Saturday, September 18, 2010

Social Inequalities vs Social Stratification


Social Stratification is a form of Social Inequlity. Social inequality occurs when members of the society are treated unequally based on different things, power, prestige, possesions, position, appearance (4PA). Social stratification occurs whem mebers of society are classified into different groups and treated differently based on the 4PA.

What do we have in Trinidad and Tobago both, neither, or either? Why do you say so? Give examples.

35 comments:

  1. It is my opinion that the two (social stratification and inequality) cannot be separated and therefore both exist in Trinidad and Tobago. Those who are the higher class members of society are treated differently tha those in the lower classes. I’ll use an example which I have seen personally. I work at an organization where millions of dollars in payouts occur each month. I have seen the rich, who automatically assume power over those with less wealth, walk in and demand their money and receive it within a short timeframe, while the ‘small’ man experiences major delays in receiving theirs … I see that as inequality. Who is to determine who is in greater need than the other, but the fact of the matter is that money talks. It is undeniable that our society treats with persons differently because of their class.

    I would say that Social stratification is more dominant than Social Inequality because I believe (I could be wrong) that Social inequality hints that access to the same resources are not available to all members of society, and this is not neccesarily the case in Trinidad and Tobago.

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  2. The example you gace Cherisse is a very good example of Social inequality. But do you have a comparatively clear example of Soocial Stratification. Can you clearly identify a known and recognized set of social classes in T & T whos privelleges are clealry distinct from each other?

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  3. Social Stratification and Social Inequity do exist in Trinidad & Tobago. The Doctors, lawyers , Magistrates, judges etc are all stratified in this society. Mind you I have no personal issues with them and their academic qualifications, but the issue I am looking at is the preferential treatment that is always meted out to them and their immediate families. As long as this colonial type mentality persists, Social equity and equality will be just a byword used by those in authority conveniently to appease a hurting group of people. Social Stratification systems may not have been planned but its practices have been employed in our society for years and oftentimes the unlearned accept it as a "normal part of life".An example of a "Socially Stratified location"is Federation Park off Long Circular Road in St. James. Our politicians appear to become "stratified" whenever their party comes into power. It is not a taught system but a caught-up type of mentality that is adopted whenever the occasion arise.

    Albert Best - CNC Intro. to Sociology Student 2010

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  4. Albert see if you can answer this. Do the Doctors Lawers etc receive something that you are debarred from receiving because of your class. If you try to live in Federation park will you be disallowed or ist it thatr your hindrance plain and simple is that you don't have the money?

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  5. Nessy said
    Some individuals in T&T by virtue of their roles or groups membership , are at an advantages, while others are at a disadvantage. Why must both preschool and primary school teacher both must be qualify by 5 o'level passes and a degree,and are both teaching. BUT preschool teachers must get to work earlier and leave later and spend July and August in and empty school while primary school teachers get a vocation.inequality

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  6. Nessy said
    In T&T we are an cosmopolitan, nation, all races co-exist together with out having any serious rivalry .The structure of our society encourage every creed and race have an equal place, but not so with social stratification. It was once said, from the wall street journal"Whether the glass is half full or empty isn't important --- it's who owns the glass!"
    Today it seems like we are clearly being divided by wealth, prestige and power, rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.

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  7. Trinidad and Tobago is a good example where social stratification is clearly seen through the division of its wealth to the massive. Obviously it is those who own and control,power and buildings such as CEO, politicians(ministers)and Doctors just to name a few will receive the major share of the country wealth. These are the ones who today share a lifestyle which separate them for the factory worker and the shopkeeper.

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  8. Social inequality is certainly present in this country. Low income members of Trinidad and Tobago such as,domestic helpers and small enterprise employees are unable to provide the basis need for their family. The new minimum wage of $12.50 per hour is just a drop in the bucket. If one is to compare this with the salary of government ministers,and other professionals, it is no wonder that the later group enjoy the best that money can buy and opportunities can afford. On the other hand the less fortunate has to endure the suffering at public hospitals,health centers and poor public transportation.

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  9. Trinidad and Tobago are both embodied with the principle of social stratification and social inequality. I believe our sweet Caribbean islands are both socially imbalance with stratification and inequality because of power, ethnicity, wealth, politics, personal addresses, education, wages, unemployment and family relations, this type of social emulation was dominant within our pass generations and is also present in today’s culture/society . The classes of society basically identify who you are and how you are treated or judged as lower class citizens by the middle and upper class. My views on social stratification and inequality within Trinidad and Tobago, involves authority, judgement and the use of power.
    Shurlene P. (CNC So200)

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  10. I want some one to describe for me their ideal society - design a society for me. What special features will your saociety have, what functions.

