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Imagine a time where slaves were equal to those who owned them and achieved equal stratification among those above them on the social hierarchy. Haralambos and Holbourne (2004), “Social stratification refers to the distinct social groups which are ranked one above the other in terms of factors such as prestige and wealth.”Social stratification in the present society is as it is due to the emergence of slavery. Slaves in the 18th century Caribbean were stratified under the governance of the slave owners due to their ascribed statuses, but in today’s society people are granted with the opportunity to elevate themselves out of various statuses due to aspects such as education. Due to social inequality, closed systems of social stratification and little or no avenues to social mobility, various aspects of slavery has changed in the present day.
Many slaves experienced or faced exploitation from their owners regarding various forms of inequalities. There was no equal distribution of wealth among slaves in the 18th century Caribbean. During the 18th century, slaves mainly worked in the fields and grew crops such sugar cane. The slaves were exploited by their owners as the income received was not equally distributed among the enslaved. As a result, the enslaved were seen a mean of increasing wealth among slave owners which is relative to Karl Marx’s capitalism theory. Due to this, the slave owners become wealthier and the enslaved remain poor and impoverished. In the 18th century, Caribbean slaves worked in fields for long hours and did not receive any wage and as a result there was a prominence in income inequality. Relative to the unequal distribution of wealth aspect of slavery, the enslaved had no means of receiving income though they worked very hard in the fields and as house slaves. Income inequality occurs on the basis of fairness. The slave owners showed unfairness towards the enslaved as they were deprived of any sort of salary for the



References: Cooley, C. (1950) “Stratification and Inequality.”The office of Development and Sociology. New York, USA. Grusky, D B. (2000) “The contours of social stratification”Department of Sociology and centre for the study of inequality, Uris Hall Cornell University, New York Kerbo, H (2011) “Social Stratification and Inequality”McGraw-Hill Higher education publishers. New York, USA. Levine, R. (2006) “Social class and stratification: classic statements and theoretical debates”Rowman and Littlefield publishers Inc. Mustapha, N. (2009) “Social for Caribbean Students”Ian Randle Publishers, Jamaica.

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