Page images
PDF
EPUB

IV. Type of rewards emphasized

1. External or extrinsic

2. Intrinsic

3. Social relational

V. Availability of rewards

1. Scarce

2. Abundant

VI. Mode of distribution of rewards

1. Unequal (stratified)

2. Equal, as much as desired, or both VII. Consequences for other opportunities in life 1. Greatly ramified and seriously consequential 2. Restricted to particular area

VIII. Consequences for social rating

1. Used as basis for differentiated prestige

2. Used as basis for acceptance as equal

IX. Consequences for power

1. Perfect correlation between property and power
2. Completely random associations

INDUSTRIALIZATION AND STRATIFICATION

With this outline as our guide, we can specify some of the more general changes in stratification systems that occur during the movement of a society toward industrialization.

I. The division of labor grows increasingly complex and, as a corollary, the system of differentiated statuses, i.e., socially recognized and differentially evaluated positions and functions, also grows more complex.

II. Status tends to be allocated on the basis of achievement rather than ascription, or at least the ideal tends to shift from a socially approved award of status on the basis of membership in groups such as kin, to that of achievement such as is implied by the term “skilled worker."

III. Since the occupational structure and the attendant structure of rewards become specialized and elaborated, accurate and satisfactory measurement of performance becomes central to both the labor and the managerial sectors of the productive system.

IV. The traditional rewards for work that flow from the character of the social relations enjoyed at work give way to rewards that may be considered extrinsic to the work itself, in that they are rewards for the performance, rather than rewards in performance. The same change is noticeable in the attrition suffered by the "meaning" of work, in

that gratifications formerly derived from the craftsman's relation to his work, or from the fact that one's work certified one as an acceptable human being, also tend to vanish. In short, work tends to become dominantly instrumental rather than consummatory in its gratifications. Orientation toward and motivation in work thus come to depend much more on marginal differentiations in extrinsic rewards, e.g. wages, than was traditionally true.

V. Ordinarily we associate the process of industrialization with the economic development of a society, marked by an increase in its gross national product and, in general, by greater production of desired goods and services. From the point of view of stratification theory, this change is seen as increasing the rewards to be distributed.

VI. We also tend to associate the process of industrialization with some general movement toward greater equality of rewards among the various sectors of the society. At the least, our visual image of the structure of rewards shifts from one with a large base rising to a very narrow apex to one with both a narrow base and a narrow apex, and a middle bulge indicating the greater homogenization of rewards.

VII. One important aspect of stratification has to do with the extent to which an individual's position on any of the hierarchies of rewards is determined by or determines the range of life chances to which he is exposed. Thus, we ask, in what social circumstances do the poor die at younger ages than the rich, and under what social arrangements do death rates among various income groups tend to approach equality? The evidence on this issue, as between agricultural and industrial societies, is mixed. On the one hand, we have reports on the evernormal granaries which are maintained in various forms in numerous primitive and peasant societies, so that no one ever goes hungry as long as food is available. On the other hand, we know that in welldeveloped industrial societies a number of auxiliary agencies of social welfare are specifically charged with using public funds to reduce the unequal life chances flowing from differences in income. These are crude and gross contrasts, but they illustrate the variability of the conditions that determine whether, and to what extent, differences in position on the occupational and income hierarchies may be consequential for the whole range of other chances and expectations.

VIII. Among the most important and most desired opportunities in life in any society are those concerned with receiving a favorable evaluation of one's self from one's associates and of having this evaluation symbolized publicly by whatever criteria are currently recognized by the

society. Again the evidence as to what transformations occur in stratification systems under the impact of industrialization is mixed. There are societies in which the relations between income and prestige strain toward a minimum of connection and interdetermination. There are also societies in which income virtually equals prestige. Both these types are found in nonindustrial as well as in industrial societies. There are sharp intersocietal differences in this variable in each major form of productive organization; and it is not easy to say which is empirically more dominant.

IX. The same sorts of observation must be made about the power correlates of a stratified position on the occupational and income hierarchies. The search for power may not be as ubiquitous as the search for prestige. Yet the connections of power with occupation and income are or can be as close as those between occupation and prestige. Moreover, the form of productive organization—whether agricultural or industrial-does not seem surely to determine the extent of the connections between the power, occupations, and income.⭑

In regard to the interconnections of property, power, and prestige, Inkeles has noted that two processes seem to occur most frequently in the transition from agriculture to industry or, better, in the transition from a traditional society to a modern one. He speaks of the three hierarchies as social "orders":

. . . the modernization of a traditional social system leads to a decrease in the degree of differentiation in each of the . . . subsystems or orders. That is, a process of relative homogenization takes place, reducing the gap or range separating the top and the bottom of the scale in income, status, power, experience (self-expression), and knowledge (skill). More important, in each hierarchy modernization brings about a marked increase in the proportion of the total population that falls in the same or adjacent strata near the middle of the distribution. . . .

