Transcript Chapter 13

Chapter 13
Social Stratification in
Societies: Class,
Caste and Race
Chapter Questions
How do anthropologists explain social
What are some differences among class-,
caste- , and racially stratified societies?
Chapter Questions
What are some characteristics of the social
stratification system in the United States, and
how does it affect the lives and lifestyles of
individuals and groups?
How has anthropology contributed to
antiracism in the United States?
What are some similarities and differences
between the racial stratification systems of
brazil and the United States?
Dimensions of Stratification
Power—control resources in one’s own
 Wealth—accumulation of material
resources or access to the means of
producing these resources.
 Prestige—social honor or respect.
Ascribed Vs. Achieved Status
Ascribed Status
Social position into which a person is
born. (sex, race, kinship group)
Achieved Status
Social position that a person chooses or
achieves. (professor, criminal, artist)
Social Class in the United States
Status depends on occupation, education, and
“The American Dream,” is based on the
democratic principle of equality and opportunity
for all.
Social class in the United States correlates
with attitudinal, behavioral, and lifestyle
Caste System
System of stratification based on birth.
Movement from one caste to another is not
Castes are hereditary, endogamous, ranked in
relation to one another and usually associated
with a traditional occupation.
Hindu Caste System
Four caste categories
1. Brahmins - priests and scholars
2. Kshatriyas - ruling and warrior caste
3. Vaisyas - the merchants
4. Shudras - menial workers and artisans
5. Harijans – “untouchables”
U.S. Racial Stratification Systems
Race is constructed on the basis of skin color
and presumed ancestry.
Divides people into “blacks” and “whites”
ignoring the reality of the skin color spectrum.
By the 20th century, the system of race in the
American south was very similar to the caste
system in India.
Race Stratification in the U.S. and
Two largest multiracial societies in the
In both societies the legacy of slavery
continues in the form of racial inequality.
Brazil: 45% of nonwhite families and 25% of
white families live below the poverty line.
U.S.: 30% of nonwhite families and 8% of
white families live below the poverty line.