Stratification : Social, Class, And Caste

1197 WordsNov 20, 20145 Pages
Stratification: Social, Economic, Class, and Caste Social stratification is made up of hierarchical relationships among different groups of people. It is as though people are arranged in strata, or layers. Groups may be unequal with material resources, power, human welfare, education, and symbolic attributes. This social stratification began with the emergence of agriculture, but is now universally present. Stratification can be broken up into categories such as class, caste, age, and indigeneity. There is a difference in membership within these categories that can be broken down into ascribed and achieved positions. Society places people into different categories, defining their status. Achieved positions are based on the qualities that the person has gained through action. Included in an achieved position is class. “Social class refers to a person’s or group’s position in society and is defined primarily in economic terms,” (273). This is a secondary social group, which means that there are too many members for them to all have a relationship with one another. Class can be important to determining a person’s status, but sometimes they have nothing to do with each other. The textbook tells us that the class system allows for upward mobility in capitalist societies, which some anthropologists call meritocratic individualism. On the other hand, in the structure of the class system in an economic stratification, economic class can shape a person’s lifestyle and
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