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Social stratification.

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Introduction

The term social stratification refers to, "the division of society into layers, these layers are distinguished by unequal rewards and life chances."(Brown K 2000) Sociologists use the term to refer to the structure of society and the way in which people are classified. Social classification is a method of grouping individuals who have similar wealth, income and occupation. There are many ways people can be divided into groups. In years gone by a person's gender would have been a major way of classifying people and could dictate their position in society. Men were traditionally classed as the main earners and a women's role was to raise children and look after the household. A person's position in society according to their age is viewed differently by other cultures. In industry societies where industry is technology based and advancing forward, older people are not as valued as young or middle aged professionals. Whereas in agricultural societies the older someone is, the wiser and more knowledgeable they are consider to be. The caste system, which exists in India, is a system of classification which people are given at birth. There are four main castes with priests and nobles at the top, landowners 2nd, traders and farmers 3rd and servants at the bottom of the scale. ...read more.

Middle

They have moved from heavy industry to light industry by changing from unskilled manual work in factories to jobs in offices. The main way in which people are classed is on the basis of their occupation as this can create many differences between the classes. There will obviously be major differences in earnings between the classes with manual or factory workers earning significantly less than middle class professionals such as doctors or lecturers. Similar to earnings, there is a significant difference in the prestige associated with certain jobs. The example of doctor versus factory worker illustrates this point as there is more prestige given to doctors. Differences in education can cause major differences," usually the higher the education a person is the higher the occupation"(Moore S 1997) Generally this statement is true as very few graduates will choose a career working in manual low paid jobs. The higher the income the more spending capability that can lead to major differences in lifestyle between the classes. These differences can be seen in the car someone drives, their house and the number and type of holidays they take. There are definite styles of dress associated with a certain class. Middle class professionals would commonly wear suits or smart casual style clothing whereas working class are more associated with wearing more casual clothes such as jeans and sweatshirts. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example the unemployed, rich non-workers, house wives, retired and disabled are left out and as with the Registrar General system it is male orientated. The 1998 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), with 822 detailed occupations, reflects the current occupational structure in the United States and was designed to provide a universal occupational classification system. Occupations are classified based on the work performed, and on the required skills, education, training, and credentials for each one. All of the occupations in this structure are classified at four levels of aggregation to suit the needs of various data users. Each occupation is given a unique six-digit code that not only identifies the occupation, but the four levels of aggregation as well. Occupations are classed based upon work performed, skills, education and training required for the job The practice of officially classifying the British population according to occupation and industry began in 1851. The occupational element was gradually increased from 1881, and in 1887 the idea was first mooted by the Assistant Registrar General that, for mortality analyses, the population might be divided into broad groups based on social standing. No one system could class every member of society by his or her occupation due to the ever-changing nature of society. However the more modern the system the applicable they are. A system designed in the 1970's would no longer be of use as society has changed so dramatically since it's first introduction. ...read more.

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