Contemporary Theory: Stratification

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A major concern of modern-day theory would be the impacts of stratification within society. Social stratification is defined as the “hierarchical or vertical division of society according to rank, caste, or class” ( 2014). Social stratification can be operationally defined “as the systematically unequal distribution of power, wealth, and status (Bowles 2013; Kerbo 2000). Stratification sets up that all known societies past and present “distribute its scarce and demanded goods and services unequally” (Grusky, Ku, and Szelenyi 2008; Tumin 1953). Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore (1945) establish a main function of stratification; which can be explained by the “requirement faced by any society of placing and motivating individuals in social structure[s]” (242). Through this, the basis of stratification arises from the fundamental works of the forefathers of sociology, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim. Marx, Weber, and Durkheim each establishes a foundation as “almost all contemporary stratification theory and research in sociology traces itself back, in some fashion, to one of these three” (Bowles 2013). From this it can be seen how Marx, Weber, and Durkheim's views on stratification vary from one another. Each classical sociologist theory on stratification relates back to the unequal distribution of power, wealth, and status in society in various forms. The works of these cardinal sociologists brings forth contrasting theoretical perspectives towards the evolution of a fundamental theory to the contemporary perspective of society.
Davis and Moore view stratification as a functioning mechanism in society as it serves an important purpose. Society must concern itself with particular conditions at two levels in order to functi...

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