Perspectives of Social Stratification

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Apart from the natural differences, human beings are also differentiated according to socially approved criteria that are upheld. Haralambos, Holborn and Heard (2004:p 1) stated that social stratification is a form of social inequality that represents distinct social groups which are ranked about the other in terms of factors such as prestige and wealth. Social Stratification draws attention to unequal positions occupied by individuals in society. In the modern industrial world the stratification system that has been dominant is a class system. Sociologists such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, Davis and Moore have all added their perspectives to social stratification. Perspectives of social stratification include the functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective and Weber’s class stratification. Class stratification proposed by Max Weber best describes social stratification in the English speaking Caribbean. Weber believed that social stratification results for competition for scarce resources in the society. Like Marx, Weber believed that class is based on power and the distribution of that power, Weber proposed that power is not limited to economic dimension but also involves social and political dimensions as well. Empirical studies in the Caribbean have mainly focused on class distinction, status hierarchy and power. Class, status, party and power are dimensions Max Weber class stratification perspective that is most relevant in the English speaking Caribbean. Haralambos, Holborn and Heard (2004:12-14) defined a class as a group of individuals who share a similar position in a market economy, and by virtue of that fact receive similar economic rewards. Class in a modern society is perceived based on achieved criteria as oppos... ... middle of paper ... Gaspard-Richards Denis, Deochan Vashti, and Berkley Bennie, Introduction to Sociology SOCI1002 (SY14G), (Bridgetown, Barbados: University of the West Indies, 2005), 165-200. Haralambos, M., M. Holborn and R. Heald, Social stratification–a Marxist perspective. In Sociology: Themes and Perspectives (6th edn.).London: Harper-Collins. (2004). pp. 9–14. Nasser Mustapha, Sociology for Caribbean Students, (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2009), 200-216. Puja Mondal (2013)‘Social Stratification: Meaning, Types, and Characteristics’. (March 16, 2014) Sociology 318 (2002) ‘Class, Status, and Party'. (March 20, 2014)
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