1. What is social stratification? Why are class, caste, gender and ethnicity considered to be systems of stratification? Answer- Social stratification is the division of society into different groups in a pattern of ranking. In simple sentence, social stratification means inequalities between different groups of people. It is division of a large group of society and their unequal access to resources. Our society is divided into many groups by class, caste, gender, ethnicity. It classified the various types of social stratification like upper class, lower class and middle class.
Social stratification is based on social or biological characteristics such as social class, caste, gender and ethnicity. It plays a very important role in system of stratification. Social class- Class is a large scale grouping of people who share common economic resources that influence our lifestyle. It is the most important factor of social stratification. Classes based on economic factor. In our society we have many classes like rich &poor, men & women, young & old and also superior & inferior. There is stratification among them. There are three types of classes in the society- The higher class, middle class and lower class.
These are divided according to there economic factor. The people who have wealth, prestige and power they belongs to higher class. But its opposite, the people who are poor not a high status in society are belongs to lower class. Class is not influenced by religion and culture. According to the article In developed countries like America class is a very important factor for social stratification. It can also say that class is based on occupational structure. The higher class people provide their children higher education. They get high skill from higher education. There is demand of high skill in the market.
So, they get high post in job easily, But the lower class people can not provide higher education to their children. So they can not develop their skill. There is no demand of low skill in the market. Then they do not get high post. They get only low skill job. If somebody belong to higher class have then he has a big property. So they have a good lifestyle. They can provide better lifestyle to their children. They can provide higher education to their children and higher education provides them high skill and also improves their language skill which has more demand in market. Then they will get high level job.
But the lower class people can not provide all facilities to their children. So their demand in market will be less and they can not get high skill job. Gender- It is one of the most important factors of social stratification. It also divides society into stratification. Male and female are the factor of gender. Generally we saw in our society that boys get higher education than girls, If even girls also have same talent capacity. In school boy encourages to take Mathematics, science girls encourages to take Home science, literature. Then boys can get high skill job than girls,.
But sometimes women’s income determine class stratification because in some houses women have high level job and regular but the husband have temporary and low level job and also sometime women’s income is crucial even if it is low than man’s. Caste- It is a close stratification. It is a social problem. It is manly divided into higher and lower caste in the society. Generally we see that the higher caste like Brahman have more power in society than a lower caste. Their children get admission in school earlier than a lower caste child. They look down upon them. By this system the lower caste can not progress.
They can not get higher position. This system is coming from earlier. In Indian context caste is a very big factor of social stratification. Untouchability is found within caste. If any lower caste people touch the higher caste people than they feel impure and taking a bath. Ethnicity- It is a quality which makes difference between different groups. Culture is the central point by which one group distinct from another and in culture these – language, religion, color, history, living style and also adornment are the factors which distinguishes these groups. In all societies ethnicity is found in different ways.
As for example- the tribal casts are discriminate by other groups. They are prohibited to use private places, if there is any festival in the village, they are forbidden to come there. If we search in India that how many children from Tribal caste are educated than we find that very few children are educated. In the developed country America, the people who has black skin, they are discriminate among them. There children can not get admission early in there school. The high skill people also have to face many problems to get high post in job only because they are their skin is black.
in class we find inequality and position which is controlled by material resources. In class we find the relation of master and slave. In Indian context class is not a very important factor of social stratification but it plays a very important role in developed countries to produce educational inequalities. The people who belongs to higher class, they admitted their children in the best school where they gain higher education and also high skills develop in them which has very demand in the market. So they get high level job.
But its opposite, the people who belongs to lower class they can not provide higher education to their children then high skill will not develop in them. There is no demand of unskilled people in the market. That’s why they can not get high post in job. Caste- Caste is a social phenomenon in Indian society. There are around 5000 castes in India. These all castes are divided in two groups- the higher and lower caste. Every caste is different from one another. One caste is different from other by their culture and religion. Everyone have their own culture. The higher class discriminate the lower caste.
They do not mix them in their group. Untouchability is a main factor of caste which is found in India. If lower people touch the higher people then they feel impure to themselves and take bath again. In our society only Brahman can worship in holy occasion like festival, marriage. Without Brahman these can not complete. We welcome him as a God. We touch their feet and they gave us bless. But the people who are very elder with them they also touch their feet take blessing and we also feel happy to touch their feet. Is it right only because they belong to higher caste?
Gender- It is a way by which the society distinguished into men and women and assign them in their social role. It is a term which is used to understand social realities related to men and women. It is constructed by society. Gender can be distinguished by masculine and feminine qualities, behavior patterns, roles and responsibilities etc. It is not constant but it is variable which can be changed time to time, culture to culture and also one family to other family. In Indian society seem to have a great difference between genders. Men are given more value than women. There are less expectations of our family, school with girls than
boys. The society create highly distinct between men and women. In Indian society we find enormous hierarchy and inequality against women. Maximum parents sent their boys other country for higher education. But they do not like to send their girls far away. Even if girls have also talent and capacity to do this. In this manner the girls remain backward from boys. If we take another example of working then we also see that there is inequality between men and women. In maximum working place like factories, in cultivation work etc we see that a big amount is given to men than women.
They do same work but there is also inequalities between them. Ethnicity- It is divided by culture, religion, language, life style etc. Those people who are similar to each other belong to same group. There are equality among them. One group discriminate other group. For example- If two men goes for a interview. One belongs to high culture and other belongs to low culture. Then we generally see that they select that man who belongs to higher culture. Because they thought that he have all qualities. He knows how to talk, how to behave. Even if both have same qualities.