Social class is a “class society, a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories”( Grant,2001,p. 161). The most common being the upper, middle, and lower classes. The upper class consist of people or families that represent institutional leadership, heads of multinational corporations, foundations, and universities. They are people who have finical stability and are well educated due to their finical income.

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Most commonly in American society today people fall in the middle class category. Middle class is made of people and families that are involved in clerical work, provide professional support, and engage in data collection. Even though they are educated based on local school systems they are not given the luxury education that you would fine with upper class. Last but not least you have the lower class. The lower class is commonly the hardworking of them all. They work full-time at wages below poverty line and commonly are on some type of social services help such as Medicaid or food stamp program (EBT).

Even though they are entitled to education they commonly would rather work to just get by day to day due to finical struggles. Based on these classes’ people in today’s society have certain criteria that are used to determine ones place within the social class scale. Three most common criteria used to measure social class is wealth (property), power and prestige. Wealth consists of the property and income that a person or family possesses. The more finical income you have the higher you move up on the social class scale.

With wealth also comes with ownership of material items that influences a person’s social standing. Social standing has to deal with the certain amount of power that an individual may have due to his/her finical income. People with power become a great deal in today’s society. It identifies ones individual knowledge of their circumstances such as their reputation amongst certain communities or family’s. Being able to have power comeswith the advantage of making others do what you desire, even if they do not want to do it. With power also comes prestige.

Page 2 Sociology Final Exam Essay

Prestige is usually the respect people have for a person because of their occupation. Prestige is often derived from property and power as people tendto admire the wealthy and powerful. This is very important because it provides financial rewards, stability and benefits like healthcare. Commonly someone’s occupation such as being a “doctor” would have more respect rather than someone working at McDonalds making burgers. It’s unfortunate that in today’s society we have to categorize people based on their status of power and finical situation.

Everyone is unique in their own way, not because of how much money you have or due to your lack of education. Everyone should be treated equal regardless of their finical situation. 2. ) Define social stratification and discuss the four systems of social stratification. Social stratification is “the division of large numbers of people into layers according to their relative property, power, and prestige. It affects every society and its members, although some societies having greater stratification than others. In every society in the world gender has been or continues to be a basis for social stratification.

However, in no way is gender the sole basis for stratifying people” (Rasmussen,2014). Example of social stratification is the caste system in India. The caste system in India can be described as an elaborately stratified social hierarchy distinguishing India’s social structure. The caste system is used to specify a group of people having a specific social rank. The Indian term for caste is jati, and generally designates a group that can vary in size from a handful to many thousands. There are thousands of jatis each with its own rules and customs.

However it is the same when it comes to social stratification here in the U. S. People are divided into different levels of social status according to their wealth. Wealth is usually associated with prestige, but not always. For example, a plumber makes more money than a professor, but a professor has more prestige than a plumber because a plumber is a blue collar worker. When coming up with the division between people there is a system that put individuals in place to categorize ones social stratification. Four major classifications of social stratification is slavery, caste, estate and class.

These four major social stratifications come together and form some type of people systematically experience advantages in society while other types of people are systematically disadvantaged in our society. Some members of our society are thought of as haves, and others are thought of as have-nots. It determines who is socially advantaged and who is included among the ranks of the socially disadvantaged is based, in part, on certain characteristics these individuals possess and, in part, on how society values or devalues these characteristics.

Slavery is the one characteristic that faces the most disadvantage. Slavery is a system of stratification in which one person owns another, as he or she would own property, and exploits the slave’s labor for economic gain. Slaves are one of the lowest categories in any stratification system, as they possess virtually no power or wealth of their own. Many Americans view slavery as a phenomenon that began with the colonization of the New World and ended with the Civil War, but slavery has existed for a very long time. Slavery appears in the Old Testament of the Bible.

It was also a common practice in ancient Greece and Rome. The most common assumption about slavery is that it is generally based on racism. Though racism was the primary cause of slavery in the United States, it was not the main reason that people in other areas were enslaved. Reasons for slavery include debt, crime, war, and beliefs of inherent superiority which can be seen in the new hit movie twelve years. The caste system is a social system based on ascribed statuses, which are traits or characteristics that people possess as a result of their birth.

