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Stratification is a form of differentiation.

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Stratification is a form of differentiation. This is the unequal distribution of wealth, status and power on the basis of what each society perceives as being important, for example, class, ethnicity or gender. Stratification is socially constructed and each society has its own system, according to its needs. In addition, systems change over time, for example, in the UK, the church was once at the top of the hierarchy. This illustrates how stratification is socially constructed. The different social groups in society are divided up into layers, or strata. This is a hierarchy. Those at the top are worth more than those at the bottom. Those at the top have more wealth, status and power. Your life chances are also better the higher up the stratification system you are. For example, upper class people have better health, education and more money. These factors determine where you are in the stratification system. Moving between social classes, up and down the stratification system depends on whether the society is open. Closed societies, like slavery, have no social mobility. If you are female, you can gain status and power if you marry or become a mother. ...read more.


It neglects the choice of developing an identity and the fact that many women and men resist conforming to stereotypes. Society's major social institutions like the media, education and the family transmit gender stereotypes. Women advertise household products and males do voiceovers as they are seen as more authoritative. Boys are disciplined more heavily at school. Teachers usually ask boys to help them carry things and femininity does not usually go with intelligence. Primary schools have books about heterosexual families and have different things to play with, for example, girls are expected to play in Wendy houses. At home, girls are made to do more domestically. Boys and girls are also given different toys. All these points act as a form of social control, maintaining the gender stratification system. Our class system also plays a part in stratification. Class is measured in terms of occupation. It involves income, lifestyle, clothes, leisure activities etc. There are large differentials between middle and working class children, like different fife expectancy and infant mortality. Working class children are, generally, smaller and unhealthier. Working class, until the late 20th centaury, had a strong sense of loyalty towards each other and their identities and interests were part of their work and the work-based community they lived in. ...read more.


The black power movement coincided with the black civil rights movement lead by martin Luther king and was designed to give identity to black Americans. Sports and music also helped raise black people's levels of self-esteem and improved their appearance to the world. These people started going back to their roots, and rebelled against being forced to fit in with white people, for example by straightening their hair. This caused Afro's to become popular in the 60's which boosted black people's confidence greatly as white people started to take interest in their culture. An extreme want of identity triggered off the Malcolm X movement. These people changed their names and rejected their slave names. They wanted separatism with black superiority. They adopted a form of Islam and some became quite violent. All these movements caused massive raises in self-esteem. A typical example of social control through ethnicity is Jesus. He is always shown as a white person, when in fact he would have had a dark complexion with dark hair. This is because white is seen as good and pure and black comes across as darkness and evil. This is known as xianity. The media also only use white people for adverts and most role models in films and dramas are white. This made black people seem insignificant. This is now changing in modern society. ...read more.

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