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Social Stratification and Inequality

Social Stratification and Inequality - Social...

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Social Stratification and Inequality The Origins of Social Stratification All modern societies are stratified , arranged hierarchically into layers due to an unequal distribution of society’s rewards. Hunting and gathering societies had no social stratification because all members had to produce food and share it. Stratification arose with job specialization that began in pastoral and horticulture societies. Not everyone in the society needed to be involved in food production. Rise of industrialized societies led to increased stratification as the difference between the haves and the have-nots grew. Some improvement in working conditions created a middle class . New technologies created a new social group, skilled workers . The new technology used in postindustrial societies contributed to increased worldwide stratification. Historical Stratification Categories Historical stratification systems include slavery , the estate system , and indentured servitude . Slavery is a system of stratification in which one person owns another. The estate system , prevalent in the Middle Ages, was a three-tiered system composed of the nobility , clergy , and commoners . Some commoners sought new opportunities in the New World and agreed to indentured servitude to get there. Unlike slavery, in which the enslaved have no choice, indentured servants agree to sell their bodies or labor to someone for a specified period of time.
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