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  11. Shermaine

    Personally I am of the belief that both social stratification and social inequalities are quite similar ,however, in relation to Trinidad and Tobago I do not feel that social stratification exist because if my understanding of the term is correct, it would mean that because lower class individuals do not posses certain privileges it is impossible for those individuals to receive the same treatment as someone from an upper class background e.g. if a small business owner suddenly comes into wealth he cannot join a prestigious club. However, in Trinidad and Tobago, though sometimes it may not appear to be so, if that same small business owner ends up in that same scenario by way of law he/she is entitled to those privileges because this is a nation who's standard is based on equal rights. I am not saying that scenarios like my former example do not exist but legally it is wrong.

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  12. My ideal society would be one where the wealth is shared according to job after completion,no matter what class,creed, social or economical differences people can relate to one another without prejudice,where the laws of the land are obeyed and if they are not the penalties are followed through no matter what position the individual holds.

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  13. Is there any such thing as an ideal society? No such society on earth past present or future can be considered ideal. However every society has strengths and weaknesses. The(Ideal)society depends on the effectiveness of governance and the empowering of the masses.

    Design
    If man basic needs, rights and respectability is paid attention to, we would move to idealism.
    What are these food clothes and shelter? It is every individual right to these basic needs. Equally a society needs to be governed, led and protected. Therefore an elected governing body is placed at the helm to ensure goods and services are effectively and equally distributed to all.
    Education, Health and Agriculture I would place on the top agenda.
    Security, Mobility, Utilities will ensure our protection access of movement and our standard of living will be acceptable.
    Then privileges bring balance to the society will be Culture, Religion and Sports.

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  14. In Trinidad and Tobago your status places you at an advantageous position, therefore you would not be treated at any time with equality. With my understanding both social stratification and inequality are similar. Those with possessions and 'power' always have the advantage over those who have less than they do. For example going to the bank, because my savings are less than the wealthy man he is given preferences over me, furthermore, wealthy persons would not be seen at a health center, because they can pay their way to West shore etc. but because the 'small man'is strapped for cash, he has to 'scrub' chairs or benches for hours and yet still may not be attended to. What do we call this?
    Bridget CNC so 200

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  15. The term social stratification refers to the complex of social institutions that generate observed/visible inequalities, in the social sphere access to high status members clubs, association and other social network is not easily attainable if at all of people of the lower class. In terms of the justice system there seems to be a law & justice system that governs the wealthy as opposed to the one that governs the common man. Economic wise owner ship of land, housing is highly unattainable with prices ranging in the millions. So there's is always some form of inequality & disadvantage to the lower class of society. However there seems to be an attempt by the previous government to in some way level the playing some what as reguards to free tertiary education for all nationals..
    Submitted by Arian Glodon CNC student

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  16. Kimonet said...
    Both social inequality and social stratification exist in Antigua. This has more to do with the area in which one live rather than race, as most persons are primarily of one race. A person from an area such as Crosbies, where the people have financial resources, are generally the managers and owners of businesses which have large profit margins, while persons from areas such as Grays Farm and Point are generally persons in the working class. Some areas however have people who are considered middle class. Much of the poverty occurs in areas like Point and people there are treated with less respect than a person from an area such as Crosbies. Thus particularly in seeking employment, people from Crosbies will be quicker employed than people from Point, even though they may both have the same level of qualification.

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  17. Kimonet said...
    For me an ideal society is one where everyone has at least their basic needs supplied. However, if people are not willing to work, how can they have the same privileges as someone who works? The Bible does say that the one who does not work does not deserve to eat. I believe this with my whole heart. A lazy person often gets upset with the person who has given of themselves so that they can live a more comfortable life, however, when the opportunity presents itself for them to do likewise, they often have excuses as to why they cannot take the opportunity. This is why things like social inequality, social stratification and even capitalism exist. Can it truly be fair for one to give their all while another lays idle and yet they both have the same privilege. I dare say to have a truly ideal society, we would have to have ideal people who compose this society.

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  18. Kimonet said...
    If I go according to the Marxist point of view, I would say the ideal society is one where there is no inequality. There is no division of people into groups. Also, a person has the right to choose the gender they want to be, no matter they sex they were born as. However, I dare say that some of the things Marxism would consider ideal, would go against my convictions as a Christian. It would be wonderful if people had all things in common, but this cannot be so if some people refuse opportunities presented to them while others take these opportunities and have to overcome hurdles to better themselves. Though I agree that people have the right to choose their gender, according to my Christian beliefs, homosexuality is a sin. I therefore have difficulty with accepting this kind of lifestyle. We can all desire ideal societies, but I have come to realize that different people have different ideals based upon their culture, beliefs and other factors.

