Grouping by Class and Social Rank Stratification. Stratification is the division of society into two or more social classes of people who do not share equally in basic resources, power, or prestige.
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Grouping by Class and Social Rank Stratification • Stratification is the division of society into two or more social classes of people who do not share equally in basic resources, power, or prestige. • Such a hierarchical social structure is characteristic of all of the world’s societies having large and similar populations with a central political control. • Stratified society: divided into categories of people who do not share equally in resources, influence, or prestige. • Egalitarian society: has as many valued positions as persons capable of filling them.
Grouping by Class and Social Rank Caste Systems • Caste: A social class in which membership is determined by birth and fixed for life. • Children automatically belong to their parents’ caste. • Example, India Dalits, known as “untouchables” in India’s traditional caste system, light 100 “candles of freedom” at the 2004 World Social Forum held in Mumbai.
The Worst Job in the World • The Bhangis of India (Untouchables) Films on Demand -Foothill College Library main page under “General”
Are we a stratified society? • Homeless men sleeping on sidewalks—one in India, one in the United States. • Outcast groups such as India’s untouchables are a common feature of stratified societies. • In the United States, 13% of the population is in poverty according to the 2004 U.S. Census. In the United States 70% of wealth is in the hands of 10% of the population. • Our stratification may not be as explicit as India’s caste system, but do we have levels and….what are they? • We have egalitarian ideals –i.e. The American Dream, but reality is sometimes different….why? Do we have a type of Untouchables who would be barred from holding certain societal positions? • Our actions and reactions towards others may hold the answer…
Ways of Expressing Social Class What types of Class indicators do we find in U.S. language? • Verbal evaluation • What people say about other people in their society. • Patterns of association • Who interacts with whom, how, and in what context. • Symbolic indicators • Activities and possessions indicative of class position. • Differences in life chances • High-status people generally live longer and in better health than people of low status. But not all societies are stratified or egalitarian, some are open class societies...
Are we an open-class society? • Open-class societies are those with the easiest social mobility. • Degree of mobility is related to education or type of family organization that prevails in a society. • Where the extended family is the norm, mobility tends to be severely limited.