A system of stratification is a way of classifying people into groups based on economic, social, or technological factors. There are four common systems of stratification: class, caste, race, and gender. In capitalist societies, the most common system of stratification is class.
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The class system
In capitalist societies, the most common form of stratification is the class system. This system is based on the unequal ownership of property and the consequent unequal access to power, prestige, and economic resources. In general, those who own more property and have more economic resources have greater power than those who do not.
The caste system
The caste system is the most common system of stratification in capitalist societies. In this system, people are divided into different social classes based on their wealth and income. The upper class consists of the richest people in society, while the lower class consists of the poorest people.
The feudal system
The feudal system was the most common system of stratification in capitalist societies prior to the Industrial Revolution. Under this system, there was a clear hierarchy in society, with the nobility at the top, followed by the clergy, and then the peasantry at the bottom. This system was based on land ownership, with those who owned the most land having the most power and authority.
The slave system
Most systems of stratification are based on birth, with people occupying different positions in society based on their parents’ occupation and social class. In some societies, such as those that practice the caste system, this is rigid and unchanging. Other societies, such as those that practice slavery, are based on even less stable factors, such as race or gender.
The caste system in India
The caste system in India is a system of stratification that has been used for centuries. Under this system, people are divided into social groups based on their occupation, economic status, or religion. Those in the highest caste are at the top of the social hierarchy, while those in the lowest caste are at the bottom.
The caste system is a form of social stratification that is still used in some parts of the world today. In capitalist societies, the most common form of stratification is class. However, there are other forms of stratification that exist, such as race and gender.
The class system in America
In a capitalist society, the class system is commonly used as a way to stratify people. This system is based on the ownership of property and the amount of money that a person has. There are three main classes in America: the upper class, the middle class, and the lower class.
The upper class is made up of people who own a lot of property and have a lot of money. They are the minority of Americans and have the most power in society. The upper class is often thought of as being elitist and out of touch with the majority of Americans.
The middle class is made up of people who do not own a lot of property but still have some money. They make up the majority of Americans and have more power than the lower class but less power than the upper class. The middle class is often thought of as being hardworking and ambitious.
The lower class is made up of people who do not own any property and have very little money. They are the poorest Americans and have very little power in society. The lower class is often thought of as being lazy and uneducated.
The feudal system in Europe
In capitalist societies, the most common form of stratification is the feudal system. This system was first developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Under this system, there were three distinct classes of people: the nobility, the clergy, and the peasants. The nobility owned all the land and had all the political power. The clergy were educated men who worked in the church and advised the nobility. The peasants were the vast majority of people in society and they worked the land owned by the nobility.
The slave system in America
While there are many forms of stratification, the most common form in capitalist societies is the slave system. In this system, people are born into slavery and remain slaves for their entire lives. Slaves are owned by their masters and have no rights or freedom. They are forced to work for their masters and can be bought and sold at any time.
The caste system in China
Caste systems are hereditary, endogamous social groups, often linked with occupation, which occupy a fixed position in a hierarchy. The caste system in China has been in place for thousands of years, with different types of strata based on age, gender, and occupation. In Chinese society, there is a clear distinction between the four main classes: the gentry (士), the farmer-soldiers (农), the artisans (工), and the commoners (庶).
The gentry class was at the top of the social hierarchy, and consisted of scholar-officials who had passed the imperial exams. The farmer-soldiers were the second highest class, and were responsible for defending the empire. The artisans were skilled workers who produced goods for everyday use, while the commoners were unskilled laborers.
The caste system in China began to unravel in the 20th century, as Chinese society became more mobile and members of lower classes began to occupy positions traditionally held by those in higher classes. However, traces of the caste system can still be seen in Chinese society today.
The class system in Russia
In Marxist theory, societies can be stratified into two classes: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The proletariat, or working class, are the people who sell their labor for wages and do not own their means of production. The bourgeoisie, or capitalists, are the people who own the means of production and profit from the labor of the working class.
In capitalist societies, there is a further division of the bourgeoisie into those who own only one means of production ( petite bourgeoisie) and those who own multiple means of production ( capitalists proper or big bourgeoisie).