Define social stratification. Discuss its features.
According to Raymond W. Murray, ‘Social stratification is a horizontal division of society into ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ social units.’ It refers to a process in which individuals and groups are ranked in more and less hierarchy of status.
Following are the features of social stratification:
Social stratification is universal: It is present in every society in one or the other form.
Social stratification is social: It is not biological attributes of the individuals that determine their superiority or inferiority but their social positions.
Social stratification is an ancient concept: The notion of stratification is not a new concept, but it has been in existence for ages. Society was always stratified on the basis of economic, political or status.
Social stratification exists in diverse forms: The forms of social stratification varied from one society to another. For example, the Indian society is stratified on the basis of caste system into Brahmins Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras, and Greek society was divided into freemen and slaves,