120 Outcome: Theoretical Perspectives on Stratification

Describe theoretical perspectives on social stratification

Basketball is one of the highest-paying professional sports. There is stratification even among teams. For example, the Minnesota Timberwolves hand out the lowest annual payroll, while the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly pay the highest. Kobe Bryant, a Lakers shooting guard, is one of the highest paid athletes in the NBA, earning around $30.5 million a year (Forbes 2014). Even within specific fields, layers are stratified and members are ranked.

In sociology, even an issue such as NBA salaries can be seen from various points of view. Functionalists will examine the purpose of such high salaries, while conflict theorists will study the exorbitant salaries as an unfair distribution of money. Social stratification takes on new meanings when it is examined from different sociological perspectives—functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism.

What you’ll learn to do:

  • Understand and apply the functionalist theory on social stratification
  • Understand and apply the conflict theory on social stratification
  • Understand and apply the interactionist perspective on social stratification
  • Describe the modernization and dependency theory perspectives on global stratification

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Theoretical Perspectives on Social Stratification
  • Reading: Theoretical Perspectives on Global Stratification
  • Self-Check: Theoretical Perspectives on Stratification

License

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Introduction to Sociology by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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