Social stratification has been a part of society for thousands of years and has yet to dissipate. It is prevalent on the micro and macro level and has been a part of various societies and cultures ranging from the united states all the way to India. Social Stratification, "is a system of inequality that takes into account the differences among individual members of a society and ranks them by their wealth, power, prestige, and ascribed status, thus creating a social hierarchy" (Larkin, 2015, para. 5). The organizing principles of social stratification are class, gender, and race.
Social hierarchies based on gender and wealth is repeated throughout history as an enduring issue. These hierarchies likely began with the founder of the Qin dynasty, Shi Huang. This rapidly influenced foreign cultures and resulted in the world-wide use of rigid social hierarchies. Other leaders, such as autocrats, valued exclusive social hierarchies and implemented them into their civilization. It soon became the basis of every society, leading to the increase of crime and poverty.
Class is an integral part of society, and a primary standard for how people view themselves and others within societal parameters. While class has evolved over time from feudalistic hierarchies, to the estates of Chaucer’s time, to the middle class that emerged during the Renaissance period, class has always been a structure of society, trying to evolve to stay relevant and cohesive to the changing periods of time. One of the most prominent staples of modern day class structure is the middle class. Starting with the fragile system of feudalism, and the attempts to quell the beginning dissolution of it during the Norman period, the negatives of it weighed too strongly and a middle class began to emerge, before becoming fully present during
In the United States, there are three main social class levels: lower class, middle class, and the upper class. The most common characteristics that are associated with class structure are income and education level. In the 1920’s, the economy was at a prime period known as the “Roaring Twenties”. It was a time for
Social class has been found in almost all societies and countries because it is how a society can organize itself and function properly. As the structural functionalism theorist, Emile Durkheim claims, that every part of the society serve an important role in keeping the society in line (Replogle, 2018). So, whatever class a person is in matters as long as if one class fails to do their job, it will permeate to the other classes creating an immense destruction to the whole society. Inevitably the importance of social class has been essential. The way our society is stratified came from how our forefathers set up this country in what is called, “three class model”.
In the wake of critical scrutiny from the polemic works of Bauman (2004), Beck (2000), and Giddens (1992), the relevance of class analysis in understanding the expression of inequalities in contemporary society has been called into question. The concept of class analysis postulates that “individuals’ interest, tastes, attitudes, and dispositions, are linked to their social economic class positions” (Eidlin, 2014, 1), and that this position in turn relegates conditions of social, cultural and political relations. The foremost criticism level at traditional disciplines of class analysis is its advocacy of the primacy of class over other forms of social structure (Wright, 2000, 115) thereby producing a rigid and inflexible framework of analysis.
Social class system stratified people and it reflects the ways of their living. The system are categories into Upper Class, Middle Class, Working Class and Under Class which laddered up from Under Class to Upper Class. However, it is difficult to do the classification of individuals into socioeconomic classes require to average variety characteristics because of the vagueness and arbitrary of determining one’s social state. Hunt and Colander (2011) defined social class are group of people with common economic status, attitudes and beliefs, education attainments, lifestyle, the regards in which others hold them, and their power or lack of power to influence community affairs. Based on their judgment, social class is like a subculture.
Trudgill (2000, 21), “Social Stratification is a term used to refer to any hierarchical ordering of groups within a society especially in terms of power, wealth and status.” This Social Stratification leads to the observation of the different facets of language that may be influenced by social factors and social placements. Trudgill also discusses the possibility that this social stratification cannot be observed in all societies because of the varying degrees of social divisions. He discusses the social caste system in India as an example. The caste system in India is seen as a permanent division in their social realities. Because of this, the gaps between the population, in both social rank and other factors, are established.
“The distinctions separating the social classes are false; in the last analysis they rest on force” (Einstein). This is a famous quote said by none other than Albert Einstein. While his views on social class may be more optimistic and preferred by the public, this is not how the world and its ideas have been shaped today and throughout the past. There are always been people that are seen as better or higher than you, all because of the ideas that money and popularity equal how successful you are, therefore declaring the class in which you belong. What would the world be like if there wasn’t ever any social classes and everyone was equal?