Social stratification
Overview
 
In sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

  the social stratification is a concept of class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."

In modern Western societies
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

, stratification is broadly organized into three main layers: upper class
Upper class
In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

, middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

, and lower class. Each class may be further subdivided into smaller classes (e.g.
Encyclopedia
In sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

  the social stratification is a concept of class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."

In modern Western societies
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

, stratification is broadly organized into three main layers: upper class
Upper class
In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

, middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

, and lower class. Each class may be further subdivided into smaller classes (e.g. occupational). These categories are particular to state-based
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 societies as distinguished from, for instance, feudal societies composed of nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

-to-peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

 relations. Stratification may also be defined by kinship ties
Kinship
Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through either biological, cultural, or historical descent. And descent groups, lineages, etc. are treated in their own subsections....

 or caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

s. For Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

, social class pertaining broadly to material wealth is distinguished from status class
Status class
The German sociologist Max Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification in which he defines status group as a group of people that can be differentiated on the basis of non-economical qualities like honour, prestige and religion...

 which is based on such variables as honor, prestige and religious affiliation. Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973....

 argued that the forces of societal differentiation and the following pattern of institutionalized individualization would strongly diminish the role of class (as a major stratification factor) as social evolution went along. It is debatable whether the earliest hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

 groups may be defined as 'stratified', or if such differentials began with agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and broad acts of exchange between groups. One of the ongoing issues in determining social stratification arises from the point that status inequalities between individuals are common, so it becomes a quantitative issue to determine how much inequality qualifies as stratification.

Sociological overview

The concept of social stratification is interpreted differently by the various theoretical perspectives of sociology. Proponents of action theory
Action theory
Action theory is an area in philosophy concerned with theories about the processes causing willful human bodily movements of more or less complex kind. This area of thought has attracted the strong interest of philosophers ever since Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics...

 have suggested that since social stratification is commonly found in developed societies, hierarchy may be necessary in order to stabilize social structure
Social structure
Social structure is a term used in the social sciences to refer to patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. The usage of the term "social structure" has changed over time and may reflect the various levels of analysis...

. Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973....

, an American sociologist, asserted that stability and social order are regulated, in part, by universal value although universal values were not identical with "consensus" but could as well be the impetus for ardent conflict as it had been multiple times through history. Parsons never claimed that universal values in and by themselves "satisfied" the functional prerequisites
Functional prerequisites
In sociological research, functional prerequisites are the basic needs that an individual requires to live above the poverty line. Functional prerequisites may also refer to the factors that allow a society to maintain social order....

 of a society, indeed, the constitution of society was a much more complicated codification of emerging historical factors. The so-called conflict theories
Conflict theory
Conflict theories are perspectives in social science that emphasize the social, political or material inequality of a social group, that critique the broad socio-political system, or that otherwise detract from structural functionalism and ideological conservativism...

, such as Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, point to the inaccessibility of resources and lack of social mobility
Social mobility
Social mobility refers to the movement of people in a population from one social class or economic level to another. It typically refers to vertical mobility -- movement of individuals or groups up from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marrying; but can also refer to...

 found in stratified societies. Many sociological theorists have criticized the extent to which the working classes are unlikely to advance socioeconomically; the wealthy
Upper class
In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

 tend to hold political power which they use to exploit
Exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

 the proletariat
Proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

 intergenerationally. Theorists such as Ralf Dahrendorf
Ralf Dahrendorf
Ralf Gustav Dahrendorf, Baron Dahrendorf, KBE, FBA was a German-British sociologist, philosopher, political scientist and liberal politician....

, however, have noted the tendency toward an enlarged middle-class in modern Western societies due to the necessity of an educated workforce in technological and service economies. Various social and political perspectives concerning globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

, such as dependency theory
Dependency theory
Dependency theory or dependencia theory is a body of social science theories predicated on the notion that resources flow from a "periphery" of poor and underdeveloped states to a "core" of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former...

, suggest that these effects are due to the change of workers to the third world
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

.

Karl Marx

In Marxist theory, the capitalist mode of production
Capitalist mode of production
In Marx's critique of political economy, the capitalist mode of production is the production system of capitalist societies, which began in Europe in the 16th century, grew rapidly in Western Europe from the end of the 18th century, and later extended to most of the world...

 consists of two main economic parts: the substructure and the Superstructure. The base comprehends the relations of production
Relations of production
Relations of production is a concept frequently used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their theory of historical materialism, and in Das Kapital...

 — employer-employee work conditions, the technical division of labour
Division of labour
Division of labour is the specialisation of cooperative labour in specific, circumscribed tasks and likeroles. Historically an increasingly complex division of labour is closely associated with the growth of total output and trade, the rise of capitalism, and of the complexity of industrialisation...

, and property relations — into which people enter to produce the necessities and amenities of life. In the capitalist system, the ruling classes own the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

, which essentially includes the working class itself as they only have their own labour power ('wage labour
Wage labour
Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer, where the worker sells their labour under a formal or informal employment contract. These transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined...

') to offer in order to survive. These relations fundamentally determine the ideas and philosophies of a society, constituting the superstructure. A temporary status quo is achieved by various methods of social control employed, consciously or unconsciously, by the bourgeoisie in the course of various aspects of social life. Through the ideology of the ruling class, false consciousness is promoted both through ostensibly political and non-political institutions, but also through the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 and other elements of culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

. Marx believed the capitalist mode would eventually give way, through its own internal conflict, to revolutionary consciousness and the development of egalitarian communist society.

According to Marvin Harris
Marvin Harris
Marvin Harris was an American anthropologist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. A prolific writer, he was highly influential in the development of cultural materialism...

 and Tim Ingold, Lewis Henry Morgan's accounts of egalitarian hunter-gatherers formed part of Karl Marx and Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

's inspiration for communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. Morgan spoke of a situation in which people living in the same community pooled their efforts and shared the rewards of those efforts fairly equally. He called this "communism in living." But when Marx expanded on these ideas, he still emphasized an economically oriented culture, with property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

 defining the fundamental relationships between people. Yet, issues of ownership
Ownership
Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has...

 and property are arguably less emphasized in hunter-gatherer societies. This, combined with the very different social and economic situations of hunter-gatherers may account for many of the difficulties encountered when implementing communism in industrialized states. As Ingold points out: "The notion of communism, removed from the context of domesticity and harnessed to support a project of social engineering for large-scale, industrialized states with populations of millions, eventually came to mean something quite different from what Morgan had intended: namely, a principle of redistribution that would override all ties of a personal or familial nature, and cancel out their effects."

Max Weber

Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 was strongly influenced by Marx's ideas, but rejected the possibility of effective communism, arguing that it would require an even greater level of detrimental social control and bureaucratization than capitalist society. Moreover, Weber criticized the dialectical presumption of proletariat revolt, believing it to be unlikely. Instead, he developed the three-component theory of stratification
Three-component theory of stratification
The three-component theory of stratification, more widely known as Weberian Stratification or Three Class System, was developed by German sociologist Max Weber with class, status and party as distinct ideal types. Weber developed a multidimensional approach to Social stratification that reflects...

 and the concept of life chances
Life chances
Life chances is a political theory of the opportunities each individual has to improve his or her quality of life. The concept was introduced by German sociologist Max Weber. It is a probabilistic concept, describing how likely it is, given certain factors, that an individual's life will turn out...

. Weber supposed there were more class divisions than Marx suggested, taking different concepts from both functionalist
Structural functionalism
Structural functionalism is a broad perspective in sociology and anthropology which sets out to interpret society as a structure with interrelated parts. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions and institutions...

 and Marxist theories to create his own system. He emphasized the difference between class, status, and power, and treated these as separate but related sources of power, each with different effects on social action. Working at half a century later than Marx, Weber claimed there to be in fact four main classes: the upper class
Upper class
In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

, the white collar workers, the petite bourgeoisie
Petite bourgeoisie
Petit-bourgeois or petty bourgeois is a term that originally referred to the members of the lower middle social classes in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

, and the manual working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

. Weber's theory more-closely resembles modern Western
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 class structures, although economic status does not seem to depend strictly on earnings in the way Weber envisioned.

Weber derived many of his key concepts on social stratification by examining the social structure of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. He noted that contrary to Marx's theories, stratification was based on more than simply ownership of capital
Capital (economics)
In economics, capital, capital goods, or real capital refers to already-produced durable goods used in production of goods or services. The capital goods are not significantly consumed, though they may depreciate in the production process...

. Weber examined how many members of the aristocracy lacked economic wealth yet had strong political power. Many wealthy families lacked prestige and power, for example, because they were Jewish. Weber introduced three independent factors that form his theory of stratification hierarchy; class, status, and power:
  • Class: A person's economic position in a society. Weber differs from Marx in that he does not see this as the supreme factor in stratification. Weber noted how managers of corporations or industries control firms they do not own; Marx would have placed such a person in the proletariat
    Proletariat
    The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

    .
  • Status: A person's prestige, social honor, or popularity in a society. Weber noted that political power was not rooted in capital value solely, but also in one's individual status. Poets or saints, for example, can possess immense influence on society with often little economic worth.
  • Power: A person's ability to get their way despite the resistance of others. For example, individuals in state jobs, such as an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

    , or a member of the United States Congress
    United States Congress
    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

    , may hold little property or status but they still hold immense power.

Anthropological overview

Anthropologists
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 have found that social stratification is not the standard among all societies. John Gowdy writes, "Assumptions about human behaviour that members of market societies believe to be universal, that humans are naturally competitive and acquisitive, and that social stratification is natural, do not apply to many hunter-gatherer peoples." Non-stratified egalitarian or acephalous
Acephalous Society
In anthropology, an acephalous society is a society which lacks political leaders or hierarchies. Such groups are also known as egalitarian or non-stratified societies. Typically these societies are small-scale, organized into bands or tribes that make decisions through consensus decision making...

 ("headless") societies exist which have little or no concept of social hierarchy, political or economic status, class, or even permanent leadership.

Kinship-orientation

Anthropologists identify egalitarian cultures as "kinship
Kinship
Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through either biological, cultural, or historical descent. And descent groups, lineages, etc. are treated in their own subsections....

-oriented," because they appear to value social harmony more than wealth or status. These cultures are contrasted with economically oriented cultures (including states
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

) in which status and material wealth are prized, and stratification, competition, and conflict are common. Kinship-oriented cultures actively work to prevent social hierarchies from developing because they believe that such stratification could lead to conflict and instability. Reciprocal altruism
Reciprocal altruism
In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a behaviour whereby an organism acts in a manner that temporarily reduces its fitness while increasing another organism's fitness, with the expectation that the other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time...

 is one process by which this is accomplished.

A good example is given by Richard Borshay Lee
Richard Borshay Lee
Richard Borshay Lee is a Canadian anthropologist. Lee has studied at the University of Toronto and University of California, Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. Presently, he holds a position at the University of Toronto as Professor Emeritus of Anthropology...

 in his account of the Khoisan
Khoisan
Khoisan is a unifying name for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and putative linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally, the Khoisan are divided into the foraging San and the pastoral Khoi...

, who practice "insulting the meat." Whenever a hunter makes a kill, he is ceaselessly teased and ridiculed (in a friendly, joking fashion) to prevent him from becoming too proud or egotistical. The meat itself is then distributed evenly among the entire social group, rather than kept by the hunter. The level of teasing is proportional to the size of the kill. Lee found this out when he purchased an entire cow as a gift for the group he was living with, and was teased for weeks afterward about it (since obtaining that much meat could be interpreted as showing off).

Another example is the Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 of Groote Eylandt
Groote Eylandt
Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northeastern Australia. It is the homeland of, and is owned by, the Anindilyakwa people who speak the isolated Anindilyakwa language)....

 and Bickerton Island
Bickerton Island
Bickerton Island is situated 13 km west off Groote Eylandt and 8 km east of the mouth of Blue Mud Bay in eastern Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is about 21 by 21 kilometers in size, with deep bays and indentations, and has an area of 215 km2. The largest bays...

, off the coast of Arnhem Land
Arnhem Land
The Arnhem Land Region is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located in the north-eastern corner of the territory and is around 500 km from the territory capital Darwin. The region has an area of 97,000 km² which also covers the area of Kakadu National...

, who have arranged their entire society, spirituality, and economy around a kind of gift economy
Gift economy
In the social sciences, a gift economy is a society where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards . Ideally, simultaneous or recurring giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within the community...

 called renunciation
Reciprocal altruism
In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a behaviour whereby an organism acts in a manner that temporarily reduces its fitness while increasing another organism's fitness, with the expectation that the other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time...

.
According to David H. Turner
David H. Turner
David Howe Turner is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and a Fellow at Trinity College and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study. He has worked with Indigenous Australians since 1969 and has worked with indigenous peoples in Bali, North India, Japan, and Canada...

, in this arrangement, every person is expected to give everything of any resource they have to any other person who needs or lacks it at the time. This has the benefit of largely eliminating social problems like theft and relative poverty. However, misunderstandings obviously arise when attempting to reconcile Aboriginal renunciative economics with the competition/scarcity-oriented economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 introduced to Australia by Anglo-European colonists. See also the Original affluent society
Original affluent society
The "original affluent society" is a theory postulating that hunter-gatherers were the original affluent society. This theory was first articulated by Marshall Sahlins at a symposium entitled "Man the Hunter" held in Chicago in 1966...

.

Social impact

Social stratification has been shown to cause many social problems. A comprehensive study of major world economies revealed that homicide, infant mortality, obesity, teenage pregnancies, emotional depression, teen suicide, and prison population all correlate with higher social inequality.

Three characteristics of stratified systems

1. The rankings apply to social categories of people who share a common characteristic without necessarily interacting or identifying with each other. The process of being ranked can be changed by the person being ranked.
  • Example: The way we rank people differently by race, gender, and social class

2. People's life experiences and opportunities depend on their social category. This characteristic can be changed by the amount of work a person can put into their interests.
  • Example: The greater advantage had by the son or daughter of a king to have a successful life than the son or daughter of a minimum-wage factory worker, because the king has a greater amount of resources than the factory worker The use of resources can influence others.

3. The ranks of different social categories change slowly over time. This has occurred frequently in the United States ever since the American revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. The U.S. constitution has been altered several times to specify rights for everyone.
  • Examples:
    • The Declaration of Independence
      Declaration of independence
      A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

      : abolished the monarchy
    • Article I, Section 9 of U.S. Constitution - "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States" - abolished aristocracy
    • Thirteenth Amendment
      Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
      The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

      : ended slavery in the United States
    • Fourteenth Amendment
      Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
      The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

      : granted African-Americans citizenship in the United States
    • Fifteenth Amendment
      Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
      The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude"...

      : ended the denial of suffrage based on race
    • Nineteenth Amendment
      Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
      The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

      : the United States government's recognition of women's suffrage
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964
      Civil Rights Act of 1964
      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

      : ended racial segregation in public places in the United States also extended the right to vote

External links





Bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

Upper class
Upper class
In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

Ruling class
Ruling class
The term ruling class refers to the social class of a given society that decides upon and sets that society's political policy - assuming there is one such particular class in the given society....

Nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

White-collar
White-collar worker
The term white-collar worker refers to a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor...

Petite bourgeoisie
Petite bourgeoisie
Petit-bourgeois or petty bourgeois is a term that originally referred to the members of the lower middle social classes in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

Upper middle class
Upper middle class
The upper middle class is a sociological concept referring to the social group constituted by higher-status members of the middle class. This is in contrast to the term "lower middle class", which is used for the group at the opposite end of the middle class stratum, and to the broader term "middle...

Creative class
Creative class
The Creative Class is a socioeconomic class that economist and social scientist Richard Florida, a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, identifies as a key driving force for economic development of post-industrial...

Gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

Blue-collar
Blue-collar worker
A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

Proletariat
Proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

Middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

Working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

Nouveau riche
Nouveau riche
The nouveau riche , or new money, comprise those who have acquired considerable wealth within their own generation...

/Parvenu
Parvenu
A Parvenu is a person who is a relative newcomer to a socioeconomic class. The word is borrowed from the French language; it is the past participle of the verb parvenir...

Pink-collar
Pink-collar worker
The term, 'pink-collar worker' is in reference to a blue-collar worker, or a white-collar worker. A 'pink-collar worker' performs work said to be stereotypical women's work and are typically in the service industry.- Occupations :...

Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat, a collective term from Lumpenproletarier , was first defined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in The German Ideology and later elaborated on in other works by Marx...

Lower middle class
Lower middle class
In developed nations across the world, the lower middle class is a sub-division of the greater middle class. Universally the term refers to the group of middle class households or individuals who have not attained the status of the upper middle class associated with the higher realms of the middle...

Lower class Old Money
Old Money
Old money is "the inherited wealth of established upper-class families " or "a person, family, or lineage possessing inherited wealth." The term typically describes a class of the super-rich, who have been able to maintain their wealth across multiple generations.- United States :American locations...

Gold-collar
Gold-collar worker
Gold-collar worker is a neologism which has been used to describe either young, low-wage workers who invest in conspicuous luxury, or highly-skilled knowledge workers, traditionally classified as white collar, but who have recently become essential enough to business operations as to warrant a new...

Slave class Underclass
Underclass
The term underclass refers to a segment of the population that occupies the lowest possible position in a class hierarchy, below the core body of the working class. The general idea that a class system includes a population under the working class has a long tradition in the social sciences...

Classlessness
Social class in the United States
Social structure of the United States
Social class is a controversial issue in the United States, having many competing definitions, models, and even disagreements over its very existence. Many Americans believe in a simple three-class model that includes the "rich", the "middle class", and the "poor"...

Middle classes
American middle class
The American middle class is a social class in the United States. While the concept is typically ambiguous in popular opinion and common language use, contemporary social scientists have put forward several, more or less congruent, theories on the American middle class...

 
Upper classes
American upper class
See: millionaire for more details-Millionaires:See also: MillionairesHouseholds with net worths of $1 million or more may be identified as members of the upper-most socio-economic demographic, depending on the class model used...

 
Social structure
Social structure of the United States
Social class is a controversial issue in the United States, having many competing definitions, models, and even disagreements over its very existence. Many Americans believe in a simple three-class model that includes the "rich", the "middle class", and the "poor"...

 
Income
Income in the United States
Income in the United States is measured by the United States Department of Commerce either by household or individual. The differences between household and personal income is considerable since 42% of households, the majority of those in the top two quintiles with incomes exceeding $57,658, now...

 
Educational attainment
Educational attainment in the United States
The educational attainment of the U.S. population is similar to that of many other industrialized countries with the vast majority of the population having completed secondary education and a rising number of college graduates that outnumber high school dropouts. As a whole, the population of the...


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