Social stratification.

Essay by onegaiCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2004

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Social stratification is at the heart of macro sociology-the study of society in a large scale, in comparative perspective where one look at society as a whole. The study of social stratification is crucial to understand how and when social stability and changes come about.

Social stratification is a form of social inequality that is studies of any systematic inequalities between groups of people within the society or between two or more societies which exists due to social relationship. It refers to the presence of distinct social groups which ranked higher or lower than others in terms of factors such as class, prestige and wealth.

Social class refers to a segment of the population that differs from other segments of the same population in terms of shared values , accumulated wealth , education and other social etiquette. Generally, there are three main indicators of social inequality. They are income, occupation and education.

Other indicators include differences in sex, religion, race, family background and location of residence. According to social stratification system individuals are ranked according to the degree of desirable qualities placed in by members of particular groups. These qualities vary from society to society.

According to functionalists, social stratification is functional to society. Since society has certain needs that must be fulfilled to ensure stability, social stratification is therefore seen as a mechanism to fulfill these prerequisites. Hence, functionalists see social stratification in term of its contribution to the maintenance and well- being of society.

Functionalists assumed that the various parts of society are inter-dependence and therefore a mechanism of integration is needed to ensure that these parts function accordingly.. Thus, a group of individuals that is highly motivated and qualified is needed to fill the important positions in society to monitor the workings of these parts. They hold...