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Stratification in Human Societies and

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II. Stratification in human societies

IV. The micro and macro perspectives
X. The theories applied to the abortion issue
This paper will address a controversy in contemporary social theory. Specifically, the paper will
consider the stratification of women in modern society and will seek to determine why women
are accorded lower status than men are in the social hierarchy. The paper will consider the
viewpoints of various schools of social theory in regard to this issue, with special emphasis on
the views of contemporary feminist theorists. The issue of abortion rights will be utilized in order
to demonstrate the applied nature of this controversy in relation to the role it plays in the
stratification of women in society.
It is generally agreed that stratification in one form or another is inherent in all human societies.
Karl Marx was one of the first sociological theorists to identify stratification as a result of class
or economic inequalities. Max Weber took this idea a step further by indicating that social
stratification may also result from inequalities in status or power (Ritzer, 1988, p. 24). The
conflict theorist Ralf Dahrendorf commented on the role of power in social stra
o take an extremely micro viewpoint on the issue of women and their status in society. In this
regard, the microscopic perspective of the conflict theory has also proven inadequate in
explaining all of the various forces which have contributed to the current system of sexual
inequality. The conflict model and its position on gender stratification can be seen in the writings
of Ralf Dahrendorf. Just as the structural functionalists believed that stratification is a necessary
and inevitable part of all societies, Dahrendorf believed that conflict and change are necessary
and inevitable in all societies. In fact, Dahrendorf claimed that the true structure of a society
could be found in the "constraints" which hold it together. According to Dahrendorf, these
constraints represent the values of those in power and the methods of coercion used by those
leaders in maintaining the order of society as a whole (Dahrendorf, 1968, p. 127). This system of
coercion and constraint provides the means for those in power to continue maintaining the
system of stratification which serves their needs so well. Another conflict theorist, Randall
Collins, worked specifically on the role of stratification within the conflict model. In opposition

Some common words found in the essay are:

Sayers Marxism, Mary Daly, According Giele, Gordon Harvey, Marilyn Frye, According
Collins, According Dahrendorf, Sexuality Foucault, According Ortner, Supreme Court, feminist
theory, social stratification, abortion issue, gender stratification, women society, sociological
theorists, structural functionalists, stratification women, biological determinism, system
stratification, women delegated lower, stratification women society, socialist feminist theory,
contemporary feminist theory, woman choose abortion,
Approximate Word count = 4443
Approximate Pages = 18 (250 words per page)
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