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Definition of Social Stratification



Definition of Social Stratification - God creates humankind with equal status. Nonetheless, reality within society shows that people with distinct abilities such as wealth, power, heredity, and education, are more respected than the others. By valuing certain groups more than others, leads to social division known as social stratification or social strata. In other words, social stratification is the classification/division of society into hierarchical social strata.

Definition of Social Stratification

Definition of Social Stratification

Max Weber defines social stratification as the division of people belonging to a particular social system into hierarchy strata based on the dimension of power, privilege and prestige. John F. Cuber describes social stratification as a pattern of social class placement category according to different rights. Pitirim A. Sorokin interprets social stratification as social classification into hierarchical classes.

The form of social strata in society is called social classes, which consist of upper class, middle class, and lower class. The upper class usually comprises of high ranking officials or rulers and affluent businessmen. Middle class society is populated by intellectuals such as university lectures, researchers, college students, small and middle businessmen, and civil servants. The lower class which makes up the majority is occupied by labourers and small vendors. This classification is common practice in all aspects of life. For example, is someone works at a company and sits in a high position, like a director, he/she will be respected more than the other employees.

In the most modest and homogeneous society, roles and ranks differentiation is usually relatively small, thus, less social stratification. In this type of society, social strata are established according to sex, seniority, and power. People with the same sex tend to do the same occupation. Some people might be more respected and influential than others. However, no single group wields more power than another group.

On the contrary, modern society creates more complex social strata based on education criterion which leads to specialisation in skills or occupation. Some professions are valued more highly than others which is shown by the payment received, resulting in a number of people having greater prestige and more people having greater prestige and more money. These people tend to group themselves, thus, creating a certain social class. Thus, social strata become more complex and diverse.

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