SocialStratification and Inequality
SocialStratification and Inequality
Socialstratification is a bias of individuals and groupings based on ranksin a pyramid of status. It is the most basic form of groupingsexperienced in every society from the elites to the most primitive.Since the inception of societies, there has never been an experienceof equality in different communities. Social stratification involvesdifferentiation of a community set-up into grouped classes in ahierarchy. It entails the upper and lower levels of groupings (Kerbo,2012).The basis for understanding the phenomenon includes differentiationin privileges and rights distributions within the society.Operationalization within a society is based on categories andpermanent groups that interlink and relate in different manners.
Withinany normal society there exists the rich and the poor. It could be asociety filled only with people who are rich. However, there stillexists stratification on who is richer. The class is one of the mainbases of social stratification. Kerbo,(2012)explains that it is a division and grouping of people based on theirsimilarities inclusive of political interests, economic status andinteractivity. Class categorization in the United States is mostlybased on the occupational position of an individual. Second incommand is the level of authority and position in high decisionmaking positions. Lastly is the level of wealth and property worth ofdifferent people.
TheUnited States is a first world country that has embracedindustrialization and has stratified communities based on labels.These labels include the upper class, which represents families withhigh wealth and properties. The corporate class, are the individualsin government who have the ability and power to make decisions thataffect the whole country. Further down are the middle class who ownlittle property but have high-end occupations like doctors, lawyersand middle-level managers (Kerbo,2012).The working class is incorporated after the middle class. They are inlow positions, and their occupations involve manual labor. The lastgroup is the lower class, which is made up of individuals with noproperty and who are often unemployed and manipulated by the higherranked classes.
Thehuman nature of stratification is innate and surfaces itself after anindividual is ingrained in the cultures and ways of life ofsocieties. The United States is the most diversified nation in theworld with citizens of different races, ethnicities and groupingsoccupying the country. Societies characterized by diversityexperience high levels of stratification. Features of ascription thatinclude gender, race, and class are inherited as a result of theposition of the parents of individuals. These societies will bring upchildren growing up being differentiated and classified according tothe features leading to a continuation of stratification (Kerbo,2012).
Racialdifferentiation is one major form of stratification apart fromdifferentiation due to class. The two are interrelated as onecontributes to another, but racism in itself has itscharacterization. The United States and other major developed nationsexperience bias based on race. The black and white people are treateddifferently in different set-ups in their communities. Both racesexperience levels of inequality while interacting within the society(Kerbo,2012).Race stratification is in itself independent and explains thedifferences and difficulties experienced by the people. Lifehistories and individual experiences explain how deep people undergoracism bias while going about their daily activities. The linkbetween race and class is that one leads to the other, a perfectexample being that black people are perceived more to be of a lowerclass compared to white people. When a black individual ranks amongthe high esteemed in the society, it is perceived as a ‘miraculousachievement.`
Kerbo,H. (2012). Socialstratification and inequality (1sted.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.