Social Stratification can be defined as “a peculiar signifier of societal inequality. It refers to the presence of societal groups which are ranked above the other. normally in footings of the sum of power prestigiousness and wealth their member posses.
Those who belong to a peculiar group or stratum will hold some consciousness of common involvement and a common individuality. ” ( Haralombos. Holborn and Herald 1990. pg 24 ) . In the Caribbean. surveies have been conducted to demo that the stratification of the Caribbean today is brooding of the constructions of Colonialism. Plantation Slavery and Indenturship. which was based on the economic standards of wealth through ownership and entree of society’s resources. Although the battle for emancipation of these states brought independency. the past continues to shadow on the social construction of today.
To efficaciously carry on these surveies two of the more populated states were used viz. Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica which reflected the gradual alteration which took topographic point after emancipation. Post emancipation saw a alteration in the stratification system. One non wholly based on Slavery or Intendurship but assimilation. bring forthing a system of inequality based on category. race position hierarchy and power. These determiners were now used to place people into new categorize.
In a survey conducted in Jamaica after World War II. it was found out that there was rise of a new stratification system one of category. race and position. In other words. those individual who had the entree to society’s resources were above the 1s who had to work to acquire at that place. who were normally the one’s placed in minority groups or the lower strata. Barrow and Reddock stated “The modernisation of the economic system which was altered produced a system of the station emancipation plantation society created a modern enclave within the traditional society and forged the growing of new societal categories and a modified stratification period. ” Pg191.
Motion to the upper stratum was based on the differentiation of race colour and ownership of belongings. Harmonizing to M. G Smith the period following the emancipation of slaves. the plantation economic system had produced three distinguishable degrees of stratification. “The upper stratum of Whites. who owned the economy’s resources. a brown in-between stratum of those who were in professional. proficient occupations and the lower stratum made up of hapless black ex- slaves” . In add-on to this. surveies conducted in the Jamaica reflected that in the degrees of hierarchy. individuals were grouped harmonizing to their tegument colour. It was besides found out that there was limited mobility within the strata non until after the industrial revolution where there was perpendicular mobility between businesss. The inkinesss were bit by bit traveling from the lower strata into the in-between strata.
M. G Smith ( 1965 ) noted that “Industrialization resulted in the broadening of the economic system therefore increasing occupation creative activity and therefore the outgrowth of new societal categories. ” ( Rotham D 1993 ) There was besides motion of the inkinesss in footings of intergenerational mobility. Like Smith. Derek Gordon noticed the addition in societal mobility and but he pointed out that individual with low economic backgrounds were non able or were below the belt chanced to achieved societal mobility and stoping at the top of the in-between strata.
Lloyd Braithwaite in his surveies of Trinidad found out the stratification system was much like to that of the caste system which determined one’s position. Besides. once more the society is still defined by race and ethnicity. “Members of the upper societal group tend to look upon the upward nomadic single belonging to an cultural group in footings of his cultural similarity or unsimilarity to the white group. sing the mass of the cultural group as exceptions” Lloyd Braithwaite pg47. In this instance Syrians. Asiatic and Chinese ethnicities maintained their position because they were closely to clamber colour and hair texture to the upper category ‘whites’ These groups maintained a closed system. except for exogamy with the white grouping. However the inkinesss remained as the substandard groups’ and the lone mobility was through the version of the white values. Adopting the white values granted them entree to instruction and an sweetening of the societal position.
“The emancipation of the slaves in 1838 was followed by an increasing accent on achievement values” Braithwaite explained. Studies in Trinidad besides revealed that the stratification forms which were developed during the colonial period. where the political construction was made up with chiefly ‘white’ Europeans who made political determinations and who determined who had entree to what resources. has changed and now are determined by a altering category construction. In a survey 30 old ages after Braithwaite’s account that the inkinesss had to follow white values as to interrupt into the system to better their ranking Selwyn Ryan declares that Braithwaite’s system of stratification had disappeared since there was a rise by the black population and a political system of the black power known as the People’s National Movement.
He noted that this was brought approximately by the development of the instruction system. in which people of all civilizations had entree to. and this afforded persons the accomplishments to accomplish their required position and to obtain places within the society. What now exist says Ryan is a now “rapidly spread outing meritocracy system and non the caste like system. ” In decision. it is apparent that the constructions built in the yesteryear are still determiners of inequality in the Caribbean today.
These being developed as a pace stick in the yesteryear is still being used to categorise or category people into the upper. lower or in-between stratum in today’s society. However. the past systems of stratification were those of closed 1s. and did non let for any signifier of mobility within the stratum. Based on the grounds in these empirical surveies conducted in the Caribbean it is noticeable that this now has changed. Status ; whether achieved or ascribed. race. power prestigiousness. wealth and life opportunities are now used to find one’s place in society. Although Caribbean societies are still based on these groupings of the ‘whites’ in the upper white stratum. a brown in-between stratum of professional and lower black stratum. they have seen the promotions of the inkinesss into the in-between stratum. due the entree of resources through mediums such as instruction. Therefore the stratification system developed in the pre emancipation has evolved and continues to alter in the Caribbean today.
Caribbean Stratification. Cape Sociology. World Wide Web. capesociology. org/…bbean-stratification- 38. hypertext markup language
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