... under conditions of modernization there is a tendency to equilibration within the stratification system as a whole, . . . that is, for standing on any

...

• Stratification theory, like any sociological theory, has two equally important purposes: (1) to describe in formal structural terms the possible variant forms; and (2) to account for the major gross empirical regularities of association and compendency among variables that have been found. The evidence suggests that power, property, and prestige are, at least theoretically, independently variable; and that when correlations do exist, they range from strong positive to strong negative relations. In certain circumstances the wealthy man is degraded by the fact of his wealth, and the powerful man suffers loss of prestige precisely because of his great power, etc.

one of the stratification scales to be the same or similar to the individual's or group's relative standing on the other scales.5

In brief, Inkeles is here asserting that the evidence is actually much clearer than we have been able to find it.

In applying these propositions to the case of the modernization of the Soviet Union, Inkeles is constrained to recognize that the case, at least for the second proposition, tends to break down when one considers the relative monopolization of power in that country. He contends, however, that the present great centralization there may be simply a "short-term reversal" of a different over-all trend-that the sharing of power has been increasing but has not yet reached its full extent. Even if the power system of the Soviet is exceptional, he thinks this need not impugn the value of the general model of transition, of which the Soviet case may be one distinctive variant.

However mixed the evidence may be, for our purposes it is most important to recognize that these central aspects of stratification theory are also central features of that social change called industrialization or modernization. We are dealing with fundamental aspects of social change when we focus on changes in the various hierarchies of power, property, and prestige. The ways in which the wide assortment of political, economic, and cultural facts can be classified to show their relevance to stratification theory should now be clear.

When we speak of the division of labor and its increasing complexity, we are obviously concerned with those changes usually focused on by economists. By considering these changes as the basis for new status arrangements, we translate the changes into terms relevant to the analysis of stratification. Similarly, when we speak of the systems of reward for work, we are concerned with the data derived from studies, for example, of the change from exchange by barter to wage labor. But we show the relevance of these data for stratification analysis by considering rewards for work in terms of their scarcity, their symbolic status significance, and their capacity to motivate men to conscientious performance, with or without considerable differentiation.

In considering such economic facts as the development of a system of wage labor, we are calling attention to the narrowing bases on which claims to social distinction may come to rest, as against the more dif

* Alex Inkeles, "Summary and Review: Social Stratification in the Modernization of Russia," in Cyril E. Black, ed., The Transformation of Russian Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960), pp. 341–342.

fuse claims to fame made by men in societies where status is primarily ascriptive and depends on membership by birth or lines of kinship. Each shift in the form of reward for work is intimately influenced by and strongly influences the modes and proprieties of inequality as these have been manifested in the society.

The elements of stratification theory that are most significant for the study of industrialization may serve as convenient categories within which to compare various systems in order to discover major lines of consonance and strain in social forms, and also may be used to ascertain whether certain general evolutionary developments tend to dominate the transformation from a traditional to a modern society. The interconnections of these categories may be studied directly, and any or several of them may be used in analyses of their relations with specifically economic factors, as by Udy and Gregory (Chapters 5, 9 supra). Or an examination of politics and social organization may be attempted by relating certain stratification variables to political organization, as Apter has done (Chapter 18). Similarly, the cultural anthropologist or historian concerned with integrating disparate facts from various disciplines into more inclusive gestalts may make selections from these facts in ways exemplified by Singer and Nash (Chapters 14, 17).

STRATIFICATION AND COMMITMENT: OBJECTIVE AND SUBJECTIVE ASPECTS

A more difficult problem now confronts us: What can be said about the bearing of these aspects of stratification on the commitment of labor to an industrial way of work and life? To answer this question we must first distinguish between two kinds of statements about commitment; one refers to objective conditions, while the other refers to attitudes and definitions of the situation.

The first type of statement would describe the degree to which the society contains the formal arrangements or structures that are thought to be required for efficient manning of an industrial system—including, for example, the various technologies and the charted numbers of organizational relations which efficient industrial organization is said to demand. Here, too, reference would be made to the quality and quantity of markets, including those for goods, labor, and money. Such descriptions indicate whether, or how well, a society is equipped for the industrial tasks which it assumes, or may wish to assume, but do not necessarily tell anything about the processes by which societies emerge from traditional, agricultural conditions, nor indicate the extent

« PreviousContinue »