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Social Stratification in South Africa

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Submitted By jabubanda
Words 1337
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Social Stratification in modern South Africa by Jabu Banda 512424
Introduction
Max Weber viewed social stratification from three dimensions (Wright, EO): economic class, social status and power (party). According to Weber each of these dimensions had its own stratification: the economic, represented by income and access to goods and services, the social, represented by prestige and honour and the political, represented by power .Unlike Marx Weber paved the way for us to incorporate race and ethnicity dimensions in relation to social stratification. South Africa has always been and still is very much a society divided along racial lines. There has however been a gradual but undeniable shift from a society divided along race under apartheid towards division along economic class post 1994. We can attribute this shift largely to the significant political landscape change but we still need a deeper understanding of the forces driving this shift. This paper will therefore attempt to analyze modern day South African society in relation to Weber’s model of social stratification with the view establish its validity and relevance in a local context. We are presented by opportunity to perhaps explore impact this shift has had economically. In other words what the impact has been on access to products and services, media, health, education and so forth. The dimension of power and politics was very central to Weber’s theory, it is therefore natural that we examine the impact the shift from a lily white government to an ANC led regime. According to Weber status honour is normally expressed by the “style of life” and distinctions can be guaranteed by laws, religion and ethnicity. The penultimate section of this paper will closely examine this dimension and the relevance thereof.

Class
How important is class in modern day South Africa? Very important, I would argue. White...

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