Social Stratification Analysis

1365 Words 6 Pages
Since the earliest times of human documentation, social stratification has been in existence. In 350 BCE, Aristotle wrote about the rankings of free people and slaves in his book “Politics.” During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as Locke and Montesquieu wrote about the feudal system of social stratification. In the 1800s, sociologists Marx, Durkheim, and Weber began to analyze social stratification more in-depth, developing theories that continue to have an influence today. Because of its prevalence, social stratification remains a focal point for sociologists when studying social problems, such as poverty.
1. Problems of Wealth Inequality in the United States The root word “strata” refers to ranking groups or people within
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One of the prominent theories is structural-functionalism, in which bits of society are deemed necessary in order to maintain stability (Woodell 2014). When this definition is applied to poverty it means that each social class is necessary for society to function. It is functional to have economic differences where certain individuals fill low-tier and high-tier jobs but the consequences must be avoided. Furthermore, this is a macro-level overview that focuses on social structures that shape the larger population. James Tobin, an economist, offers an economic perspective on poverty claiming increases in wages and decreases in unemployment have through structural alterations decreased the rate in poverty, otherwise proving the importance of the economy to the overall condition of the nation. This proves that various structural aspects are interconnected and help contribute to the conditions that exist in society and are needed to maintain …show more content…
Social stratification is deeply entrenched in the country but is veiled with an ideology that if you work harder than your neighbor then you will be more successful. However, the “American Dream” is a myth used to manipulate and control the masses. Arguably, the government does not even run the country but rather large corporations like Exon Mobil and others headed by elites who profit off the backs of individuals who barely make enough to rise above poverty. These massive corporations control the vast majority of wealth and prestige and therefore, have considerable leverage in the economic and political policies of the

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