Social Strata: Concept and Definition

Since ancient times society has the characteristic of having established social groups that are identified in dependence on economic status, professional occupation or political power. These groups are known as social strata, and they are a structure based on global social inequality.

The social strata are a kind of line that delimit and divide society into parts that take into account the aforementioned aspects. To understand a little better, it can be said that it is almost the same division that happens in nations in terms of urban and rural areas. All social strata are constituted by people who are related in one or several aspects such as beliefs, lifestyle, attitudes or moral values. 

Social stratification is not a topic that has emerged recently since in civilizations since the historical ages social divisions have been found that determine the obligations or privileges that certain people have. Such is the case of pre-Columbian America, where the following social classes are distinguished: nobility, clergy, intellectual military and the people in general. In the colonial era, different social groups were also developed that were determined by questions of race, color and origins: Spanish, Creole and Indian.

Although its existence is not recent, it was from the twentieth century that social stratification began to be based on aspects related to the economy, profession and political power, which today are recognized as the determining bases of modern social classes. 

 Modern Social Strata

Modern society is divided into the following social strata:

  • The upper class.
  • Middle class
  • And Low Class.

The classifications are made according to the lifestyle of the individual, the level of consumption and not just the economic income. Since it is very complex to categorize someone within a social class, a set of interaction, economic and political variables must first be identified. 

Variables that determine the social class


It directly influences the lifestyle and level of consumption of each individual.


They are the social relations that the individual has with the people who integrate the environment where he works or lives.


In this, the quantity and value of the assets owned by people are taken into account. 

Personal Performance

It is the level of success that the individual possesses when performing in an area compared to other people who exercise the same occupation.

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