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It means an established system of classifying groups involving a horizontal division of society into ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ social status.
Income, occupation, education and hereditary status are some of the most common criteria for ranking in social hierarchy.
Wealthy families have not only money but also social prestige.
Stratification divides the society in several levels/groups/classes which are considered essential for systematisation of social living.
By it every person and every group in society gets a particular position in the social system.
Different systems of social stratification characterise different societies.
In all societies, social relations are definitely and very largely influenced, rather determined by the nature of social stratification.Societies are divided into hierarchical groups in a way that though various groups are considered unequal in relation to each other yet within one group, members are viewed as equals.It will be an ideal society where all members are equal.Also celebrities and aristocratic members have social prestige.Economic standards put the individuals in different classes.As such, it involves a system of providing inequality among the groups and their members.However, it is not a haphazard system of inequality; it is source of systematic and structured inequality, a hierarchy of social classes and their roles and statuses.The behaviour of Indian political system clearly bears the influence of caste based social stratification of society…It is therefore essential for us to understand the nature of social stratification in general and social stratification in India in particular.Social Stratification is a system of structured roles and statuses which rates and ranks members of a society based on select criteria and limits access to wealth, power, privileges and opportunities.However, it must be clearly understood that social stratification does not mean the classification individuals on the basis of their qualities.