Explain how political, economic and social constructs can be used to categories society. Look at how Irish society stratifies according to social class and gender. Sociologists develop theories and concepts to help reveal the structure of social life and they engage in numerous different forms of empirical Investigation to test and develop these theories. They are Interested In how people communicate and create meaning and understanding, but they are also interested in questions of power and inequality.
They use a variety of sources such as historical documents, observations, river research to help develop reliable information about how society operates. Define social stratification Social stratification is a system where people are ranked hierarchically which leads to groups of people being classified into layers and strata (class, caste, slavery and estate).
Class – social class system Is a system of stratification that results from unequal distribution of wealth, power and prestige. Caste -? this is a fixed arrangement of strata from the most to the least privileged. Estate – this consist three different strata or layers – aristocracy, clergy and commoners. Slavery – this is the oldest and most extreme form of stratification or inequality in which some people are literally owned by others as property.
All social stratification systems share four basic principles each reflecting how these systems cause inequalities based on class, gender, ethnicity, age, religious affiliation and consequences at an Individual and at a collective level In society, no one social stratification system Is unique, each system Is a characteristic of the society It relates to and it is not simply a reflection of differences at an individual level, nor is it a new incept as afore mentioned but it is a system that has and will persist over generations and although stratification systems may not be an exact replica In each society, fundamentally stratification systems are universal albeit widely variable, they also incorporate ideological beliefs while also engendering shared identities (Macaroni et a’, 2005). Do all societies stratify? If so, in what way? Virtually all societies have some form of stratification or structured inequalities that are organized and that persist over time. It Is universal but variable and seems to be found everywhere. At the same time, what is unequal and how unequal it is varies from one society to another.
For example, I) Social stratification persist over generation – in all societies, parents confer their social positions on their children, so that patterns of inequality stay much the same from generation to generation. (Monoclonal et a’, 2005). II) Some Individuals do also experience social mobility -? It may be downward or upward. Society celebrate the achievements of those who rose to people are regarded as more important than others, more worthy of respect or seen as more useful than others in certain situations. It is also evident that people could move downward as a result of illness, unemployment, economic break-down, business setback etc.
However, social standing of most people remain unchanged for a life time – like the Royal Family in England. What system of stratification is in operation in Ireland? Is it an open or close system of stratification? The social stratification in Ireland today is undefined. However, the class system seem to be in operation in Ireland and it is considered a close system. A closed system does not afford a person the same opportunity, and as a result a person’s position in fife is solely determined by the family group they are born into. Identity and belonging dominate the social class in modern Ireland. This can be to the majority of people defined by
If you are wealthy you have a lot more opportunities in education, professionals or higher managerial e. G. Senior government workers, doctors, farmers, company directors etc. And; secondly being poor (Lower class). – these are people in lower scale in the society e. G. School teachers, driver, machine operator, bar-worker waitress, cleaner, call- centre worker etc. The rate of lower class status rocketed since recession. (Hyde et al, 2007:65-66) Describe the system of stratification found in Ireland. How is it broken down? (include tables and diagrams here if relevant) During the Celtic Tiger it was perceived that Ireland as a whole was very wealthy and many people were classed as Wealthy or ‘upper class’.
However since the recession hit the social status regarding the wealth of the country has deteriorated. Today, a larger number of the population are working or middle class. The growing unemployment rate has forced many people, including well educated individuals to rely on state benefits. This has been a huge factor in the rapid decrease in the social status of the country. Social mobility in Ireland appears to be going in the wrong direction. Not only is the social stratification in Ireland defined by its economic status, but also by a number of other factors; for example; a person’s religion. In the past the influence the Catholic Church had on people determined the way they lived there life.
Catholic priests were understood to be very well respected figures in society and anyone of the catholic religion were accepted as part of the community however individuals of a different faith were viewed as outsiders. Nowadays a person’s faith does not have as big an influence on their social status and many people from different religious backgrounds are accepted in Irish communities. Does class/socio- economic position, impact on your health? Please provide evidence, statistics to There are differences among people in the amount of access they have to the resources of wealth and prestige in most societies. Such differences among people in terms of income and status are usually referred to as social class differences. The categories that people have been assigned to by virtue of their occupation have been marred with patterns of illness in society.
The lower your place in the social class scale, the worse is likely to be your health status and visa-versa (Hyde et al, 2007). Although race, gender, age etc have influenced socio-economic status, classification by occupation tends to be more common; hence in Ireland, a person’s social class is measured according to his or her occupation while social class of children is determined by parents’ occupation (Denote and Cannon, 2003). According to Denote and Cannon, there are huge inequalities between the classes in the distribution of wealth in the country. It is estimated that 10 per cent of the population own nearly half the wealth in the country, therefore 90 per cent of the population share the other half, but not equally. Ibid:71 in McDonald B, 2009) Health inequalities are often observed along a social rise. This means that the more favorable your social circumstances such as income or education, the better your chance of enjoying good health and a longer life. While there is a significant gap between the wealthy and the poor, the relationship between social circumstances in health is in fact a graded one. Source of data ‘Inequalities in Mortality 1989-1998’ A series of studies by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (PIP) found that the number of people living with a chronic condition is expected to increase dramatically by 2020 and that disproportionately more of these people will belong to the older population.