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.
In very simple words: Social Stratification is the name of formation of a hierarchy of social levels or positions in society.
Hence, social stratification could be examined in the light of the following: It is the division of people of one society into groups and communities The division is based on innate characteristics including caste, clan, tribe, race and ethnicity Individual and collective efforts also pave the way towards division of society, which include immigration status, occupation, nature and level of education, geographical location, region and area and work place Some of the characteristics of social stratification are apparently inherited, though turns out to be ascribed one in later life; religious belief, sect and nationality are these forms of stratification.
It means an established system of classifying groups involving a horizontal division of society into ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ social status.
The system of social stratification not only bestows prestige and privileges among the groups and elites but also restricts opportunities available to the people.
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.
However, the nature and basis of social stratification differs from society to society.
For example, while in some societies, like the Indian society, the basis of stratification has been caste, in most of the Western societies it has been class.