Social Stratification

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Question: What are the causes of social stratification in the Caribbean? Throughout our lives, there must have been some form of categorization whether your complexion or financial status. Even in today’s society, people are judged and put into groups based on their race or even sometimes religion. This is known as Social Stratification. This however could not be possible without a diversed Caribbean that is present today. Cultural Diversity then speaks about the different ethnic traditions such as custom, race and language that are found in the society. Take for example Jamaica that has a motto “Out of Many One People”. This can be seen as a perfect example as many different races or ethnic groups reside in Jamaica and widely the Caribbean. As a result, a means of Social Stratification takes place in the society. Mohammad (2007) states that it is a ranking system which organizes or places persons in the society in a hierarchy. In addition, it can be classified as a characteristic of society as it appears to be present in most of our Caribbean islands. Although this is viewed as a form of inequality, the system was derived from events that took place some years ago. The main causes of social stratification are the Plantation System, Emancipation and Social Mobility. Historically, this system started on the fields of the sugar plantation. The persons who toiled in the hot sun in the fields were known as slaves and were viewed as the “lesser people”. Their masters however were the opposite as they had all the power and wealth so they were seen as more highly and respectable individuals. A distinction between them had begun as the gap between them had gotten bigger due to the mobility of the masters. A hierarchy was built and the slaves could be seen at the bottom due to the bias judgment of the pigment of their skin. During this period of history according to Greenwood (2003), a middle class was also developed owning to the fact that not all persons...
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