The Origin of Social Stratification

5566 Words May 1st, 2011 23 Pages
INTRODUCTION
Social stratification is rigid subdivision of society into a hierarchy of layers, differentiated on the basis of power, prestige and wealth. It is the hierarchical arrangement of people in a society.

Stratification is common in the animal kingdom on the basis of power and gender and some form of stratification has probably always existed among humans. With the development of food and other surpluses resulting from technological advances in agriculture and manufacturing, some people began to accumulate more recourses or wealth than others.

Social stratification can happen on the basis of caste, income, wealth, education, religion, power, age, gender, occupation, race, region, language, party and politics. There could be many
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Wages rose, and workers had something they had never had before: buying power. They could purchase homes, automobiles, and a vast array of consumer goods. Though their financial success was nothing compared to that of their bosses, the gap between the two was narrowing, and the middle class grew stronger.
At the same time, new forms of inequality took hold. The increasing sophistication and efficiency of factory machines led to the need for a different kind of worker—one who could not only operate certain kinds of equipment but could also read and write. The classification of the skilled worker was born. A skilled worker is literate and has experience and expertise in specific areas of production, or on specific kinds of machines. In contrast, many unskilled workers could neither read nor write English and had no specific training or expertise. The division arose between skilled and unskilled workers, with the former receiving higher wages and, as some would say, greater job security.
POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES
The rise of postindustrial societies, in which technology supports an information-based economy, has created further social stratification. Fewer people work in factories, while more work in service industries. Education has become a more significant determinant of social position. The Information Revolution has also increased global stratification. Even though new technology

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