An overview of Social Stratification.
Some of the world's nations are wealthy, others poor and some are in between. The layering is called social stratification. Pg 154.
Social Stratification affects the way we think about life. If were born in Ethiopian you would be literate and you would expect the same from your children. You would not be surprised when children died young. .
Social Stratification is a system in which groups of people are divided into layers according to their relative power, property, and prestige. It is a way of ranking large groups of people into a hierarchy according to their relative privileges.
Every society stratifies its members. Some societies have greater inequality than others, but social stratification is universal.
What determines social class?.
Marx argued that the distinctions people often make among themselves such as clothing, speech, education, paycheck or what type of car they drive are superficial matters. Modern society, said Marx is made up of just two classes of people; the bourgeoisie, those who own the means of production and the proletariat, those who work for the owners. In short, people relationship to the means of production determines their social class. .
Beggars, vagrants, and criminals and self employed professionals, were not social classes, for they lacked class-consciousness, a shared identity based on their position based in the means of production. Pg 159.
Functionalists take the position that the patterns of the behavior that characterize a society exist because they are functional for that society. Because social inequality is universal, inequality must help societies survive.
Stratification of society is inevitable because:.
(Wilbert Moore, Kingsley Davis).
1 Society must make certain that its positions are filled.
2. Some positions are more important than others.
3. The more important positions must be filled by the more qualified people.
4. To motivate the more qualified people to fill these positions, society, must offer them greater rewards.