Main Features Of Social Stratification Essay - Homework for you

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Main Features Of Social Stratification Essay

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Differentiation is the law of nature.
It is true in the case of human society. Human society is not homogeneous but heterogeneous. Men differ from one another in many respects. Human beings are equal as far as their bodily structure is concerned. But the physical appearance of individuals, their intellectual, moral, philosophical, mental, economic, political and other aspects are different.
No two individuals are exactly alike. Diversity and inequality are inherent in society. Hence human society is everywhere stratified. All societies arrange their members in terms of superiority, inferiority and equality. The vertical scale of evaluation, this placing of people in start or layers is called stratification.
Those in the top stratum have more power, privilege and prestige than those below. Thus stratification is simply a process of interaction of differentiation whereby some people come to rank higher than others.
Definition of social stratification :
According to Ogburn and Nimkoff “The process by which individuals and groups are ranked in a more or less enduring hierarchy of status is known as stratification”.
Gisbert says “Social stratification is the division of society into permanent groups of categories linked with each other by the relationship of superiority and sub-ordination”.
Melvin M. Tumin defines social stratification and refers to “arrangement of any social group or society into a hierarchy of positions that are unequal with regard to power, property, social evolution and of psychic gratification”.
According to Lundberg, "A stratified society is one marked by inequality by differences among people that are evaluated by them is being 'lower' and 'higher'.
According to Raymond W. Murry “Social stratification is a horizontal division of society into ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ social units”.
Characteristics of social stratification :
According to M.M. Tumin the main attributes of stratification are follows.

1. It is social.

Stratification is social in the sense it does not represent biologically caused inequalities. It is true that such factors as strength, intelligence, age and sex can often serve as the basis of strata are distinguished.
But such differences by themselves are not sufficient to explain why some statuses receive more power, property and prestige than others. Biological traits do not determine social superiority and inferiority until they are socially recognised and give importance.
For example the manager of an industry attains a dominant position not by his strength nor by his age but by having the socially defined traits. His education, training skills, experiences, personality, character etc. are found to be more important than his biological qualities.
Further as Tumin has pointed out, the stratification system
(i) is governed by social norms and sanctions,
(ii) is likely to be unstable because it may be disturbed by different factors and
(iii) is intimately connected with the other system of society such as practical family, religious, economic, education and other institutions.

2.It is ancient.

The stratification system is quite old. According to historical and archaeological records, stratification was present even in the small wandering bands. Age and sex were the main criteria of stratification then, women and children last was probably the dominant lie of order.
Difference between the rich and poor, powerful and humble, freemen and slaves was there in almost all the ancient civilizations. Ever since the time of Plato and Kautilva social philosophers have been deeply concerned with economic, social and political inequalities.

3.It is universal.

The stratification system. is a world wide phenomena. Difference between the rich and the poor or the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not's’ is evident everywhere. Even in the non literate societies stratification is very much present. As Sorokin has said, all permanently organized groups are stratified.

4.It is in diverse forms.

The stratification system has never been uniform in all the societies. The ancient Roman society was stratified into two strata- the patricians and the plebeians.
The ancient Aryan society into four Varnas the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Sudras, the ancient Greek society into freemen and slaves, the ancient Chinese society into the mandarins, merchants, farmers and the soldiers and so on.
Class, caste and estate seem to be the general forms of stratification to be found in the modern world. But stratification system seems to be much more complex in the civilized societies

5. It is consequential.

The stratification system has its own consequences. The most important, most desired, and often the scarcest things in human life are distributed unequally because of stratification. The system leads to main kinds of consequences.
(i) Life chances and
(ii) Life-style refers to such things as infant mortality, longevity, physical and mental illness, childlessness, marital conflict, separation and divorce. Life-styles include such matters as the mode of housing residential area, ones education means or recreation relationship between the parents and children, the kind of books, magazines and TV shows to which one is exposed ones mode of conveyance and soon.
Life chances are more involuntary while life-styles reflect differences in preferences tastes and values.

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Social organization of society: stratification, individualism/collectivism, educational and technological level essay

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Social organization of society as a variable of cross-cultural issues examines the role of kinship in making everyday decisions, the degree of population gradation and the differences between high, middle and lower classes, the predominance of individualism or collectivism in the society (Usunier, 1998).

