The people in every society have different ranks as high and low. This distribution of
people of a society in groups on the basis of their status is called social stratification.
This distribution may be on the basis of occupation, caste, education, sources of
income, prestige and political power. In this way, the whole society is divided into a
few classes generally high, middle and low, called stratification.
3. Determinants of Social Stratification
1. Economic resources
The level of income from all resources is an important indicator of one’s place in
society. The size of landholding in rural areas is an important measure. Those who own and
cultivate their own lands having its size above subsistence level may be placed in upper calss.
Those who own land below sub sistence level and cultivate others land also may be placed in
middle class. Those who are tenants and those who belong to serving class like carpenter,
blacksmith, cobbler, barber, washer man and others can be placed in lower class.
occupation is also an important indicator of startificationin every society. In Pakistan
society the high class professionals are owner landlords, owner cultivators, industrialists, big and
wholesale businessmen and high class government and semi-government officials. In middle
class, come the small owned cultivators-cum-tenants, middle class servicemen and small partners
in industrial units. In lower class all menial workers like cobbler, carpenter, black smith,
washerman, peon, chowkidar, sweepers and unskilled larborers.
4. 3. Prestige
If individual has high prestige in social life, he is regarded most respectful
nobility of the individual
Harmless person for others
Free from social evils
Participating generously in welfare works within community
Helping the needy
He is true to his words
It also means he is not a liar
5. 4. Power
Power is one of the impotant factor of social stratification on Pakistani
society. Those who attain more power are given more respect in society. The
political power in Pakistani society, can be gained by adopting the following
charactersticks in behavior:
Outspoken in general speech
Free from social evils
Educated at least up to a level
Well off in his economic resources
Interest in the solution of problems of people
Rash, active, forceful, factual, truthful and honest in dealing
Religious-oriented and lives
6. 5. Caste
In Pakistani society, caste is considered and important element of stratification. Some
castes are believed to be higher in status like Sayyed, Rajput, Pathan, Mughal and Taga.
Some castes are generally placed in lower class like the laborers and professional castes
like carpenters, barbers, ets.
The standard of education also determines a social class. The illiterate persons belong
to lower class. Those who received only education up to school may be placed in middle
class and those who college, university education and professional education mat be placed
in upper class. Education itself is a matter of prestige.
“karl Marx defined class as a group having more or less equal
economic resources and indicating similar standard of living in a
There are three classes in a society
1. Upper class
i. Upper upper class
ii. Upper middle class
iii. Upper lower class
2. Middle class
i. Middle upper class
ii. Middle middle class
iii. Middle lower class
8. 3. Lower class
i. Lower upper class
ii. Lower middle class
iii. lower lower class
It is a permanent group having its status ascribed at birth. Its membership is unchanging.
This group is hereditary. In India and Pakistan, the caste system is found. Every person
attaches himself with some caste or sub-caste. In rural areas of Punjab one is recognized by
one’s caste only. Now in Pakistan lac of castes and sub-castes.
Characterstics of Caste
as a hierarchical division of society: in caste system, groups are divided in a
hierarchical position on the basis of caste.
Close group: in this members cannot change their caste.
9. Sub-culture: every caste has its own sub culture in which certain things are prescribed
and mandatory to follow for members.
Social control: caste has its own informal method of social control.
Merits of caste:
i. Intermarriage make a Biradri
ii. Norms of the caste are forceful
iii. Caste are mostly endogamous
Demerits of caste:
i. Creates ethnocentrism among its members
ii. Norms of caste are so rigid
iii. New elements of change are discourge within society
iv. Marriage out of caste is considered violation of its norms.
10. Changes in Caste System
Decline in respect of elders
Less respect to norms
Change in custom and tradition
Causes of change
i. Literacy rate
ii. Mass media
iv. Economic progress
11. Difference between Class and Caste
Class is flexible and caste is rigid and permanent.
Class is changing and caste never changes.
Class forms no Biradri while caste makes a Biradri.
Class is not exogamous while caste is endogamous.
Membership in a class is informal and unknown to its members, the membership in
caste is ascribed at birth.
Class favors social change and progress while caste opposes social change but favors
only the progress which is not against its norms.
Class have no norms of their own while the castes have their norms on which the
Biradri system is based.