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Gender Stratification


TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc379625045” Social Conflict theory PAGEREF _Toc379625045 h 2

HYPERLINK l “_Toc379625046” Feminist Sociological Theory PAGEREF _Toc379625046 h 3

Studies have shown that a variety of events which took place in the past have profoundly affected the gender roles in many societies. Today, the study of gender and gender roles in societies is emerging as the most significant trends in sociology studies. Currently, there are many sociologists who study the social events, patterns and interactions that help them in developing theories while explaining the reasons as to why they occur. The term gender stratification therefore, cuts across all aspects of social life and social classes. It also refers to men and women’s unequal access of prestige, power and property in the basis of their sex. Sociologists explain gender stratifications in regards to theoretical perspectives such as feminist theory and social conflict theory (Kelly& Carney, 2006). In the United States, the study has shown that domestic work performed by women are valued less as opposed to the work performed by men outside their homes. In summary, the paper will give a report on gender stratification, evaluating a social concern, issue, event, or phenomenon from a sociological perspective. The paper will also discuss on sociological concepts and theories with regards to social stratifications.There are various theories that offer excellent ways to better understand the gender issues from the sociological perspective. Study shows that the early sociological perspective related to gender roles evolved from the family sociology perspective. Gender roles are socially constructed and are created by humans so as to meet the needs of the societies. However, life chances in the stratification system may depend upon the combination of sex and age. In the same way, the roles and responsibilities in social institutions generally differ by age and sex, for instance women’s reduced power in micro-level settings is often related to a lack of power in institutions. Therefore, all the explanations centered on why men and women hold different roles in the family in turn impacts the roles they perform outside the family.

Social Conflict theoryThe social conflict theory asserts that social order can be maintained through value consensus as well as preserved through the exercise of power that one social class holds over another. According to Karl Marx, conflict theory is based on the notion that the society is a stage where struggles for power and dominance are acted out (Nielsen, 2001). Using conflict theory, most sociologists argue that when women are kept in subordinate roles, men have to ensure that they control the means of production while protecting their privileges. Social stratification in a society is significant because it allows people to rank and evaluate one another. Furthermore, it is broadly organized into three parts namely; upper class, middle class and lower class which are on the basis of wealth and power (Kelly& Carney, 2006). The division into these groups has resulted in the creation of different levels within the society. Sociologists argue that social stratification has positively and negatively affected the society in one way or another for instance; social stratification has caused social disparity and many other problems within the societies such as affecting their life chances, prestige and lifestyles. The act is evident to be an unjust system with a monopoly of power and wealth in a certain group. It also creates an emotional depression and stress for the people belonging to lower social stratum as this have unequal access to prestige, power and wealth (Grusky, 2007).Conflict theory primarily focuses on social placement function of the family that deposits people at birth into families who possess varying degree of economic resources. Research shows that people who are fortunate enough to be deposited into wealthier families normally work in order to preserve the existing inequality and power relations in the broader society. The conflict perspective have been evident from the various research analyzed signifying that most household responsibilities have a great effect on work experience, occupational location and the number of hours worked per week. All these are said to have linked to the issue of the gender gap in earnings (Nielsen, 2001). Conversely, it is true that most of the works are performed by people who lack resources to demand or purchase substitutes.

Feminist Sociological TheoryThe feminist social theory produces an array of approaches that took granted the cultural significance of women and second class status of people within a society. In short, the theory examines on the institutional relationships of both men and women in the economy, family and in politics. Feminist theory perspective in sociology plays a powerful impact of gender in the social ordering. For example, the theory does not only bridge the micro and macro gap among the people, but it also illuminates bias in a broader society. This theory provides a productive avenue of collaboration with other sociologists who adopted other theoretical views such as conflict theory and many other theories in regards to gender stratifications. However, feminist theory is compatible with conflict theory in that social inequalities are maintained by ideologies that are accepted by the privileged and oppressed on the other hand. However, the ideologies can be challenged when the oppressed groups gain the resources necessary (Nielsen, 2001).The study shows that, with the growing consensus of feminists across the world, it is most likely that women will be doubly or triply disadvantaged by their race, class, or sexuality. Most feminists’ scholars are viewing the traditional patriarchal family as a major site for the oppression of women. The scholars asserted that when patriarchal families are regarded as advantageous to social stability, it may hamper the movement into egalitarian roles desired by both men and women. As in case, the sociologists recognize that gendered family relations do not occur in a vacuum and that lives are helped or hurt by the resources outside the family that shape what is happening inside the family (Grusky, 2007).ConclusionUnlike the conflict theory which focuses on social class and economic elements that are necessary to challenge the prevailing system, feminist theory on the other hand mainly focuses on women and their ability to amass resources from different sources through social and political means. Feminist theory is significant because it asserts on the increase of women’s empowerment as well as, identifying ways in which they can be empowered. The materialist approach among small groups has become a major debate for most sociologists and anthropologists in many societies. As a result, many sociologists have managed to develop theoretical models that help them in studying gender equality in these societies. Gender equality has been indicated by the ability of women to share household authority as well as exerting local political influence.


HYPERLINK “” o “Edit this item” Grusky, D. B. (2007). Social stratification: class, race, and gender in sociological perspective. London: Westview Press.

HYPERLINK “” o “Edit this item” Kelly, C. G., & Carney, L. S. (2000). Women and men in society: cross-cultural perspectives on gender stratification (2nd ed.). London: Wadsworth Pub. Co..

HYPERLINK “” o “Edit this item” Kelly, C. G., & Carney, L. S. (2006). Women and men in society: cross-cultural perspectives on gender stratification (2nd ed.). New York: Wadsworth Pub. Co..

HYPERLINK “” o “Edit this item” Kerbo, H. R. (2003). Social stratification and inequality: class conflict in historical, comparative, and global perspective (5th ed.). London: McGraw-Hill.

HYPERLINK “” o “Edit this item” Nielsen, J. M. (2001). Sex and gender in society: perspectives on stratification (2nd ed.). New York: Waveland Press.

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