Good Social Stratification Research Paper Example
Personal interviews were conducted in this study. The focus was on two respondents who were under examination in the research. The Study was concentrated on the social stratification aspects manifested in the two individuals. Both of them were from completely different backgrounds. This was of much assistance in the research.
Respondent A was a male adult. He was a White American aged fifty years old. He belonged to the upper class by virtue of his net worth that was estimated to be $30 million. Respondent A was a wealthy business person who owned a steel manufacturing company in the United States. These attributes have significantly contributed to the success in his life. The business person holds much power in society because he is of the male gender. Society has always tended to give much credit to men who are considered as influential individuals (Lawler, 2008). Respondent A has immensely benefited from the masculinity dominance in sociological conceptions. The respondent’s race is also prevalent in his country of residence. The element of his race being influential in the United States has enabled him to expand his businesses easily without much adversity from the market. As an upper-class person in society, respondent A has wielded much economic and political power and influence due to his vast business empire (Lawler, 2008). In my opinion, Respondent A’s seems to live a happier life out of these features even though he may not realize it entirely.
Respondent B was a female adult aged thirty years old. She was a single mother with three children. She was also an African American, who resided in North America. Respondent B was categorized in the working class as she worked as a waitress in a particular restaurant. She was less educated and had to struggle with part-time jobs in a bid to increase her income. She was paid $5 per hour while working at the restaurant. Respondent B’s race and gender were clearly factors that undermined her in society. She was faced with the difficulty of racism in the American society and also the discrimination of women in society (Lawler, 2008). Women have always been associated with low-income level jobs in the United States. This perception hampered the elevation of respondent B in the social ladder. She was not qualified to do professional jobs that require skill and high standards of educational qualifications.Application of Sociological Perspectives in the ResearchRespondent A
In the Context of Respondent A, the social conflict theory was the best to be applied. The man happened to enjoy the advantages of a capitalist economy. He employed manual laborers in his factories and made a lot of money out of the labor of the poor. The workers in his factory were paid a mere salary of $10 per hour. The conception in this theory has always been that there is a massive bridge between the opulent and the poor (Menzies, 2014). The rich are considered to be greedy and dishonest as they exploit the poor people (Kerbo, 2011). If the laborers were not less educated then, respondent A would have no employees for his factory. The situation of these individuals is considered as a resource for respondent A. He taps into this labor supply and ensures its perpetuation for his personal gains.
The choices made by the respondent were always in favor of amassing more wealth for his business companies. The man’s ideologies gave priority to self-interests in society. He believed that it was rational for him to be so wealthy at the expense of others by virtue of his position in society (Miller, 2015). Respondent A also revealed that his factory workers consistently went on strike seeking better pay. This clearly illustrated that the social conflict theory perspective was at play in the respondent’s life.Respondent B
The structural-functional approach was best elaborated in the case of respondent B. The respondent’s circumstance was as a result of her functional performance in life. She was not well educated to apply for professional jobs. The argument in this perspective was that it was fair for respondent B to work as a waitress getting little income as her services were still needed in society as a whole(Menzies, 2014). Numerous women can work as waitresses in various restaurants. This makes it an ordinary job with low income. The stratification of society in the context of Respondent B was spontaneous (Lambert & Connelly, 2012). It was not designed by someone at an advantage in society but was rather based on inherently functional characteristics evident in the respondent.Interview Research MethodologyBenefits
The personal nature of interviews made it possible to analyze the attitudes of the respondents as they answered questions (Babbie, 2009). There were times when the respondents got emotional as they discussed weighty issues concerning their lives. Respondent B seemed sad as she talked about her job. The facial expressions of respondent B depicted high-stress levels in life. In contrast, Respondent A was more composed and looked delighted as he was discussed his possessions. The interview method made this study livelier as face to face conversations were held with the respondents (Babbie, 2009). The individuals under scrutiny were also conveniently able to give comprehensive answers without any space limitations as is the case with written answers.Limitations
The interview method was both time-consuming and expensive. Travel costs had to be met in order to conduct the interviews. Both of the respondents lived in different states making it difficult to reach them (Babbie, 2009). Handling of the traveling logistics was an arduous task. In the case of respondent A, earlier appointments had to be made through his secretary as he was not fully available. Respondent B was also busy working at the restaurant and had little time to spare for our study. Much effort was used to secure the interviews making the methodology cumbersome.Analysis of Respondents’ CultureRespondent A
The White American Culture was linked to respondent A. The man was fluent in English. He had mastered the language and used it in all his official channels of communication at his business office. White American Culture has mostly been focused on the reverence of wealthy individuals in society. This perception influenced respondent A’s status in society among his peers. He was respected and worshiped due to his class status in society (Lambert & Connelly, 2012). He also valued his material possessions including his dog that was considered as a member of his family. The dog was viewed as a symbol of protection in his household. The respondent also tended to be arrogant and had less respect for the people in the lower class as he believed they were not hard working individuals. It is evident that the culture of the respondent significantly influenced his mannerisms in society.Respondent B
Black American Culture tremendously influenced respondent B’s way of life. She spoke African American Vernacular English even while serving her customers at the restaurant (Lawler, 2008). She was more religious than respondent A and attributed her diligent work to God’s providence. The respondent was not obsessively attached to her material objects. She valued happiness in life more than material possessions and humbly accepted her position in the social strata (Kerbo, 2011). The black color was symbolic for her in the sense that it reminded her of their history of slavery that eventually led to the liberation in their society.
Babbie, E. (2009). The Practice of Social Research. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.
Kerbo, H. (2011). Social Stratification and Inequality. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Lambert, P., & Connelly, R. (2012). Social Stratification: Trends and Processes. Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing.
Lawler, S. (2008). Identity: Sociological Perspectives. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity.
Menzies, K. (2014). Sociological Theory in Use. New York: Routledge.
Miller, J. (2015). Social conflict within and between groups. Social Work With Groups , 38 (2), 173-174.