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  19. Social Stratification is definitely more dominant than Social inequality, in this wonderful twin island in which I live. In my opinion Social inequality means that one is treated unequally. For example……when starting a business and you apply for a loan with all credentials and get rejected, the obvious question is WHY? Alternately, a businessman who owes the bank a lot of money can still get a loan granted to him, with little or no hassle. Is this because of his position, possession, prestige or power, or is it all four?
    I guess they essentially believe that his earning potential is greater than mine. What do you think?

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  20. WOW. Kimonet sex you shouldhavethe right to choose the gender you ewant to be no matter your sex? Is this Oxtymoronic? That will be the heights of Freedom of choice.
    Everybody is thinking abour equality in terms of receiveing but no one is thinking baout eauality in terms of giving.
    If you dont give equally how can we expect to receive equally. If a woman has given her life and all to the development or creation of something wouldn't that set him apart to revceive back more than someone else who had given nothing?

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  21. Kimonet I now see your other views about if you dont work you cant eat. That agrees with what I just said.

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  22. Social stratification and inequality is present in T&T.I have seen where a Garbageman asked for water as he was not feeling well, and he was given water in a disposable cup and sent on his way. Another stranger had car problems and he asked for a drink of water and to use the phone, he was given water in a glass, given a handset and invited inside to wait. It must be noted that he was driving a car that is considered a prestige car and he was of the Caucasian race.They were treated differently based on their strata in life which resulted in inequality in their treatment.

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  23. Marilyn said:
    In Trinidad and Tobago stratification and social inequality do exist in our society. This is because our society is made up of different subcultures. Within each strata of the society we will find persons who are united because of their share values. According to the functionalist theory social stratification is unavoidable in any society because it brings people together. Social inequality on the other hand also exists because of the structure of our society. There are certain groups in our society who would always feel that they are been deprived. Because they feel that the nation’s wealth is not equally distributed. For example, it is assumed that there is an increase number of crime rate taking place among the lower class of our society. This is because these people feel that they are been exploited by those in control of the wealth, power and prestige.
    In one of our class discussion an example was given of some individuals who are given special treatment in the bank. I was able to witness this at the Scotia Bank in Arima this week. The band was crowded with pensioners and other persons. Someone with a Scotia Gold card was able to go directly to a special counter and was given special attention. This is only one incident of social inequality being demonstrated in our country. I believe it is because the people with the power, prestige, possession and positions “rule things”. Daily we observed social stratification been demonstrated as places such as the banks, hospitals and many other business places continue to put systems in place to assist persons from the upper class of our society with the services they offers.

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  24. My ideal society will be one where every creed and race believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and worship Him and Him along. In this society individuals will understand that it is by the sweat of their brows they will eat and that faith without works is dead. In other words if someone want to obtain land,livestock, buildings and cars, that person will know that they have to work,save,invest and planned ahead if they want to succeed. Also the laws of the land will be governed by the word of God, its watch words "Give and it shall be given back unto you". This human society will give of their time,skills,talents and money to the advancement of the country. The poor will only get poorer if they do not abide by the law of the land.

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  25. Inequality in employment.
    I see inequality based on privileges extended to one group that is not accessible to another group. So unequal wages for instance, is not inequality. A wage agreement is offered and accepted and consequently honoured. Differences in benefits, and working hours/conditions etc. cannot be viewed as being evidence of inequality unless it is imposed on a specific class. Once their is choice in the matter, then it is up to the class to position themselves, either by educating themselves, and acquiring relevant skills and disciplines to make themselves suited for better working positions and conditions, or else by finding out what the other requirements are to attain desired positions. In other words, they must take responsibility for their upward mobility.

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  26. Equality is an ideal. I think a nation can strive towards it but it cannot exist in its truest form. Inequality is not a bad thing if we consider Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection we may conclude that inequality is more natural than equality. So why strive towards equality?

    A popular novel by George Orwell called "Animal Farm" was and used by many schools as a study of good literature. I remember reading a very memorable line which stated "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others"
    Ironically this book showed the fall of communism through the use of satire.
    we all know that communism strives to maintain equality. Perhaps having "equality" does not solve the major problems society faces. perhaps we need to ensure that there are checks and balances so that inequality does not go overboard.

    In Trinidad and Tobago we know that there is social stratification and other forms of social inequality. We know that individuals have professed to changing their addresses so that they will get a "good job" we have heard of the cases of individuals who got the "bank job" cause they were the right "image" and how many times did the sales clerk ignore us to attend to an individual who appeared more affluent.

