Social Stratification In The United States

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Stratification and Social Mobility in the United States

Social stratification is the systematic process of the categorizing and ranking people on a scale of social worth. One’s ranking of the society affects life chances in unequal ways. This ranking of hierarchy resembles a ladder. All the people in the society, fall somewhere in this ladder. Social stratification based on one’s access to scares resources such as wealth, income, race etc. Nonetheless, it is obvious that the economy is the base, in todays’ ranking in Unites States. Whoever got the most belongs to the highest rank. Social stratification is a universal characteristic of society. Moreover, it has been happening for many generations. Especially, when it comes to racism, it persists
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This view does not show fairness. My job as a Mental Health Aid (Nursing Assistant) is a good example to explain this issue. Nursing Assistants are an example of people who are not highly compensated and do not have notably high prestige, but who work long hours, carrying vital part of caring for patients and are essential to the functioning of healthcare systems. However, Nursing Assistants make much lower pay than RNs. As a result, RNs receive more money and recognition than Nursing Assistant. Thus, RNs belongs to a class than Nursing Assistants. It is obvious, that Functionalist perspective does not emphasize the unfairness and inequality of ranking, which exists in the society. Also, this perspective does not argue how unfairly the wealth is being distributed. Conflict theory of stratification holds that “inequality is harmful to society because it creates a fixed system of winners and losers”. According to this perspective, capitalist economic competition, unfairly treats the poor and privilege the rich. The winners, the rich have the wealth; power and prestige control the society’s economy for their advantage. The losers, the poor have little or no opportunities to improve this situation. Therefore, Karl Marx’s explanation of social inequality happens to be true to this