Social Division Essay

1274 Words6 Pages
Social divisions are created in society by inequalities through ranking individuals according to particular abilities or characteristics, such as social class, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity. Social divisions emphasize the differences between people, the way they live and therefore the identity they exhibit and the way others perceive them. Social class perhaps is a social division which provides the most obvious separation between individuals and groups. For example material possessions are a visible sign of wealth or lack of it. Houses, cars, clothes are able to distinguish what class status one is part of. For adults, class status is achieved through a combination of income, occupation and educational credentials. In some societies the structure of social class can vary from being extremely rigid, i.e. the caste system within India and the Hindu religion based upon inherited social status or how they behaved in a previous life (Karma) to vague, like in the western societies. Gender also creates important social divisions amongst societies and further divide the social classes creating even more divisions in society. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles and relations of men and women. 'Gender norms' allocate specific rights and responsibilities to men and women, for example, women might be expected to take on caring or domestic duties and remain in the home, while men may be expected to work outside the home, and provide financially for his family. This therefore creates ‘gender relations’ and in return creating unequal power between men and women. Within society women remain in roles and relationships that often make them subordinate to men, because they are paid less than men for the same work, or because they are not permitted to take on higher status work. ‘Race’ a socially constructed concept creates division, although (Macionis &
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