What is stratification? | tutor2u Sociology
Study notes

What is stratification?

  • Levels: GCSE, AS, A Level
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Stratification describes the way in which different groups of people are placed within society.

The status of people is often determined by how society is stratified - the basis of which can include;

  • Wealth and income - This is the most common basis of stratification
  • Social class
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Political status
  • Religion (e.g. the caste system in India)

The stratification of society is also based upon either an open, or closed, system.

Open

Status is achieved through merit, and effort. This is sometimes known as a meritocracy. The UK is a relatively open society, although disadvantaged groups within society face a glass ceiling.

Closed

Status is ascribed, rather than achieved. Ascribed status can be based upon several factors, such as family background (e.g. the feudal system consists of landowners and serfs). Political factors may also play a role (e.g. societies organised on the basis of communism), as can ethnicity (e.g. the former apartheid regime in South Africa) and religion.

Subscribe to email updates from tutor2u Sociology

Join 1000s of fellow Sociology teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Sociology team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You can also follow @tutor2uSoc on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.

Popular Content

Recruitment

Advertise your vacancies with tutor2u

Much cheaper & more effective than TES or the Guardian. Reach the audience you really want to apply for your teaching vacancy by posting directly to our website and related social media audiences.

Find our more ›

Advertise your teaching jobs with tutor2u

A New Home for tutor2u Resources

We've just flicked the switch on moving all our digital resources to instant digital download - via our new subject stores.

For every subject you can now access each digital resource as soon as it is ordered. This will always be the latest edition of each resource too (and we'll update you automatically if there is an upgraded version to use).

Simply add the required resources to your cart, checkout using the usual options and your resources will be available to access immediately via your mytutor2u account.