Social Stratification in India and the United States Essay

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As a result of increasing populations, various governments around the world have developed socially stratified societies as a means to control their inhabitants. In these societies “people are hierarchy divided and ranked into social strata…and do not share equally in basic resources that support survival” (Haviland, 2008; 258). More specifically, the Hindu cast system in India and the social class system in the United States of America are two examples of social stratification that have been developed to control a large population into a manageable number of social categories. Although these two forms of taxonomy are distinct and unique in their own right, they are very similar in the sense that they control a large heterogeneous group …show more content…
Furthermore, the religious belief in karma conditions people of lower casts to behave accordingly, so as to not jeopardize their upward movement into higher categories when they are reincarnated. A similar system of stratification is the class system used in the United States. As seen in the film People Like Us, this system is composed of an upper, middle and lower social class in which its members share interests, opinions and a common outlook on life. Like in India, individuals are usually born into their respective classes giving them certain limitations and guidelines to follow. The upper class is composed of social elites who are wealthy and usually become powerful figures in society, such as politicians or the owners of major corporations (Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, 2001). On the other hand, the lower class is composed of hard working people who are poor and usually stay within their strata due to race, lifestyle and the occupations that are available to them with little or no opportunity for upward mobility. For example, Karen Brodkin Sacks asserts in her article “How Did Jews Become White Folks,” that “the United States has a history of anti-Semitism and of beliefs that Jews [and African Americans] were members of an inferior race” therefore, they were classified as

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