Vehiclesof Social Stratification
Synopsisof how legitimization operates
Legitimizationhas several meanings depending on its use. However, it implies theprocess through which the social stratification system or a givenextent of inequality and such acts, as well as those people,considered the power elites in the society are acceptable to thegeneral population. The method ensures that obedience and thestructured imbalance are maintained. Social stratification enhanceslegitimation through such acts like selective exposure and favorableor unfavorable reinforcements among others. In the Western countries,it was shown through the permanent hierarchy where those consideredsuperiors had a significant amount of power, money, and prestige thanthose ranked lower in the social groups. It was seen in differentsectors like the social and economic classes that were classified aslower, middle, and upper. It is believed that this is the only waysuch nations can function at the recommended levels of proficiencyalthough this thought differs from one state to another. In someareas, men are ranked above women despite their racial equalitythough this condition is the reverse in others. The working classhardly moved up in the social category because of their productionmeans, but the rich ones continued to dominate those in the lowergroups, and this is how a status quo is maintained because of themanipulation and exploitation. The social stratification, therefore,differs from one society to the other depending on its type.
Theeconomic gaps between people were modest before the industrialrevolution period, but this changed after it. The richest countrieshad a higher income per person compared to the weak ones. However,the income distribution was skewed as the elite group dominated thewealth compared to the mass peasants but the colonial America wasexceptional in this observation. During the industrial revolution,the gaps were widened between the citizens of the particularcountries and themselves as well. There was income acceleration inthe Western Europe and America contributing to the increased distancebetween the states and the internal income disparities followed thesame trend. The workers in the industries were more productive andwere highly paid compared to those in the rural areas.
Thetax system changed rapidly in response to ensuring that the inequitywas narrowed down. The source of revenue for the governments changedfrom tariffs and excise taxes to the rising incomes that funded ahigher percentage of its spending. The taxes rose across all thenations, but usage varied considerably across them. For instance,America was interested in bringing mass education through theopportunity equality instead of income as most nations did. Massiveinvestments were made in primary schools to increase the chances ofprogressing to secondary level. Apart from narrowing down thedisparity, it also boosted the social mobility among its people.
Theregulation was introduced as another strategy to curb the inequalityamong citizens. Laws and regulations were set to dictate the minimumamount of salary that the workers should be paid, and this gave theunion powers to ensure that the rights of its workers were respected.All these efforts narrowed the disparities that existed among thecitizens compared to the previous periods before the emergence ofindustries. Despite this indication, the situation was differentamong the countries because inconsistency continued to thrive as somebecame more developed than others.
Theseforces have also played a key role in shaping the history of theWestern regions from the era of industrial revolution. The highstandards of living can be traced back to this period in someprominent countries like the U.S, Germany, and Great Britain. Theworkforce population changed as women and children were involved inthe economic activities that could generate income compared to theprevious periods where it was only men who could labor. The sametrend can be observed to the current time where both genders canequally work in any position if they have all the qualities needed.At the workplaces, there were disparities between the skilled andunskilled workers, and this determined what they were paid. Thehighest income earners are often educated and have a well buildsocial connections with those they are in the same category or abovethem an aspect that made them sustain the occupations of high status.Members of the same social class are majorly concerned on what theycan achieve in the society. They had distinct features that broughtthem together like their careers and educational accomplishments. Ifone had no such similarities, he would not fit that line ofdominance. This aspect is seen in the current world though there is alow level of interaction regardless of one’s background.
Thediscrepancies that used to exist concerning income have significantlyreduced even so not eliminated. The participation in the politicaldecision-making is open to all genders, and the entire population hasthe right to vote. Nevertheless, there exist a gap between the poorand the rich, but the advancing technology in these nations isextensively used to minimize it yet the situation is a completereverse in some countries. From the industrial era, the gap has beenwidening as those who earn highly have dominated almost half of theincome while the rest is left to the majority less earners.
Becauseof technology, most societies have advanced, and their socialstratifications have become sophisticated. The industrial revolutionincreased the rate of production notwithstanding the technology ledto more notable cases of inequality. The working environments havebeen demarcated due to the division of labor creating moreprofessional positions that have drawn a clear line that existsbetween those who receive the highest, and the respect accorded tothem as well as the lowly paid and the minimal honor they are given.There used to exist different dimensions of bias between oneindividual and the other, and the extent seems to have increased.Stratification, therefore, extends past those who have and themajority who lacks.
Inthe political stratification, despite the differences that may exist,the elites in this category have an influence on making decisions inthe industrialized societies and how the surpluses should beapportioned. This group is very open to the elites who have aninterest in joining it through the multiple channels it has and thevarious electoral systems that can accommodate them. Among theWestern countries, the politicians and economic elects have a robustsymbiotic connection, but they can sometimes differ when it comes tothe control of economic surplus as the opinions usually vary. Theamount of power that is acquired by the by the large blocs thatrepresent the ordinary citizens differ. Nonetheless, currently, giventhe level of productivity, all parts of the population share theeconomic surplus and its benefits to some extent.
Theincomes, just like wealth vary widely among the citizens especiallyin states like U.S and Canada though they are adequately equalcompared to the contemporary nonindustrial societies. Concerningmoney, the differences have a close connection to the age of anindividual because as they grow older, they continue to accumulatemore resources. The occupational stratification arises because theworkers in the industrial civilization’s income and wealth aremainly determined by the positions they hold.
Educationalstratification is one of the opportunities that the Westerners havemade an effort to expand. Formal education is a privilege that allthe children enjoy regardless of their background though there areinequalities from the way these resources are utilized. There areother factors like the family resources that can determine the amountof education that an individual can receive. The educationalachievement differences can be reflected up to the functional systemas some vacancies are only preserved for those who hold specificqualifications. Currently, its benefits can be seen due to theconnection that exists between education and income. For instance, inAmerica, the highly educated people earn to a range of three timesmore compared to the less education.
Racialand ethnic stratification is a result of the divisions that exist inthe Western societies. For example, in the US, there is no unitybetween the European Americans and the Africans who reside there.This has an effect on the benefits that humanity gets as some willget less while others enjoy more. Age and sex stratification are seenalmost in every society a prejudice that shows the geneticdifferences. The cultural norms make these variations clearer asthere are instances where women are lowly paid than men. Currently,this trend has changed as the payment is based on the education andskills that one possesses.