What is social stratification? is a hierarchy of positions with regard to economic production which influences the social rewards to those in the positions.
In sociology and othersocial sciences, social stratification refers to the hierarchical arrangement of individuals into divisions of power and wealth within a society.
Stratification derives from the geological concept of strata - rock layers created by natural processes. The term most commonly relates to the socio-economic concept of class, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."
What is class? is large set of people regarded by themselves or others as sharing similar status with regard to wealth, power and prestige.
Major forms of stratification Primitive communalism Slavery Caste Estate
Primitive communalism characterized by a high degree of sharing and minimal social inequality.
Slavery involving great social inequality and the ownership of some persons by others.
Caste in which an individual is permanently assigned to a status based on his or her parents status.
Estate in which peasants are required by law to work land owned by the noble class in exchange for food and protection from outside attacks.
Webers three dimensions ofstratification (three-componenttheory of social stratification) Class Party (Power) Status
Class A persons economic position in a society. (group) set of people with similar amounts of income and wealth.
Party (Power) A persons ability to get their way despite the resistance of others. (group) a set of people with similar amounts of power.
Status A persons prestige, social honor, or popularity in a society. (group) a set of people with similar social prestige or positive regard from members of a society.
Natural inevitability suggests that inequality exists because of natural differences in peoples abilities and is a just system.
Structural -functionalist states that stratification is useful to society because it enhances stability and induces members of the society to work hard.
Conflict suggests that stratification occurs through conflict between different classes, with the upper classes using superior power to take a larger share of the social resources.
Evolutionary states that people will share enough resources to ensure the survival of the group until a surplus exists at which time power determines how the surplus is distributed.
Symbolic Interactionist calls attention to the importance of symbolic displays of wealth and power that influence ones definition of self and the importance of ideas in defining social situations.
Three characteristics of stratifiedsystems1.) The rankings apply to social categories of people who share a common characteristic without necessarily interacting or identifying with each other. The process of being ranked can be changed by the person being ranked. – Example: The way we rank people differently by race, gender, and social class
Three characteristics of stratifiedsystems2.) Peoples life experiences and opportunities depend on their social category. This characteristic can be changed by the amount of work a person can put into their interests. – Example: The greater advantage had by the son or daughter of a king to have a successful life than the son or daughter of a minimum-wage factory worker, because the king has a greater amount of resources than the factory worker — The use of resources can influence others.
Three characteristics of stratifiedsystems3.) The ranks of different social categories change slowly over time. This has occurred frequently in the United States ever since the American revolution. The U.S. Constitution has been altered several times to contain rights for everyone. – Examples: Thirteenth Amendment: Ended slavery in the United States Fourteenth Amendment: Gives African-Americans citizenship in the United States Fifteenth Amendment: Ended the denial of suffrage based on race Nineteenth Amendment: The United States governments recognition of womens suffrage The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Ended racial segregation in public places in the United States — Also extended the right to vote
Social mobility is the movement of a person from one status to another, either between generations or within a persons adult career.
Structural mobility is mobility brought about by changes in the stratification hierarchy for instance as society becomes more technologically advanced.