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The Davis-Moore thesis, though open for debate, was an early attempt to explain why stratification exists. The thesis states that social stratification is necessary to promote excellence, productivity, and efficiency, thus giving people something to strive for. Davis and Moore believed that the system serves society as a whole because it allows everyone to benefit to a certain extent.

Conflict theory

A group of people are shown standing on a sidewalk holding protest signs.
These people are protesting a decision made by Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, to lay off custodians and outsource the jobs to a private firm to avoid paying employee benefits. Private job agencies often pay lower hourly wages. Is the decision fair? (Photo courtesy of Brian Stansberry/Wikimedia Commons)

Conflict theorists are deeply critical of social stratification, asserting that it benefits only some people, not all of society. For instance, to a conflict theorist, it seems wrong that a basketball player is paid millions for an annual contract while a public school teacher earns $35,000 a year. Stratification, conflict theorists believe, perpetuates inequality. Conflict theorists try to bring awareness to inequalities, such as how a rich society can have so many poor members.

Many conflict theorists draw on the work of Karl Marx. During the nineteenth-century era of industrialization, Marx believed social stratification resulted from people’s relationship to production. People were divided by a single line: they either owned factories or worked in them. In Marx’s time, bourgeois capitalists owned high-producing businesses, factories, and land, as they still do today. Proletariats were the workers who performed the manual labor to produce goods. Upper-class capitalists raked in profits and got rich, while working-class proletariats earned skimpy wages and struggled to survive. With such opposing interests, the two groups were divided by differences of wealth and power. Marx saw workers experience deep alienation, isolation and misery resulting from powerless status levels (Marx 1848). Marx argued that proletariats were oppressed by the money-hungry bourgeois.

Today, while working conditions have improved, conflict theorists believe that the strained working relationship between employers and employees still exists. Capitalists own the means of production, and a system is in place to make business owners rich and keep workers poor. According to conflict theorists, the resulting stratification creates class conflict. If he were alive in today’s economy, as it recovers from a prolonged recession, Marx would likely have argued that the recession resulted from the greed of capitalists, satisfied at the expense of working people.

Symbolic interactionism

Symbolic interactionism is a theory that uses everyday interactions of individuals to explain society as a whole. Symbolic interactionism examines stratification from a micro-level perspective. This analysis strives to explain how people’s social standing affects their everyday interactions.

Questions & Answers

How many types of central tendency
khatun Reply
we have 3 types which are mean, median and mode
Ann
How far is Marxist Assession true. That religion is just an opium of people
Thulani Reply
what is social mobility
Hacking Reply
how in the he day-to-day world is religion ruling socialogy
Mugimba Reply
By setting it's own standard of acceptable norms and behaviours, using the Holy books etc
Chimba
what are the social institutions that maintain social control in the society
Uzair Reply
what is socialization
Uzair
explain the characteristics of planned social change
Hellen Reply
important of culture
Owolabi
what is social research
Rafaqat Reply
what is soft science
Rafaqat
what is fertility
gleyn Reply
what is social interaction
Zakir Reply
the 2 pespetives
Bendu
relationship between two or more individuals through social media, peer group, groups etc
Ann
A child is born a tabularrasa
Judith Reply
a child is born a tabularrasa.discuss the assetion
Judith
discuss the importance of modernization
Minsa Reply
what are the importance
Anesu
being happy and healthy
Jo
what is human capital theory
Luka Reply
human capital
hassan
human capital is the stock of knowledge intelligence and creativity embodies in the ability to perform labor in the production of economy value
hassan
what are the fuctions of socialization
Usman
what is the relationship between sociology and other disciplines
blunted Reply
why is Emile durkheim refers to as the founding father of academic sociology
Ojewande Reply
because he's the first founder of sociology 1789-1857
Alpha
what type of study could put human participants at risk? why?
ken Reply
u r studying or some how relate to social sector
shazab
drugs
Anesu
because in most cases the doing the study uses participant observation that is he or she will be involved in the drug act in order for him or her to get propriate results, data or information about the study of drugs.
Anesu
As my Opinions secondary type of Education could put risk like an Social media google and other resources which are not athentic they should very risky and as it is here we saw in the studies of drugs they totaly promote drugs for there profits I think SE could put human participants at risk.
Azhar

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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