Introduction To World Social Stratification
In a global perspective, different societies are classified. Three broad categories that are used in global stratification are such as most industrialized nations, industrializing nations, and least industrialized nations. This paper focuses on the social structure and the income, power, status of the countries, as world stratification influences individual attributes, because if one is from low-income country he/she may not have the facilities and understanding of the better technological perspectives. There are different factors that vary in each category and countries are classified based on these factors. The three factors are prestige, money, and power. Furthermore, people are classified according to the model of stratification as lower class, middle class, and upper class due to money. (Triventi & Moris, 2013). High-income countries, middle-income countries and low-income countries have the differences in education, knowledge and understanding; countries can be different on market competition and the technological development.
The lower class is those individuals who are near or at the end of the socioeconomic hierarchy. The income of lower class people is less as compared to middle-class individuals. Their purchasing power isn’t as strong as other groups. People of this class or group can suffer from lack of medical care, they may haven’t finished their high school, they may involve in drugs cases.
The middle class is also called sandwich class. They are white-collar workers and they have more money than lower class. The middle-class people are also divided into two groups because of their wealth, prestige, and education. These two classes are lower middle class and upper middle class. The lower middle-class includes less educated people and they have low income such as teachers, managers, and business owners. However, the upper middle class contains highly educated people such as CEOs, doctors, and stockbrokers etc.
The percentage of upper-class society can vary from one country to another. Upper-class people may hold over 25 percent of the country’s wealth. The class can also be divided into two groups such as lower‐upper class and upper‐upper class. The lower upper class contains those individuals that have the new money or they generated money from business or investment. While the upper-upper class contains those people that are from high societies and they are rich from generations. They are tremendously wealthy people and they spend money of the fathers and ancestors. They are more prestigious as compared to the lower-upper-class people.
In addition, the purchasing power of the upper-class group is stronger than lower and middle-class people. They have members of social clubs and they send their children to superlative schools and colleges. They have a great influence over other groups. (DiMaggio & Garip, 2012).
Social stratification could be explained as the society ranks in which there are people, who have the wealth, have the greater status and power. However, the differences in the groups are based on the trait of society and the social stratification has the reflection of individual differences or dissimilarities in the societies. Moreover, social stratification or the classes can be persists over the generations because it can be difficult for the individual to jump or get in the class, in the universal social class stratification there can be the theories, known as functionalism, social conflict and symbolic interaction. There are different sociologists who have explained about the differences in the classes, as Marx focused on the causal component that life gave the chances to everyone, every country have different social classes (Western, Bloome, Sosnaud, & Tach, 2012).
There can be the possession of goods, the people based on social stratification have the less or more opportunities for the income, and the way is different to spend. People who have the higher status can have the authority to the other people or on the people from the other classes. Example, in Weber’s view every individual or the social group have the distinctive or unique life-styles as the differences of distinctive classes can provide the thinking and values of economic power.
Economic power can also be explained by the authorities as the people or classes have the choices of “have-nots” and “haves”. People from the higher class can buy anything of the choice but poor may not have the necessities, so it is economic power that is influenced on the social class stratification. High-income countries, middle-income countries, and low-income countries have the different society ranks and they are classified or known by other through different perspectives. The power is located on based on the stable patterns of living, as discussed above every class have the own pattern of living and the based on status authorities are divided.
Authority, Ownership And Social Class
The countries that have the higher social classes are modern as they have the knowledge regarding technology, they can spend better on the aspects related to the researches and property. Moreover, the countries with the middle or lower social classes do not have better opportunities to grow. They have less educational facilities and fewer opportunities to survive with the world class patterns of spending. There are the significant differences in the people who are from different countries, as people from high social class can spend well on the luxuries but people from middle or low class cannot spend much. There are the differences in the people of different countries regarding, authority and social class (Pfeffer, 2010).
The authority, ownership, and social class can promote the intergroup conflict because the difference in the groups can change the thinking of the people, as there can be thinking of ownership to get the property and other things very easily. Thus, the social class can affect the society but there cannot the authority at the workplace ownership because one can get the higher level based on the knowledge and performance, in the organization there can be the authority relations and through self-determination on get the higher level, which may be based on the unequal social relations. High class and middle-class people can face the objective conflict in the better way, as they have the strength of property rights because they can able to pay money. However, class stratification is based on the pattern of spending in a modern way.
