Social stratification

social hierarchystratificationstratifiedsocial standingsocial stratahierarchicalsocial hierarchiesclass divisionhierarchysocial stratum
Social stratification is a kind of social differentiation whereby members of society are grouped into socioeconomic strata, based upon their occupation and income, wealth and social status, or derived power (social and political).wikipedia
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Social class

classsocial classesclasses
In modern Western societies, social stratification is typically defined in terms of three social classes: (i) the upper class, (ii) the middle class, and (iii) the lower class; in turn, each class can be subdivided into strata, e.g. the upper-stratum, the middle-stratum, and the lower stratum.
A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle and lower classes.

Social status

statussuccesssocial ladder
Social stratification is a kind of social differentiation whereby members of society are grouped into socioeconomic strata, based upon their occupation and income, wealth and social status, or derived power (social and political).
In doing so, these shared cultural beliefs make unequal distributions of resources and power appear natural and fair, supporting systems of social stratification.

Upper class

upper-classhigh societyupper
In modern Western societies, social stratification is typically defined in terms of three social classes: (i) the upper class, (ii) the middle class, and (iii) the lower class; in turn, each class can be subdivided into strata, e.g. the upper-stratum, the middle-stratum, and the lower stratum.
The term is often used in conjunction with terms like upper-middle class, middle class, and working class as part of a model of social stratification.

Sociology

sociologistsociologicalsociologists
In sociology, for example, proponents of action theory have suggested that social stratification is commonly found in developed societies, wherein a dominance hierarchy may be necessary in order to maintain social order and provide a stable social structure.
The different traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, sexuality, gender, and deviance.

Social mobility

upward mobilityintergenerational mobilitymobility
Conflict theories, such as Marxism, point to the inaccessibility of resources and lack of social mobility found in stratified societies.
Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society.

Social structure

social structuresstructuresocial system
In sociology, for example, proponents of action theory have suggested that social stratification is commonly found in developed societies, wherein a dominance hierarchy may be necessary in order to maintain social order and provide a stable social structure.
On the macro scale, social structure is the system of socioeconomic stratification (most notably the class structure), social institutions, or other patterned relations between large social groups.

Social inequality

inequalitysocial inequalitiesracial inequality
Determining the structures of social stratification arises from inequalities of status among persons, therefore, the degree of social inequality determines a person's social stratum.
One's social location in a society's overall structure of social stratification affects and is affected by almost every aspect of social life and one's life chances.

Achieved status

achievedStatusachieved characteristics
Open stratification systems are those that allow for mobility between strata, typically by placing value on the achieved status characteristics of individuals.
Social mobility refers to one's ability to move their status either up or down within the social stratification system, as compared with their family’s status in early life.

Middle class

middle-classmiddlemiddle classes
In modern Western societies, social stratification is typically defined in terms of three social classes: (i) the upper class, (ii) the middle class, and (iii) the lower class; in turn, each class can be subdivided into strata, e.g. the upper-stratum, the middle-stratum, and the lower stratum.
The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy.

Differentiation (sociology)

differentiationfunctional differentiationsocial differentiation
Generally, the greater the social complexity of a society, the more social strata exist, by way of social differentiation.
Stratificatory differentiation or social stratification is a vertical differentiation according to rank or status in a system conceived as a hierarchy.

Max Weber

WeberWeberianWeber, Max
Max Weber was strongly influenced by Marx's ideas but rejected the possibility of effective communism, arguing that it would require an even greater level of detrimental social control and bureaucratization than capitalist society.
The Protestant Ethic formed the earliest part in Weber's broader investigations into world religion; he went on to examine the religions of China, the religions of India and ancient Judaism, with particular regard to their differing economic consequences and conditions of social stratification.

Life chances

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Instead, he develops a three-component theory of stratification and the concept of life chances.
Both Weber and Marx agreed that economic factors were important in determining one's future, but Weber's concepts of life chances are more complex; inspired by, but different from Marx's views on social stratification and social class.

