Instructions: Please respond to at least three other students. Responses should be a minimum of 100 words (total 300 words all 3 responses together) and include direct questions, to each student.
Responses Due: Sunday, by 11:55pm ET
Social stratification is a concept of marginalizing different social classes based on prestige, wealth, race, occupation and several other factors. A functionalist view of social stratification makes a point to see why it is helpful and necessary, whereas conflict theory of social stratification tries to prove that it is detrimental to societies. An example of each would be that in a functionalist view, jobs deemed more useful and important pay more to those that fill the position versus lower-paying, easy-to-do jobs, whereas conflict theory would say that it is outrageous that someone who throws a pigskin around on a football field can make more money than an EMT who saves lives.
Waking up from a servant who has informed them that their cook has their breakfast ready for them is likely associated with someone from the upper-class. In comparison, waking up from an alarm early in the morning to get to work, and having to make breakfast themselves is a common thing someone from the middle class has to do. These two scenarios offer major differences in how much quality of life and everyday routines can differ based off of someone’s income and social class.
I see both sides of viewpoints on social stratification. While I do think it is outrageous that a professional athlete makes significantly more than a doctor would, life is not fair. It simply comes down to the fact that professional sports teams make enough money to be able to offer such high salaries to players, and there are several limiting factors to people which prevent them from even being a professional athlete. A 5’1” person will obviously never get a shot at the NBA, however that does not prevent them from becoming a doctor if they wish to. Despite seeing slight inconsistencies with the salary of certain degree-required jobs, it is safe to say that the higher the degree required, and the more responsibility, the more money someone will make. That is where I agree with the functionalist view of social stratification. To bring up the military as an example, the commanding officer is getting paid a lot more than its lower counterparts because they responsible, and will be put to blame on anything that happens because of someone underneath them.
For this week’s forum I chose to compare and contrast the functionalist view of social stratification and the conflict theory’s view of social stratification. How does social stratification influence the daily interactions of individuals? How do systems of class, based on factors such as prestige, power, income, and wealth, influence your own daily routines, as well as your beliefs and attitudes? Illustrate your ideas with examples.
After reviewing this week’s assigned reading, I would fall into the functionalist view of social inequality and stratification. I say this because I believe that a hierarchy need to exist in society, without tis there would be no one in charge. I would also argue to say that all well run business/corporations have a hierarchy model they use to show status within the company. This is a good thing and keeps people in line as to where they need to be, an intern shouldn’t be seen the same as the CEO. Now say in the Military we use a rank system all the way from the newest enlisted member to the highest ranking officer. Everyone in the Military knows and understands their place as the rank structure is drilled in our heads from day one. With each rank come a new responsibility so once again a new enlisted member wouldn’t be given the same responsibility as a seasoned enlisted member in the NCO or SNCO tier.
I fully think that the separation of identity social stratification is needed to keep order, but I do understand the conflict theory. I completely agree with people who ask why should a professional athlete make so much money during a contract yet I make a much smaller salary? Well we should also consider what they did to get themselves in that position and the fact that we had the same opportunity. I really believe it’s nothing but a prospective that need realigned to understand that we are in control of what happens and have the ability to make the changes.
The functionalist theory is that social stratification is a necessary because of the importance of some jobs compared to other jobs. If a person earns a medical degree and them goes on to become a brain surgeon, they deserve all of the money and prestige that goes with it. If a person, on the other hand, drops out of high school and goes to work at a theater concession stand, they also deserve the pay and respect that they get, which is much lower than the brain surgeons.
The conflict theory is basically that the rich continue to get richer on the backs of the laborers and that employees will never get fair treatment from their employers. It seems to be a never ending system where there is little chance of equality, including justice.
On a day to day basis, most of us mainly interact with employees. The check out person at the store, the waitress that takes our order, the kid that delivers our pizza. When we have a problem, we ask for managers, still employees, but a bit higher up the chain.
On more personal levels, we tend to spend time with people we have things in common with. The chance of my dining in the same restaurant with Bill Gates is extremely slim or living in a house like even his guest house. But there’s a bigger chance that I could stand in a protest with Mark Ruffalo.
I see the points that both of these theories make and while I begrudge no one their success, I must admit that I find it rather obscene that some spend a million on a wedding while a working single mother still has to go to food pantries to help feed her children.
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