In addition, the prevalence of individualism or collectivism has a great influence on the behavioral responses of consumers. Individualism implies a person’s actions determined in the first place by his interests, which increases the risk. Collectivism, in contrast, leads to the standardization of the interests in the market of needs, involves man’s desire to adhere to certain modes of behavior in the group, which restricts his freedom, but reduces the risk. A priori there are two types of individualism (1 and 2) and collectivism (1 and 2) (Hofstede, 2001; Gelade et al. 2008).
For example, Japanese culture should be attributed to a combination of individualism type 2 and flexible collectivism. The cultures like Scandinavian can be regarded as favorable for the realization of democracy, industrialism, mass society. Care for reciprocity typical for the individualism type 2 is very effective for the emergence of ideas about social equality, and “flexible collectivism” that recognizes the active participation of individuals provides a basis for commitment to social equality. Such combination allowed Japan to succeed in the highly developed organization of mass society and maintain a high level of internal cultural stability. And at the same time, since Japanese culture is based on a combination of derivative rather than pure types of individualism and collectivism, its internal stability is not effective enough to withstand external pressures (Gelade et al. 2008).

A typical example of culture formed by “atomistic individualism” (type 1) and “flexible collectivism” is the United States. This culture is characterized by a mixture of anarchy and democracy complemented by the pronounced tendency of competition and freedom (Hoecklin & Payne, 1995).

We can conclude that collectivism encourages the tendency to adaptive (Russia) and integrative (Japan) behavior, while individualism encourages the desire to create and achieve new goals and maintain latent social values (the USA, Europe) (Robert & Wasti, 2002).

It is interesting to note that American and Western European authors always point to a favorable position of the Japanese manager in contrast to his Western European and American counterparts. Firstly, Japanese managers simply do not have to deal with such sore points like absenteeism, poor discipline, staff turnover, etc. This is explained by the special moral and psychological climate, which helps Japanese companies to achieve great practical success (Jackson, 2011).

In Japan, it is difficult to link the requirements to improve the overall efficiency of the organization with individualism. Each employee is originally included in a group. The requirement to improve efficiency of the organization is associated with the traditional collectivism and aims to improve the performance of the group, which includes the given employee. In general, the group takes such an internal structure, which links all its members to strictly ranked hierarchy (Robert & Wasti, 2002).

In Western societies, on the contrary, the desire for unity in the organization is weak. Management focuses on the individual and the evaluation of this management is based on individual performance. Business career is caused by personal results and accelerated promotion. The main qualities of leadership in the management of such a model are professionalism and initiative, supervisor’s individual control and clearly formalized control procedure. Other features are formal relationships with subordinates, payment for individual achievements and individual responsibility (Browaeys & Price, 2011; Cateora et al. 2010).

International business rarely takes into account the orientation, studied subjects, the level and profile of education in any country. Comparative data with foreign markets can help in understanding, for example, the level of literacy and its impact on technical training and the establishment of market linkages.

The level of education in the country has a huge influence on the technical capacity of the state (French, 2010). For example, studies have proven this fact and found that only Japan and Germany (countries with the highest level of technical education) possess the technical capacity to produce a specific device. This device consists of a half-meter steel cylinder with a ball inside. This ball is so tightly fitted that if to pour in the water, not a drop will leak to the bottom of the cylinder. Moreover, the ball under the force of its weight should slide down to the bottom of the cylinder in exactly 24 hours (Holden, 2001).

The value of formal education is required when recruiting personnel and conducting discussions with customers and partners. It is also important to know how local firms carry out in-service training for its staff.

Social Stratification Essay

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In modern society, social stratification determines position of individuals in relation to other classes, occupations, gender and races. Most theories of post-industrialism argue that the stratification systems of industrial society are broken down by the new flexibility of occupational systems. Social stratification determines relations between family background, educational paths and opportunities, and types of occupational definition and identity are fundamental to the analysis of social class in modern societies.