Social Class Structure And Earnings Inequality
The countries that fall in high-income categories have the authority world wide as they have money and respect. They are advance and have better-living styles. There could also be the differences in the personal income or the earning inequalities because in the research it is stated that the people from higher class get the job with high income or salary because they have the better education, knowledge, and understanding. Consequently, in the market competition and the technological development high-income countries are earning well as they have the knowledge about things, the economy of the country is strength if there are rich people and country could able to better spend on the R&D, in order to get the extra advantages worldwide (Tella, New, & Macculloch, 2010).
Theoretical Framework And Sociological Perspectives
Social stratification is examined with the perspective three theories such as Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and Symbolic Interactionism. These three theories play a major role in social stratification and they are described below.
The functionalist viewpoint of sociology observes functions of society. As per functionalism, there are different aspects of society exist because they serve the purpose that is most important. In 1945, Wilbert Moore and Kingsley Davis sociologists published the Davis-Moore thesis. The thesis argues that if the functional importance of a social role is greater than the reward must also be greater.
Social stratification includes the uneven value of dissimilar work. In society, there are certain kinds of tasks that are more important than other tasks. Therefore, educated people who fill those positions should receive good rewards rather than others. According to authors, the job of a firefighter is more significant as compared to a cashier at a grocery store. The requirements and skills that are needed to fill the job are different. The firefighter’s job requires training and their work is complex so they should receive more salary and benefits as compared to a cashier.
Moreover, why a person would join a risky job if firefighter position does not pay well along with other perks? If the salary of both positions is same then there are chances that the firefighter would have chosen a cashier job. Therefore, Davis and Moore claim that important job should be rewarded more with high income, power, and prestige because it encourages other people to perform hard work. (Wheeler, 2010)
Conflict theory provides benefits to some people, not whole society. For example, according to conflict theorists, it is wrong that a player of cricket is paid millions for annual match contracts while an instructor from public school receives about $35000 annually. The theory believes that there should be awareness of inequalities, for instance, how a rich society can have numerous poor individuals.
Numerous conflict theories are drawn on the work of Karl Marx. The theorist believes that relationship of people with production results in social stratification. An exclusive line divided people such as either they work in the factory or they are the owner of the factory. In a time of Marx, many people were owned factories, businesses, lands and they still possess these source of income. Workers used to produce goods in factories and often knew as labor. Upper-class people made a high profit, got high rank and became rich. However, working class people were making efforts to live a good life. (Martindale, 2013).
The theory is used in the daily life of individuals and it represents the society as a whole. Symbolic Interactionism observes stratification on a micro level point of view. It explains how social standing of people influences daily interactions of individuals. Most of the people interact with people who have same social status. Particularly, it is because of social stratification that people prefer to work and live with those people who share similar educational background, income level, and ethnic society. People who share same values they tend to live together.
Our literature focus to find out the relationship between the social structure the income, power, and status because individual attributes also based on these three aspects. However, if one has the higher social status, there will higher income, higher power and higher status, thus, it also happens in the case of middle class and lower class. The theories discussed above have the direct relationship with the social stratification as the social structure impacts and individual attributes have the direct link with the other social aspects of the society.
It is analyzed by the above analysis and the social stratification of the world-classes that high-income categories countries are advance and spending life in better living styles. They have the social power, social status and good income as the theoretical framework above showed. Social class stratification is based on the pattern of behavior on spending.
Theoretical And Empirical Implications For Kuwait
The term stratification refers a case in which something is arranged into categories. It is basically a system in which classes, layers or categories. It is a method to explain something in a particular way. But similar to other scientific words it is not a thing that can stay someone into the kingdom of science and it must play its role in the social sphere where it has to make categories and arrangement of the people in some specific groups like upper class, middle class, and lower class. In short, it can be said that in global stratification the individuals as well as group are arranged in a hierarchy of societies (SALAMEH, 2011).
The Income Classes
The people or groups and countries can be stratified in term of income as below:
The Upper Class
It is at the top of income class, there is not a single definition of it that can explain the term, but according to Economic Policy Institute, if a household has the annual income of $389,436 then it can be called an upper class. But this criterion is different in America.
According to the data of 2015 those household who earn $11,500 or more than it at annual basis or some is considered to lies under upper middle class.
