FINAL ESSAY 1 - When defining social stratification, Miller...

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When defining social stratification, Miller defines it consisting of hierarchical relations between different groups as though they were arranged in layers, or “strata.” They may be considered unequal based on several accounts, including material resources, power, human welfare, education, and symbolic attributes (Miller). People in groups in higher positions have freedoms not experienced by those in lower status roles, and they are likely to be interested in maintaining and keeping their privileged position. Social stratification is mostly universal. During lecture, it defined it would go into industrialization once agriculture becomes involved, having an upward or downward mobility. Depending on the position, there may be little to no flexibility to move up or down on the scale of social status. When discussing how and why social stratification takes place, lecture claimed it was ethnic succession and for choice (voluntarily) to a destination. There are four types of social stratification: class, ethnic, race, and caste. Although lecture defined class and ethnic types to be achieved with some mobility and race and caste to be ascribed, Miller considered class to be achieved and race, ethnicity, and caste to be ascribed statuses. The categories that form the stratification systems reveal a significant difference between them in the degree to which membership in a given category is an ascribed position or an achieved position (Miller). An ascribed position is a person’s standing in society based on qualities that the person has gained through birth, while an achieved position is a person’s standing in society based on qualities that the person has gained through action (Miller). There are many instances in Kris Holloway’s Monique and the Mango Rains when ascribed and achieved positions of social stratification take place. Like any other form of villages, there are groups that may be based on hierarchical relationships. In this case of Holloway’s fieldwork study, Monique’s position is achieved; she has gained her position in society based on her qualities of knowledge on giving birth and maternal procedures before a birth may take place, by action. Although her achieved position was a bit difficult to attain, Holloway struggled to finally establish what Monique rightfully deserved and earned (Holloway). Evidence of ascribed positions takes place in many areas, for example by birth; there are characteristics one cannot attain to gain an advantage or disadvantage. In her article, “Economic Disparity Takes Toll on Marriage,” Stephanie Coontz provides a valid claim on how “the benefits of married life are distributed almost as unequally as the benefits of our economic life” (par. 4). Supporting her claim, she explains how an ascribed position may very well affect careers in one’s future, based on gender, “the average earnings for a female college graduate with a full-time job were less than the average for a male high school graduate” (par. 8). In this case, a position was ascribed by gender
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FINAL ESSAY 1 - When defining social stratification, Miller...

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