|Age stratification exists because processes in society ensure that people of different ages differ in their access to society's rewards, power, and privileges.|
|—Age Stratification, Sociology: the essentials|
In critical sociology, age stratification refers to the hierarchical
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...
ranking of people into age groups within a society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...
Age stratification which is based on an ascribed status
Ascribed status is the social status a person is assigned at birth or assumed involuntarily later in life. It is a position that is neither earned nor chosen but assigned...
is a major source inequality, and thus may lead to ageism
Ageism, also called age discrimination is stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination...