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What are the functionalist, conflict and symbolic interactionist theory of stratification?

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´╗┐What are the functionalist, conflict and symbolic interactionist theory of stratification? If sociology was defined by Giddens (2011) as the scientific study of human groups and societies and individuals' behaviour in these groups, one could understand why stratification has been caching the sociologists' attention. Sociologically, stratification according to Kemper (1976) is the formation of a certain human society's individuals into layers and dealing with them in different ways according to this classification. Giddens (2011) adds gender, age, religious affliction and military rank as attributer to stratification. Three of the mail classic social theories which are: Functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism, have a different point of views when shed their lights on these crucial phenomenon according to their varied perspectives. In this paper, I will try to frame the basics of each of these theories respectively and then shed the light on stratification according to its perspective. To start with functionalism which is associated with its pioneers Herbert Spencer and Emile Durkheim. Functionalists did not agree on depending on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. While the former applied Darwin's law of ?survival of the fittest?, Durkheim rejected it. They saw that individuals interact within the society in a way a certain balance in achieved. Subsequent to the competition between its members, each would gain a certain position in the structure of the system. ...read more.


Max Weber by his side tried not to focus on the economic factors only and related the conflict to the different interests like Marx but he focused more on the ways that the dominant enforce his role on the ruled in terms of different types of authority (Wallas & Wolf 2011). If life is a conflict, there always be 'winner' and ' defeated' persons. This is one of the main reasons for stratification according to conflict theory. In other words it is not that ideal system that results normally. In other words, it is not a competition with fair roles assure the best person in best position. A conflict theorist would reject the idea on the organs works together for the good of all. In such hierarchical systems the upper powers works basically for their own interests ignoring and exploiting the poorer (Carter, 2012). Rather more, the rulers would do whatever it takes to maintain this situation and would with all the power would biased the legislations to their behave in what Marx call it Base-superstructure theory where the base or the means of production, their owners and the production relations would reflect of the surface many institutions like church, education, mass media... etc. All of these institutions work to legislate the base (Baylis, Smith & Owens, 2008). ...read more.


He would add more and more words of standardized Kurdish as a symbol of his concerning about his forbidden language. On the other hand, when Aram goes to the military services, he comes back with many signs of Alawii dialect of vernacular Arabic. Since the Alawiis are the ruler in Syria and most of the high-rank officers belong to this minority with distinctive dialect, using this dialect in the army would provide Aram with a better chance to get less oppression by using the tongue of the rulers. In all of these cases, Aram and other Kurds had maintained a growing identity and a self though symbolic interaction with the others. In all of the choices he would contribute to the his society stratification. Here the stratification was based on the term on ethnicity basically. In conclusion, stratification as variation of individuals in the society and distribution of them into layers, classes and positions is one of the main sociological phenomenon that different social theories has been examining in different approaches. Functionalists' perspective was justificatory in sake of the balance, harmony and good for all of the members. Conflict theorist rejected this idea and tried to define the nature of the ongoing struggle between the haves and have-nots. And the last one, the symbolic interactionalism shifted the focus toward the individuals and their ways in maintaining identities through interacting with others in symbolic ways. ...read more.

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