- Social Stratification
Social stratification refers to the existence of structured inequalities between groups in society, in terms of their access to material or symbolic rewards.
Four basic systems of stratification have existed in human societies slavery, caste, class and estate.
- Stratification on the basis of slavery
(1) It is an extreme form of inequality in which individuals are literally owned by others.
(2) As a formal institutions, slavery has been eradicated but we do continue to have bonded labour, often even children as bonded Labourers.
- Stratification on the basis of Estate System
(1) Estates characterized feudal Europe. The estates comprised of three strata's, i.e. Clergy, Nobility and Common man.
- Stratification on the basis of Caste
(1) In a caste stratification system, an individual's position totally depends on the status attributes ascribed by birth rather than achieved.
(2) Each position in the caste structure is defined in terms of its purity or pollution relative to others. The Brahmin priestly castes, are superior to all others and the Panchamas.
(3) The traditional system is generally conceptualised in terms of the four fold Varna of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. There are innumerable occupation based caste groups, called Jatis. The castes system in India has undergone considerable changes.
- Stratification on the basis of class:
(1) Stratification on the basis of class is not dependent on birth, but it depends on profession, ability, skill, education, science etc.
(2) Class is an open institution.
(3) An individual can change his/herclass and can acquire high status in social stratification.
(4) Kinds of class: Higher class, Middle class, Lower class, Agricultural class.
- Difference between Caste and Class:
It depends on birth.
(1) It depends on social circumstances.
It is closed group.
(2) It is an open system.
There are rigid rules regarding marriage, eating-habits, etc.
(3) Class has no rigidity.
Caste system is a permanent/ stable system.
(4) It is less stable than caste
It is not prodemocracy
(5) It is not an obstacle for democracy and nationalism.
- They are also called the “Outcastes”.
- They are inferior to all other castes.
STATUS AND ROLE
- Status thus refers to the social position with defined rights and duties assigned to these positions.
- Status is occupied.
- Status is an institutionalised role that has become regularised, standardised and formalised in the society.
- Eg: mother occupies a status which has many norms of conduct as well as certain responsibilities.
(1) Ascribed Status
This depends on birth and it is granted without any struggle.
Following are the bases of ascribed status:-
(2) Achieved Status
The posts or levels/places achieved by the person on the basis of personal merits or qualifications is called achieved status:-
(e) Political authority.
- Status and prestige are interconnected terms
- Every status is accorded certain rights and values
- Values are attached to the social position
- Example: The prestige of a doctor may be high in comparison to a shopkeeper even if the doctor may earn less.
- This is performed according to status.
- A role is the dynamic or the behavioural aspect of status • Roles are played.
- When a person has many role-sets, performance of one role may be in conflict with another role. This situation is called as role conflict.
- When a person has many role-sets performance of one role may be in conflict with another role.
- It occurs when different expectations arise from two or more roles.
- Example 1. A teacher on invigilation duty might find the son/daughter of a friend cheating OR a middle class working woman who has to manage her role as mother and wife at home and that of a professional.
Status describes an individual’s position in a group or society. Since individuals belong to more than one group, they have many different statuses. Statuses can be ascribed — given to an individual regardless of his or her abilities — or achieved — gained through the individual’s talent, effort, or accomplishments.
- Status and prestige are interconnected. Every status is accorded certain rights and values. Values are attached to the social position e.g., the prestige of a doctor may be higher in comparison to a shopkeeper.
- Role stereotyping is a process of reinforcing. Some specific role for some members of the society. For e.g. men and women are often socilalised in stereotypical roles as a bread winner and home maker respectively.
- It refers to the various means used by a society to bring its unruly members back into line.
- Social control is considered essential because its main objective is to maintain balance in social system and to develop cooperative attitude in the individuals.
- Need of Social Control :-
(1) To establish social order.
(2) To control human behaviour.
(3) To protect original elements of culture.
(4) Social security.
(5) Unity in the group.
- Perspectives of Social Control :-
- Types of Social Control:
(1) Formal Social Control:
It includes control by state, law, police, bureaucracy, army, Political power, education etc.The state exercises legal power to control the individual and group behaviour. It should be codified and systematic.
(2) Informal Social Control:
It includes control by religion, custom, tradition, mores, convention etc.
- Sanction A sanction is a mode of reward or punishment that reinforces socially expected forms of behavior. Social control can be positive or negative.
- Deviance It refers to modes of action which do not conform to the norms and values held by most of the members of a group or society.