Social Stratification in the United States

Social Stratification in the United States

Social Stratification in the United States

Social Stratification in the United States

Excerpt

The field of social stratification is at this writing without a published textbook, although a few months ago a voluminous and well selected book of readings appeared. Yet our research output in this field has been immense. For several years the American Sociological Society's Census of Research has recorded major research activity on stratification. The special issue of the American Journal of Sociology pertaining to stratification, in 1953, contained a bibliography of 333 items to which we could add at least another hundred titles without exhausting the available materials.

It seems that the time is now ripe for someone to attempt a reasonably brief integration of many of these scattered theoretical and empirical works, to present to advanced students a reasonably inclusive and consistent concept of the field of stratification, a basic vocabulary, some of the main ideas and issues and a representative cross section of the empirical materials and critical analyses of them. This we have tried to do. The book is in no sense encyclopedic; it is concerned with stratification in the United States only, and even for this society does not treat all of the possible theoretical problems. We have tried, in Chapters 2 and 3, to make our orientation explicit. We do not presume to have written a "standard" advanced textbook in the field, for the field is yet too fluid for anyone to know what is standard and what is tangential.

The plan of the book deserves a brief comment. Part I is a semantic, theoretical, and methodological orientation to stratification literature. A number of theoretical positions are taken and are, somewhat a priori, rationalized. Part II is a series of chapters . . .

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