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MARIST SOC 101 - Sociology Stratification Paper

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Stratification Paper SOC 101: Sociological Perspectives Prof. Kimberly Mazza My Family's & My Position in the Stratification System Social stratification is a relatively fixed, hierarchical arrangement in society by which groups have different access to resources, power, and perceived social worth. It is a system of structured social inequality. (Anderson & Taylor, 2020, p.176). Positioning both myself and my family is something that has caused me to think about my place in my community and society in general. My family's position in the stratification system has definitely impacted my life greatly. I believe my family is currently somewhere between middle and high class. The study of sociology is highly focused on a larger group scale yet still has large relevance to the individual. I will be discussing several key concepts in sociology and how they have been prompted throughout my life. Ascribed and Achieved Characteristics: As individuals, we like to think that we've built ourselves through experience, personal choice, and the goals we aim to achieve in life. While this is accurate in certain aspects of a person's characteristics it is not cumulatively prevalent. There are two statuses to all characteristics we hold; Ascribed and Achieved. Achieved statuses are those attained by virtue of individual effort. In contrast, ascribed statuses are those occupied from the moment a person isborn. Your biological sex is an ascribed status (Anderson & Taylor, 2020, p. 114). In my case, my ascribed statuses include being a Hispanic heterosexual female. These aspects are permanent factors that cannot be changed. Though interestingly enough gender is starting to slightly break down that wall. Achieved characteristics are statuses in which a person is often proud to have attained all by themselves. This is something that requires determination and being goal orientated. Being a student, graduate, mother, or holding an occupational title such as CEO, manager, or even supervisor are all examples of achieved statuses. I have several achieved statues in my life which have required large amounts of time and dedication as well as careful planning on my end. I am a high school graduate, current undergraduate student, and a member of several past athletic teams (swimming, track & field, and cheerleading). I also have held an occupational title such as brand associate and lead cashier at Old Navy. My achieved traits have changed over time as I have moved forward in life, leaving certain occupations, advancing to the next level of education, or even simply as the lifespan of a certain status comes to an end, for example being an athlete. Assimilation: We've all been a part of various groups throughout our lives. Whether they were athletic, social, academic or any other subject, a majority of individuals will participate in them. Assimilation is the process whereby individuals or groups of differing ethnic heritage are absorbed into the dominant culture of a society (Pauls 2019). Members of these social circlesmostly hold a similar characteristic or interest that allows them to more easily form ties and bond. Joining these groups can be for any number of reasons whether we want to expand our social network or gain knowledge of a subculture. Entering these groups, clubs, or organizations have developed my values or introduced me to new ones that I truly appreciate compared to the ones I held previously. My high school had a reputation for being one of the most prestigious in the area. I went to an all-girls private and catholic school. We had so many opportunities to grow and learn. There were also many extra-curricular activities that I attended that some of my friends from public schools did not have the chance to get involved in and they were often jealous. Due to my family's money and status in the stratification system, I was able to do a lot of things in my life. One thing I was able to be a part of was the Cheer team. It's an expensive sport to take part in where you have to spend money on summer camp, the practice uniforms, the actual uniform, pom-poms, bows, the Under Armour bags (our team was sponsored by Under Armour and that was all we were allowed to wear), and hotel rooms for travel. I was fortunate enough that my parents were able to pay for all of this throughout the 4 years of high school. Stratification definitely helped me in this way. Stratification also helped me become able to go to an amazing school like Marist. Going to my prestigious all-girls school also helped play a role in being accepted to Marist. Life Chances:The social theorist Max Weber described the consequences of stratification in terms of life chances, meaning the opportunities that people have in common by virtue of belonging to a particular class. Life chances include the opportunity for possessing goods, having an income, and having access to particular jobs (Anderson & Taylor, 2020, p. 179). I feel that race has impacted my life chances greatly. As a Hispanic individual, who was adopted and raised by my two white parents, I have advantages in several different ways over people of color and it's important to recognize my privilege. It aids me in finding good schools and maintaining a good record behind my name. The only thing that you see when you look at me that impacts my life chances directly is the fact that I'm a woman. As a woman I am often underestimated, discredited, and looked down upon by others. My mother was in a field dominated by men and was often ignored even though she was one of the most skilled and hardworking women on the job. My mom is a lawyer. During the time she was studying at NYU to be a lawyer, she was also taking care of me and my brother. At the time my brother was only 2 and I was a few months old. My mom had her father and many people saying she could not do it because she needed to stay home and take care of me and my brother but she continued and showed them up. Being a woman isn't easy, but there is no doubt my position in society could be much worse and it's important to acknowledge that. Conflict Theory:The conflict theory, suggested by Karl Marx, claims society is in a state of perpetual conflict because of competition for limited resources. It holds that social order is maintained by domination and power, rather than consensus and conformity. According to conflict theory, those with wealth and power try to hold on to it by any means possible, chiefly


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