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Chapter 13

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Health, Aging and Society
Anju Joshi

Chapter 13: Social Inequality and Stratification Inequality: The extent to which culturally valued material and social rewards are allocated disproportionately to individuals, families, and other groups Rise of Inequality: Social differentiation and stratification inevitably accompanies the emergence of a productive economy based on agriculture: -rulers -soldiers -religious institutions -merchants -professions and trade specializations At the very bottom of the pyramid are the mass of peasants, who produce for the benefit of a clerical, military, and political elite. Elman Service and Morton Fried E.Service : -------Band--------tribe---------Chiefdom----------State- M.Fried: -------Egalitarian -------ranked--------Stratification----- There is a rough correspondence between the types of political organization, as schematized by Elman Service, and the degree of equality and inequality, as devised by Morton Fried. Keep in mind: these are ideal-types, and therefore simplify reality, which tends to be more complex. We are, in reality, always dealing with continua, and not clear-cut categories. Hence the horizontal arrows. Four varnas: -Brahmins (priests and scholars) - Kshatriyas (nobles and warriors) - Vaishas (merchants and artisans) - Shudras (farmers, craftspeople and labourers) Untouchables (out-castes allocated menial work: street sweepers, latrine cleaners, laundresses, tanners, skinners, gravediggers, etc.). Call themselves Dalits, which means ‘oppressed’. Indian Caste system: -A varna is a system of economic cooperation between members of a series of endogamous and occupationally-specialized groups, organized at the local level as “jatis”… -Solidarity is enhanced by close physical proximity and interaction, balanced by exaggerated sense of social distance maintained by pollution beliefs and practices. A varna is subdivided into
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