Types of Social Stratification




Types of Social Stratification:

i. Closed stratification:

Closed stratification is one in which individuals or groups do not enjoy the freedom of changing their social strata. The individual who gets social strata by birth can never change it in one’s lifetime. In this type of social stratification, there is no scope for social mobility. The individuals or groups cannot move from one social stratum to another. The Varna system and the caste system in India are examples of closed stratification.

ii. Open stratification:

Open stratification is one in which individuals or groups enjoy the freedom of changing their social strata i.e. in this type of social stratification there is scope for social mobility. Individuals or groups move from one stratum to another. The class system in modern industrial society (Upper class, middle class, and lower class) is an example of open stratification. The criteria for open stratification are power, property, intelligence, skills, etc.

Other general types of social stratification:

(i) Caste is a hereditary endogamous social group in which a person’s rank and its accompanying rights and obligations are ascribed on the basis of his birth into a particular group. For example-Brahmins, Kshyatryas, Vaishyas, and Sudra Caste.

(ii) Class-Stratification on the basis of class is dominant in modern society. In this, a person’s position depends to a very great extent upon achievement and his ability to use to advantage the inborn characteristics and wealth that he may possess.

(iii) Estate system of medieval Europe provides another system of stratification which gave much emphasis to birth as well as to wealth and possessions. Each estate had a state.

(iv) Slavery had an economic basis. In slavery, every slave had his master to whom he was subjected. The master’s power over the slave was unlimited.

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