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A2 Sociology - Stratification Exam watch

    • Thread Starter

    I thought the Religion exam was really easy, perhaps due to a lengthy period of revision on the topic. However, lately I've been too busy reading off-the-subject texts! Why the hell have I been reading Hawking and Milton A. Rothman when really I should be revising?! Well, its clear that now I must proceed some intensive Stratification revision before tomorrow morning. It shouldn't be too hard I guess, because our class at my sixth form have been studying Strat. for the past year and more. Anyone know of any key studies and terminology that sometimes gets forgotten?

    I'll add some of my knowledge now. I apologise if its of no use.

    There's bound to be stuff on Social Mobility so remember to mention DV Glass' Father and Sons study as it was the first major study of social mobility in Britain.


    "Stratification is a inevitable and natural. It benefits society in that it motivates those in Education and work, to become the best person they can be. It sifts and sorts the different roles of people in society. (Marxists agree but say that this is a bad thing - Bourgeoisie(ruling class, owners of MOPs) and Prolateriat (subject class, MOPs, only power they have is the power to work for the ruling class).

    Functionalists also say the Poor act as a warning which motivates people into work. The poor also provide jobs in the welfare state.

    Davis and Moore say...

    Social Mobility is a part of the "meritocratic" system in Britain and that people are rewarded on talent and ability and not just hard work alone. Criticisms of Davis and Moore: how can we be a meritocracy if someone without talent can work hard to achieve something, and still fail? Merit is supposed to be something you recieve for your efforts.

    More info on Davis and Moore and Strat @ http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/soc/cour...2r3/sf/d-m.htm

    Criticisms of the Functionalist on Stratification

    It ignores the negatives and preaches society to be meritocratic. Marxist theory goes into great detail about why and how Stratification acts as a platform for exploitation and social inequality. Functionalism ignores important areas of exploitation in particular including Gender and Ethnicity.


    Stratification is an economic process. Class divide between: Bourgeoisie and the Prolateriat.

    The Prolateriat create wealth and Surplus Value FOR the Bourgeoisie. There is a conflict of interests between employers and workers: it is in the employers interest to keep wages low in order to increase profits for their own private gain (surplus value).

    Mention 1) Polarisation of Social Classes ( Marx predicted that one day *he never gave a date* people would become class concious and develop a collective concience after overcoming false conciousness, and that Communism would be the reward for addressing the problem with rebellion )

    2) Social Alienation

    3) Economic Crisis

    Although Marx did not include Gender inequality in his works, others did. Engels (who funded many of Marx's works and publications) argued that monogamous marriage is a social institution that has nothing to do with love and everything to do with private property. He
    wrote that if women are to be truly emancipated from men, they must be economically independent.

    Criticisms of the Marxist view on Stratification:

    The Polarisation of the Classes has not occurred yet and shows no signs of happening. Mention the decline of communism in Russia. Mention that although Capitalism doesn't create an equal world, it does provide many with a good standard of living - more people than ever in fact. Evidence for this: the minimum wage, NHS.

    Criticism of Engels - women are becoming more professional, and are studying more academic subjects than ever in higher education.

    Marxism doesn't really cover ethnicity.


    Weber disagreed that Stratification was "only based on economy". He picked up on how STATUS and PARTY effect stratification. He claimed that Stratification was based on the particular market situation - income and what people spend on it. Status symbols etc. Link with Weber's Social Interactionism.

    Criticisms of the Weberian view on Stratification:

    Weber's view is more complex than the Marxist and Functionalist perspectives on Stratifcation but it is still based on the economy and the mass market (or the superstructure in Marxist terms) which is controlled by the ruling class, furthering the neo-Marxist counter-argument that status and party are both in favour of the ruling class. Ignores Gender and Ethnicity.


