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Social stratification and inequality - Term Paper Example

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Social Stratification and Inequality Name University Social Stratification and Inequality History of Stratification Societies throughout the world are segmented or stratified into various categories and forms, some of these forms include slavery, caste system and system of social classes…
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Download file to see previous pages There are several reasons that led to the stratification of individuals as slaves. One of the major reasons for enslaving others is inability of the slave to repay his debt to those who have lent money. In US a slave was allowed to be free once they have paid off all their debts. Modern Stratification Slavery is recognized as one of the old methods of stratifying individuals, much modern forms of stratification includes the social class and caste systems. Class system is quite prevalent in the society today and even the most developed nations experience this form of stratification. In class system, different individuals are referred to as representing different social class which they have attained due to their wealth, educational achievements as well as careers. A person who earns high amount of money, is in the top level of his organization and has attained maximum level of education is regarded as someone representing the higher social class. Similarly, individuals throughout the world are even divided through caste system and individuals within this system are divided into categories in accordance to their traits. This system is still practiced in developing nations such as India. Importance of Social Stratification and Inequality Social stratification and inequality are important subjects because of the various issues and consequences associated with them and the way these topics impact individuals in their life. Social stratification and inequality may benefit a few, while several others within the society may experience its harmful effects. Social stratification and inequality is unethical if vied under the light of utilitarian rule of ethics. The utilitarian rule of ethics suggests that actions should benefit the entire society. If due to stratification a few are benefiting and others are being impacted in a negative manner, then stratification is unethical. Those who are in the authority and are recognized as elites of society happen to enjoy more benefit while manipulating those who are subordinates and fall in the category of lower or middle class. Individuals belonging to the lower social class enjoy higher level and quality of education and health care, while those who are in lower levels of the social class fail to gain equal quality and quantity of health care and education. Sociological perspectives of Social Stratification and Inequality There are different views regarding social inequality and stratification which seek to determine the causes of inequality and the outcomes of inequality. Conflict theorists such as Karl Marx were of the view that inequality exists and there are two different classes of people. He divided these individuals into the working class and the elite class and the elite class exploited the working class in order to gain more benefits at the expanse of the working class and the different between the social statuses of these classes will continue to elevate (Bottero, 2004, p.34). Similarly, the functionalists are of the view that inequality is there to serve a purpose and is there to exist at all times in order to operate the society in a smooth manner. Functionalists argue that those having lower social status work in low paying jobs and on the other hand are the elites who are in higher paying jobs that demand higher ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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