Social stratification    Evaluate the Davis-Moore thesis.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For people who don't know: this thesis says that stratification is a good thing because it provides incentives for people to work hard and thereby get ahead.

I think it's clearly at least partly true, but I don't think it's completely true.

The thesis implies that individuals can determine whether they get ahead based on how hard they work.

In large part, that's true.  People who don't try generally don't get ahead.  But one problem is that people aren't born in equal circumstances.  If two people have the exact same amount of talent and drive, but one is born rich and the other poor, it seems inevitable that the rich one will end up ahead because he/she started off ahead.

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that stratification is a good thing.  My father was born into a very poor family.  He was raised in the projects and only spoke Spanish until he went to Kindergarten.  Not much was expected out of him in life.  Some how he developed the drive needed to be successful in life.  I can only imagine that this was due to seeing what was available for the hard working individual.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Stratification is unavoidable. I would not argue that it is good for the underclass to strive to be part of the upperclassman. For one thing, we do not choose our parents. We are born into our class. People already in the upper class are mostly there by birthright, and the same with the lower class. Moving up is more of a myth than a truth.
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I suppose this depends on opportunity. If people are given the opportunity to get ahead then they can choose to do that. Some people are not given that opportunity. If they are born in to a low socio-economic class then education may not be an option. Many times, a college education is necessary to move ahead.