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Relationship Between Ideology and Social Inequality

Differentiate the relationship between stratification and ideology and the role of ideology in sustaining social inequality. Ideology is created and maintained through primary groups and cultures.

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First, let's establish some working definitions as our groundwork. Social stratification refers to how individuals or groups of individuals are ranked on the basis of unequal access to scarce resources and social rewards. There are two types of stratification systems: caste and class systems. Caste systems are closed systems in which membership to a level is based on ascribed statuses (a status you have no control over). For example, in India you are born into a caste and you will stay in that caste until you die. There is no social mobility. A class system is an open system in which membership in a class is based on achieved statuses (a status you earn). There is a lot of social mobility in a class system.

Now let's add the concept of ideology. A definition of ideology is the beliefs or ideas that individuals use to justify social, moral, religious, political, or economic interests held by a social group.

So, how do these two relate? It is ...

Solution Summary

Systems of stratification have led to social inequality in every society. Ideology plays a key role in creating and sustaining the inequality.