Social Stratification in the United States

Read this chapter for a review of social stratification in the United States. As you read each section, consider the following points:

  • Read the introduction to social stratification, paying attention to Robert and Joan's story. Make guesses or connections between the example provided and why you think this example might be an introduction to stratification.
  • Take notes on the bold terms as well as on the three systems of stratification. What stratification system is found in the U.S.? How might this affect one's life chances?
  • Take note of the different classes found in the United States and the types of mobility. Other than homes or luxury items, what are some things money can buy that are not readily available to people living in the lower class? How might being in the lower class affect one's chances at upward social mobility?
  • Read the two sections found in this chapter. In addition, you should spend a few minutes comparing the two photos in Figure 1, jotting down some thoughts on the photos and the accompanying text.
  • Take note of the three different theoretical approaches to studying social stratification. How do you think Marx would view the Davis-Moore thesis?