from theWest to the East