Five Features Of Social Stratification

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Categorization is an action that many human beings unconsciously perform when observing differences amongst individuals in society. These differences are categorized and people are often placed into labeled groups. In fact, society holistically makes meaning of events, symbols, and experiences, which helps establish socially, stratified realities. The placement of humans into this system depends on characteristics such as race, class, and gender. Depending on a person’s cultural background, morality, and belief system, the person’s impression management, which perpetuates their identity, facilitates the placement of human beings on this societal hierarchy. This damaging inclination to rank people and the inability of human beings to accept …show more content…
Social stratification has become such an innate characteristic of society to the extent that many people see the existence of this hierarchy as an incorrigible proposition. An incorrigible proposition is a strongly held belief that cannot be proved wrong and “…is one that you would never admit to be false whatever happens” (Mehan and Wood 380). In regards to socially stratified societies, the incorrigible proposition would be the belief that there is a hierarchy in society and that it is created because of differences in race, class, and gender. In an attempt to rationalize ideas against this proposition, secondary elaborations of belief are used to provide supporting evidence for this proposition. The five features of this stratified reality are reflexivity, coherency, interactional dependency, fragility, and permeability. This category driven reality becomes reflexive where “…all events reflexively become evidence for the proposition” (Mehan & Wood 380). Anything and everything people experience support their belief that there are people with more power and prestige who are also superior to them. Secondly, this socially stratified reality is coherent meaning that events and experiences coherently create a belief system in which every aspect supports each other. Thirdly, this reality is …show more content…
Because interaction occurs on a day to day basis, impression management has to be used in order to portray the image they wish to display to society. Just as the categorization of people unconsciously happens, the use of impression management during social interactions is also inevitable. In a social setting, we dramaturgically act out our performance, which is the image that we want to sell to people, according to Erving Goffman. Impression management is often used to role-play a social status and is the medium through which people convey their ideal persona to society. An example of behavioral staging can be seen in the film “Le Haine” when Vince, one of the protagonists, stages his behavior to appear tough and threatening. During his backstage scenes, he practices his coercive behavior in front of a mirror so that when he comes into contact with other individuals, he makes sure to perpetuate his ideal identity. He sets out to portray a different social class to others. The final scene, when the violent cop threatens Vince and yells, “Not so tough anymore! Look at him!” serves as evidence that Vince’s dramaturgy and his portrayal of toughness throughout the film may have caused his own death. This shows how interaction between people display differences in how we perpetuate our own image and how we perceive that of

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