Stratification: Socioeconomic and Sexual Inequality

Stratification: Socioeconomic and Sexual Inequality. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown, 1978.
By Rae Lesser Blumberg

Typically the way the social science pie is cut up, most anthropologists study the worl's "exotic" and preindustial peoples, usually by means of intensive study of one small community; most sociologists concentrate on social behavior in the contemporary United States, often with larger samples and more attempts to quantify results; and most economists concentrate on economic behavior in present-day America, using the most math and the least observation of the three fields. It is rare for a social scientist to read the literature of neighboring disciplines. In this book I explore perhaps the most popular sociological topic of recent years, stratification. But I do so from a perspective which is cross-societal, corss-temporal and cross-disciplinary. And although I am a sociologist, the theories presented in this book are concentrated in areas not often examined by my colleagues.

Using this approach, the book deals with two kinds of stratification-socioeconomic and sexual - the strands of which are frequently interwined in the text. These topics are interwoven here because, I propose, both types of inequality share important elements of common explanation. In both instances the degree of access of the group in question to its society's means and fruits of production constitutes a crucial explanatory variable.