    Employment patterns have changed. Half the workforce is men, the other half: women. More women are adopting the entrepeneurial spirit, but 80% of all women are part-time workers. This is due to traditional gender roles and conjougal roles also. Women aren't considered to be unemployed unless they are recieving unemployment benefits.

    Horizontal Segregation - where women go to nurturing, caring type jobs.

    Vertical Segregation - where women go to where women can be found as hospital consultants (18%), University Professors (7%), the barrier for any job. (Weber - "market situation")

    Universities - Teachers tend to be male
    - Men want high status of being a Uni teacher.

    Medicine - High status jobs are male-dominated. Nurses aren't paid enough.

    Pay - Women are paid less than men, even when they tend to be in
    similar jobs
    - Men can afford to pay for pensions. Women are less likely to
    afford pensions because their jobs are not as well-paid as
    men's jobs.

    Crisis of Masculinity - Where the traditional roles of man and woman are
    broken in times of redundancy for males. Example, the
    decline in the mining industry lead to many men
    becoming unemployed, leaving their wife to play the
    traditionally male role of "Breadwinner". The man
    man therefore feels incompetent and suffers a crisis of
    masculinity, resulting essentially in depression and then
    lifechances become lower. (Mach An Ghail).. also leads
    to divorce and domestic violence.

    Dual Labour Market theory - Barron and Norris ('76) "Labour markets for men
    and women are seperate.
    - disrupts career development
    - women lack promotion during maternity and may
    suffer downward social mobility.


    The Host-Imigrant Model: believes that migrants disturb the equilibreum and consensus of society because they have different ways of living - leads to suspicion.

    Asian people work to reserve their culture, traditions, clothes etc. Although this is perfectly fine to the majority, traditionalists and nationalists argue that it interferes with their own way of life, and that society would benefit without more pluralism.

    Weber - Ethnic minorities are Status groups. Therefore different minorities will not want to do business with each other. Trade Unions have been good at protecting people of ethnic minority from losing their jobs, payrises etc but the underclass still tends to be black.

    Criticims: poor white people as well.

    Link with Marxism: Black people are part of the exploited "labour power". Are black people a reserve army of labour? Ethnic minorities tend to be a sub group of the working class.


    Modood (92) - doesn't agree with Weberian and Marxist sociologists that seek to generalise and see explanations for ethnic groups as a whole.
    -Diversity among ethnic groups is apparent.
    -Focuses on Identity.
    -Racial difference: matter of choise and racial disadvantage is impossible to discuss as ethnic ID is not fixed (you chose to be who you are).
    -Spot problems, then do something meaningful to address the problem.
    -People who approach the PM on behalf of ethnic inequality neglect social and economical factors that have impact on lifechances.

    Criticisms of Post-modernism:

    Marxists would say Post-modernism is too subjective.

    Poverty defined:

    Absolute Poverty - when someone cannot afford to pay for basic needs eg, food, shelter etc.

    Relative Poverty - when someone feels poor because of below average standards of living and less than average income.


    Well, those were some of my notes that I thought may be useful. If anyone has their own selection of notes or has anything to share on the subject, then don't hesitate to post. Last minute cramming is always encouraged among these forums.


    Darren (oo my first post happened to be quite big and possibly quite helpful for anyone who cannot be arsed to start collecting their own notes :cool: )

    hi ,have u got note for crime deviance?? thanks
    • Thread Starter

    nah, i'm afraid AQA students either do Crime & Deviance or Stratification, or something like that?! we didn't get the privaledge of doing the Crime and Deviance section. sorry.

    It makes a lot more sense when it's all down like that!
    My head was turning all mushy! :eek:
    • Thread Starter

    Good luck i ended up downloading a voice generating program for dyslexic people for the simple reason that u can put text into it, and it speaks in an almost Stephen Hawkin-esque way i hooked Goldwave up and used it to record revision notes over some instrumental music. its already been a help overnight and it should be on the walk into school as the music is quite uplifting. i wont mention who it is here, i might get sued for copyright :P


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