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Definition of Social Stratification

In this introduction, please fully define social stratification in your own words.  Choose a specific, sociological topic related to stratification (e.g., LGBTQ civil rights, the digital divide, immigration, environmental racism, ageism, sexism, ableism, colorism, child labor, global capitalism, the wealth gap, gentrification, the fight for $15 per hour, cost of/access to health care, etc.).  Define it using an academic source and explain how your topic relates to social stratification.  Make sure to cite the sources you’ve consulted in the body of the paper as well as in your reference list.
In choosing a topic, it might help to look for inspiration around you . . . in your city (income levels of different neighborhoods or different cities), a news story, in your family, an issue affecting you and/or your friends, etc.  Also, the textbook may be used to help you select a topic.  As requested in the paragraph above, please identify your topic and clearly define it with an academic source (e.g., academic book, journal article, website ending in .gov).  For instance, if you choose LGBTQ civil rights, you will need to write out LGBTQ and define each term as well as explain what is meant by “civil rights.”  You also can limit your topic to one or two of these groups if you prefer.  Include examples along with your definition.  
Finally, describe what biases you have on the topic.  Biases are pre-existing ideas (opinions) that you already have on the issue. Remember, by choosing a topic, you are already displaying a bias (it’s more important to you than another topic; why is that?). Write at least three research questions on your subject.  Research questions state what it is you want to know about your topic.  Two research questions should be open-ended and require an explanation in response.  One research question should be close-ended (answerable with a yes/no or a percentage).   
For instance, 
Example One:
Open-ended Research Question: How did the 2008 recession affect family relationships?  
Close-ended Research Question: Did the 2008 recession contribute to higher divorce rates? 

Example Two:
Open-ended Research Question: How does the mass media’s portrayal of transgender people affect public opinion?  
Close-ended Research Question: Has the mass media’s portrayal of transgender people increased prejudice against them?

Example Three:
Open-ended Research Question: What factors contribute to wealth inequality?   How do these factors contribute to wealth inequality?  
Close-ended Research Question: What is the percentage of poverty in the U.S.?  What is the percentage change in wealth inequality in advanced capitalist countries from 1975 to 2015?

Make sure to define the terms that you use in your research questions (e.g., what is specifically meant by recession, transgender, mass media, and wealth?).  For each research question, explain why you selected it in three to four sentences.  Please keep in mind that you are not trying to prove a point or justify some personal belief that you have with these questions.  You are attempting to learn more about a sociological topic of interest.  Since you are not collecting any data for this project, you will not be answering these research questions.
In this section, you will identify at least two research methods that you could use to answer your research questions (see OpenStax, Chapter Two).  For each method, state how you could use it with as much detail as possible.  Consult an academic source (e.g., the textbook is acceptable) to do this for accuracy.  For instance, if you choose the survey method, state what population you would target, and what questions might be included in your questionnaire.  Would you collect the data by mail, Internet, etc.?  Alternatively, do you think it would be best to use personal, face-to-face interviews?  Why?  If you choose ethnography, you will need to explain how you will gain access to the group to be studied.  The research methods you should consider using are ethnography, participant observation, non-participant observation, secondary analysis, experiment, survey/interview, and/or content analysis.
Next, explain possible ethical issues involved with your research design (see OpenStax, Chapter Two, section 2.3 for a discussion of ethics).  
Summarize your paper in the conclusion (why did you choose the topic, etc.).  How could this research increase our understanding of social stratification?

Definition of Social Stratification

Social stratification can be defined as the way people in society are ranked or ordered. Stratification can be done on the basis of individual’s sex, age or any personal characteristic (House et al. 21). The western societies primarily see and understand stratification as a result of socio-economic status. Social stratification produces a hierarchy that gives access to possessions, resources and social strata. Sociologists are often found using the term in order to refer to social authorities. It is vividly visible that in society people in the higher hierarchy have greater access to resources and power. Capitalism is an economic system that gives the ability to control trade and industry to private companies. In the 21st century, the current epoch of capitalism is global capitalism. The fact that makes global capitalism different from the earlier concept of capitalism is that it has crossed the national borders and the power of the private companies have reached a global perspective. The aim of the paper is to discuss the ways global capitalism form a social stratification and the way it is based on the stratification system. The paper discusses the concept of global capitalism followed by research questions that would be in relation to the main topic.

