Essay on The Impact of Social Class and Stratification

1724 Words Dec 27th, 2010 7 Pages
Skylar Freve

Mr. Gompf

Sociology 101

30 November, 2010

The Impact of Social Class/Stratification

Stratification and the division of people into social classes is a fundamental part of American society. Stratification is a concept that is universal; it is found in every country, every nation of the world. It is a system in which large groups of people, not individuals, are divided into different layers according to their relative property, power, and prestige. Stratification applies not only to the different nations of the world as a whole, but to the different groups of people within those nations as well. Each of these groups is stratified into its own class; the group of people ranked most closely to them in property,
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These are the people who work at low-wage, unskilled, temporary and seasonal jobs, and make up about 16% of the population. Most are high school drop outs and many cannot even read. The third rung up is the working class. They make up about 30% of the population and include somewhat unskilled workers in both blue and white-collar jobs. With just a high school diploma as the average education, this group has little chance of climbing the social ladder. Above the working class is the lower middle class. They are the largest group on the social ladder, making up 34% of the United Sates population. These are the people with high school or college education who are employed at technical and lower-level management positions. They can afford a mainstream lifestyle, and anticipate being able to move up the social ladder. Logically the next rung up the ladder would be the upper middle class. Making up 15% of the U.S. population, these are the people who have college or university degrees, some even with postgraduate studies. They work in professional or upper-management occupations. And finally the smallest group at the top of the social ladder, making up just 1% of the population, is the capitalists. These are the people who own one-third of all U.S. assets. They graduated from prestigious universities and most come from old family money. They work as investors or top executives in fortune 500 companies; some are simply heirs to their wealth. Although

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