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Anthropology/Social Stratification in the 21st Century


Social scientists believe that stratification is necessary in complex societies because it creates a web of interdependent relationships so that everyone has a role and everyone needs everyone else. Is stratification a necessary function in twenty first century America?

Hi Rose Mary,

This is an excellent question.  The easy answer is yes.  However, in todays' world, we are interdependent on a global scale.  What happens in China impacts us here in the US or in Brazil.  It impacts us to a greater or lesser degree depending on several factors:

1) how many members of the impacted country live here and if relatives are involved in what happened
2) if it is a disaster, Americans are among the most generous people and we react to help
3) we recognize that the goods we buy and used every day come from all over the world and that we, in the US are dependent on the rest of the world to provide those goods, and sometimes services.

Americans are by nature in the habit of making connections across social boundaries. Most of the time we are not even aware of doing so.  We are joiners and like being members of clubs, twitter, linked in and facebook.  These are all illustrations of our need for interdependence.

I hope this helps.


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Ralph Salier


Business Anthropologist. Business negotiations in multiple cultures and working with multiple cultures in the business arena. Broad understanding of business practices and business "ethics" in different parts of the world.


25+ years in international procurement and negotiations.


MA Anthropology, Proximics

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