Social Stratification

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Social stratification defines any structure of inequality that persists in a society across generations. Social strata are groups of people — who belong to the same social class or have the same social level. Social strata are organised in a vertical hierarchy. In the early societies people shared a common social standing. In the hunting and gathering societies there was little stratification: men hunted for meat while women gathered edible plants. The general welfare of the society depended on the mutual sharing of goods between all members and no group emerged as better off than the others.

Social inequality began with the emergence of horticulture and pastoral societies. For the first time people had reliable sources of food and the
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Queenstown (Cobh) its last port of call - is just a few kilometres from my home town. The Titanic was dubbed “unsinkable” and was so confident in its invincibility that its lifeboat capacity could accommodate less than half of the individuals onboard. While this means that most of the individuals didn’t make it, it does not mean that everyone on board had an equal chance of survival. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The Titanic represents a very clear cut example of social class divisions providing different opportunities (in this case, opportunities to get on a lifeboat and survive) to individuals occupying different classes. Your odds of survival were greatly shaped by your structural location aboard the ship i.e. your social class, gender and age.

The Sad Story.
Under the command of Edward Smith, the ship left Southampton with 2224 passengers on board for Cherbourg and then on to Cobh. Titanic anchored off Roches Point on April 11th 1912 at 12noon and remained in the harbour for almost two hours taking on supplies, mail and additional passengers. They were taken to board Titanic from the old pier in Queenstown as it was then known, in tenders called America and Ireland. The Titanic then sailed with 2347 passengers aboard, including some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as hundreds of poor emigrants from Europe seeking a new life in North America. The ship had advanced safety
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