Differences in Social Differentiation with Social Stratification
Differences in Social Differentiation with Social Stratification

Differences in Social Differentiation with Social Stratification

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The following is an explanation of the similarities and differences between social differentiation and social stratification, along with their respective meanings.

tirto.id – Interactions between community members involve different individual behaviors and habits. This difference is influenced by the social structure as a pattern that regulates people’s daily lives.

In the study of sociology, the classification of differences in society includes 2 aspects, namely social differentiation and social stratification. So, the social structure affects the diversity of people’s behavior which in the end gives rise to social differentiation and social stratification. The last two concepts have differences and similarities.

The similarity between social differentiation and social stratification is that the two concepts describe the existence of distinctions or classifications in society.

However, the two concepts refer to different realities because they use unequal measures in defining differences between members of society. In social differentiation, group differences in society are seen as pluralistic.

This means that the gap in the position between groups in society due to these differences is not considered. Meanwhile, in social stratification, differences between groups in society are seen based on stratified layers, thus giving rise to identification of social classes.

It can be concluded, the difference between social differentiation and social stratification lies in the way of looking at the differences between groups in society. Social differentiation shows differences between groups in society in the context of equal, or horizontal (not hierarchical) relationships.

In contrast, social stratification describes the differences between groups in society, which occur vertically or hierarchically (tiered). To better understand the similarities and differences between social differentiation and social stratification, it is necessary to understand the meaning of each of these concepts along with examples in society.

Definition of Social Differentiation and Examples

Through the concept of social differentiation, sociological studies examine the relationship between members of society in an equal position. In the study of sociology, the notion of social differentiation is the horizontal differentiation of society which is characterized by the absence of hierarchical classification. Thus, social differentiation shows plurality and social heterogeneity in society.

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However, this plurality does not show differences in social strata. Social differentiation arises because of the division of labor, gender differences, and differences in religion, race, ethnicity (grouping of individuals on the basis of similar cultural characteristics, such as language, customs, history, attitudes, region).

Horizontally, society is characterized by the fact that there are social units separated by differences in ethnicity, religion, race, customs, regional elements, and professions.

One example is social differentiation based on religion. In Indonesia, the people are diverse because they consist of adherents of Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, to local religions and beliefs.

There are no groups that are higher or lower in social differentiation based on religion, as happened in the distinction between Indonesian people based on their beliefs. The same applies to the example of social differentiation based on sex. Men and women have different social roles and functions.

Definition of Social Stratification and Examples

Social stratification is the classification of society into layers that are arranged in stages or hierarchies. This classification refers to the division of community members into vertically tiered levels or strata.

The emergence of social stratification is driven by the existence of values ​​as something that is valued and upheld in society.

The value referred to in the context of social stratification relates to resources or valuables that are needed by the community. For example: power, wealth, education, and skills.

Therefore, it can be concluded that social stratification shows the relationship between community members in an unequal position. So, broadly speaking, social stratification shows the classification of community members based on differences in access to utilizing resources. privilege  and  prestige , but some are not.

There are a number of basic forms of social stratification in society. The various forms are economic stratification, education/work stratification, and political stratification.

Meanwhile, Jeffries and Ransford formulated there are 3 kinds of social stratification in society. The explanation of the 3 kinds of social stratification and their examples are as follows.

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1. Class Hierarchy

This first type of social stratification is based on the classification of society from an economic perspective, namely control over resources to produce goods and services (means of production).

The economic element can simply be measured by wealth. This type of stratification can apply differently in each society, depending on the mode of production in its economy.

For example, in a village community whose economy is based on agriculture, the determinant of social class is ownership of land and houses. Meanwhile, in coastal communities where the majority of fishermen are fishermen, the determinant of class hierarchy is ownership of the boat.

It is different in urban communities, where the layers of society are determined by differences in access to capital. Community groups with strong capital will control the means of production for industry and business, as the economic foundation of urban areas. Capital can be in the form of money or valuable assets that can be used for investment.

2. Hierarchy of power

The hierarchy of power is determined by the ability to influence authoritative values. This classification is related to the political aspect. For example, members of society who occupy the position of kings or heads of state and government officials will have different degrees from ordinary citizens.

3. Status Hierarchy

The status hierarchy is based on differences in honor and position in society. Size in layers in this type of hierarchy generally occurs in traditional or religious societies.

An example of this classification can be seen in Javanese society, in which there is a distinction between the priyayi and the wong cilik. The traditional elders whose position is exalted in a number of tribes are also another example. As for the religious community, religious leaders generally get a higher position than ordinary citizens.

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