Tribe

tribaltribestribals
Moreover, a social stratum can be formed upon the bases of kinship, clan, tribe or caste, or all four. The categorization of people by social strata occurs in all societies, ranging from the complex, state-based or polycentric societies to tribal and feudal societies, which are based upon socio-economic relations among classes of nobility and classes of peasants.

Marxism

MarxistMarxistsMarxist ideology
Conflict theories, such as Marxism, point to the inaccessibility of resources and lack of social mobility found in stratified societies. Weber held there are more class divisions than Marx suggested, taking different concepts from both functionalist and Marxist theories to create his own system.

Social science

social sciencessocial scientistsocial
Historically, whether or not hunter-gatherer societies can be defined as socially stratified or if social stratification began with agriculture and common acts of social exchange, remains a debated matter in the social sciences.
For example, social stratification studies inequality and class structure; demography studies changes in a population size or type; criminology examines criminal behaviour and deviance; and political sociology studies the interaction between society and state.

State (polity)

statestatesthe state
The categorization of people by social strata occurs in all societies, ranging from the complex, state-based or polycentric societies to tribal and feudal societies, which are based upon socio-economic relations among classes of nobility and classes of peasants.
Early states were characterized by highly stratified societies, with a privileged and wealthy ruling class that was subordinate to a monarch.

Bourgeoisie

bourgeoisburgherburghers
When the aristocracy falls, the bourgeoisie become the owners of the means of production in the capitalist system.
After the Industrial Revolution (1750–1850), by the mid-19th century the great expansion of the bourgeoisie social class caused its stratification – by business activity and by economic function – into the haute bourgeoisie (bankers and industrialists) and the petite bourgeoisie (tradesmen and white-collar workers).

Davis–Moore hypothesis

functional necessitythe Davis-Moore hypothesis
The Davis–Moore hypothesis argues that a position does not bring power and prestige because it draws a high income; rather, it draws a high income because it is functionally important and the available personnel is for one reason or another scarce.
The hypothesis is an attempt to explain social stratification.

Acephalous society

acephalousacephalous groupsacephalous societies
John Gowdy (2006) writes, "Assumptions about human behaviour that members of market societies believe to be universal, that humans are naturally competitive and acquisitive, and that social stratification is natural, do not apply to many hunter-gatherer peoples. Non-stratified egalitarian or acephalous ("headless") societies exist which have little or no concept of social hierarchy, political or economic status, class, or even permanent leadership.
Such groups are also known as non-stratified societies.

Three-component theory of stratification

delineationsocial stratification theoryThree-component theory of social stratification
Instead, he develops a three-component theory of stratification and the concept of life chances.
Weber developed a multidimensional approach to social stratification that reflects the interplay among wealth, prestige and power.

Structural functionalism

functionalismfunctionalistsocial function
Weber held there are more class divisions than Marx suggested, taking different concepts from both functionalist and Marxist theories to create his own system.
Kingsley Davis and Wilbert E. Moore (1945) gave an argument for social stratification based on the idea of "functional necessity" (also known as the Davis-Moore hypothesis).

Culture

culturalculturesculturally
Through the ideology of the ruling class—throughout much of history, the land-owning aristocracy—false consciousness is promoted both through political and non-political institutions but also through the arts and other elements of culture.
"Culture" has since become an important concept across many branches of sociology, including resolutely scientific fields like social stratification and social network analysis.

Race (human categorization)

raceracialraces
Three important social variables include gender, race, and ethnicity, which, at the least, have an intervening effect on social status and stratification in most places throughout the world.
Because in some societies racial groupings correspond closely with patterns of social stratification, for social scientists studying social inequality, race can be a significant variable.

Patriarchy

patriarchalpatriarchal societypatriarch
In patriarchal societies, such rights and privileges are normatively granted to men over women; in matriarchal societies, the opposite holds true.
Social stratification along gender lines, in which power is predominantly held by men, has been observed in most societies.

Social order

ordersocial ordersmaintaining order
In sociology, for example, proponents of action theory have suggested that social stratification is commonly found in developed societies, wherein a dominance hierarchy may be necessary in order to maintain social order and provide a stable social structure.