Homework Question on Functional Theory
- Instructions Essay Question for Stratification & Class; Henlsin 12th ed. Chapter 9 REQUIRED: Rewrite (copy) the question and then answer the following question:
- Define social stratification and then explain modern theories of stratification in the U.S. using functional theory (Davis & Moore); and
- The criticism of functional theory (dysfunctions) by confict theorists (Tumin); and
- Conflict theory (Marx & Mosca); and
- Lenski’s Synthesis (functional and conflict). and illustrate all arguments with examples.
Homework Answer on Functional Theory
Define social stratification and then explain modern theories of stratification in the U.S.
For several years now, the focus of sociologists has been on social stratification, its primary causes, and its impacts on society. Social stratification refers to how people in society are categorized into socioeconomic strata based on their income levels and occupation, social status and wealth, or social and political power. In other words, social stratification refers to a person’s relative social position within a particular social group, social unit, geographic unit, or category and in Western societies such as the US, there are three social classes including the upper, middle, and lower classes each of which are further subdivided into the upper, middle, and lower strata.
One of the factors that determine the structures of social stratification is the inequality of status among persons, an insinuation that the degree or level of social inequality gives a clear explanation of an individual’s social stratum and this underscored the fact that the more the social complexity in society, the more social strata exist. There are four underlying principles of social stratification; it is a trait of society and not a reflection of individual differences, it persists over generations, it is universal but variable, and it involves not only inequality but also beliefs.
In most cases, social stratification is scrutinized from two perspectives of structural functionalism and social conflict hence the inception of the modern theories of stratification in the US: functional theory and conflict theory. On the issue of social stratification, the functional theory’s primary argument is that social inequality is one of the most important perspectives in society as it helps fulfill key system needs.