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HAS SOCIAL STRATIFICATION DEVELOPED IN THE LIGHT OF CHANGES WITHIN SOCIETY Stratification describes the different layers that exist in society These layers are distinguished by unequal rewards and life chances Sociologists view stratification as the classification of groups and the relationships that exist between them The study of social stratification is the study of class caste privilege and status According to the sociologist John Scott 1996 pg 1 at its most simple social stratification of a society can be defined as Its internal division into Hierarchy of distinct social groups each having specific chances and a distinctive style of life Class division separates most known communities sometimes with no chance of mobility within its structure or grouping A good example of closed social differentiation is found in the Hindu religions caste system Hindu caste membership is the result of good or bad conduct in a previous life and each individual within the system is born and lives as their caste decrees with no chance of furthering into a higher caste through either marriage or merit Each stratum is totally recruited from within their own ranks caste It has however been argued that an unstratified society is a possibility Such a society where everyone is equal is known as Egalitarian An example of this is the Kibbutz system in Israel However Eva Rosenfeld 1974 concluded in her study that there were two distinct strata within the Kibutz and hierarchy was based on power rather than the material wealth of western societies The kibbutz is though possibly the closest thing to an unstratified society in modern times Social hierarchy therefore can be based on the possession of different qualities depending on the community some societies having greater inequalities modern Britain for example places great emphasis on achievement It can then be described to an extent as a Meritocracy-where a position in hierarchy is based on individual merit Society therefore needs social mobility within
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