Average earnings of workers by education and sex - 2006. The United States, of course, is all too familiar with slavery, which remains perhaps the most deplorable experience in American history and continues to have repercussions for African Americans and the rest of American society. Social class often has far reaching effects, influencing one’s educational and professional opportunities and access to resources such as healthcare and housing. Debt bondage or bonded labor occurs when a person pledges himself or herself against a loan. While stratification is most commonly associated with socioeconomic status, society is also stratified by statuses such as race and gender. Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification that saw political power as an interplay between “class”, ” status ” and ” group power. A woman earning in the 95th percentile in 2006 would earn about $95,000 per year; a man in the 95th earning percentile would make about $115,000, a 28% difference. Some people left out of these four caste classifications were called “outcasts” or “untouchables” and were shunned and ostracized. The middle class is the most contested of the three categories, consisting of the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socioeconomically between the lower class and upper class. For instance, since 1971, women’s participation in the labor force has grown from 32 million (43.4% of the female population 16 and over) to 68 million (59.2% of the female population 16 and over). (2009). According to the class social theorist Karl Marx, class is a combination of objective and subjective factors. UNICEF estimates that identification and sometimes discrimination based on caste affects 250 million people worldwide. Open societies have more vertical mobility, as some people, and perhaps many people, can move up or even down. Today’s slaves include (a) men first taken as prisoners of war in ethnic conflicts; (b) girls and women captured in wartime or kidnapped from their neighborhoods and used as prostitutes or sex slaves; (c) children sold by their parents to become child laborers; and (d) workers paying off debts who are abused and even tortured and too terrified to leave (Bales, 2007; Batstone, 2007). Class mobility refers to movement from one class status to another–either upward or downward. Ending slavery: How we free today’s slaves. Ancient Indian legal texts, such as Manusmṛti (ca. Stratification and Mobility: a. Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation. ” Weber theorized that class position was determined by a person’s skills and education, rather than by their relationship to the means of production. A country that used to have a caste system is South Africa. Prehistoric graves from about 8000 BCE in Lower Egypt suggest that a Libyan people enslaved a San-like tribe. Modernists believe economic growth is the key to reducing poverty in poor countries. From slavery to citizenship. In some so-called closed societies, an individual has virtually no chance of moving up or down. Both biological and sociocultural indicators were used to measure ethnicity. Micro-level analysis focuses on how prestige and personal influence create inequality through face-to-face and small group interactions. Weber examined how many members of the aristocracy lacked economic wealth yet had strong political power. Some sociologists suggest that caste systems come in two forms: racial caste systems and non-racial caste systems. Weber introduced three independent factors that form his theory of stratification hierarchy: class, status, and power: class is person’s economic position in a society; status is a person’s prestige, social honor, or popularity in a society; power is a person’s ability to get his way despite the resistance of others. Social class refers to the grouping of individuals in a stratified social hierarchy, usually based on wealth, education, and occupation. People are assigned occupations regardless of their talents, interests, or potential. These revolutions resulted in societies not only with less economic inequality than in the United States and other class systems but also with little or no political freedom. Class is an object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and social historians. Sociology by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. Serf mobility was heavily restricted, and in matters of marriage and living arrangements, they were subject to rules dictated by the State, the Church, by landowners, and by often rigid local custom and tradition. Compare and contrast Marx’s understanding of ‘class’ with Weber’s class model. Overall, the communist experiments in Russia, China, and Cuba failed to achieve Marx’s vision of an egalitarian society. The Atlantic slave trade brought African slaves to the Americas from the 1600’s to the 1900’s, spurring the growth of slave use on plantations in the U.S., where the slave population reached 4 million before slavery was made illegal in 1863. Let’s look at several systems of stratification, moving from the most closed to the most open. For many years, the best-known caste system was in India, where, supported by Hindu beliefs emphasizing the acceptance of one’s fate in life, several major castes dictated one’s life chances from the moment of birth, especially in rural areas (Kerbo, 2009). Because of their different levels of wealth, they have different access to shelter. Material resources are not distributed equally to people of all economic statuses. The services required to repay the debt and their duration may be undefined. Countries have developed at an uneven rate because wealthy countries have exploited poor countries in the past and today through foreign debt and transnational corporations (TNCs). By 1860, 500,000 American slaves had grown to 4 million. Thus, stratification based on levels of physical attractiveness is analyzed as a micro-level process. The usual estimate is that about 15 percent of slaves died during the voyage, with mortality rates considerably higher in Africa itself as the process of capturing and transporting indigenous peoples to the ships often proved fatal. There are three dominant theories that sociologists use to consider why inequality exists on a global scale. Human trafficking, or the illegal trade of humans, is primarily used for forcing women and children into sex industries. In contrast with the class system, there are many societies that use the caste system, a closed system of social stratification in which the population is divided between hereditary groups. Some literature suggests that the term caste should not be confused with race or social class. People in this caste were called the untouchables because they were considered unclean and were prohibited from coming near to people in the higher castes.

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