Compare and contrast the functionalist and conflict views of social stratification in relation to ascribed status and achieved status that leads wealth and wages inequalities.

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The conflict perspective and the functionalist perspective of social stratification are fundamentally at odds. Conflict theorists argue that social stratification that leads to wage gaps is the result of ascribed statuses like a person's socioeconomic background. Functionalists argue that different jobs have different values and are thus compensated differently -- looking more at the achieved status of a worker rather than their ascribed socioeconomic status. At its heart, conflict theory says that social stratification is not necessary or healthy for societies while functional theory says that it is.

The functionalist perspective on social stratification says that because jobs are inherently unequal in difficulty and skill level, they will be compensated differently. For example, it is more difficult to acquire the skills to be an engineer than to acquire the skills to be a janitor. Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore, proponents of this theory, believe that wealth...

(The entire section contains 983 words.)

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