The Middle Class And Upper Middle Class
According to the Urban Institute that household who earns income between $3,700 and $11,500 are included in this category.
The household or families who earn $900 – $3,700 are lies in middle lower income group.
Those people or household who earn annual income about $900 for their family is said to be in low-income group. Kuwait is a small country according to its geography, but comparatively, it is considered an open and wealthy economy and has the reserves of crude oil that are about 102 billion barrels that are almost 6% more than when it is compared to the reserves of the world. The petroleum is about half of its GDP and in the year 2015, a first time in last 15 years, it declares a budget deficit. The economy of the Kuwait is ranked as a 51st economy in the world in term of nominal GDP in the year 2011 (Zhang, 2013).
Social Stratification Of Kuwait
In Kuwait, there are five levels of social Stratification on the basis of wealth. At the top of the hierarchy, the rolling families exist. After this, the families that are below are old Kuwait merchants. In the the nomads of Arabian Desert, former Bedouins exist. These are those people who settled themselves in Kuwait after the advent of the industry of oil. The next category is the people that belong to the neighboring countries while at the low or bottom level of this hierarchy is the foreigners.
Among these classes there are strong bonds and relationship that has the ability o maintain the social structure of the country. The Social stratification is permanent thing that is declared by state that is the legal ability of the people to own the property by the factor of culture, like the patterns of marriages and the social rights granted by stats like the stipulation or the education that have lack of funds by state, housing and healthcare. If this hierocracy is being considered, then there are huge gaps between very rich, middle and many poor migrants.
Income Distribution Among Hierocracy
The income distribution among this hierocracy can be described in term of Kuwaiti dinar as: The high income Kuwaiti are those who earn the income that is greater than 800 dinar, the middle income Kuwaiti have the income range that is 500 – 800 income group. The low income Kuwaiti is those who earn the income that is greater than 800 dinar. On the other hand low income foreigner in Kuwait are those who earns the income that is less than 300 and middle income foreigner earns the salaries that has the range 300 – 500 dinar, while high-income foreigners are those who earns the income that is greater than 500 dinar.
There is not a single definition that can be said perfect for a developed nation. Those nations who have the high rank in some parameters are considered to be a rich nation. These parameters are such like Human Development Index abbreviated as (HDI), per capita GDP, low level of child mortality, low level of a population under the line of poverty, high rate of literacy, access to clean water etc.
If on the behalf of these parameters, the country Kuwait is considered, then surely it belongs to the country that has the high level of income, as the per capita GDP in Kuwait is $70686 that is ranked as 5th. The human development index of this country is also high that is 0.816 and has the ranking of 47th. But on the other hand, it also doesn’t have some attributes that can declare it as developed nation. Although in the list of World Bank it is considered the country that lies in the list of high-income countries. But it does not enjoy this status by Development Assistant Committee, International Monetary Fund, and Newsweek’s World’s best countries.
Social Stratification classifies societies based on wealth, education, and prestige. There are three societies of individuals globally such as lower class, middle class, and upper class. Individuals that are linked with a specific society have a certain level of income, education, and power. Due to inequality of income, many people fail to make a good life. For instance, individuals from lower class earn minimum income from other groups and their purchasing power is less than middle-class and upper-class people. Whereas middle-class individuals are educated and they own their business, they live a good life as compared to people who are below to them. Upper-class people run family or ancestors business and they can afford anything. They do not face any kind of difficulty due to uncertainties of the economy and their lifestyle is vogue. Furthermore, some theorists have proposed some theories regarding social stratification and they have argues about social inequality and individuals’ rights (Boliver & Vikki, 2011).
At the end, it can be said that Kuwait is the country that has the diverse economic system as well as culture. It also has the foreigner in large quantity that cannot get its citizenship so also cannot enjoy property rights and some other facilities that are enjoyed by the local residents. There are huge difference in income of local people and foreigners. Although the economic conduction of Kuwait is very good as it has a large oil reserves but on the behalf of it, it cannot be said that it has advance level of economy.
The difference in the distribution of the income in the hierocracy of social stratification is wide. Whatever the income level that people earns, whatever the class to which they belong, the result and last destiny of everyone is same and that is the grave, which is a place that is same for all, either rich or poor.
- What is the relationship between social structure and the income, power, status of the countries?
- Do you really believe that world stratification impact on individual attributes?
- How the discussed theories are related to the society ranks?
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