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What is the role of ideology in social stratification?

Ideology can play a recognizable role in social stratification by providing a justification for the order of society. Without an underlying set of systems and principles to reinforce it, the inequalities within social stratification couldn't be supported.

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A Marxist would argue that social stratification serves to reinforce the continued dominance of the ruling classes in society. On Marx's reading, the categorization of people into distinct classes is the direct result of a capitalist system based on recognizable class distinctions. Social stratification is therefore ideological in that it represents the bourgeoisie's distorted image of what society is and how it should operate.

Part and parcel of any ideology is to make what is man-made and contingent appear perfectly natural and therefore not amenable to radical change. The bourgeoisie and their ideologists would have us believe that social stratification is the natural consequence of unfettered economic competition; that those who...

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