Weber's Three Dimensions Of Stratification

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1.5 stratification (15 points)
(1) Weber’s conception of stratification is derived from his analysis of economic activities in relationships. He said that economic relationships are decided by individuals’ chance of using their material property for exchange on the market. Thus, people sharing similar material conditions are classified into groups. In Weber’s view, the inequality between different groups is associated with not only the economic dimension but also social, political, and ideological dimensions. And such inequality linked with the social structure forms social order and ties people.
(2) Weber’s three ideal type dimensions of stratification are class, status, and party. He defined class as an aggregation of individuals who share
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According to Weber, an individual’s status situation is associated with others’ evaluation of him or his social position, which attributes to positive or negative social prestige that he has. And status group often demonstrate their distinctiveness by following a particular lifestyle.
While both class and status may be based on social power, party has, on the contrary, a further influence on the distribution of power. As Weber defined, a party refers to any association that individuals set up voluntarily with an aim to control an organization to achieve certain policies. It can exist in any form of an organization if its members are freely recruited, “from a sports club up to the state.” (Weber 1922:284)
(3) The three dimensions of stratification represent individuals’ wealth, prestige, and power, from which inequality in economy, culture, and politics - the three main fields of society - can be seen. Although they are conceptually separate, they can influence each other at the empirical level. As usual, there can be a great overlap among three dimensions. When a person has a high position in one dimension, for instance, the class, usually his positions in another two dimensions - status and party - are also high. For those who are at the top, such overlap can increase their power in the entire system of
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In his view, principles of democracy are not realizable. He believed that the development of legal procedures which are meant to eliminate privilege would re-establish a new form of monopoly. For him, once a bureaucracy is established, it becomes an indestructible “escape proof.” (Weber 1922:989) Weber also mentioned the patronage system where jobs are not distributed on the basis of need or skills but loyalty instead. He said it is difficult to work it out. What society can do is develop an ethos, and then elect leaders who have the ethos of public service and make judgments of people’s

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