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Social Stratification

Sociocentric systems are used in complex societies to justify differential treatment and injustices within a society, nation, or culture. This feature of complex social systems has been documented by sociologists who have specialized in the phenomenon of social stratification. As virtually all modern societies today are complex, the following characteristics of stratification presumably can be found in all of them. According to Plotnicov and Tuden (1970), Each has social groups that

  1. Are ranked hierarchically;

  2. Maintain relatively permanent positions in the hierarchy;

  3. Have differential control of the sources of power, primarily economic and political;

  4. Are separated by cultural and invidious distinctions that also serve to maintain the social distances between the groups; and

  5. Are articulated by an overarching ideology that provides a rationale for the established hierarchical arrangements. (pp. 4-5).


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