In a capitalist system, private individuals and cooperation are the owners of the means of production including factories, raw materials, and natural resources (Burkett 195). Income generated by these owners which is the wealth they make is again invested in order to create more wealth. The main aim of the capitalists is to make more and more profit (Piketty and Zucman 1260). Under capitalism, a highly competitive market includes other owners, it is the pursuit of growth and profit that helps to maintain the price from rising too high. The other important factor in the capitalist society is the workers. Workers sell their labour to the capitalists for wages. This makes the labour as a commodity that can be bought or sold and capitalists, in order to gain more profit, will try to get cheaper labour.

In the global form, every aspect of the company including production, accumulation, class relations and governance reorganised itself from the nation to a globally integrated way that involves freedom and flexibility (Piketty 52).

Global capitalism has the following characteristics:

  • The production of goods is from a global perspective.
  • Labour and capital relationship is of global scope which is highly flexible unlike the past epoch
  • The financial system is operates on a global level (Borio 186)
  • The emergence of a transnational class of capitalist who is the maker of the policies and practices of global production, finance and trade.
  • Variety of institution together creates the global production, business and finance.

Due to freed cooperation from the nation it is highly developed countries such as environmental regulations, labour laws and corporate taxes the new phase of capitalism has become capable of obtaining unprecedented levels of wealth and expanded power in society (Peck and Zhang 386).

Capitalism and its Characteristics

It is already discussed how the capitalist society is based on two sections, the capitalists and the workers. Social stratification is the division of society, and in a capitalist society, the society is divided into two groups according to hierarchy (Tonnies and Loomis 360).  It is not the only the division into two groups but also the hierarchy of the group determines their access to power and resources. There are inequalities between the two groups. Considering the capitalist society the division of the society was prominent, the capitalist and the workers (Boston 23). In global capitalism, the concepts are different leading to a separate division of groups. In the global context, the stratification is based on the socioeconomic status as well. Due to a diverse population, the resources are divided unequally making the rich countries richer and the poor counties poorer. There is a rising inequality among the nations. In the following questions below, the social issue is explored more elaborately.

The issue of global inequality is one of the significant problems in the world. The wealth of the world is found only driven toward the wealthier populations only. The financial inequality among different countries around the globe and various people is becoming a worldwide problem.

Global wealth distribution has never been topic of discussion until recently. Therefore, in recent days the reasons for global inequality has been studied not only on a domestic level but international level as well (Piketty and Saez 842). With the rise in globalisation and industries spreading across borders the wealth is bound to move, shift and transfer from one place to another. The world has become more integrated, and the global dimension of inequality has become increasingly relevant. The two main reasons for the global disparity are a more significant movement of factors of production across the international boundaries and more significant influence of other people’s standard of living and the way one perceive income position as well as aspiration (Skocpol 433).

There are a few ways the capitalist society exploit the countries which are in the lower section of social stratification. Wealthy nations have a considerable role to play. According to the capitalist countries who are the main controller of the market tend to spread false notions of medicines that are not required. Not everyone is keen on medications however due to these notions people are forced to think themselves the consumer of these medicines. Taxes are another way the capitalist countries remain to maintain their high economic status on the globe. The third world countries pay an enormous amount of charge to the developed countries. It is found that nearly half of the country’s money that is invested in the developing countries are put into a tax. The tax avoidance if adopted by the third world countries will result in three times the states get as help. The cost of running a clinical trial in the United States is up to 20times higher in the capitalist countries than the countries belonging to the third world. Although several non-profit organisations are organizing for low cost medical test free of cost, there are still different stories that make the developing countries pay a big amount for these tests. Another way the capitalist countries make money is by opening multinational fast food companies. These are the food companies that are not functional in their own home country however they make notions which make the food the most wanted fast food. Also, not the forget the most profitable way capitalist make money is by hiring professionals from the third world countries. In order to make extra money, the third world citizens fly to the foreign countries however they are not paid as per their talent, capability and their colleagues.

