Social class is defined as the division of the society that is highly based on the economic and social status. It is a also known as status hierarchy n which groups or individuals are distinguished on the basis of their prestige and esteem which they have attained through accumulation of their wealth and economic success. Society has been largely distinguished into social classes on the basis of the income, wealth, and occupation and education attainment.
Majority of the social scientists agree to the fact that society is set in a hierarchical arrangement of social classes. Social class in many countries has been a controversial issue; Social class has many models, definitions and disagreements over its existence in the society. Most of the social scientist sees social class being divided into three simple divisions which are the upper class, the middle class and the low class. On the other hand, there are many social scientists who have further introduced more complex models which have divided many class levels.
Sometimes social class is showcased as a description of how the members of the society have settled themselves along various positions like compensation, influence and prestige. When people understand which class of people they belong to they begin to behave in ways that they usually feel about the class. It has been seen that when a person considers her or himself to be upper class then they will start dressing differently from the people who consider themselves to be from middle class. One may wear jeans on a daily basis while one may wear business suits every day.
Sociologists who have studied class distinctions have found out that each social class have a unique and different cultural traits which was later referred to as class culture. Class culture has had a strong influence on the lives of the people which has affected them in every manner from how they maintain and initiate romantic relationships; how they raise their kids to the color they use to paint their houses. People have the tendency to associate themselves with those people who are of the same class as theirs and this has paved way for class differences to strengthen. People learn the values and behaviors acculturate to their own class. Because of class mobility, people can acculturate to the culture of some other class when descending or ascending in social order.
Property is defined as total possessions of a person, which is often considered to be a better measure of the social class in comparison to income. Property is known as the accumulated wealth of the person like home, savings, bond and stocks. Private property is defined as the control, employment, ownership and other forms of property by people and privately owned companies or firms. The concept of property is however not equivalent to possession. Property ownership means a circumstance that is socially constructed which is conferred upon the collective entities of the state or individuals whereas possession is physical.
On the other hand the economic liberals define private property to be important for the construction of a flourishing society. They highly believe that private ownership of the land always ensure that the land will be used efficiently for productive use and the value of the land will be protected by the owner of the land.
Socialists however view private property as a medium which has limited the potential of the productive forces in the economy. They say that private property becomes of no use when it is concentrated into socialized and centralized institutions which base on the revenue until the capitalist at the end becomes redundant. However, the libertarians think that the rights of the private property are requisite for the rational calculation and property rights without a clear definition the prices of services and good cannot be efficiently determined which makes property one of the most important economic calculation.
Power is defined as the ability of an individual to make others do as per their will regardless of the fact that the other person is willing to do it or not. Power also helps in measuring the ability of an entity to control their environment which includes the behavior of the other entities. Powers has also been defined in various ways like legitimate power which means that the power a person has been given to him or her willingly which in other words is knows as authority, illegitimate power which means the power taken by threat of the force also known as coercion.
Power can be also being seen as unjust or evil however the concept is accepted as an endemic to the social beings. To use power coercion is not always necessary and needed. It can be said that power has many forms of constraints on the action that the human beings do. Power is something which does make action possible but also limits the action.
Prestige is usually referred to esteem or reputation which is associated with the position one person has in the society which is tied to their own social class. If the prestige is higher of a person through various ways like their family name or by their occupation then their social class automatically becomes higher. Occupations like lawyer, businessmen have more prestige than occupation like bartender and janitor. Prestige is related to other indicators of the social class which is power and property. For example, a judge of the court is mostly wealthy, enjoys prestige and does exercise power.
Prestige is said to be a detrimental element in social mobility. Sometimes attending certain kinds of institutions or choosing certain kind of occupations often have the influence the level of prestige of person. However, opportunities like this are unavailable to many people. The choice of an individual to a limited extent can decrease or increase the prestige of the individual which leads to social mobility. There are certain aspects of prestige that are fixed like the occupation of the parents, birthplace of an individual and their family name and many more which are some aspects of prestige that cannot be changed which paves way for social; stratification.
Social inconsistency usually happens when the social positions of an individual are varied and the individual’s social status is influenced by these variations. Social inconsistency is the kind of situation where the social position of an individual which has both negative and positive influences on the individual’s social status. According to theorists, people who have inconsistent status are likely to be dissatisfied and frustrated in comparison to people who have consistent statuses.
