The Stratified American Society

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The Stratified American Society The American Society has been considered a stratified society since it’s early years. As America has grown, so has the stratification of its society. In Chapter 8, the book first discusses the four general systems of stratification; slavery, castes, estates, and social classes. Slavery is the owning of one human being by another. The form of slavery varies in different countries but in the US slavery is what the book calls an ascribed status; a social position assigned to one by a society without any regards to one’s talents. Slavery is the most severe form of stratification because it creates unequal power for human beings. For example, blacks that were slaves had little to no power while their owner had the power to control them. Slavery is still apparent today in the act of illegal immigrants being forced to work in terrible conditions. In comparison, America has been stratified through history through the acts of feminism. Decades ago women were not allowed to work, eat, or even leave the home. All men were given power to control the family’s needs. In today’s stratified society women still seem to have less power than men. The male’s perspective and contributions are considered more valuable, resulting in the silencing and marginalization of the woman. Lastly, the book points out how America’s society is a stratified society through the different classes of wealth, or social classes. Social classes are based primarily on economic positions. As stated in the book, “Class standing, although it is achieved, is heavily dependent on family and ascribed factors, such as race and ethnicity” (page 182). Members of the upper and middle classes receive more respect and attention than those in the lower and working classes. The perspectives that can explain this inequality are the interactionist, functionalist, and conflict. The
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