When sociologists speak of stratification, they are referring to social inequality and social ranking, thus, stresses the differences among people. Is an institutionalized pattern of inequality in which social categories ranked on the basis of their access to scarce resources. Is the hierarchy arrangement and establishment of social categories that evolve into social group together with statuses and their corresponding roles. Is a system whereby people rank and evaluate each other as superior or inferior and, on the basis of such evaluations, unequally rewarded one another with wealth, authority, power and prestige. One result of each differentiation is the creation of a number of levels within society.
Social Stratification may be viewed may be viewed as a social structure, a social process, or a social problem. As a social structure, it may be as the differentiation of statuses and social roles into ranked orders or a system of layered hierarchy of social relationship. As a social process, it can be thought of as a division of a society into social categories that develop into social groups, which are cooperating, competing and/ or conflicting with one another for a social change.
As a social problem, it involves bitter feelings of discontent and of strong demands for equality or social justice. Inequality- refers to the unequal distribution of scarce resources such as wealth, authority, power, and prestige.
Basic Principles of Stratification
1. It is universal in nature. Some form of stratification system is found within every human society. 2. The existence of social stratification system has many consequences for individual and groups. 3. Social stratification is a characteristic of society. It is not simply a function of individual differences. 4. Social stratification persists over generation. It transcend from one generation to another. 5. Social stratification is supported by patterns of belief.
Major types of Stratification system
Caste system-fixed and permanent, assigned to it at birth, without any chance of getting out. Class system- system of stratification based on economic position in which people are ranked based on achieve status. Estate system- the ownership of property and the exercise of power is monopolized by an elite who have total control over society resources. Importance of stratification
1. Through social stratification, men all over, dispel discrimination, stereotyping and prejudice. 2. Man will be exert great effort in competing with others to be able to attain a status that commands more power, more privileges and more opportunities. 3. Knowledge of social stratification may enable man to adapt to his social environment. 4. Improvement of man’s standard of living.
5. Effect economic development in a society.
6. Attainment of a harmonious and stable society.
Theoretical Analysis of stratification
1. The Structural Functional Analysis-the structural- functional approach recognizes that all societies maintain some form of social stratification, and therefore social stratification must have important functional consequences.
Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore (1945)- proposed a theory of social stratification that remains influential and controversial up to this day. The Davis- Moore thesis asserts that some degree of social stratification actually serves society.
Inequality of members in a society based on their social classes is functional, necessary, and constructive. Functional- it serves an important function in society.
Necessary- it meets certain societal needs
Constructive- it is useful to all members of society.
Davis and Moore maintain that societies become more productive as they approach “meritocracy,” a system linking rewards to personal merit.
2. The Conflict Perspective View- this theory views inequality as neither important nor advantageous to the welfare of most members of society. There is a sharp division between classes, which are in constant struggle and opposition. Conflict theorists view stratification as an unjust system inflicted on society by people with a monopoly of power and wealth to safeguard their own interests, advantages, and power.
Social Class as viewed by Karl Marx
1. The Bourgeoisie (Capitalist)-these are people who owned productive property such as lands, factories, and machinery. Marx regarded them parasites because they gained wealth, power, and profit through the labor of others and not through their own labor. 2. The proletariat ( worker)- this class did not have anything except their labor. Thay sell their labor to the bourgeoisie in return for a meager income. -creates much surplus value for the bourgeoisie.
In Marx view, class is determined entirely by one’s relationship to the means of production. He believes that through class consciousness- an awareness of their true class identify a revolutionary movement would likely emerge to eliminate class differences. In other words, the proletariat will organize against the bourgeoisie to attain equality.
Marx Weber’s Analysis of Social Class
Advantages of social stratification
Greater status and economical/political holding and clout for the elite Simple society with no hypocrisy or confusions as to people’s opinions of others’ “places”
Disadvantages of social stratification
Infringement upon civil rights, including even basic ones
Often inappropriate to some religious faiths and beliefs
Unfair division, especially that most common of basis on birth Causes understandable tension and generally leads to often violent rebellion Morally unacceptable
Meaning of Social Class
Refers to a group of people having a similar social rank. Stark define social class as a group of people who share a similar position or status. Is a category of people who share roughly the same class, status, and power, and who have a sense of identification with one another. Social class or stratum refers to a set of families that share equal or nearly equal prestige according to the criteria of evaluation in the system of stratification.
As evident in the foregoing concepts of social class, it implies a hierarchical arrangement of social position of people, which literally means, “layered”. Hence, it denotes division of society into layers or strata or simply the social class. This gives the idea of unequal distribution of rewards or things perceived as valuable among members in a given society.
Social classes in the Philippines
1.) Upper class. These families occupy a high stable position. There are approx. 3% of total populations who belong to this class. They enjoy high personal income, inherited wealth and economic power. They exercise considerable control over corporations and government. The power of this class stems from its great wealth. 2.) Middle class. It comprises approximately 25% of the total population. They are indigenous physical types with Chinese blends composed of highly mobile intellectuals, technocrats, civil servants, teachers, merchants, traders and small businesses. People within this class receive modest income. They are the people who belong to the middle level professionals and semi-professionals. 3.) Lower class. This is a largest of the social class comprising around 72% of the populace.
Determinants of Social Classes
1. Education- one of the most important factors in determining one’s social class. An individual who has attained a degree may enable him to move to a higher stratum. 2. Income- a family’s income determines the lifestyle of its members. The higher the income, the higher the class strata. 3. Intelligence- bright people usually gain recognition in our society. 4. Occupation- the quality of education, training, and work experience are the determining factor in one’s social class based on occupation.
Meaning of Social Mobility
Is the movement of an individual or group from one social class or stratum to another. Defined simply as a change in one’s social class or status. It is also referred to as the process of changing one’s social class.
In general terms, social mobility can be discussed with reference to the type of stratification system of a particular society.
Types of mobility
1. Vertical mobility- the movement upward or downward from one class level to another. The office worker who eventually becomes a director exemplifies vertical mobility. 2. Horizontal Mobility- this refers to a change of position that does not involve any real change of class rank. Thus, the dentist who becomes a doctor or physician is horizontally mobile.
Consequences of upward mobility
1. People tend to break under pressures of striving for success, which usually result to loneliness, anxiety, frustration and various types of disorganization. 2. It involves loosening of family ties and old friendship.