Sociology and social stratification
Sociology is the study of social cultures and the norms and values that are used within these cultures. Social stratification looks more closely at the relationships between groups of people and their social inequalities. It does this by paying close attention to certain elements such as politics, the economy and other factors which often have a great effect on the class that one is placed in and the social position that one has in life.
The history of Sociology
The analysis of society can be traced right back to the very first philosophical thinkers. However, the idea that Sociology could be seen as a science was not developed until people such as Karl Marx and Max Weber began to pay serious attention to the social structures and the way in which they are developed and maintained.
Karl Marx is famous for his development of Marxism through out the 1800s. This was a movement that looked at how society is a constant struggle of the different classes and how the bourgeoise use the lower classes for their own good, giving them little in return. Max Weber was another person who began to study social patterns in the 1800s and is now held responsible for the development of sociology and sociological research. He declared that social class and the wealth that one achieved from this status was due to ones honour, ones respect that they gain from their achievements and also from their religious affiliation.
Social stratification in more detail
Marxist theory outlined that there were two main important groups within society. The ruling class, who owned the factories and the working class, who only had the skill of working at these factories and who were immobilized by this system. Karl Marx believed that this system would eventually be overruled and that a communist system would eventually take over. The development of sociology has become increasingly important for institutions and groups such as the government, businesses and other organizations. Sociology was long considered below the level of other sciences but has recently developed to such a level, that it is now considered to be a genuine form of science and is taught as a school and university subject alongside other subjects such as Philosophy and maths.