Show MoreSocial Stratification
A person's class status can be harder to identify than race or ethnic differences. However, I believe class status is an important indicator of what kind of opportunities lie ahead for people in various class systems, although, I don't necessarily agree with the current class structure. Class places people into a type of structure which goes against the principal belief 'that in America all are created equal,' or that even the poorest child can become President some day if he or she applies him/her self. I agree with the argument of Mantsios and Fussell that social class remains largely invisible because our society doesn't want to believe that poverty exists in America. If Americans acknowledged poverty, then…show more content…
Education is one big advantage to unlocking many doors throughout life, and most people beneath the middle class structure don?t have this advantage. This too, can create a ripple effect within its structure which is: unemployment, drugs and alcohol abuse, physical/sexual abuse, homelessness. The remainder of society doesn?t want to hear how poverty can cause tragedy even to the point of one taking one?s own life and the life of their child. What kind of society do we live in that death is the only alternative to poverty? One that wants to keep poverty hidden from the rest of the world hoping it will go away.
The Catholic church is no exception to ?living high on the hog.? We see some of its leaders living in the poshness of society and rubbing elbows with its elite. Even the affluent have their effects on the church (as stated in the following article). Have Catholics no shame? We are only too human when it comes to wanting the best society has to offer. Fortunately, most religious believe in living a simple lifestyle which includes living in common with their brothers or sisters and working among the poor. Religious will never be poor according to society?s definition of poor because community meets all of their needs. When we speak of poverty in religious life, we are referring to gospel poverty, not material poverty. They ask us to live simple lives, own no property, and share everything in common with other members. Gospel
For centuries, sociologists have analyzed social stratification, its root causes, and its effects on society. Theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber disagreed about the nature of class, in particular. Other sociologists applied traditional frameworks to stratification.
Karl Marx based his conflict theory on the idea that modern society has only two classes of people: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production: the factories, businesses, and equipment needed to produce wealth. The proletariat are the workers.
According to Marx, the bourgeoisie in capitalist societies exploit workers. The owners pay them enough to afford food and a place to live, and the workers, who do not realize they are being exploited, have a false consciousness, or a mistaken sense, that they are well off. They think they can count on their capitalist bosses to do what was best for them.
Marx foresaw a workers’ revolution. As the rich grew richer, Marx hypothesized that workers would develop a true class consciousness, or a sense of shared identity based on their common experience of exploitation by the bourgeoisie. The workers would unite and rise up in a global revolution. Once the dust settled after the revolution, the workers would then own the means of production, and the world would become communist. No one stratum would control the access to wealth. Everything would be owned equally by everyone.
Marx’s vision did not come true. As societies modernized and grew larger, the working classes became more educated, acquiring specific job skills and achieving the kind of financial well-being that Marx never thought possible. Instead of increased exploitation, they came under the protection of unions and labor laws. Skilled factory workers and tradespeople eventually began to earn salaries that were similar to, or in some instances greater than, their middle-class counterparts.
Max Weber took issue with Marx’s seemingly simplistic view of stratification. Weber argued that owning property, such as factories or equipment, is only part of what determines a person’s social class. Social class for Weber included power and prestige, in addition to property or wealth. People who run corporations without owning them still benefit from increased production and greater profits.