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The stratification processes in various countries around the world are to blame for the unequal distribution of wealth. Although some people are born into wealthy families, others must make do with what they have. When the United States and Japan are compared, it becomes apparent that both countries are highly developed and essential to the global economy (Kendall, Diana). According to the Gross National Product, individuals in both countries fall into different social groups, which is a measure of wealth per person.
The stratification structure in both the United States and Japan is based on an individual's social-economic status. Therefore, the main areas of interest in the stratification system include education, income, and occupation. Regarding the level of education, individuals fall into different classes depending on their qualifications. Thus, those with college degrees fall in one category while those with high school diplomas fall in the other (Woelfel, Joseph, and Monica Murero). However, an issue arises as the school systems differ in both countries and there are individuals who do not have access to education which may depend on the level such as primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Concerning occupation, in both the United States and Japan, there is prestige associated with certain types of jobs. The types of employment that need extensive schooling and higher intellectual acuity enable individuals who are specialists in these fields assume a higher professional autonomy. Therefore, the prestigious occupations in both Japan and the United States include physicians, university professors, judges among others. On the other hand, stratification systems in both the United States and Japan classify individuals doing jobs that require manual labor in the low-prestige category. They include mechanics, janitors, truck drivers, and maids (Woelfel, Joseph, and Monica Murero). Important to note is that the prestigious jobs are the hard jobs to handle given they the extensive skills required.
Lastly, income as a variable for social stratification systems creates a huge similarity between the United States and Japan. However, the income earned by individuals is dependent on their geographical location, work experience, the size of the company, and their education level.
When comparing the stratification systems of Japan and the U.S., it is evident that the system used in Japan is more immobile when it comes to moving from one class to the other. In particular, the movement from upper manual class to the upper non-manual class in the United States is much simpler given the broad range of skills one acquires while in the tenure of their occupation (Woelfel, Joseph, and Monica Murero). On the other hand, the large population of semi-skilled workers in Japan limits their mobility from one class to the other.
Another factor that creates a difference in the stratification system of the United States and Japan is the issue of division of labor. The histories of the two countries vary to a great extent where the United States has a history that surrounds industrialization while Japan used to practice farming in the ancient days.(Kendall, Diana) For this reason, there is the variation in the per capita income for individuals from the two countries. Hence, the different levels of living standards in these countries yield different stratification systems. Important to note is that over the years the stratification systems for these countries have become almost similar.
Kendall, Diana. "Class In The United States: Not Only Alive But Reproducing". Research In Social Stratification And Mobility, vol 24, no. 1, 2006, pp. 89-104. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.rssm.2004.11.001.
Woelfel, Joseph, and Monica Murero. "SPACES AND NETWORKS: CONCEPTS FOR SOCIAL STRATIFICATION". Research In Social Stratification And Mobility, vol 22, 2004, pp. 57-71. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/s0276-5624(04)22002-9.
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