Provide a 7 pages analysis while answering the following question: Explanation of The Functionalist or Conflict Theory. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Social stratification establishes a class system in the society, where the members of a certain class are characterized by the distinct social-economic attributes from the other classes, and where the upper class of the society has more power, prestige and political influence, compared to the lower class of the social stratification (Akers, 1991:202).
In this respect, therefore, social stratifications become a permanent characteristic of the society where every member of the society must belong to only one of the social classes, as opposed to a mere differentiation of individual characteristics. Due to the permanency of social stratification, it is then transmitted from one generation to the other, and it does not only entail inequality but also belief systems as well (Doob, 2012:27). Thus, the predominant social stratification structure categorizes the society into the upper, the middle and lower classes, but there can be sub-classes within the three major established classes of the society, which are then mainly based on occupational differences. Therefore, the basis of social stratification can vary, ranging from material wealth and incomes, to honor, prestige and religious affiliations (Bourdieu, 1985:739).
The functionalist theory of social stratification postulates that all parts of the society, including the members of such parts of the society, work together in perpetuating the existing social stratification and relations (Davis & Moore, 1945:242). Thus, it is the different parts and classifications of the society that works together in unison, to establish the smooth running of the society and enhance its stability. Therefore, the functionalist theory view of social stratification is that social stratification is normal and inevitable in society, and lack of it will create an unstable society full of conflicts (Crompton, 1993:72). .