Functionalist believe that inequality is essential for society to function properly, (Carl, 2013, p. Jobs that are rewarded with higher pay are the ones with the rarest skills. Conflict theorist believe that being born into a wealthy family helps open up doors that would otherwise be closed. Wealthy families get better quality of education and have more of an opportunity for higher-education, where again families that are of lower social class cannot always afford the higher-education. They also believe that the less you get paid the less important your job it. What about soldiers and school teachers? They do not get paid as much as a heart surgeon or pediatric surgeon, but their job is still extremely important. Why are professional athletes paid millions of dollars for entertainment, but a soldier can barely afford to feed his/her family? Symbolic interactionist believe that by blaming the problem on the victim, as a society we are not looking at the whole picture like lack of good jobs, low pay, and pre-existing inequalities.
Social stratification creates inequality because your ranking is based on wealth, power, and prestige. High income and wealth tend to create more power and can make people do things they would not ordinarily do. Jobs are then classified by prestige, if you are a doctor or a lawyer the prestige is high, but janitors have a much lower prestige. Generally, the more money you make the higher prestige. Education is impacted in poverty because their classrooms are overcrowded, there are not enough teachers, and there is not enough tax money to continue programs at school. The children who are actually able to go to school struggle with working hard and being dedicated because they watch their parents struggle every day. They set lower expectations for themselves because society has looked down on their family since they live in Section 8 housing or receive food stamps.