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The material and the symbolic in theorizing social stratification: Issues of gender, ethnicity and class

Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002
British Journal of Sociology. 2001.  Vol. 52. No. 3. P. 367-390. 
Within most approaches to stratification gender and ethnicity are seen to pertain primarily to the symbolic or cultural realms, while class is regarded as pertaining to material inequality. This constructs gender and ethnic positioning as entailing honor, deference, worth, value and differential treatment (sometimes expressed through the notion of status), but the social relations around these are themselves not seen as constitutive of social stratification. This study rethinks social stratification away from the polarity between the material and the symbolic, and argues that material inequality, as a set of outcomes relating to life conditions, life chances and solidary processes, is informed by claims and struggles over resources of different types, undertaken in terms of gender, ethnicity/race and class. This formulation allows for the inclusion of these categorial formations, alongside class, as important elements of social stratification i.e. as determining the allocation of socially valued resources and social places/locations.
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