Open Stratification System

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Open stratification refers to a social mobility system in which persons and individuals can move up and down the social class hierarchy. This system allows for social class transformation, whereby one might belong to a class significantly different from the one into which he or she was born by hard effort. The system in the United States of America is deemed to be open. To begin, America is divided into classes based on income, wealth, social standing, or source of income. There are three groups, primarily depending on socioeconomic circumstances. However, several variables prevent people from moving across classes.  The economic status and poverty are the primary cause of stratification. The financial situation is a dividing line between classes. The top fifth group of people (1%) which is super rich is dramatically pulling away from the rest of the citizens. While income is said to define classes, wealth is the real dissecting factor. High-income earners who live pay slip to pay slip may appear to, for instance, the upper class, but once the income is cut short, they fall back to the former level.

Education also prevents mobility between classes. Although the government spends a lot of money on education, these funds do not translate to a significant outcome. Education levels, therefore, causes gaping differences and difficulty in rising through different classes. There are varying opportunities in the education between the whites and multi-racial students. These inequalities which are present in both formal and informal schooling will have an effect the type of jobs. The more educated whites will be employed as opposed to the less educated ones giving them a better chance in moving across classes.


Cook, Lindsey. U.S. Education: Still Separate and Unequal.US News, 2015. Web. 24 February 2017.

May 02, 2023

Sociology Government

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