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Class, Status and Power (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
Write a paper that is directly related to Class status and power. For any source please use the text book Kerbo H.social stratification and inequality McGraw-hill source..
Content:
Class, Status and Power
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Social Stratification and American Leadership:
Stratification refers to a chain of command or pecking order system in any given organization, community or society in general (Kerbo, 1999.p.2). It describes a hierarchy of positions defining the relationship between economic production and social benefits which accrue to the power holders. Put simply therefore, social stratification describes the relationship between class, status and power in society. Power may be defined to refer to the ability to influence and control others and may take various forms including but not limited to political power, economic power, military power, ideological power, and intellectual power (Kerbo, 1999.p.4). This paper will discuss extend to which America`s leadership has been influenced by the elements of social stratification (class, status and power) over the years. Focus will be directed towards class domination aspects in American leadership with specific references to the relationships between the social class, the corporate community, the ruling elite and government policy formulation.
Before engaging into deep discussion relating to power, it is important to highlight and underline the indicators of power especially as applied to a social group or social class. In the definition given above for power, no mention is given to the role of "force" or "coercion" in the exercising of power hence many would wish to know what criteria should be used to identify or measure the power concept. The main power indicators in any social group/class lie in three vital categories; "who benefits, who governs, and who wins" (Kerbo, 1999.p.5). Basically, the most powerful will be those who benefits most from the experiences and material objects of society`s high value. This explains why most Americans highly value wealth and well being, battle for representation in key positions in institutions, and actively engage in policy issue debates (Kerbo, 1999.p.11).
Over the years, money (wealth) has been the determining factor for who holds prime power in America. For instance, it is common knowledge that George Washington was a massive land owner. The 19th century presidents were favoured by rail road interest, while finance, oil and agribusiness were the strengths of George Bush. It can therefore be generalized that the rules which governed the policy framework for waging battles were generated by the owners of income generating property (or as Marx would put; the rules and policies were established by the owners of the means of production i.e. the capitalists) (Kerbo, 1999.p.23). It is important to mention here that the main reason why money rules in the USA is due to the absence of other established key competitive networks such as big church and big government as was the Europe case, and also absence of a big military before 1940s that would pose a threat to government (Kerbo, 1999.p.24).
America`s ...
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