Using the conflict, functionalist and symbolic interactionist perspectives, explain with suitable illustrations, the inevitability and universality of social stratification and deviance.
Conflict theory’s explanation of stratification draws on Karl Marx’s view of class societies and incorporates the critique of the functionalist view just discussed. Many different explanations grounded in conflict theory exist, but they all assume that stratification stems from a fundamental conflict between the needs and interests of the powerful. The powerful take advantage of their position at the top of society to stay at the top, even if it means oppressing those at the bottom. The powerful influence the law, the media, and other institutions in a way that maintains society’s class structure. Stratification results from lack of opportunity and from discrimination.
Functionalist theory assumes that the various structures and processes in society exist because they serve important functions for society’s stability and continuity. In line with this view, functionalist theorists in sociology assume that stratification exists induces people with special intelligence, knowledge, and skills to enter the most important occupations. For this reason, stratification is significant.
Symbolic interactionism is a micro-level theory that focuses on the relationships among individuals within a society. Communication—the exchange of meaning through language and symbols—is believed to be the way in which people make sense of their social worlds. under the symbolic interactions, stratification affects people’s beliefs, lifestyles, daily interaction, and conceptions of themselves.
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