Sociological Theories Of Racial Stratification

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Many who live in the United States believe in the American Dream; that every man and women has equal opportunity for success in our country. In reality, there are many barriers in the U.S that prevent certain groups from reaching the same success as others. In specific, data has shown that minorities such as African Americans and Native Americans have consistently been denied the wealth that other groups hold, and consequently have higher poverty levels. This paper will examine how The U.S Census Bureau defines poverty, how several sociological theories interrupt racial stratification in the U.S, and what can be done to stop the perpetuation of this issue.
Before analyzing the effects of racial stratification, one must first have an understanding of social stratification. According to James M. Henslin’s Essentials of Sociology social stratification is “the division of large numbers of people into layers according to their relative property, power, and prestige...” (p.195). This “division” can be measured through data such as poverty levels, which are recorded by the United States Census Bureau. The Bureau accounts for traits such as race and gender, which allow patterns of social and racial stratification to emerge.
The U.S Census Bureau defines poverty through two measures: The Official Poverty Measure and The Supplemental Poverty Measure. The contrast in what each measure accounts for creates a difference in who are considered impoverished. The Official Poverty Measure is
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