Running Head: SOCIAL STRATIFICATION ANALYSIS 1 Raimi Albee SOC-102 12 November 2019 Joann Dunlap Social Stratification Analysis Part One: Throughout society, social stratification is defined as the categorization of people into rankings of socioeconomic tiers based on factors like wealth, income, race, education, and power (lumenlearning, para. 1). The systems of stratification are prominent in each society because it stratifies all of the members. Whether we are aware of them or not, humans go throughout each day having thoughts of comparison, judgment, positivity, etc. Throughout our entire lives we spend a large amount of time competing to be better than the people around us, as well as being envious which leads to lust and unreasonable thinking. Social Stratification is shown within different societies because ultimately ranks people into the categories of wealth, power, and prestige, which in turn creates social hierarchy. Within the social stratification system there are four more systems that exist: estate, class, caste, and slavery. Each stratification system also has social mobility “which [gives] a person [the ability] to move from his/ her social position establishes at birth” (Kerich, 2018). Social mobility is extremely flexible as it varies for each of the four main systems of stratification, and the flexibility is dependant on if the different systems are opened or closed. If the system is “open” that would mean that the achievement of the individual would strongly influence their social position and status (Larkin, 2015). If the system is considered to be “closed”, it means that “there is little to no opportunity to advance from one social class to another. Social status is hereditary based on a group characteristic (Larkin, 2015)”.
SOCIAL STRATIFICATION ANALYSIS 2 The stratification of the members looks different depending on which system it is. One of the systems is the estate, the estate is an organizing principle that categorizes people based off of the land they own. This system is not as common now, but in the Middle Ages it was extremely common to use as a means for organization. For example, at the time lords and nobles held a significantly higher status that the peasants and serfs because of their wealth and ownership. A person's status was so dependant on the inheritance that they received, it caused for there to be a limited amount of social mobility. Eventually the estate system evolved into a class system as opposed to being driven solely off land ownership. Class is the second level of stratification which is determined based off of the status of the individual. Our status is determined by the skills that we have, the knowledge that we have, and the things that we own. Based off of these things it is then determined where individuals end up in society, these categories include the lower class, middle class, and the upper class. The economic status of the individual is what places them into these categories.
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