Social Stratification in Modern Day United States
Sample Paper 3 by Andrew Springer, Spring 2012
Popular culture of modern America celebrates equality. The United States displays it's affinity for fostering equality in nearly any facet imaginable, in forms both formal and informal. We flaunt how far we have come in our government-recognized holidays such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, local festivals that celebrate diverse communities, the presence of ethnic diversity in advertising and entertainment (although it could be debated that this is merely the effect of institutions formal policy that implements affirmative action to help sway public opinion of it's image). In our capitalistic society, we have easy access to the goods and services that were once limited to the ethnic groups and subcultures they are most often associated with. Popular information dictates that social stratification based upon such factors as race, ethnicity, creed, gender and sexual orientation are outdated and shameful traditions of the past. Examining current social environments of different minority groups will reveal and unspoken culture of inherent social stratification obtained and maintained by behavior including, but not limited to, institutionalized discrimination that directly opposes popularly held values of American culture.