Stratification Social Division And Inequality Pdf
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Social inequality occurs when resources in a given society are distributed unevenly, typically through norms of allocation, that engender specific patterns along lines of socially defined categories of persons. It is the differentiation preference of access of social goods in the society brought about by power, religion, kinship, prestige, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and class. Social inequality usually implies to the lack of equality of outcome, but may alternatively be conceptualized in terms of the lack of equality of access to opportunity.
In the upper echelons of the working world, people with the most power reach the top. These people make the decisions and earn the most money.
Social Stratification and Inequality
Social inequality occurs when resources in a given society are distributed unevenly, typically through norms of allocation, that engender specific patterns along lines of socially defined categories of persons. It is the differentiation preference of access of social goods in the society brought about by power, religion, kinship, prestige, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and class.
Social inequality usually implies to the lack of equality of outcome, but may alternatively be conceptualized in terms of the lack of equality of access to opportunity.
Although the disciplines of economics and sociology generally use different theoretical approaches to examine and explain economic inequality, both fields are actively involved in researching this inequality.
However, social and natural resources other than purely economic resources are also unevenly distributed in most societies and may contribute to social status. Norms of allocation can also affect the distribution of rights and privileges , social power , access to public goods such as education or the judicial system , adequate housing , transportation , credit and financial services such as banking and other social goods and services. Many societies worldwide claim to be meritocracies —that is, that their societies exclusively distribute resources on the basis of merit.
The term "meritocracy" was coined by Michael Young in his dystopian essay " The Rise of the Meritocracy " to demonstrate the social dysfunctions that he anticipated arising in societies where the elites believe that they are successful entirely on the basis of merit, so the adoption of this term into English without negative connotations is ironic;  Young was concerned that the Tripartite System of education being practiced in the United Kingdom at the time he wrote the essay considered merit to be "intelligence-plus-effort, its possessors Although merit matters to some degree in many societies, research shows that the distribution of resources in societies often follows hierarchical social categorizations of persons to a degree too significant to warrant calling these societies "meritocratic", since even exceptional intelligence, talent, or other forms of merit may not be compensatory for the social disadvantages people face.
In many cases, social inequality is linked to racial inequality, ethnic inequality, and gender inequality as well as other social statuses and these forms can be related to corruption. Social inequality is found in almost every society. Social inequality is shaped by a range of structural factors, such as geographical location or citizenship status, and are often underpinned by cultural discourses and identities defining, for example, whether the poor are 'deserving' or 'undeserving'.
In tribal societies, for example, a tribal head or chieftain may hold some privileges, use some tools, or wear marks of office to which others do not have access, but the daily life of the chieftain is very much like the daily life of any other tribal member. Anthropologists identify such highly egalitarian cultures as " kinship -oriented", which appear to value social harmony more than wealth or status.
These cultures are contrasted with materially oriented cultures in which status and wealth are prized and competition and conflict are common. Kinship-oriented cultures may actively work to prevent social hierarchies from developing because they believe that could lead to conflict and instability.
As social complexity increases, inequality tends to increase along with a widening gap between the poorest and the most wealthy members of society. Social inequality can be classified into egalitarian societies, ranked society, and stratified society and Edgar Watson, The Perse School. People with special skills were not viewed as superior compared to the rest. The leaders do not have the power they only have influence. The norms and the beliefs the egalitarian society holds are for sharing equally and equal participation.
Simply there are no classes. Ranked society mostly is agricultural communities who hierarchically grouped from the chief who is viewed to have a status in the society.
In this society, people are clustered regarding status and prestige and not by access to power and resources. The chief is the most influential person followed by his family and relative, and those further related to him are less ranked.
Stratified society is societies which horizontally ranked into the upper class, middle class, and lower class. The classification is regarding wealth, power, and prestige. The upper class are mostly the leaders and are the most influential in the society.
It's possible for a person in the society to move from one stratum to the other. The social status is also hereditable from one generation to the next. There are five systems or types of social inequality: wealth inequality, treatment and responsibility inequality, political inequality, life inequality, and membership inequality. Political inequality is the difference brought about by the ability to access governmental resources which therefore have no civic equality.
In treatment and responsibility differences, some people benefit more and can quickly receive more privileges than others. In working stations, some are given more responsibilities and hence better compensation and more benefits than the rest even when equally qualified. Membership inequality is the number of members in a family, nation or faith.
Life inequality is brought about by the disparity of opportunities which, if present, improve a person's life quality. Finally, income and wealth inequality is the disparity due to what an individual can earn on a daily basis contributing to their total revenue either monthly or yearly.
The major examples of social inequality include income gap, gender inequality, health care, and social class. In health care, some individuals receive better and more professional care compared to others. They are also expected to pay more for these services. Social class differential comes evident during the public gathering where upper-class people given the best places to seat, the hospitality they receive and the first priorities they receive.
Status in society is of two types which are ascribed characteristics and achieved characteristics. Ascribed characteristics are those present at birth or assigned by others and over which an individual has little or no control. Examples include sex, skin colour, eye shape, place of birth, sexuality, gender identity, parentage and social status of parents. Achieved characteristics are those which a person earns or chooses; examples include level of education, marital status, leadership status and other measures of merit.
In most societies, an individual's social status is a combination of ascribed and achieved factors. In some societies, however, only ascribed statuses are considered in determining one's social status and there exists little to no social mobility and, therefore, few paths to more social equality. One's social location in a society's overall structure of social stratification affects and is affected by almost every aspect of social life and one's life chances.
