What Is Social Stratification?
Social stratification is a sociological method where people in the society are put in different ranks with people in the same financial situation are placed together Normally, there are those of a high standard and others of a low standard. Social stratification can be transferable from generation to another this is how kids usually are put in a class it’s due to their parents. Every generation adopts the classifications that had been set by a generation that proceeded. Social stratification is a characteristic society puts on you and not an individual view. The society makes a ranking system that tells you were you are compared to others.
Social stratification is said to be universal and also variable. This statement might seems contradicting but it means that classification is uniform in a certain society but will vary when compared with other societies.
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Social stratification is not all about the equality of people, but also the beliefs that they hold. This means that social classes in the society can be based on common beliefs held by specific people. The classification of the society into various ranks brings about inequality. In modern western countries, social stratification adopts three keys; the upper, middle and lower class. These are the three social classes you are defined by.
The people in upper class see themselves as superior and having more prestige compared to the other people in lower ranks. Throughout history Americans have seen themselves as an egalitarian society. Egalitarianism is defined as “equal social, political and economic rights for all. This belief first descended from the words of the Declaration of Independence that states, All men are created equal”. This would help support the the argument that America is an egalitarian society, but on the other hand it states men are created equal it doesn’t say that they will have equal chances or equal opportunities.
In the readings it stated that In hunting and gathering societies, social inequality is really not that present while ranking is almost absent. The Members of this type of society practically have equal access to valued resources. They also had equal life chances which that no one had the escuse of saying so and so had better oppurtnities because from the moment they were born they had the same chances at life. These type of societies are known as egalitarian societies.
That all seems nice right? But it can also be said that these types of societies people have a higher status or greater prestige than others because a strong man or a great hunter may be highly prized but him being all these things doesn’t mean he automatically has a better life or has more it also doesn’t mean that it will transfer to his children. As society developed from hunting and gathering societies to more industrialized societies, people don’t have an equal access to valueable resources Basically what this means is valued resources are unequally distributed among the society. This causes society to be divided into levels or ranks where those who belong to a particular class are treated differently than those of a different class.
I personally have been lucky enough to be born into a middle-class family. I never really had to worry about being looked down on because of my class. I lived in a pretty nice neighborhood in Hopkins which i guess is considered the suburbs and went to a pretty nice high school. I never had to worry about wanted something really bad and not being able to buy it or somehow get it which is something a lot of people unfortunately cannot say the same.
My parents always worked throughout my life so my siblings and i could live a comfortable life both of them owned small businesses so that meant long hours. Neither of them went to college they came to this country as immigrants at a fairly young age so after they finished high school they were expected to work right away so they could help their parents who couldn’t really speak English out with the rent and other expenses.
They knew the struggle of coming into a new country as immigrants and starting from the bottom as “lower class” so they didn’t want their kids to experience that too. My parents tried to instill the idea that if you don’t want to struggle the way they did it was crucial that we finished high school with high grades went on to college and get a good job that has a higher salary. Preferably a doctor or lawyer just like all other immigrant parent who think that doctor and lawyers are the epitome of social class and wealth.
I can see why we use social stratification, All work positions can’t be treated as equal since some of these require more qualifications, experience and training But other jobs don’t have any qualifications so we cannot give equal status to an engineer and a manual labourer . If we do nobody would want to go through the expensive and lengthy engineering degree and training because at the end you will be making the same amount as someone who didn’t do all of that. An element of competition is important because without competition people can’t grow competition makes people want to achieve higher goals. Social stratification creates a situation of competition and encourages the people for improvement and progress.
In conclusion social stratification is an integral part of our society where people are put into groups on account of how much money they make or what kind of job title they hold. Social class is also determined by what class your parents were in and you kind of start from there and either grow or decline from there. It is a system in which stratification is done on the basis of merit. Even though every society has social ranks it’s not necessarily the same middle-class in a poor country could mean being lower class in a rich country.