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Sociology - Social Stratification - Essay Example

Hence, social stratification could be examined in the light of the following: It is the division of people of one society into groups and communities The division is based on innate characteristics including caste, clan, tribe, race and ethnicity Individual and collective efforts also pave the way towards division of society, which include immigration status, occupation, nature and level of education, geographical location, region and area and work place Some of the characteristics of social stratification are apparently inherited, though turns out to be ascribed one in later life; religious belief, sect and nationality are these forms of stratification. Social discrimination is also taken as synonymous of social stratification; however, both the terms are different from each other. For social stratification concentrates upon segregation of the individuals into groups, while social discrimination is the prejudiced behaviour adopted by the individuals on the personality traits and background of others. Since people identify themselves with their in-groups, they maintain bias for the out-groups on the basis of their natural inclinations and tendencies. Stratification has aptly been examined and investigated in the light of social discrimination and intensity of conflict between the groups prevailing in a society. Standard of living, horizontal and vertical social ranking, segregation of races, ethnic hatred, gender conflicts and economic differences between upper, middle and lower classes are imperative indicators of stratification within a social set up. Universality of Stratification: History is replete with the evidences endorsing the existence of social stratification even in the most primitive societies of Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras, which ratifies the very notion that that stratification in human society is not the product of the contemporary era, and had been in vogue in all human societies without discrimination since ever. “Looking at different cultures of the world”, Davis & Moore argue, “one finds that no human society is classless i.e. non-stratified one. There are some primitive communities so small that no class strata appear; the social organization resting almost entirely upon age, sex and kinship; but even then their chieftainship, individual prowess and clan or family property introduce an incipient stratification. As soon as greater size and complexity are attained, stratification unmistakably appears.” (1945, p. 52) The researches reveal the division of ancient Greek, Roman, Chinese, Egyptian and Indian societies into castes, classes and groups, where all these cultures maintained royalty, nobility, clergy, intelligentsia, traders, workers and slaves as divergent social groups. Feudal, Caste and Class Societies: Feudal societies: Feudalism is one of the most distinguishing traits of social stratification, which divides a society into classes on the basis of the social status and economic position of the individuals. Feudalism had been in vogue in European, Asian and African societies for the last many centuries and gave birth to the notions nobility, the commoners and slaves in its wake. The concept of feudalism has direct relation with the ownership of land acquired, purchased or bestowed upon the people against services, money or exercising of power against the real owners. Consequently, the possession of land areas determined the ...Show more
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Summary

SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Definition: Social stratification simply refers to the division of the individuals into groups and factions on the foundation of the class, caste, clan, community, colour, complexion, region, religious belief, race, ethnicity, gender, age-group, sexual orientation, occupation, income level and socioeconomic status they belong to within a social establishment…
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