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Social stratification


In every society the possibility is continuously present that persons occupying approximately equivalent situations may find it expedient to cooperate rather than compete for the things which their societies make available in limited amounts to all. This possibility supplies the foundation for social stratification: the horizontal integration of social layers within whatever pyramids may arise in the social group as a whole. From this flows the frequent partial organization of preliterate societies into age and sex grades. Feudal societies of the world have been organized into estates. Contemporary capitalistic societies have been organized into classes. And finally, it seems that the modern mass societies are becoming partially sub-structured into elitist groups which find their ultimate reference point in the large scale organizations of our day.

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