Stratification in America

Essay by notliceheadUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

Part I.

With my understanding of social stratification in America, I would have to say that I am more of a conflict theorist. Conflict theory suggests that competition and conflicts occurs very often in societies through social interactions. The studies of these developments are a good way to understand a society. I believe that there is no perfect society, someone will eventually have to gain and some will just have to lose--this is how the game goes. At times, conflicts will be created, it is just unavoidable.

According to Landis, every grouping of people has imbalances of power and authorities (12). There are just some people that always give orders and act as a leader in a group, and some that follows those orders--of course, there's always some in between. To have authority is like the 'power' to rule, and obviously not a very large number of individuals could have power, and this usually leads to conflicts in societies (Landis 13).

Some times, I do think of questions such as: who's going to gain the most from this? Who's this going to disadvantage? Thus, I'm certain that I'm more of a conflict theorist, than a functionalist.

"The key for conflict theorists is control of scarce good and services; those who can gain this control will hold power and prestige" (Landis 162). To have power, is to have persuasion and some sort of control over others. Let's say jobs for example, some jobs have higher returns than others, it's not because of the importance of that job, but it is the 'power' that it holds. For example, doctors are the highest paying occupation, they are highly paid not because they could do something 'special' that others can't, but it is the admission to the medical school and the numerous years...