Things that are possessed and owned by an individual are known as property.
Intangible and tangible things owned by people or organizations over which the owners of these things have absolute and exclusive legal rights such as copyrights, buildings, land, money and many more are known as private property. Private poverty is transferrable only with consent and by process like gift or sale.
Public property is defined is the land that is given and dedicate for the use of public and which is a subset of the state property. The term public property is used to describe how the property is put to use or to describe the nature of its ownership.
Collective property popularly known as collective ownership is defined as the ownership of means of the production by members of a group in order to benefit all the members in the particular group. This term generally means common ownership which implies to the common holding of assets.
In politics and social science, power is the ability to influence the behaviors and actions of others. Power is also known as source of comfort and order for many people. Power is an important aspect I the society as it has been seen that a society with now power has gone way wayward where there is no discipline and no system which has had very limited outcomes on the other hand societies with power has helped in flourishing the society and its development by limiting the rules in order to create prosperity and stability. In society power is usually on the government of the country or the society who regulates the society which makes the people or the citizens live in harmony and peace. Power according to scholars has been an evolutionary trait and because of disastrous outcomes in the past the concept of power has taken place. In work atmosphere also there are hierarchical positions that maintain the workflow and power plays an important role in this atmosphere. Thus it can be said that in today’s world every individual has some kind of power which has contributed to the systematic approach of the people in order to live peacefully. However power is associated with both positive and negatives which has often been a blessing and sometimes a boon.
Power in the society has been helpful and has made the society systematic and more disciplined. It has been seen in the past where there was no power people did not maintain any rules or regulations and did whatever they felt was right or wrong. However, power in the society has given the society stability and has helped to keep human interest alive. However power is not always used positively which benefits all. People in powerful positions often tend to dominate who are under them or who do not have enough power to fight against them For example slavery is still prominent and very much exists some parts of the country where the powerful oppresses the weak.
In social studies prestige is defined as the aspect which makes other individuals respect and admire the person with prestige because of powerful position they hold and the things achieved in life. Prestige has been often distinguished into two groups one is achieved and the ascribed.
Achieved prestige is when and individual or a person earns their own prestige due to their own achievements and accomplishments. Ascribed status or prestige on the other hand is when the person does not earn prestige by their own hard work or accomplishments rather they have inherited the position because of family connection.
The social stratification factors are more or less connected to each other. Prestige of a person is connected to many factors of social stratification. Power is one of them. Power is often defined as the position one holds in the society which can influence others to do according to what they want. People who have a high social class and the power to influence others have high prestige like when people who have a good position in the society because of the occupation brings a sense of power in them thus makes prestige and power somewhat connected to each other.
On the other hand prestige is also connected to property. The accumulated wealth and asses a person has is defined as property. A person who has many lands, bonds stocks and other things make them wealthy and this property often helps in measuring the social class of the people. A person who has more accumulated wealth is considered to belong to the high class and thus people who have high class have prestige.
Social mobility means the movement of the families, people, households and certain other categories of the people between or within the social strata. It is the change on the social status of the person’s current social location within a particular or given society. Prestige is connected to social mobility like when people acquire and buy new expensive products that are available in the market then they are often said to be well to do or well off which categorizes them in terms of their property as to which class they belong to. This often brings prestige to the person. However, if a person goes has financial crisis or downfall automatically the level of prestige of the person decreases.
Social inconsistency is defined as a situation where the social position of an individual can have negative as well as positive influences on the social status of the person. According to theorists, the status of the people are inconsistent then they tend to be become more dissatisfied and frustrated in comparison to people with consistent status. For example a professor or a teacher may have a positive image in the society that means the person may have prestige and respect in terms of their occupation however which increases the status of the person but the professor or the teacher may earn less money which decreases the status of the person simultaneously. According to the investigations by several sociologists, the position of status inconsistency has the ability to affect the behavior of the people. Theories of status inconsistency suggest that people who have inconsistent status are always higher on one dimension in comparison to other will be more dissatisfied and frustrated than people who have a consistent status. It has been seen that there are wealthy minorities that do not belong to the high social class and the treatment of the people in the society is different in terms of the class they belong from which often leads to frustration amongst people.
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