Stratification and Mobility
Stratification refers to the way in which people in a society are divided into social classes, castes, or other hierarchical categories based on factors such as wealth, power, and prestige. These categories can be based on economic factors, such as income and wealth, or on non-economic factors, such as race, ethnicity, and education.
In most societies, stratification is a persistent feature, meaning that it is a long-standing and relatively stable pattern of inequality that is passed down from generation to generation. This can result in significant disparities in access to resources, opportunities, and social mobility for different groups within a society.
Social mobility refers to the movement of individuals or groups from one social position to another within a stratified society. There are two main types of social mobility: vertical mobility, which refers to movement up or down the social hierarchy, and horizontal mobility, which refers to movement between social categories that are at the same level in the hierarchy.
Vertical mobility can be either upward, meaning that an individual or group moves to a higher social position, or downward, meaning that they move to a lower position. Upward mobility is often seen as a positive thing, as it allows individuals or groups to access more resources, opportunities, and privileges. Downward mobility, on the other hand, can be seen as a negative thing, as it can lead to a loss of resources, opportunities, and privileges.
Horizontal mobility, on the other hand, refers to movement between social categories that are at the same level in the hierarchy, such as moving from one occupation to another within the same social class. This type of mobility can be either positive or negative, depending on the specific circumstances and the resources, opportunities, and privileges associated with the different social categories.
Overall, stratification and social mobility are important concepts in sociology because they help us understand how different groups within a society are ranked and how this ranking can impact their access to resources, opportunities, and social mobility.