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Explanation of social stratification

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A discussion is needed on the topic of social stratification. Please include information on:
1. Theorists such as Marx
2. How each type of society uses social stratification to help maintain itself
3. Hierarchy and privilege

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Solution Summary

The solution is a detailed discussion of social stratification and its effect on various forms of society. Theorists and the interaction of people within each society are detailed in a document containing over 900 words.

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Social stratification refers to the separation of a society of human beings into classes. Just like how the Earth is separated into various strata (layers) of different materials (molten liquid core, metal ore, granite surface, etc.), so is a society differentiated into different layers of people belonging to different groups. Take for example, in India classes of people are clearly demarcated into what they call 'castes'. Inter-marriage and other forms of interactions are forbidden between these castes because the people within those castes are seen as being very different and hence incompatible (just like a dog and a cat). The lowest class in the Indian caste system is the 'untouchables'; they could not even be touched because they are that lowly.

Which brings us to the unique nature of class: hierarchy. Just like the layers of the Earth, classes are usually (but not always) arranged one on top of another. This means that some classes are more privileged than others. Classes can be privileged in many different ways:
1) Brute power (the military regime in Burma)
2) Economic abilities (the owners of conglomerates like Coke and Sony)
3) High culture (people who are trained in e.g. ballet, wine-tasting, etc...)
4) Religion (the Brahmans in India, the highest class in India, about 3% of the population)
5) Occupational status (doctors, lawyers, teachers)
6) Political power (political leaders)

It must be noted that such categories of ...

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