DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Typically class differentiation depends upon a

Info icon This preview shows pages 20–21. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Typically, class differentiation depends upon a variety of interacting factors (economics, social status, aesthetic preferences, behavior, occupation, appearance, civic involvement) Caste systems, being endogamous, are much more clear-cut. India is the most famous example. Caste is a special form of social class in which membership is determined by birth and remains fixed for life. Literally thousands of castes exist in India, based on birth and on occupation, these thousands are divided up into four major groups – Brahmins, warriors, artisans and laborers. In India, the untouchables , or outcasts, own nothing - neither land nor tools. They provide all of the unskilled and menial labor. The Indian caste system is considered by some to be unique. Some think the Indian caste model applies to other systems, such as apartheid in South Africa (where blacks served as the landless untouchables who served as the mobile available work force). This has now been abolished. A similar mobile, landless work force developed in China about 2200 years ago, about the same time as the caste system in India. "The basis of social class structure is role differentiation". It also requires formalized, institutionalized methods for assessing whether particular roles are valued or not valued, desirable or undesirable. In such a society there is restricted access to the roles that are most highly valued. In societies that are the most diverse in terms of roles, social stratification will emerge as one of the most salient traits. People notice or assess or evaluate class membership of others in various ways; the indications of which are manifest in different ways. Haviland mentions three ways that social classes become manifest within a society: verbal evaluation, patterns of association, and symbolic indicators. In a stratified society, activities and possessions indicative of social class are called symbolic indicators. Examples: occupation, dress, wealth, recreation, residential location & house type, make of car, cultural activities etc. The "rags-to-riches " belief is rampant in the USA, bolstered by traditional stories of people like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Alva Edison, Booker T. Washington, Sam Walton, etc.. People who became wealthy or famous in their own lifetime, yet starting from very modest beginnings. In open-class societies, the stratification allows a great deal of mobility. In nuclear families it is easier to accomplish upward mobility because the individual is not tied to as many people. Upward mobility refers to the ability to move upward in the class system. The individual can accomplish mobility through several means--occupational mobility, mobility through marriage, disassociation from a lower-class family by establishing a neolocal residence.
Image of page 20

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 21
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern