Social Stratification During The Age Of Enlightenment Essay

1365 Words Nov 29th, 2014 6 Pages
Since the earliest times of human documentation, social stratification has been in existence. In 350 BCE, Aristotle wrote about the rankings of free people and slaves in his book “Politics.” During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as Locke and Montesquieu wrote about the feudal system of social stratification. In the 1800s, sociologists Marx, Durkheim, and Weber began to analyze social stratification more in-depth, developing theories that continue to have an influence today. Because of its prevalence, social stratification remains a focal point for sociologists when studying social problems, such as poverty.
1. Problems of Wealth Inequality in the United States The root word “strata” refers to ranking groups or people within society. Social stratification is defined as the division of society in a social hierarchy by which people’s access to resources vary by class (Woodell 2014). Kerbo’s definition is similar but adds that resources are almost always unequally distributed and is indicated by superiority versus inferiority of different classes and this social division is often characterized by both cultural and economic elements (1996). Therefore, poverty is when individuals do not have sufficient resources to meet their needs. Conservative factions contend that poverty is a result of mediocre values and hard work while liberals believe it is due to lack of equal opportunities.
In 1964, after the declaration of the “War on Poverty,” the Federal…

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