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Social Stratification According To Marx And Weber

1548 words - 6 pages

Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of individuals into divisions of power and wealth within a society. Social stratification relates to the socio-economic concept of class, consisting of the upper class, middle class, and lower class. Each class may be further subdivided into smaller classes through the main indicator is occupation. This is the most practical and most effective means of encompassing the wide variety of economic and social elements that go to make up a person’s class through their education, status, income and power. Evidence shows that wealth is distributed unequally and that incomes vary from small to huge. The old idea of Britain’s class structure was comprised as a triangular shape; with increasing amount of people at the bottom towards the base as a majority of people were unskilled manual workers which provided a strong industrial based manufacturing sector. This model implied a hierarchy showing people who had high levels of income, status and power at the top. However, there has been a dramatic shift in Britain’s industrial structure as people have now gone onto tertiary or service sector jobs. Therefore, I am going to discuss why Britain’s class structure has become fragmented evaluating the statement ‘Social class is a thing of the past. It no longer exists’ from all four theories Marxism, Max Weber, functionalism and postmodernism.

The functionalist view of social stratification is being inevitable and also to perform a positive function for society. Their argument for this is that an unequal distribution of rewards and privileges found in the class system allows for its most talented members to be attracted from society and put in the most important roles (Davis and Moore). However, there is a short supply on talent and skill are in short supply and higher skilled jobs need a large amount of training to develop the correct expertise. For example, a five year course of learning and qualifications enables individuals to become doctors. Also Davis and Moore assumed that higher paid jobs are given to people on the foundation of their talents when in reality it is discrimination by social class, age, ethnicity and gender often influenced those who gets the top jobs. Tumin (1967) argued that Davis and Moore ignore all talent and ability in the working class which society doesn’t use. Also neglect the dysfunctions of stratification, for example, poverty has become a major problem on people as it can effect education and family life. The functionalist believe we live in a meritocratic society, where we succeed through our own merit which explains how high rewards in the form of income and status are guaranteed in order to motivate gifted people to make the necessary sacrifices in terms of education and training. This then leads to stratification and inequality, for example, the less able and unskilled accept their low positions in society of those at top.
In Marxist theory, the class structure is...

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