Global Capitalism and its Characteristics

How capitalism is a war of wages?

The income distribution is certainly not based on equality. The real wage is said to be staggering since last three decades. The income that is shared is only going to the capital and it is rising to a much higher rate than what is expected. The high income earners are making most of it whereas the low income group is only becoming poorer. This is making the social stratification in the society. This is the change that is occurring and it is occurring at a great speed. The laborers are exploited. Three economic relationships demonstrate what the real circumstance of the wages is. Firstly, the situation was different when productivity grew and wages grew along with it. Second, the situation was changed. When profits rose, wages rose. In the present, the situation is totally different. The situation that is present now is that wages do not budge. Third, it used to be that when employment rose, average wages did so too. The average wage now can fall any moment since the new jobs pay less. It is hard for the people in the precariat work. They are the one facing slim prospects of escaping from a life with economic insecurity. The longer this system remains the longer danger arises. The only way of getting out of this issue is to create a new form of income distribution. This income distribution should be according to 21st century.

Yes. Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. This when interpreted, mean almost 80 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening (Shah)

A research method can be defined as a strategy that would be used by the researchers. The researcher implement the strategy to carry out the plan. Depending on the research goal research method is chosen (Neuman 416). In this particular paper there would be three research methods used in order to find the answers of the research questions.

The research method that would be used to find the first research question, ‘How the capitalist exploit the third world counties?’ is mentioned below:

The research method for this question would encompass qualitative techniques. The data collection method would be based on secondary data. The design of the research would be exploratory as it seeks the answer of the ways capitalists exploit the third world countries.

The research method that would be used to find the first research question, ‘How capitalism is a war of wages?’ is mentioned below:

The research method for this question would encompass qualitative techniques. The data collection method would be based on secondary data. The design of the research would be exploratory as it seeks the answer of the ways capitalism is a war of wages.

The research method that would be used to find the first research question, ‘What is the percentage of world lives in poverty’ is mentioned below:

The research method for this question would encompass quantitative techniques. The data collection method would be based on secondary data.

Conclusion:

Capitalism is a monetary system that gives the ability to control trade and industry to private companies. In this contemporary era, it is hard to stop industries from expanding. Any industry that is capable of making the profit will intend to make the profit only as it is the nature of capitalism. By the above discussion, there are some of the things that can be concluded. Global capitalism has put unwelcome pressure on developing countries. It is only the wealthier companies that are making progress as the small firms do not have the capital to invest in modern technology. Therefore, these small scales or middle scale firms fails to achieve the higher positions in the social stratification that are occupied by the global capitalists.

References:

Borio, Claudio. "The financial cycle and macroeconomics: What have we learnt?." Journal of Banking & Finance 45 (2014): 182-198.

Boston, Thomas D. Race, class and conservatism. Routledge, 2013. 18-29.

Burkett, Paul. "Marx’s vision of sustainable human development." Communism in the 21st Century: The father of communism, rediscovering Marx's ideas 1 (2014): 195.

House, James S., et al. "Social stratification, age, and health." Aging, health behaviors, and health outcomes. Psychology Press, 2013. 13-44.

Neuman, W. Lawrence. Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pearson education, 2013. 413-439.

Peck, Jamie, and Jun Zhang. "A variety of capitalism… with Chinese characteristics?." Journal of Economic Geography 13.3 (2013): 357-396.

Piketty, Thomas, and Emmanuel Saez. "Inequality in the long run." Science 344.6186 (2014): 838-843.

Piketty, Thomas, and Gabriel Zucman. "Capital is back: Wealth-income ratios in rich countries 1700–2010." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 129.3 (2014): 1255-1310.

Piketty, Thomas. "About capital in the twenty-first century." American Economic Review 105.5 (2015): 48-53.

Shah Anup, Global issues, 2013 retrieved from: https://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

Skocpol, Theda. "Introduction." PS: Political Science & Politics 49.3 (2016): 433-436.

Tonnies, Ferdinand, and Charles P. Loomis. Community and society. Routledge, 2017. 357-396

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