Social Stratification And Its Effects On Physical And Mental Differences

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For as long as there has awareness of physical differences in people there has been social stratification. Social stratification is the separation of based on physical and mental differences. Every society exhibits a pattern of separation between its people. We will focus mainly on the United States and how they organize people based on the three main organizing principles, class, race, and gender. Social class is defines as “the grouping of individuals by economic position” (Larkin, Para. 9). Members of each social class share similar income, wealth, lifestyle, social norms, behaviors, and life opportunities. Sociology theorists Dennis Gilbert and Joseph A. Kahl developed a six class stratification system by grouping individuals by education, income, and occupation. The six classes are capitalist or elites, upper middle class, lower middle class, working class, working-poor class, and underclass. There is a huge difference in the income and education levels between the capitalist class and the underclass. The capitalist class, for example, makes on average about two to four million dollars per year, while the underclass makes less than twelve thousand per year. The one percent of people in the capitalist class have high degrees of education from well known, prestigious universities, while the underclass, the bottom five percent of people, may sometimes not even have a high school diploma. It is very difficult for someone to move up a class, but is easy from someone to
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