    I believe it makes us strive towards attaining a position of respect
    Tessa
    CNC student

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  27. Caroline said
    Some individuals in T&T by virtue of their roles or groups membership , are at an advantages, while others are at a disadvantage. Why must both preschool and primary school teacher both must be qualify by 5 o'level passes and a degree,and are both teaching,but preschool teachers must get to work earlier and leave later and spend July and August in and empty school while primary school teachers get a vocation.inequality
    September 19, 2010 2:08 PM

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  28. caroline said...

    Equality is an ideal. I think a nation can strive towards it but it cannot exist in its truest form. Inequality is not a bad thing if we consider Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection we may conclude that inequality is more natural than equality. So why strive towards equality?

    A popular novel by George Orwell called "Animal Farm" was and used by many schools as a study of good literature. I remember reading a very memorable line which stated "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others"
    Ironically this book showed the fall of communism through the use of satire.
    we all know that communism strives to maintain equality. Perhaps having "equality" does not solve the major problems society faces. perhaps we need to ensure that there are checks and balances so that inequality does not go overboard.

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  29. caroline said...

    Trinidad and Tobago is a good example where social stratification is clearly seen through the division of its wealth to the massive. Obviously it is those who own and control,power and buildings such as CEO, politicians(ministers)and Doctors just to name a few will receive the major share of the country wealth. These are the ones who today share a lifestyle which separate them for the factory worker and the shopkeeper.
    September 19, 2010 3:20 PM

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  30. I beleive that both instances exist. Social inequality is seen when we visit the bank. The folks with the (4PA) do not ever stand in a line. They even get tea! The "smaller man has to wait in line, all because he does not have as much money as the more priveliged ones. How unfair!

    Social stratification can be found i think in the areas we live. Places like East Port of Spain, Maloney, etc are called lower class areas and West Moorengs, Valsayn, etc are called uper class areas. If we take a look at the major ethnicites that reside in these areas we would see the differences in groups.

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  31. In Trinidad and Tobagto their exist a little of every thing. As I sees it there is no one dominant group. There may be a minority elite group that posses a great amount of wealth. The business owner Professionals etc. Some may be guilty of social inequility. however we have a vast middle class group that enjoy the comfort thatthe society offers. I think Trinidad and Tobago has created oppertunities where everyone can accomplish, through its education system, industrial estates technical vocational programs and construction industries.

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  32. today i read something interesting by George Carlin who is a comedian as well as a writer. He was referring to the american society. He said that the working class is given an illusion of choice by the rulers of the country while those rulers manipulate power in order to keep up the illusion.. isn't that interesting? I think that that strategy will allow citizens to "feel" that they have some level of control if that's true right won't such a strategy curb alienation that Marx spoke about? what do u think..
    I kinda believe that George Carlin's statements some merit..
    is this also happening home in T&T? it's thought provoking isn't it?

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  33. In Trinidad and Tobago there is inequality and stratification existing.There are equal opportunities for all, but because of stratification every one do enjoy the privileges of equality. eg We all can go to the bank to do business but at the bank because of our status we will not be treated the same way. the person who are of the upper class will get privileged treatment.

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  34. Yes we are divided by wealth, power and prestige.I think wealth is a determining factor to prestige.If your name is even linked to power and wealth prestige follows. I believe things has changed.years ago the wealthy educated their children to the highest level, now those who are considered the lower class can be educated and attain prestige and power.But this does not close up the dividing line, poverty seems to be increasing,

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  35. l dont know about Trinidad but l can give you an example of social stratification as can been seen in india with the caste system and also in Ghana with our 2 major political parties. The party that overthrow the else where Dr. Nkrumah's government see themselves as having inalienable rights to rule, such that any other party apart from theirs, even though have the mandate of the people of Ghana, are seen as not fit to rule. For some reasons, they have become the untouchable and cannot and not even be prosecuted when they are at the wrong side of the law. These people constitute the people whose fathers collaborated with the colonial masters to topple the Nkrumah's government and whose father had a lot of money and therefore they had their education abroad. The fact is that for them they are better placed to rule and no other group. Example of inequality in society is when in Dec/2010 my house help child of 5yrs girl was raped by the anus. She rushed her to the general hospital and it took almost 4 hours for nurses and doctors paid by taxpayers money to hear her cry and attend to her child. When they finally did the little girl had passed on. The point am raising is that if l were in town and had gone with the woman, am sure the story would have been different. Societies treat people based on their looks, power and prestige and l think that we all don't have the right to treat people that way. Thanks. Alexandra Peprah, box 30677, Airport, Accra -Ghana

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