Theoretical approaches to explaining social inequality concentrate on questions about how such social differentiations arise, what types of resources are being allocated, what are the roles of human cooperation and conflict in allocating resources, and how do these differing types and forms of inequality affect the overall functioning of a society?
The variables considered most important in explaining inequality and the manner in which those variables combine to produce the inequities and their social consequences in a given society can change across time and place.
In addition to interest in comparing and contrasting social inequality at local and national levels, in the wake of today's globalizing processes, the most interesting question becomes: what does inequality look like on a worldwide scale and what does such global inequality bode for the future? In effect, globalization reduces the distances of time and space, producing a global interaction of cultures and societies and social roles that can increase global inequities.
Philosophical questions about social ethics and the desirability or inevitability of inequality in human societies have given rise to a spate of ideologies to address such questions. One end of this ideological continuum can be called " individualist ", the other " collectivist ". Inequality provides for differing goods and services to be offered on the open market , spurs ambition, and provides incentive for industriousness and innovation.
At the other end of the continuum, collectivists place little to no trust in "free market" economic systems, noting widespread lack of access among specific groups or classes of individuals to the costs of entry to the market. Widespread inequalities often lead to conflict and dissatisfaction with the current social order. Such ideologies include Fabianism and socialism. Inequality, in these ideologies, must be reduced, eliminated, or kept under tight control through collective regulation.
Though the above discussion is limited to specific Western ideologies, similar thinking can be found, historically, in differing societies throughout the world. While, in general, eastern societies tend toward collectivism, elements of individualism and free market organization can be found in certain regions and historical eras. Classic Chinese society in the Han and Tang dynasties , for example, while highly organized into tight hierarchies of horizontal inequality with a distinct power elite also had many elements of free trade among its various regions and subcultures.
Social mobility is the movement along social strata or hierarchies by individuals, ethnic group , or nations. There is a change in literacy, income distribution , education and health status.
The movement can be vertical or horizontal. Vertical is the upward or downward movement along social strata which occurs due to change of jobs or marriage. Horizontal movement along levels that are equally ranked. Intra-generational mobility is a social status change in a generation single lifetime. For example, a person moves from a junior staff in an organization to the senior management. The absolute management movement is where a person gains better social status than their parents, and this can be due to improved security, economic development, and better education system.
Relative mobility is where some individual are expected to have higher social ranks than their parents. Today, there is belief held by some that social inequality often creates political conflict and growing consensus that political structures determine the solution for such conflicts. Under this line of thinking, adequately designed social and political institutions are seen as ensuring the smooth functioning of economic markets such that there is political stability, which improves the long-term outlook, enhances labour and capital productivity and so stimulates economic growth.
With higher economic growth, net gains are positive across all levels and political reforms are easier to sustain. This may explain why, over time, in more egalitarian societies fiscal performance is better, stimulating greater accumulation of capital and higher growth.
Socioeconomic status SES is a combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education, and occupation. It is often used as synonymous with social class, a set of hierarchical social categories that indicate an individual's or household's relative position in a stratified matrix of social relationships.
Social class is delineated by a number of variables, some of which change across time and place. For Karl Marx , there exist two major social classes with significant inequality between the two.
The two are delineated by their relationship to the means of production in a given society. Those two classes are defined as the owners of the means of production and those who sell their labour to the owners of the means of production. In capitalistic societies, the two classifications represent the opposing social interests of its members, capital gain for the capitalists and good wages for the labourers, creating social conflict.
Max Weber uses social classes to examine wealth and status. For him, social class is strongly associated with prestige and privileges. It may explain social reproduction, the tendency of social classes to remain stable across generations maintaining most of their inequalities as well.
Such inequalities include differences in income, wealth, access to education, pension levels, social status, socioeconomic safety-net. In modern Western societies , inequalities are often broadly classified into three major divisions of social class: upper class , middle class , and lower class. Each of these classes can be further subdivided into smaller classes e. Class, race, and gender are forms of stratification that bring inequality and determines the difference in allocation of societal rewards.
Occupation is the primary determinant of a person class since it affects their lifestyle, opportunities, culture, and kind of people one associates with.
Class based families include the lower class who are the poor in the society. They have limited opportunities. Working class are those people in blue-collar jobs and usually, affects the economic level of a nation. The Middle classes are those who rely mostly on wives' employment and depends on credits from the bank and medical coverage.
The upper middle class are professionals who are strong because of economic resources and supportive institutions. Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of society about social class, wealth, political influence. A society can be politically stratified based on authority and power, economically stratified based on income level and wealth, occupational stratification about one's occupation.
Some roles for examples doctors, engineers, lawyers are highly ranked, and thus they give orders while the rest receive the orders. Castes system usually ascribed to children during birth whereby one receives the same stratification as of that of their parents.
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Stratified social relations occur when social differences are organised hierarchically along some dimension of inequality. There are many dimensions to inequality.
Social Stratification and Inequality
Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health pp Cite as. Social stratification refers to differential access to resources, power, autonomy, and status across social groups. Social stratification implies social inequality; if some groups have access to more resources than others, the distribution of those resources is inherently unequal. Societies can be stratified on any number of dimensions. In the United States, the most widely recognized stratification systems are based on race, social class, and gender.
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