The Concept of Social Stratification

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Social stratification can be simply defined by stating that it is a system in which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy (Macionis, page 224). The concept of social stratification is based on four central principles, which are social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences, it carries over from one generation to the next, while it is universal, it is also variable, and social stratification involves not only inequality but beliefs as well (Macionis, pages 224-225). The first principle, that social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences, basically says that children born into wealthy families are more likely to be of good health, do well in school, succeed in a career, and live a long life (Macionis, pages 224-225). An example of this first principle can be seen in the what happened to the Titanic. The first-class passengers survived not because they were better swimmers than the second- and third-class passengers, but because of their privileged position (Macionis, page 224-225). The second principle states that the concept of social stratification is one that carries over from one generation to the next (Macionis, page 225). This concept is essentially stating that the social standing of a person is partially determined by their parents. Most people’s social standing remains constant throughout their lives (Macionis, page 225). While social stratification is
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