Stratification: systematic inequalities between groups of people: intended or unintended inequalities result as a consequence of social processes and relationships, exists over generations because of beliefs that are held by society. Rewards regardless of their starting point, opportunities, or contributions: most commonly associated with communist or socialist ideologies. Forms of stratification: weber, a class is a group characterized by common life chances and opportunities, marx: father of conflict theory, saw society divided into two classes. Proletariat- working class: erik olin wright, developed the idea of contradictory class locations. People can be located between the two pure classes defined by marx. Bourgeoisie- employing class: status hierarchy system, people are classified based on their level of social prestige, elite-mass dichotomy system, based on a governing elite- a few leaders who broadly hold the power of society. How is america stratified today: socioeconomic status (ses, refers to an individual"s position in a stratified social order, measured by occupation, wealth, income, and education, income.