Systems of Social Stratification

Topics: Social class, Sociology, Social stratification Pages: 7 (2691 words) Published: June 22, 2013
The caste, the class and the colour-bar are among the systems of social stratification. The main aim of this essay is to compare and contrast these systems as well as indicating their advantages and disadvantages to development. The essay begins with defining the key terms which include comparing, contrasting and development. It further goes on to define as well as explain social stratification itself, the caste, the class and the colour-bar systems respectively. The essay further talks about the advantages and disadvantages of these systems of social stratification and how they affect development. Lastly but not the least comes the conclusion of the essay. The term “comparing” can be defined as the way of coming up or finding out the similarities between two or more items. On the other hand, the term “contrasting” means finding out some differences between two or more items. However, the term development refers to the act or process of bringing positive change or improvement. It also referred as a multi-dimensional improvement in people’s well-being at all levels. Social stratification on the other hand is defined as a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy. The caste is the system in which people are categorised in a fixed arrangement of strata from the most to the least privileged, with a person's position determined unalterably at birth. However, class system is a system of categorising people which is based on individual achievement depending on their social and economic statuses. The colour-bar system on the other hand is the system in which involve inequalities between people and they are categorised on account of their skin colour or race (Giddens 2006). According to Joan Ferranti (1982), there are four fundamental principles of stratification: firstly, Social stratification is a characteristic of society and not just due to individual differences. Secondly, Social stratification persists over generations yet most societies allow some sort of social mobility or changes in people's position. Social mobility may be upward, downward, or horizontal. This means that social mobility may increase, decrease or remain constant. Thirdly, Social stratification is universal but variable (it changes), and lastly Social stratification involves both inequality and beliefs. Furthermore, social stratification is a trait of society and not simply reflection of individual and it is universal, though it varies from society to society. Ferranti further indicated that Stratification is usually based on three major premises: Power which he described as the ability to impose one’s will on others, Prestige and described it as Horner given to someone by others and Property which he described as forms of wealth. If a person’s or group’s respect is given to know whether that person or group possess or does not possess certain traits, then it will be able to predictable with reasonable accuracy how this person or group is likely to fare in the social hierarchy. He also defined Social Hierarchy as a set of ranked statuses and Social Inequality as some types of people systematically experience advantages in society while other types of people are systematically disadvantaged in the society. This determination is based on who is socially advantaged and who is included among the ranks of the socially disadvantaged and it is on certain characteristics that these individuals possess and how society values or devalues these characteristics. Social stratification affects people’s lives and can be manifested in various ways in society (Ferranti 1982). As articulated in the above statements, social stratification is the system of classifying people in terms of gender, race, social-economic conditions, and many other conditions that affect their lives. Social stratification is divided into six major systems, but this assay concentrate much on explaining three of them as listed above. According to Hindson, D (1987), the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Social Stratification april 2015
  • social stratification Essay
  • Social Stratification Essay
  • Essay about Social Stratification
  • Social Stratification Essay
  • Essay about Social Stratification
  • SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Research Paper
  • Social Stratification Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free