From a functionalist perspective, why is social stratification necessary in society?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Functionalism basically argues that each aspect of a society has a function and is necessary to the society.  Functionalists tend to argue that social stratification is necessary because it allows people to be rewarded for hard work and talent.

If a society were unstratified, everyone would essentially be equal.  This would mean that the least talented, laziest person in a society would be essentially equal to the most talented, hardest working person.  This would, it is argued, destroy people's incentive to work.  No one would want to work because they would not gain anything by working.  Because of this, it is necessary to have social stratification in a society.