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Ministry of General and Professional Education

of Russian Federation

Tula State University

Department of Sociology

Social Stratification and Mobility

Fulfilled by: Golopolosov Dmitry

group 220671

Checked by: Scherbakova V.P.

Tula, 1999

Tula, 1999 2

Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis 5

Social mobility 5

Identifying social classes 6

Table 1. Identifying social classes 6

Middles rank according to profession 7

Whole amount of respondents 7

What is Stratification?

Social stratification is a structured ranking of individuals and groups – their grading into horizontal layers or strata.

There are two different types of stratification systems: open system and closed system. Open system is a stratification system, in which people can change their status with relative ease. Closed system is a stratification system, in which people have great difficulty in changing their status.

I think that there is a closed system in our country, because a person having nothing-valuable resources can\'t change his social status. For example, ordinate engineer can\'t suddenly become a bank officer with greater income. Person must have some capital, money, bank securities or intellectual capital. But, I think, nowadays there is a great tendency in our society to have more money than an intellect, i.e. money capital is more preferable than a great intellectual potential of our nation.

The study of social stratification is the study of class, caste, privilege, status that is characteristic of a particular society. It varies according to how society is organized especially in terms of production and work. We will emphasize class.

What is the connection between the question: what do you want to be when you grow up and social stratification (especially the class character of the society you live in)? Your position in society and the rewards that will be associated with it. It has an impact on your possibility of realistically meeting your opportunities for mobility. Mobility refers to the likelihood that you can achieve a class, caste different from where you come from, your roots. Mobility and stratification are related.

What image does strata invoke as a model of the social world? Strata comes the natural sciences. Dr. Brush argues that it is interesting that sociologists use a natural phenomena to talk about social phenomena. It seems to contradict the main message of the course: our world is socially constructed phenomena and not a natural process. Thus, stratification is not equal to natural accretion.

Hypothesis posed by a classmate: society needs stratification to be healthy and keep the peace. Which of the three main sociological perspectives supports this statement? The functionalist perspective. Most stratification arguments come out of this perspective. The second part of the hypothesis (to keep the peace) relates more to the conflict perspective.

Stratification and egalitarianism are related. In a sociological sense strata is a category that\'s associated with social hierarchy. That is, people are ranked according to their rank, class, authority. If a society has ranks then it is a stratified society. If it does not, then it is an egalitarian society. Keep in mind, that these are relative terms.

Last week we drew a picture that tells the story of how societies are organized around work. As societies move from simple to complex organization, they start to get levels of inequality that would need stratification to keep the peace. The differences are not natural, neutral nor random. They are ranked and constitute a hierarchy along the lines of race, gender, age, income among others.

Class is about how society organizes production and the outcomes that it creates for people; this a combination of a Marxian (stratification) and Weberian (organization) understanding.

Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis

  • Certain position in any society are functionally more important than others and require special skills for their performance.

  • Only a limited number of individuals in any society have the talents which can be trained into the skills appropriate to these positions.

  • the conversion of talents into skills involves a training period during which sacrifices of one kind or another are made by those undergoing the training.

  • In order to induce the talented persons to undergo these sacrifices and acquire the training, their future positions must carry an inducement value in the form of differential, i.e., privileged and disproportionate access to the scarce and desired rewards which the society has to offer.

  • These scarce and desired goods consist of the rights and perquisites attached to or built into, the positions, and can be classified into those things which contribute to a.) sustenance and comfort, b.) humor an diversion, c.) self-respect and ego expansion.

  • This differential access to the basic rewards to the society has a consequence the differentiation of the prestige and esteem which various strata acquire. This may be said, along with the rights and perquisites, to constitute institutionalized social inequality, i.e., stratification.

  • Therefore, social inequality among different strata in the amounts of scarce and desired goods, and the amounts of prestige and esteem, which they receive, is both positively functional and inevitable in any society.

    Social mobility

    Social mobility is a process, when individuals or groups can move from one level (stratum) to another in the stratification system. There are three types of social mobility:

  • Vertical mobility involves movement from one social status to another of higher or lower rank.