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Social Stratification Essay

1015 words - 5 pages

Jenn King
Sociology 204
Winter 2012

Social Stratification

The word stratification is defined as the building up of layers. To stratify is to separate. In the
World we live there is social stratification. This social separation or stratification exists everywhere on earth. People of societies are separated on the bases of social class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Let us examine these different kinds stratification.
Social stratification is the ranking of people and the rewards they receive based on objective criteria including wealth, power, and/or prestige. All societies have social stratifications, but the how people are divided varies. In the U.S people are divided not only by ...view middle of the document...

No matter how equal we might think we are, the factors of social class, race, ethnicity, and genders are all working for us or against us. Until now I did not realize how greatly stratification; social, gender, and racial, affect my life. Down to my small daily interactions my life is greatly influenced by stratification.
In my community I am considered lower class. I do not have a job and I pay for my living expenses with the help of federal financial aid and state assistance. Because I am currently in the low class I qualify for assistance that people with incomes do not. My mother was at times a middle class citizen and at other times a lower class citizen. My mother died of cancer in 2003. During the time she was sick she could not work and so she qualified for state assistance. This included cash, food stamps, and healthcare. I believe the lower class people, the ones who are on state assistance do not get the same type of care that people in the upper class get. If we are poor we have access to healthcare and other resources, but the people with the most money will receive the best care.
I also have many advantages in life just because of the color of my skin. The color of my skin is white. I am the majority group and as part of this large group I have special power and privilege. This makes me really sad, but it is true. Because of my race I can be sure that I will be treated fairly and respectfully most anywhere I go. Or will I?
When I was eight years old my brother and I were placed into a foster home ran by a black woman and her black son. During our stay with them we were beaten and starved daily. I cannot help but question the motives those two had. Looking back I conclude race was a contributing factor to the way we were treated. It seems they may have attached a stigma...

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