Social Stratification in Modern Industrial Societies | Free Essay Example

Social Stratification in Modern Industrial Societies

Words: 557
Topic: Sociology

Social stratification means formation of classes basing on person’s social and economic wealth. Melamed (2005) explains that income, level of wealth, and employment rate play a key factor in determining the strata within which an individual is defined. Stratification therefore, is the process of placing individuals within specific classes, which can be divided into lower, middle, and upper levels. Kinship ties may additionally contribute immensely to the social stratification class of a group of people. For instance, individuals who have relatives from powerful and political ruling class are considered to fit within the upper class. Same status is also granted to persons who have ties with business tycoons. Social stratification is characterized by complexity and mobility of layers within strata. As such, generation shift may occur which leads to promotional advancement of particular people to an advanced stratum.

According to Wood (2007), Karl Marx proposed a conventional production method which consists of superstructure and the substructure (p. 256). The two subsets of the economic system govern the relationship which exist within the employer-employee domain. The nature of relationship between an individual and the production mechanisms defines the social stratum in which an individual is placed. Marx’s concept is vividly evident in the modern industrial society. Employers acts as owners of various production mechanisms. The other constituent of the production system is made up of employees. The limited nature of production mechanisms results into the scenario in which employers seem to own the employees. As such, economical factors contribute immensely into the modern industrial societies and pertain to social stratification.

Poverty Eradication

Poverty persists among some stratas of the American society, despite the National wealth that America is known for, and this is attributed to the lack of money among the poor people. Several ways in which money can be taken to the poor are: tax breaks, reverse taxes, food stamps and other handouts given in order stipulated by the current legislation. There is, however, a technique which had not been used before, and which could give better results.This involves ensuring a minimal living standard for everyone (Fothergill & Peek, 2004). It is possible, given the costs, which are manageable by government, given the economic power.

It is hard to determine who deserves help and who does not. Chances that free loaders will take advantage of government help are rather high, but it can be taken under control by moral stands that disapprove such behavior. Daly & Valletta (2006) claims that this technique is a promising one, and it can improve the level of income, which results in decline in crime rates, improved healthcare as well as a more educated workforce (p. 80). This, in essence, reduces the country’s expenditures on crime control, on corrective or remedial healthcare and further training of workers. This saves the country more funds, which could be invested into the economy, in a bid to fight poverty.

Crime costs the country a lot. The costs of expanding police force departments, judicial system for the prosecution of crime suspects, as well as building new prison systems for criminals’ rehabilitation f are some of the directions on which the country excessively wastes money. Under-insurance is due to poverty among the poor populations of the country and reduced productivity of workers is owing to poor health are equal challenges to the fight against poverty.


Daly, M. C., & Valletta, R. G. (2006). Inequality and poverty in United States: the effects of rising dispersion of men’s earnings and changing family behaviour. Economica, 73(289), 75-98.

Fothergill, A., & Peek, L. A. (2004). Poverty and disasters in the United States: A review of recent sociological findings. Natural hazards, 32(1), 89-110.

Melamed, D. (2015). Communities of Classes: A Network Approach to Social Mobility. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 65(8), 65-67.

Wood, E. M. (2007). Democracy against capitalism: Renewing historical materialism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.