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GSU / Sociology / SOCI 1101 / What is social stratification ?

What is social stratification ?

What is social stratification ?


School: Georgia State University
Department: Sociology
Course: Introduction to Sociology
Professor: Jung kim
Term: Spring 2016
Cost: 25
Name: Chapter 10 Social Stratification
Description: Key concepts from chapter 10
Uploaded: 03/10/2016
3 Pages 160 Views 1 Unlocks

Ashley Wilson Introduction to Society  

What is social stratification ?

Chapter 10 Social Stratification

What is social stratification

∙ Social stratification: system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy is based on  four important principles  

1. social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences 2. social stratification carries over from generation to generation

3. social stratification is universal but variable

4. social stratification involves not just inequality but beliefs as well

∙ Takes two general forms: caste systems and class systems

Caste and class systems

∙ Closed systems which allows for little change in social position

What is a cultural belief that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns of inequality?

∙ Open systems which permit much more social mobility  

∙ Closed systems are called caste systems

∙ Open systems are class systems

∙ Caste system: social stratification based on ascription or birth  

∙ A pure caste system is closed because birth alone determines a person’s entire future, allowing little  or no social mobility based on individual effort

∙ The traditional Indian system identifies four major castes; Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra ∙ A caste system determines the direction of a person’s life

∙ A caste system demands that people marry others of the same ranking

Who stated every culture considers some type of inequality just?

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∙ Sociologists call the pattern of marrying within a social category endogamous marriage ∙ Cates guides everyday life by keeping people in the company of “their own kind” ∙ Caste system rest an powerful cultural beliefs Don't forget about the age old question of Classical liberalism is also tied into the ideas of who?

∙ Caste system are typical of agrarian societies because agriculture demands a lifelong routine of hard  work  

∙ Caste system ensures that people are disciplined for a lifetime of work and are willing to perform  the same jobs as their parents

∙ Another country dominated by caste is South Africa, although the system of apartheid, or separation  of the races, is no longer legal and is now in decline

∙ Class system: social stratification based on both birth and individual achievement ∙ Meritocracy: social stratification based on personal merit  

∙ Stratification is based not just on the accident of birth but also merit which included a person’s  knowledge, abilities, and effort

∙ Status consistency: degree of uniformity in a person’s social standing across various dimensions of  social inequality

∙ The mix of caste and meritocracy in class systems is well illustrated by the United Kingdom ∙ In the Middle Ages, England had a castelike aristocracy, including the leading clergy and hereditary  nobility

∙ Today’s British class system mixes caste and meritocracy, producing a highly stratified society with  some social mobilityIf you want to learn more check out What are the chronic effects of barbiturates?

Ashley Wilson Introduction to Society  

∙ In the Middle Ages, Japan had a rigid caste system in which an imperial family ruled over nobles and  commoners

∙ Today’s Japanese class system still places great importance on family background and traditional gender roles

∙ Although the Russian Revolution in 1917 attempted to abolish social classes, the new Soviet Union  was still stratified based on unequal job categories and the concentration of power in the new  political elite

∙ Structural social mobility: a shift in the social position of large numbers of people due more to  changes in society’s itself than to individual efforts

∙ Since the collapse of the soviet union in the early 1990s, the forces of structural social mobility have  turned downward and the gap between rich and poor has increased  

∙ Economic reforms introduced after the communist revolution in 1949 including state control of  factories and productive property greatly reduced economic inequality, although social differences  remained

∙ In the last thirty years, China’s govt. has loosened control of the economy, causing the emergence of  new class of business owners and an increase in economic inequality Don't forget about the age old question of What are the different kinds of attachment?

Ideology: Supporting Stratification

∙ Ideology: cultural belief that justify particular social arrangements, including patterns of inequality ∙ Greek philosopher Plato stated every culture considers some type of inequality just ∙ Marx criticized capitalist societies for defending wealth and power in the hands of a few as “a law of  the marketplace”

∙ Capitalist law defines the right to own property and ensures that money stay within the same  families from one generation to the next If you want to learn more check out What is a derive value from an underlying asset?

∙ Marx concluded, culture and institutions combine to support a society’s elite ∙ With the rise of industrial capitalism, an ideology of meritocracy emerges, defining wealth and  power as prizes to be won by the individuals who perform the best  

Explaining Stratification: Structural- functional theory

∙ Davis-Moore thesis: the functional analysis claiming that social stratification has beneficial consequences for the operation of society

∙ According to Davis and Moore the greater the functional importance of a position, the more  rewards a society attaches to it

∙ Davis-Moore thesis suggests the reason stratification exists; it does not state what rewards a society  should give to any occupational position or how equal the rewards should be  

Explaining stratification: Social-conflict theories

∙ social conflict analysis argues that rather than benefiting society as a whole, social stratification  benefits some people and disadvantages others

∙ Karl Marx explained that most people have one of two basic relationships to the means of  production: they either own productive property or labor for others

∙ Marx explained that capitalist society reproduces the class structure in each new generation ∙ Ralf Dahrendorf suggested four reasons why industrial workers not overthrown capitalism:

Ashley Wilson Introduction to Society  

1. Fragmentation of the capitalist class

2. A higher standard of living

3. More worker organizations

4. Greater legal protections

∙ Max Weber claimed that social stratification involves three distinct dimensions of inequality;  economic inequality, status, and power

∙ Socioeconomic status: composite ranking based on various dimensions of social inequality Explaining Stratification: symbolic-interaction theory

∙ Conspicuous consumption: buying and using products because of the “statement” they make about  social position

∙ Stratification is a factor that guides people’s interactions in everyday life

∙ In most communities, people interact primarily with others of about the same social standing Social stratification and technology: A Global perspective  

∙ With simple technology, members of hunting and gathering societies produce only what is necessary  for day-to-day living  

∙ In horticultural and pastoral societies, a small elite control must of the surplus  ∙ Industrial productivity also raises the living standards of the historically poor majority ∙ Greater inequality is functional for agrarian societies, but industrial societies benefit from a more  equal system

Social stratification: Facts and values

∙ People beliefs about social inequality reflect not just facts but also politics and values concerning  how a society should be organized

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