Sociology is one of the fields that have been appreciated in every corner of the world because it has been used as a tool for streamlining the society. The field of sociology is one that has been used in molding the society according to moral and ethical standards. The society is composed of different groups of people most of which are based on different factors. The social division that exists in a societal setting is what is referred to as social stratification by sociologists. Social stratification occurs at different levels in the society. Social stratification may be based on economic status, race, religion and gender amongst other aspects. In most cases social stratification has been viewed in a negative way and sociologists have tried to come up with different theories that will tend to explain the various forms of social stratification that exist in the society and ways through which these forms of stratification could be overcome. Henslin is one of the sociologists that have tried to come up with different ways of explaining social stratification. Henslin tries to argue that gender is one of the basic elements of social stratification.
In relation to Henslin’s theory, gender is one of the aspects that have been used as a basis of social stratification in the society. There is a lot of evidenced that could be forwarded to back up the notion. The society is made up two types of genders; that is the masculine and the feminine genders. The society has indeed been divided into different categories as a result of the different genders that exist. This is what is basically being referred to as social stratification on the basis of gender. The best example that tends to give this form of social stratification on the basis of gender is the fact that some job opportunities in the society have been reserved for the masculine gender. A balance has failed to be achieved in making the job opportunities available to both the masculine genders and the feminine genders. The ideology behind such stratification has been that the masculine gender is much more effective and efficient in executing the tasks associated with the jobs compared to the feminine gender. This is a misleading notion because both men and women have the same potential if given the necessary resources to execute various tasks. Some of the job opportunities that are considered to be for the masculine genders include engineering amongst others. In this way Henslin’s proposal of the society being socially stratified on the basis of gender is clearly defined.
The fact that religion teaches that man was the first to be created by God followed by woman is a fact that has contributed to the socially stratification of the society on the basis of gender. This notion is held by many religions in the society and in the situation the masculine gender tends to gain favor and priority in various aspects of life. This makes the feminine gender to be in a state of oppression because of the fact that they appear to come second. Religion could therefore be assumed to be a crucial role player in matters concerning social stratification on the basis of gender. In most situations women are meant to be completely submissive to the men and most religious books have supported the notion. This has led to some members of the society abusing the fact and thereby oppressing the feminine gender. The fact that man came first in the different histories of creation is not a justification to the way women are socially stratified in relation to men.
Social stratification on the basis of gender has also occurred as a result of the physical nature of both men and women. The physical appearance of both genders has been configured in such a way that men have been built to be more masculine than women. This has acted as a basis of creating a boundary between men and women and hence resulting to social stratification on the basis of gender. In most situations women have been considered to be the weaker sex and have therefore been denied opportunities in various aspects of the society and especially the leadership aspects. Women have been denied the chance to become leaders in different organizations in the society and this has been made from the judgment that they are weak and therefore cannot make the best of leaders (Marger, 2010). In this situation, the aspect of social stratification on the basis of gender comes into play. The aspect of being emotionally unstable has also acted as an additional factor to the physical make up of women as a disqualifying factor in leadership.
Changes have been experienced in the past fifty years in relation to social stratification based on gender. These changes have been triggered by a variety of factors most of which have had a direct impact towards the society. Advancements in the field of science and technology have been amongst the contributors of the change that has been experienced in social stratification on the basis of gender (Szelenyi, 2006). Women have been empowered by these advancements in that they have been major role players in technological advancement. This aspect has seen the issue of social stratification on the basis of gender slowly go into the drain. Most of the change that has occurred in the past fifty years in relation to social stratification on the basis can be seen to have a positive impact to the society. The change has ensured that women get equal opportunities just as their male counterparts. Education has also played a major role in eliminating social stratification on the basis of gender. Knowledge has been used as a tool to fight the issues arising as a result of social stratification based on gender.
Many issues have been known to surround the society especially on the basis of the different forms of stratification that are known to occur. The different forms of stratifications in the society are known to have a basis through which sociologists can make conclusions from. The most common form of social stratification experienced in the society is the one based on the different genders. Research has revealed that the victims of social stratification on the basis of gender are women. There are many reasons as to why this has been the case and one of the most common ones is the ideology that regards women to be the weaker sex compared to men. Sociologists have come up with studies that have tried to understand and therefore eliminate these forms of stratifications. The best environment for human beings to exist without conflict is one with the least cases of stratification.
Henslin J, (2002). Essentials of Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach. Boston: Ally and Bacon.
Szelenyi S, (2006). Inequality: Classic Readings in Race, Class, and Gender, New York:
Marger M, (2010). Social Inequality: Patterns and Processes, London: