Stratification (Division, leveling, Grading, Grouping, Inequality, Diversity, and Variation of people on the basis of: Class system, caste system, Gender, Ethnicity, Religion, Region, Language, Race etc). Social stratification refers to the division of people on the basis of class, caste, ethnicity, gender, religion, race, region, language etc. Everywhere individuals and societies differ. In no society people are absolutely equal in all respects. Differentiation is the keynote of human society. Society rests on the principle of difference. Differences are inherent in the very nature of the society.

Stratification can be defined as structured inequalities between different groupings of people. Social stratification refers to arrangement of any social group or society into a hierarchy of positions that are unequal with regard to power, property and psychic gratification.

According to Ginsberg, “Social stratification is the division of society into permanent group of categories linked with each other by the relationship of superiority and subordination”.

Social stratification is the ordering of social differences with the help of a set of criteria or just a single criterion which ties the differentiated strata into a system, (Gupta, 2000). Social stratification, a system by which a society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy, is based on four important principles:

  1. Social stratification is a traits of society not simply reflection of individual differences.
  2. It carries over from generation to generation.
  3. It is universal but variables.
  4. It involves not just inequality but beliefs as well.

Social Stratification:

  1. Hierarchy: Vertical Division
  2. Difference: Horizontal Division

Characteristics of Social Stratification

According to M.N. Tumin the main features of social stratification are as follows:

  • Stratification is Social in nature.
  • Social stratification is ancient.
  • Social stratification is Universal.
  • Social stratification is in diverse forms.
  • Social stratification is consequential.