9 Sep 2022


Social Stratification: Components, Class and caste system & Examples

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Components of social stratification 

Social stratification is considered to be a system whereby the society ranks groups of people in a hierarchy. Social stratification is deemed to have about three components which include class, power, and status. Foremost is power. Stratification can impose one's will on others. Power is primarily considered as being able to achieve your aims either as a group or as individuals despite facing opposition. The second most important component of social stratification is status which is considered as the respect someone or a group of people is given in the society. This connection comes with prestige and brings about the component which is Status. The third part of stratification is a class which is sometimes known as a high financial situation. It is estimated regarding assets such as land, buildings, business premises and houses (Lambert, 2010).

Class and caste system 

The caste system has ceremonial legitimating of power influencing the status rank in the society. The castes are usually viewed as heritable groups which have a fixed social class which is displayed regarding production. On the other hand, the class system is considered as a group of people with similar socio-economic status situations about other classes in the same society. Individuals in the same class have the same level of the components of social stratification (Lenski, 2008).

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Davis and Moore 

Davis Moore explains the issue of social stratification basis of necessity. He argues that jobs which are most necessary have the highest levels of difficulty. These jobs also require high levels of expertise and are lucrative so as to adequately compensate the great efforts of the people who apply for these jobs. The theory looks at the reward or high salaries to be the promise of good performance (Lambert, 2010).

Karl Marx 

The theory of Carl Marx states that slavery is the foundation of all the modern industrialization. He relates the produce in the farms to the workforce provided by the slaves. He then describes the society as having two talented players who are the people selling their labour and those who own the means of production. The class structures are formed from these two players in our society (Lambert, 2010).

Max Weber 

Max Weber in his theory gives a slightly new definition to class by viewing it as a group of men with common specific causal components of chances in life. The parts they share in life must be seen exclusively concerning having common economic interest. The theory of Max Weber is somehow a revised edition of Karl Max theory (Lambert, 2010).

Components of Gender Stratification 

Gender stratification is a topic that spins around near issues of social life. It confers equal powers and opportunities to both gentlemen and ladies especially with regards to components of social stratification such as prestige, class, and power. Among the issues considered in the gender, stratification includes sexism, sexual orientation, sex and feminism (Lambert, 2010).

Concepts of matriarchy and patriarchy 

Patriarchy is regarded as a group or society in which the men dominate over the women. It traces its origin from the societal duty of women to be at home and to take care of the household as the men provide the meals and security. It bred into the society the idea of different access whereby men have better access to opportunities in the labor market as compared to the women (Lenski, 2008). On the other hand, matriarchy is a scenario whereby the women rules over the men. They dominate majorly in the matters of leadership while men are excluded from these functions. The two systems compare in that one gender is always left out in either of the systems or rather one helps the other without the knowledge of the general public (Lambert, 2010).

Examples of a patriarchal system are found in almost all African cultures where women are viewed as helpers at home while men should be the leaders in the society. As a matter of fact currently, all patriarchal systems are being eroded by westernization and women empowerment agendas. On the contrary, an example of a matriarchal system could be seen in Great Britain which is ruled by the Queen.


Gender is the variety of features that revolves around the issues of masculinity and femininity. It differs from sex in that while sex is biological gender is a societal characteristic that differentiates people into groups of masculinity and femininity.

Summary of gender stratification 

The primary concern of gender stratification is the elevation of individuals in the society based on their gender. By this people are grouped as either males or females and assigned different roles by the society. The functions allocated to the community have in most cases given one gender an upper hand over another in acquiring the components of social stratification (Grusky, David B. 2011).


Feminism is described as the various political ideologies and belief that seek to put women at the same level as men in all the matters of leadership and opportunity acquisition. Feminism has become worse than it was 50 years since it has been exaggerated thus making the male gender to feel left out in most issues of the society. In a nutshell, so much focus has been put on the women (Grusky, David B. 2011).

Work Cited

Grusky, David B. (2011). "T heories of Stratification and Inequality". In Ritzer, George and J. Michael Ryan. The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolog y. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 622–624.

Lambert, Paul, Dr (2010). Social Stratification: Trends and ProcessesRoutledge Publishers.

Lenski, Gerhard E. (2008). Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification. The University of North Carolina Press

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Social Stratification: Components, Class and caste system & Examples.


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