Social Stratification

Sociologists frequently use the phrase "social stratification" to describe a system of social position. As a result, society groups people into socioeconomic tiers based on hierarchical rankings that are primarily based on numerous characteristics like power, income, race, wealth, and education.
Caste-based Societies People are unable to modify their social standing in the caste system because it is a closed stratification structure. People who are born into certain social rankings remain in them for the rest of their life under this type of system (Barkan, 2011). An example is the Hindu caste tradition where individuals are expected to not only work in the occupations in their system but also enter marriage in accordance with their caste.

The Class System- This type of class is based on not only the individual achievement but also social factors. Classes comprise of individuals that possess similar status regarding education, occupation, income and also wealth (Barkan, 2011). Unlike other systems they are open; hence, people can gain different levels of things such as education or employment. Moreover, the system allows socialization and marriages between individuals from various classes.

The Slave System- The slave system; considered to be the most closed system, is believed to have emerged approximately 10,000 years after the development of agricultural-based societies; as a result, individuals in these societies made prisoners of war to work on the farms (Barkan, 2011). Today, slavery is evident in parts of Africa and Asia and includes war prisoners captured during ethnic clashes, children sold as laborers by parents and women and girls captured or kidnapped and used as sex slaves.

Life Chances

In accordance to the sociologist Max Weber, the healthier the economic situation, greater the power within the society and the higher the economic status, all this translate into an increased number of opportunities an individual has to improve one’s quality of life. For example presence of wealth enables individuals to acquire high-quality education which, in, turn enables them to secure good employment opportunities, thus improving their lives.

Davis and Moore’s Argument

According to Davis-Moore, a society must distribute all individuals among the available and varying positions in the society; however, some individuals have to be motivated to fill specific positions and also perform their duties which entails unequal distribution of rewards (Sanderson, 2001). For example in modern medicine, not all people are willing to peruse engineering related course while in school since they are not only expensive but also burdensome; however, people tend to be motivated due to huge rewards associated with engineering careers.

Functionalist and Conflict Theories

In accordance with the conflict theory, the elite are in power because they not only dominate but also control social order inclusive of the limited resources available in the society. The elites are therefore in power because they strive hard in maintaining wealth and power primarily through suppressing the poor (Barkan, 2013). On the other through the functionalist theory, the elites are in power to create harmonious stability in the society; since society is a system of various parts that are interconnected to work together (Barkan, 2013).

Question 2. Social Inequality and Discrimination

Gender discrimination is referred to as any bias, restriction, exclusion or different treatment because of one’s gender as they may be denied opportunities, given defined roles, given unequal pay, among many other instances.

Structural factors of gender inequality are activities, events, and perceptions in the job industry that discriminate against a particular gender. Regarding the occupational ladder in the current world, it is difficult to find many female managerial personnel as there are men while there are many women caregivers; thus male superiority is realized (Mandel, 2017). Cultural and traditional factors from decades ago believe women were just meant to be household keepers and child bearers while the men are portrayed to be breadwinners. Concerning this, men are considered to be superior since they go out to work to earn a living and fend for their families.

Despite the many laws put in place to promote equal earnings between then men and women in the society, the pay difference still exists with the women earning $73 for a dollar that a man earns. The wage gap is still in place because people believe women tend to have less work experience than men, the women are less represented in high paying occupations, women cannot balance between family and work due to child care and poor negotiation skills of the women (Santos, 2017). Gendered jobs exist as our current society has pink collar jobs which are believed to be for women like clerical work, tailors, nurses, household workers and waitresses and jobs like computer engineering, construction and pilot are jobs dominated by men.

Prejudice can be termed as preconceived notion about an aspect without basing on the facts or the experience. Assimilation is referred to as the process of fully understanding or incorporation into the social and psychological characteristics of a group. Pluralism entails the presence of diversity and power in the society, and people get along well regardless of differences. Genocide is the killing or violence against people of a particular group with regard to race, ethnic, or religion to eliminate them from the society.

Individual discrimination involves the negative treatment of a person by another person. Individual discrimination is widely spread, and a person may be denied service or mistreated by another person because of their appearance, age, gender among others. Individual discrimination is hurtful and can lead to psychological complications on the victim (Mandel, 2017). Institutional discrimination has its roots in the society and revolves around management and administrative activities of institutions. The society’s beliefs are what lead to institutional discrimination whereby the beliefs make some groups feel superior to others in institutions especially workplaces.

Question 3: Social Class

American Class System and its Consequences

Social classes refer to grouping people in what can be termed as stratified hierarchies on the basis of education, occupation, income, or wealth. The American social class system has been one of the most controversial issues as social scientists tend to disagree over the models as well as the definition. However, the American class system is made up of the upper class, which compromises of the rich and powerful; the middle classes comprised of owners of factors of production, the working class and the lower class which includes individuals with low paying wage jobs or the poor and homeless (Social Class and Decision Making: Sociological Models of Social Class, n.d).

One of the primary consequences of social classes is the unequal distribution of power, resources, and money which has negative impacts people’s physical health as well as their ability to acquire nutrition and medical care. Another consequence of social class in the American society is on the field of education where people from the upper social classes are likely to get better education which results to better jobs; as a result, the poor are not likely to get education and consequently high paying jobs. This promotes generational poverty and homelessness. Another consequence of the social classes is class conflicts or constant class struggle which is as a result of competition for socioeconomic interests, thus between individuals from different social classes.

Poverty and its Effects

Poverty is the lacking of material possessions or socially acceptable amount of money. Most people in U.S who are poor come from rural areas or the southern region. Around 9% of the white people in America live in poverty, and around 21 to 22 is the percentage of African Americans and Latinos living in poverty (Social Class and Decision Making: Poverty and its Effects on the Society, n.d). The poor people in America have no jobs or have poor paying jobs to fully cater for their basic needs, most at times they miss meals, their health conditions are not good, and some of them have no warm housing or clothing. Some of the effects of poverty in America are such are such as poor sanitation and lack of clean water which leads to an outbreak of diseases that claim a lot of lives. Poverty also affects the society as children drop out from school to work to support their families. Poverty can also lead to the development of violence as it is the easier way the poor can earn a living.


Barkan, S. (2011). Sociology: Understanding and changing the social world. Flat World Knowledge, Incorporated.

Barkan, S. E. (2013). Social problems: Continuity and change. Flat World Knowledge, Incorporated.

Mandel, H. (2017). The Individual and Structural Aspects of Gender Inequality at Work. Retrieved from:

Sanderson, S. K. (2001). The Evolution of Human Sociality: A Darwinian Conflict Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield.

Santos. M. (2017). These Are the Real Reasons for the Gender Gap. Retrieved from:

Social Class and Decision Making: Poverty and its Effects on the Society (n.d). Pearson Learning Solution. Retrieved from:

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price