In Consequences Of Social Stratification In The Caribbean

1471 Words 6 Pages
We have seen social stratification in the Caribbean transition over the years from a ‘closed system of stratification’ to that of an ‘open system stratification’. Social stratification in the Caribbean is based on class, status, power, race/ethnicity, colour, gender, education, etc. The Caribbean stratification system has been greatly influenced by its history of Colonialism, Plantation Slavery and Indentureship. Ascriptive factors such as race and the colour of one’s skin have contributed significantly in determining the life chances of Caribbean people. Today, although most of these territories are currently politically independent nation-states, the legacy of their history have continued to impact upon their individual social structure. …show more content…
Their ignorance and disregard of economic development is profound and deeply rooted in their past and present situation. They do not even seem to be aware of it. For several generations they have been confined to getting salaries or fees, money for services rendered. That is still their outlook.” James, C.L.R. 1973. The middle classes. In Consequences of class and colour: West Indian Perspective. Edited by David Lowenthal and Lambros Comitas. New York: Anchor Books: pp 80-82.

CLR James theory can be compared to the conflict perspective. Karl Marx saw the inequality as a means of exploitation in society. Those who own the means of production within society maintain their advantageous position in society by controlling or influencing the institutions in society, such as the political system, the educational system and the legal system. The values and ideology of the ruling class become those of the society.
For Karl Marx, in capitalist society there exist two main classes, the bourgeoisie-the ruling class or capitalists-and the proletariat-the working class or workers. The capitalists own the means of production while the working class owns the labour, which produces the wealth. Marx believed that the relationship between capitalists and workers was exploitative, as in all class
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For women with these backgrounds, the chances were virtually non-existent; for men, hardly any better. Only 4 out of every 1000 males with agricultural origins were likely to end up in this top stratum, despite the vaunted expansion of the educational system and the opening up of new positions.
Derek Gordon argument juxtaposes to that of the functionalist perspective. Davis and Moore (1945) argue that ‘social stratification is useful as it contributes to the maintenance of society. For Davis and Moore, social stratification provides an effective mechanism for role allocation and performance. Davis and Moore further posits, that in order for society to attract the right talent to fill the myriad of social positions, a differential system of rewards must be offered and, based on meritocracy, must be

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