Social Stratification

In Thursday’s class we discussed social stratification, which the textbook defines as inequalities among individuals and groups within human societies. This inequality includes access to material and symbolic rewards. As a result, social categories are created which discern between the groups which dictate how they live, and where they live. Two of the earliest forms of social stratification is slavery and the caste system. One allows a person to climb higher in the social rankings (lower class to the higher class), and the other doesn’t allow the individual to move throughout the social rankings, respectively. This then influences the status and honor of a person. Classes in our society are socioeconomic variations in terms of their material prosperity. Nowadays our classes are fluid, achieved, and on larger scale.

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2 thoughts on “Social Stratification

  1. While we may not live in a caste system or any form of institutionalized slavery, I believe the idea of capitalism loosely keeps us in a “caste system”. Even though there is always opportunities to move up through hard work and perseverance, some people are stuck associating themselves with people within their socioeconomic group. In part I assume it’s because most people “stick to what they know” but its obvious we are divided by our economic and social worlds. It may be harder for me as a woman to move up the social or economic ladder because of my gender or because I am African-American, thus hindering my growth in the US’s socioeconomic class.

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  2. I agree with both comments that were made but I also think it has to do with the big corporations controlling us. In my anthropology class we watched a video about material items and corporations. Mainly, it explains how we are on this wheel that goes from working, spending, becoming broke, and going back to work to make money. People resort to spending even when they are broke because new products come out and we feel like we need to buy it. The big corporations are involved in this because they create products that will quickly go out of style and/or break and get damaged. The big corporations are also “higher up” than the government due to the fact the big corporations make more money for the government. Its a sad cycle and sometimes I feel like its hard to get out of the “caste system” we are in.

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