Theories Of Social Stratification

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This essay will be based on the usage of sociological theories of stratification to discuss the extent to which contemporary South African society mirrors any one of the theories. Stratification is a system or formation of layers, classes or categories. Social stratification is described as the way which different groups of people as placed within society. In modern society, stratification is usually determined by income and other forms of wealth but no matter what may determine it, the society’s stratification has significant consequences to its members. The top theories that will be discussed in the essay are structural functionalism, social conflict and symbolic interaction. These theories will show the extent to which South African society mirrors them.

Sociological theories of stratification Structural functionalism
Structural functionalists argue that social inequality plays a vital role in the smooth operation of a society.
Davis-Moore thesis states that social stratification has beneficial consequences for the operation of society. Davis and Moore argue that the most difficult jobs in any society are the most necessary and require the highest rewards and compensation to sufficiently motivate individuals
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The bourgeoisie are the owners of means of production such as factories and other businesses. He believed that the wealth of the bourgeoisie depend on the work that the proletariat carried out, meaning that without the proletariats there won’t be wealth for the bourgeoisies. Marx refers to proletariats as laborers who do not get any piece of what they produce rather they are obliged to give everything they produce to the capitalist, the bourgeoisies. Both Weber and Marx believe that stratification results to inequality in a way that the rich will forever remain rich and the poor will remain poor. (Marx&
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