Sociology Social Stratification Is the Ranking Essay

Pages: 4 (1248 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology


Social Stratification

Stratification is the ranking of an entire group of people in order to perpetuate inequality or unequal rewards and life chances. Social Status is the prestige, honor, respect, and lifestyle that is associated with different positions or groups within society. It is often influenced by occupation and schooling. It is possible for one to have a social class that differs from their social status. Behavior patterns, likes and dislikes, success in situations, who you meet, whom you marry, employment choices and chances are all seen as consequences of class. Likes and dislikes of each class are different and need to be learned and applied to those in the case of vertical mobility to be part of that social class. Stratification is motivated by lifestyle. We often demonstrate or express our status through consumer goods and behavior (Stratification Power, Class and Privilege, n.d.).

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According to the functionalist perspective which is also called functionalism, each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society's functioning as a whole. The government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state needs to keep itself running. The family is reliant upon the school to help children grow up to be able to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, who in turn help to support the state. If it all works the way it is supposed to, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If it doesn't go well, the parts of society then must adapt to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity (Three Major Perspectives in Sociology, 2009).

Functionalists believe that society is held together by social cohesion, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. It is believed that social consensus takes on one of two forms:

Essay on Sociology Social Stratification Is the Ranking of Assignment

Mechanical solidarity is a form of social cohesion that comes about when people in a society maintain similar values and beliefs and employ in similar types of work. This is usually found in traditional, simple societies such as those in which everyone herds cattle or farms.

Organic solidarity is a form of social cohesion that arises when the people in a society are interdependent, but yet have varying values and beliefs and engage in varying types of work. This solidarity most commonly occurs in industrialized, complex societies (Three Major Perspectives in Sociology, 2009).

The functionalist perspective achieved its greatest popularity among American sociologists during the 1940s and 1950s. During this time American functionalists focused on discovering the functions of human behavior. Among these American functionalist sociologists was Robert Merton, who divides human functions into two types: manifest functions which are intentional and obvious and latent functions which are unintentional and not obvious. A sociological approach in functionalism is the contemplation of the relationship between the functions of smaller parts and the functions of the whole (Three Major Perspectives in Sociology, 2009).

Functionalism has received criticism for overlooking the negative functions of an event. Some critics also claim that this perspective give good reason for the status quo and complacency on the part of society's members. Functionalism tends not to encourage people to take an active role in changing their social environment, even though the change would benefit them. Functionalism sees social change as undesirable because the various parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may arise (Three Major Perspectives in Sociology, 2009).

Functionalism often relies on the idea that society is a body or a living system. It is seen as having multiple cooperative components. Functional analysis does not examine the details… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Sociology Social Stratification Is the Ranking" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Sociology Social Stratification Is the Ranking.  (2009, August 5).  Retrieved May 30, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Sociology Social Stratification Is the Ranking."  5 August 2009.  Web.  30 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Sociology Social Stratification Is the Ranking."  August 5, 2009.  Accessed May 30, 2020.