This section tests your knowledge of sociological, anthropological, and psychological concepts and processes.
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Ranking people into various levels, typically based on wealth or power, is called social stratification. It often transpires when this wealth or power is distributed unequally, but can also occur as a result of ancestry, physical or intellectual traits, ethnicity, or age. In some countries, including the US, stratification can take place through athletic abilities, personal appearance, or achievements.
A part of stratification relates to the standard of living. A study conducted by the Federal Reserve System showed that in 2009, 1% of the population in the US held about one-third of the wealth in this country. That means that 1% usually have better health, consume more goods and services, and often have more education and power.
In most cultures, there is a group called the dominant culture which is the one that has the strongest influence. In the US, middle-class Protestants are sometimes defined as the dominant culture. Cultures or individuals who are not in the dominant culture sometimes receive unfair or unequal treatment which is called discrimination. The Equal Opportunity Act has lessened the amount of discrimination within the US in that it prohibits unjust or unequal treatment based on race, religion, sex including sexual orientation, gender, maternity status, or disability.
Social mobility is the movement up or down in a group or society. For example, economic mobility might occur if a person receives a large inheritance. A student’s social mobility will likely go up if he is accepted into the popular clique.