Stratification. What is Social Stratification?. Social stratification – a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy. Stratification is a trait of society. It persists over generations. It is universal, but variable. It involves not just inequality, but beliefs.
A caste system – social stratification based on ascription or birth.
Birth alone determines one’s destiny.
There is little opportunity for social mobility.
A class system – social stratification based on both birth and individual achievement.
Even blood relatives may have different social standings.
Meritocracy – based on personal merit.
Social inequality plays a vital role.
The Davis-Moore Thesis – stratification has beneficial consequences for the operation of a society.
Certain jobs can be performed by almost anyone.
Other jobs demand the scarce talents of people with extensive training.
The greater the importance of a position, the more rewards attached to it.