Characteristics Of Social Stratification, Class, And Gender Essay

1461 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 6 Pages
One inherent quality in humans is the need to categorize things. We need order and in order to achieve order, we put things in categories. It is not even always conscious, but it is and has always been present both socially and institutionally in our society. As a society, we classify people in a process called stratification by race, class, and gender. By understanding human’s innate need to classify people through symbolic interactionism, we can develop a deeper understanding of the manifestations of social stratification in society and use that in order to make it known that this need to classify does not need to elevate some people and disparage others.
The root of this societal system that arranges people into sections, which is so prevalent in civilization today, lies in symbols. Symbols are abstract representations that we use to assign meanings to things and we, in turn, act in accordance to these meanings. Because these symbols are abstract, they are seen everywhere and given meaning through thought, which more often than not reflects societal ordeals already put in place. Symbols can be anything, but specifically, I am referring to outward appearances of people, because this is the initial classification that people give others. “When we first meet others, we cannot help but notice…sex, age, race, and bodily appearance”(Snyder 395). This starts with race. “Race is a category of individuals labeled and treated as similar because of common inborn biological traits,…

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