Social Stratification in Brisbane and the wider Australian society.

Essay by kathrina12 November 2005

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Social stratification has always been evident in society. From the works of Marx, to Davis and Moore, different sociologists have theorized why there is social inequality. In Brisbane, like the wider Australian society, suburbs can be mapped socially, showing the diverse nature of Brisbane. For this reason, this essay will attempt to prove through the definition of capitalism that Brisbane is a Functionalist society, not a Marxist society.

Social stratification exists in Australian society because people are individuals; individuals that have different life chances and belong to different social classes. "Social difference becomes social stratification when people are ranked hierarchically along some dimension, weather this be income, wealth, power, prestige, age, ethnicity, gender or some other characteristic." People with the same rank in society tend to have the same life chances. Fortunately in Australia we have social mobility. Social mobility defined as the possibility for individuals to change social class by own effort in an upwards or downwards direction.

In Brisbane, suburbs can be socially mapped. Three suburbs that have been socially mapped includes: Hamilton as an upper class suburb, Mount Gravatt as a middle class suburb and Inala as a lower class suburb. Each suburb has a certain amount of prestige. Inala had some run-down houses and was home to many government facilities. Mount Gravatt had a variety of houses. Hamilton had a private school, overlooked the river and had a castle. After examining the Australian Bureau of statistics 2001 census results for each of the above mentioned areas, trends began to emerge. It was discovered that the household size decreased as the social class increased, 2.2 in Hamilton, 2.3 in Mount Gravatt and 2.7 in Inala. However the median household income increased as the social class increased. $400-$499 in Inala, $600-$699 in Mount Gravatt and...