Ascribed statuses can include race, gender, nationality, body type, and age. A caste system ranks people rigidly. No matter what a person does, he or she cannot change castes. People often try to compensate for ascribed statuses by changing their nationality, lying about their age, or undergoing plastic surgery to alter their body type. In some societies, this strategy works; in others, it does not. An ancient stratification system that no longer exists today was the estate system, a three-tiered system composed of the nobility, the clergy, and the commoners.

During the middle Ages, much of Europe was organized under this system. Members of the nobility had great inherited wealth and did little or no discernible work. They occupied themselves in what we would term leisure pursuits, such as hunting or riding. Others cultivated interests in cultural pursuits, such as art and music. To ensure that their inherited wealth passed smoothly from one generation to the next without being dispersed to members of the extended family, the nobility of the Middle Ages practiced the law of primogeniture. The word primogeniture comes from Latin and means “first born.

” The nobility’s law of primogeniture stipulated that only a first-born son could inherit his father’s wealth. Members of this stratum developed an ideology to justify their privileged positions, the divine right of kings, which posited that the authority of the king comes directly from God. The king delegated authority to the nobles. Because the king and the nobles were God’s representatives, they had to be obeyed. Clergy is when the oldest son was guaranteed a healthy income upon the death of his father, but other sons had to find their own means of income.

Few, if any, were trained for work, so many became members of the Roman Catholic clergy, a body of religious officials. The clergy was very powerful in European society in the Middle Ages, and membership offered long-term job security and a comfortable living. The higher up the ladder a priest went, the more power he had over the masses. The third tier of the estate system consisted of the masses of people known as the commoners. They spent their lives engaged in hard physical labor, with virtually no chance of moving up in society. Final classification system used is class.

In a class system, an individual’s place in the social system is based on achieved statuses, which are statuses that we either earn or choose and that are not subject to where or to whom we were born. Those born within a class system can choose their educational level, careers, and spouses. Social mobility, or movement up or down the social hierarchy, is a major characteristic of the class system. The value referred to as the American Dream is indicative of the American social class system. The American Dream reflects what we see as the kind of equality of opportunity that can exist only in a class system.

Americans believe that all people, regardless of the conditions into which they were born, have an equal chance to achieve success. Part of the American Dream is the belief that every child can grow up to be president of the United States. Former president Bill Clinton, for example, came from a relatively poor background and grew up in a small town in Arkansas. His father died before he was born, and he was raised by his mother and abusive stepfather. Clinton rose above his humble beginnings to attend prestigious universities, and received a full scholarship to Rhodes, and enjoy a successful career in politics that began with his election as governor of Arkansas. 3. ) Discuss the eight steps in the research model. With every research project there is a certain model you have to fallow in order to achieve your goal. Even well-known sociologist fallow the steps of the research model in order to achieve their goal on what they are studding in order to provide the world on what they are thinking. This first step is to selecting a topic. Sociologists choose a wide range of topics, usually those that inspire their curiosity. Example Karl Emil Maximilian (Max Weber) was curious about religion.

And wrote a book called The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Because of his curiousness on religion and the capitalism of society back then, it drew his attention to research and develop ideas to support his writings. The second step is defining the problem. This includes what the researcher wants to learn about the topic. Example would be a researcher wanting to know more about child obesity in America. What articles and lectures will help him in his research on knowing more about child obesity in America? Third step is to review the literature.

What have other researchers published on this topic? What will make yours research different from all the others and what information can be used to support your topic. The fourth step is formulating a hypothesis. This is the chance where the researcher tries to develop a statement about what the researcher wants to find according to predictions from a theory. The fifth step includes choosing a research method. This method is design to help the researcher plan on what information to use to when he’s collecting data for his research topic. The sixth step to the research model is collecting the data.

Being able to utilize the method chosen to actually gather information on the topic chosen, keeping in mind that validity and reliability are major concerns when collecting the data. Second to last step is analyzing the results. Testing the researcher’s hypothesis based on the data collected or studying the results to look for similarities, differences, and other patterns. Last but not least sharing the results. After all the hard work ,studding and researching has come to an end it is now to write a report or paper to share with the community and other people who have an interest in the topic that the researcher has studied

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