Sociology : Social Stratification

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Sociology

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Example Questions

Example Question #32 : Sociology

Which of the following is most commonly used to measure economic inequality?

Possible Answers:

HDI

GINI coefficient

Polity Score

GDP

Correct answer:

GINI coefficient

Explanation:

The GINI coefficient is an index between 0 and 1, where 0 represents complete equality and 1 represents complete inequality. All countries are given a GINI ranking to represent the level of domestic inequality. HDI (the Human Development Index) is not solely a measure of inequality. GDP cannot be used to assess individual wealth (unlike GDP per capita), and the Policy Sore is a measure of a country's level of democracy.

Example Question #1 : Forms Of Stratification

Which of the following is a stratification system whereby a person's rights and rank in society is determined by his or her birth into a particular group?

Possible Answers:

Estate

Caste

Class

None of these

Slavery

Correct answer:

Caste

Explanation:

The caste system is a stratification system where a person's rights and rank in society is determined by birth into a particular group. Upward social mobility is not characteristic of this system, meaning that a person's caste cannot be upgraded throughout his or her life. The class system is based upon a persons achievement and ability to use their wealth and resources to reach a particular class that dominate society. Estate systems deal with primarily family wealth and possessions passed down from generation to generation due to the inheritance of estates. Last, slavery had an economic basis where a lower class of slavers were governed by a "master" with unlimited power. 

Example Question #1 : Social Stratification

Which sociologist believed that class was the central source of inequality?

Possible Answers:

Karl Marx

Auguste Comte

Max Weber

W.E.B. Du Bois

Correct answer:

Karl Marx

Explanation:

Karl Marx developed the theory of Marxism in which he argued that differences class was the root of all conflict and oppression. 

Example Question #1 : Forms Of Stratification

Which of the following defines social stratification?

Possible Answers:

Social isolation of people from each other

System in which everyone is equal but perform very different tasks

None of these

Natural movement of cultures

System by which a person's place in society is defined by birth

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

None of the answers are correct because social stratification defines a system by which a society ranks categories of people into a hierarchy. Types of social stratification include meritocracy, where place is defined by personal merit. Another would be the caste system, in which social hierarchy is defined by birth. Social stratification can occur in multiple types of ways such as these, but it always denotes a hierarchy of categories of people.

Example Question #1 : Social Stratification

What are the differences between the systems of social interaction?

Possible Answers:

In open systems of stratification, there is little to no social mobility or interaction between the layers and classes in society, whereas closed systems allow movement and interaction between layers and classes in society.

none of the other answer choices

In semi-open systems of stratification, there is little to no social mobility or interaction between the layers and classes in society, whereas open systems allow movement and interaction between layers and classes in society.

In closed systems of stratification, there is little to no social mobility or interaction between the layers and classes in society, whereas open systems allow movement and interaction between layers and classes in society.

Closed systems of stratification have more social mobility but less social interaction than semi-open systems, while open systems have less social mobility but more social interaction than semi-open systems.

Correct answer:

In closed systems of stratification, there is little to no social mobility or interaction between the layers and classes in society, whereas open systems allow movement and interaction between layers and classes in society.

Explanation:

In closed systems of stratification, there is little to no social mobility or interaction between the layers and classes in society. There can be little change in social position. Open systems allow movement and interaction between layers and classes in society. Semi-open systems of stratification do not exist.

Example Question #1 : Social Stratification

Which of the following best defines convergence theory"?

Possible Answers:

The idea that rich countries should engage in fair trade with poorer countries as a way to reduce global inequality

The idea that poor countries will grow faster than richer countries, therefore the gap between rich and poor countries will diminish

The idea that eventually poorer countries will be more similar to each other in the way they industrialize

The idea that poor countries agree on what is needed to achieve economic growth

Correct answer:

The idea that poor countries will grow faster than richer countries, therefore the gap between rich and poor countries will diminish

Explanation:

Convergence theory is the idea that the poorer and richer countries will eventually "converge" around (or catch up to) the same level of development because poorer countries will experience more rapid industrial growth. 

Example Question #1 : Social Reproduction And Social Mobility

A man works as a car mechanic most of his life and makes enough to support himself and his family, but not much more. One day, he quits his job as a car mechanic. He and his family move to a new town, and he starts a new job as a public transport driver, making about the same income as before.

What best describes the movement in social class of this man?

Possible Answers:

Social mobility

Urban mobility 

None of these

Horizontal mobility

Vertical mobility

Correct answer:

Horizontal mobility

Explanation:

Horizontal mobility is the correct answer because the man has stayed within the same social class (working class) but has changed occupation from car mechanic to working in public transport. Vertical mobility is incorrect because the man's social class has neither gone up or down, and social mobility is incorrect because again he is neither a group nor individual moving between social classes--just occupations. 

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