Researchers (Brym and Lie) note that theoretical traditions relate to particular social structures. Social stratification takes its roots in class division and class struggle described by Karl Marx. For example, the low position accorded to all manual labor in the prestige ranking approach of US sociologists can be seen as a reflection of the position of skilled manual work in that society, where, with the exception of very few traditional craft occupations, manual skills are not externally certificated occupations, conveying some autonomous social status and in the organization of which trade unions might have some role, but the property of employers (Bian 91). Critics (Brym and Lie) decompose their model of this stability into four components which will account for patterns of mobility between classes: hierarchy, inheritance, sector, and affinity. Hierarchy refers the different authority levels which distinguish some occupations from each other. Inheritance refers to the tendency of families to transmit class positions across generations. Sector refers primarily to the difference between rural and industrial social experience, and affinity to the social links that relate some classes closer together. Class is seen as an attribute of individuals but derived from their total household circumstances. This is determined by the character of their study, which is to examine the mobility trajectories of individuals (Shihadeh and Steffensmeier 730). Such an approach is less easily able to consider classes themselves as collectivities with certain shared attributes and behaviors, unless it can be assumed that the individuals who comprise a class have overall household characteristics which derive primarily from the characteristics of the class. This assumption is fulfilled in the case of people who are the predominant earners in their households, of which they are the 'heads'. In such cases the income and other conditions associated with the occupations that comprise the class will be similar across all households of class members. The classic mid-century compromise society of a male breadwinning workforce would be an example of such a society. Where most working women are concerned the assumption is not satisfied: the occupational classes they form are often comprised of people coming from diverse household backgrounds, and the earnings of these households are usually not predominately derived from the women's own labor-market position. Indeed, to the extent that women contribute to household income, the central assumption ceases to be true for men as well as women. This development has important implications for classes as social collectivities (Bian 91).

From the sociological point of view, the concept of social stratification is closely connected with social mobility. Fundamental is a distinction between absolute and relative social mobility. In their research, Bian discusses social stratification in Chinese society in cultural context. Shihadeh and Steffensmeier research social strification in terms of ocial control and crimes among black population. The former concerns shifts that take place through changes in the size of occupational groups and in the family sizes of people in these groups in the parent generation. The latter concerns any changes that take place in mobility chances once the former have been taken into account. For example, let us imagine a society with no immigration from abroad and with just two relevant occupational groups: managers and workers (Bian 91). If over time the demand for managers grows relative to that for workers but existing managerial families do not produce enough children to fill the new managerial posts in the next generation, then some workers' children must experience mobility into the managerial class even if nothing happens to improve equality of opportunity and managerial children continue to have privileged opportunities to succeed their parents. The concept of social stratification is important because it helps sociologists and economists to explain and determine social relations and interaction between individuals from different social groups and strata. The mobility that then takes place will of course be highly significant to the individuals concerned and may involve certain interesting social changes through the arrival of 'newcomers' to the managerial class. It would be wrong to interpret such a change as marking any increase in the openness of the society or in its equality of opportunities. This latter occurs only if relative mobility takes place that is if people from workers' families are moving into the managerial class in greater numbers than required by changes in the size of the families of the two groups in the parental generation and of the occupational groups in the second generation (Shihadeh and Steffensmeier 732).

It is likely to be a class that fails to meet many of the criteria required for a class to be a demographic entity with widely shared characteristics among its members. his seems to result from considerable diversity in the formal rules which relate educational qualifications to occupational placement (Bian 91). Where rules are left much looser they might have more chance. In the general systems families have little choice other than to place all their emphasis on their children maximizing opportunities of any kind; and the education system has no particular need to adapt itself to signals coming from the occupational system about types of qualifications. On the other hand, as we have noted, there is a much clearer hierarchy running down from managerial positions, with manual work of all kinds being lowly ranked (Shihadeh and Steffensmeier 734).

As social stratification and social change is not a stable process, social theories need constant revising and revision. This is explained by the fact that the most important factor determining social stratification chances is sector (that is, the boundary between the agricultural and all other sectors), while the most important set of factors is a cluster of different aspects of inter-generational inheritance. Hierarchy and affinity were considerably less important, though they did have some effect. This Stratification in advanced societies cannot be seen in terms of an ordered prestige hierarchy. Two fundamental features of class relations-relative similarities and differences between classes and varying degrees of hierarchy among them-accounted for the main structures of relative mobility chances, testifying to the continuing validity of occupationally based classes as structural features of modern societies (Bian 91). And in each case the strength of inheritance demonstrates the continuing role of families in sustaining class patterns across generations. Researchers are primarily concerned with the development of advanced industrial society, and cannot tell us much about the hypothesized shift to post-industrialism, which in most countries developed strongly only after the years in which their data were gathered (Shihadeh and Steffensmeier 735).

In sum, theory of social stratification shows that the main sectoral transition with which individuals are concerned is social changes and position of a person on a social ladder. Social stratification is analyzed through transition between manufacturing and the various services sectors; male manual workers in manufacturing industry stand at the centre of much of their analysis, and there is very little on the emerging new class of routine nonmanual women in various services. In a context of frequent change and of a general upgrading of skill levels, researchers predict a further decline in the power of family to influence educational outcomes. Many of the predictions of declining class inequality have been oversimplifications; the clarity of class identities may be declining, but levels of inequality associated with them might be increasing.

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