What is society?
A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction or a large
social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same
political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
What is social stratification?
Social stratification refers to a society’s categorization of its people into groups based
on socio economic factors like wealth, religion, age, income, race, education,
ethnicity, gender, occupation, social status or derived power (social and political).
Variables that determines the social stratification :
Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions
which can be converted in to a form that can be used for transactions.
ii) Race :
A race is a categorization of humans based on shared physical or social qualities
into groups generally viewed as distinct within a given society.
iii) Ethnicity :
Ethnicity refers to the identification of group based on perceived cultural
distinctiveness that makes the group into a “people” which is believed to be
expressed in language, music, values, art, styles, literature, family life, ritual,
Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge,
skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits and personal development.
v) Gender :
Genders refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are
Occupation means a person’s usual or principal work or business, specially as a
means of earning a living.
Religion is usually defined as a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and
practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics,
or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental,
and spiritual elements.
Income is the consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a
specified time frame which is generally expressed in monetary terms.
The length of time that a person has lived or a thing has existed is
x) Social status or derived power (social and political):
Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to hold. More
specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honor , assumed competence
and difference accorded to people, groups and organizations in a society.
Principles regarding social stratification:
Social stratification is based on four basic principles.
1. Firstly, Social stratification is socially defined as a property of a society rather than
individuals in that society.
2. Secondly, social stratification is reproduced from generation to generation.
3. Thirdly, social stratification is universal (found in every society) but variable (differs
across time and place).
4. Fourthly, social stratification involves not just quantitative inequality but qualitative
beliefs and attitudes about social status.
Theories of Social Stratification:
1. Theory of Karl Marx
2. Theory of Max Weber.
Karl Marx was born in Germany in 1818. He was the father of socialism. He has
considered society as an object.
Theory of Karl Marx:
Karl Marx has developed the social science by
providing Mode of production theory and Class
struggle theory. According to Karl Marx, there are
ruling class and subject class in a society.
Mode of Production theory:
he believes that the stratification of society is
dependent upon the production capability of
The five production mentioned by him:
1. Mode of production of primitive communism:
No classes are available. Production is limited.
2. The slave mode of production:
Masters and slaves
3. The feudal mode of production:
Lords and Serfs.
4. The capitalist mode of production:
Bourgeois and proletariat
5. The Socialistic mode of production:
No discrimination among classes.
Class Struggle theory:
The conscious subject class persons
struggle for their right and establishes a
new social system.
Karl Marx said,” New society establishes
through the struggle of upper class and
lower class person.”
So, His theories are also called
Dialectical Materialism Theory.
Max Weber was born in 1864 in Germany. He modified Marx’s theory and
Theory of Max Weber:
Like Marx, weber sees class in economic terms. He argues that class develop in market economies
in which individual compete for economic gain. Thus, in weber terminology, a person’s “class
situation” is basically his “market situation”. Like Marx, Weber argues that the major class division is
between those who own the forces of production and those who do not. According to weber
class divisions originates not only from control or lack of control of means of production, but also
from economic differences. Which have nothing directly to do with property. Such resources
include skill and credentials or qualifications which affect the types of jobs people are able to get.
Weber believed that an individual’s “market- positions” strongly influences his or her overall “Life
Weber distinguished the following class grouping in capitalist’s society:
1. Propertied upper class
2. Property less white-colour workers
4. Manual working class
In modern societies, according to weber “party” formation is an important aspect of “power”
which can influence stratification independently of class and status. Party defines a group of
people who work together because they have common backgrounds, aims or interests.
Generally, a party work in an organised way towards a specific goal which in the interest of the
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