Social Stratification Essay, Research Paper

Social stratification is the ranking of members of society in a manner

that some of its members are regarded as superior and others as inferior.

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This theory is surely debated in present clip and was debated as far

back as 1776 when Karl Marx presented his theory in his & # 8220 ; Manifesto of

the Communist Party & # 8221 ; . In the 1880 & # 8217 ; s, Max Weber combatted that papers

in his ain & # 8220 ; Class, Status and Party. & # 8221 ;

Karl Marx believed that societal standing or rank was based entirely on

category place. For illustration, an proprietor of a concern was regarded far above

a worker in that same concern. Class place would besides act upon the

sum of political power one had every bit good as the prestigiousness that one enjoyed.

Weber, nevertheless, argued that there were three parts to societal

stratification: category, position and power. He stated that category was comparative

to how much money a individual had and how much belongings that individual owned.

Status was split into two classs, & # 8220 ; award and regard & # 8221 ; , and manner of life,

which included idiosyncrasies, the nutrients and apparels one used, the mode

in which a individual radius, and the vicinity in which one lived. This

can be applied to today & # 8217 ; s universe ; have oning so called interior decorator labels such as

Polo and Donna Karan and driving a BMW would bespeak a higher manner

of life than have oning J.C. Penny or driving a Kia. In today & # 8217 ; s society, the

Keith Page 2

people populating a higher manner of life normally shy away from those of a lower

economic position. You do non frequently encounter kids from wealthy

Manhattan households playing with kids from Harlem. The 3rd portion

of Weber & # 8217 ; s theory on societal stratification was power, which Weber defined as


vitamin E opportunities of holding other people do what you want them to make irrespective

of their ain wants.

Marx would non hold argued with Weber about the three factors

being in being ; nevertheless, he likely would province that the category of the

individual would find how much position and power a individual would hold.

Weber agreed with Marx in the fact that in a capitalistic society, category had

the biggest influence on a individual & # 8217 ; s place and that position and power were

given more to the higher categories. Weber said, nevertheless, that there were

other societies in which this was non true, such as in the Estates System of

Medieval Europe and the Caste System of India. In the Estates System,

power was the most of import factor of societal rank, followed by category and

position. The best combatants were given baronial standing and the ownership of

a feudal estate, which gave them position. In the Caste System of India,

position is the make up one’s minding factor of societal stratification. If Karl Marx heard

Max Weber & # 8217 ; s theories on societal rank, I believe it would do his ears pealing

in dissension.

Keith Hodne Page 3

Marx and Weber & # 8217 ; s theories are both highly thought provoking

when it comes to today & # 8217 ; s society and societal ranking. Weber & # 8217 ; s theory still

exists ; nevertheless, Marx & # 8217 ; s theory is long disregarded. For illustration, in the

United States, people in the amusement industry, such as film stars,

are gaining laughably high wages, and have no political power, while

politicians and authorities functionaries earn much less yet have the power to

do determinations that affect 1000000s of people. Both, nevertheless, have

high position in the arrangement of society. This indicates that adult male & # 8217 ; s want

to be an single prevails.


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