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Social Stratification since the Renaissance

Since the Renaissance, have the economic forces, social forces and social stratification shaped western nations? In what ways did this happen?

Also, how does the process of legitimization of social stratification work in western nations?

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Dear Student,
Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. It is a very broad topic but I have centered on a few key ideas to provide you with a starting point. You can also use the listed references for expansion, Good luck with your studies.

Sincerely,
OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

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Social Stratification

What is social stratification? Sociologically speaking, this refers to the division of society according to the economic capacity and social standing of people and individuals determined by factors that are ideological, cultural, political and most of all, financial. Social stratification is all about relational inequalities within society. This does not mean that one is permanently placed within a particular strata or stereotype, it only means that people 'fit' into it according to the kind of economic and social power (or lack of it) in the social group they move in. In the Western world, there is mobility within the social strata which means that people move up and down depending on varied elements (i.e. a poor person may be considered powerful and rich in the future if he/she gains wealth and power through education, politics and business activities). Now, the 3 main layers we refer to in the social strata are the following - upper class (comprising of the most wealthy and powerful), middle class (neither extremely powerful and wealthy but neither poor - this strata is economically the most powerful as they are the consumer strata and their demands and preferences dictate the economy and society) and the lower class (with less access to wealth and power, many dependent on the state and those in the lowest tier live in poverty). Now, it is important I believe to take note of the Weberian notation here. While social strata which dictates one's social class of mostly economic considerations, particular societies divest power on individuals due to varied other capacities and elements of identity. Among them for example cultural and religious elements. Clans that belong to a particular caste in India for example (i.e. the Dalit) will always be looked at differently because of ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,256-word narrative that provides a discussion of the development of social stratification and the forces that influenced it since the period of the Renaissance. It takes on key elements from history as well as contemporary times to explore the legitimization of social stratification as it is today. References are listed for further studies.

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