Social stratification refers to the divisions that may exist in a society leading to inequalities. These stratifications could be developed on the basis of race, gender or social class. Different scholars have brought forward various opinions on the issues of social stratification and inequalities. The Marxist school of thought, for instance, believes that the stratification is based on the social classes that people belong to in the society. In this paper, I will explore Emile Durkheim’s opinion on social stratification and inequalities.

Emile Durkheim

According to Durkheim, society should not be viewed as the sum of individuals in it. On the contrary, it should be viewed as an integral object. He goes further to note that the behavior that is possessed and portrayed by individuals is to necessarily in born. It is a depiction of the pressure that emanates from the society as a structure. This pressure is the form of the cultural beliefs, norms and practice that individuals are expected to assume. Therefore, individuals are actors in the society. This leads to functionalism (Henslin 2011).

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In every society, people tend to deviate from what is expected from them. According to Durkheim, deviance is persistent in the society. In regards to this, I completely agree with him. Given the fact that individuals are under pressure to conform to the societal expectations, it is likely that some would deviate from these expectations. As a result, certain functions emerge, and the society has to deal with them (Henslin 2011).

For example, it expected that all individuals respect each other and restrain from harming their colleagues. However, crime is persistent in every society. This implies that society must find a way of dealing with the criminals. Therefore, people must unite against crime in order to initiate social change in the criminals.

Another example is the fact that the resulting crime may lead to a dysfunctional society. As a result, trust may be lost among individuals. This means that the society must find  a way of rebuilding the lost trust among them.


From the above discussion, it is evident that deviance creates certain functions for the society. I am in total agreement with Emile Durkheim that deviance creates functions for the society. Due to the pressure form the society, social stratifications form and inequalities become evident. This is because those who deviate from the societal expectations are viewed differently. Therefore, it is upon the society in question to deal with the adjustments that come about due to persistence of deviance in the society

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