Statement of Problem

Social and global stratification represent very big problems. They prevent societies from working together. Stratification cuts off one section of society's vital interests from the other and stratification hides the motives that one segment of society may harbor against another society segment. The problem of stratification and its consequences will be studied through observing Greece, Ireland, the United States, and India and by analyzing how each country has been affected by the global economic crisis. This definition is indicative both of the research hypothesis and also towards understanding how the usual dividing lines of stratification are drawn. It is liable to be sovereign, nationalist, and/ or corporate interests at stake when society breaks apart due to risks being taken by banks, governments, as well as, the usual competitiveness that takes place among corporations and private citizens in the market.

The problem is society appears to function soundly and quietly when economic indicators are good, at the same time society appears to be up along predefined lines at this time. The lines can be presumed to be predefined because it is a very small segment of society that makes decisions, understands, and engineers drives, even more significantly, this society segment is rather adept at securing the illicit gains while shifting the losses onto the taxpayer. The taxpaying public consists of those whose incomes are reasonably accessible by the state. Henslin (2009) outlines that global stratification is currently maintained through neocolonialism which is the economic and political dominance of the Least Industrialized Nations by the Most Industrialized Nations and multinational corporations. In terms of neo-colonism and the economic and political dominance on the part of the Least Industrialized nationals by the Most Industrialized nations this does exist

and is a viable example of stratification. It is, however, not one of the concepts that will be applied to this paper.

India is a country that has colonism roots and has been escorted into the marketplace and into global trade forums as a result of its colonial prowess. Surprisingly India's status among countries in terms of whether they are 1st world, developing world, or 3rd world has no relevance to the fact that India has emerged from the Global Economic Crisis relatively unscathed. India, being, not stranger to social stratification, has circumstances pertaining to this paper which serve to provide clues as to the appropriate order and severity of stratification.

There are variances of cultural activities within each individual country under consideration. Individuals in higher social strata are those who prefer and predominantly consume µhigh¶ or µelite¶ culture, and individuals in lower social strata are those who prefer and predominantly consume µpopular¶ or µmass¶ culture (Chan & Goldthorpe 2007). This behavior clearly demonstrates that there may be a catalyst or catalysts festering that are a mainstay within a society. These mainstays may be fostered and encouraged in order to demarcate the line between who profits and who pays during the course of economic cycles. Ireland is one of the countries that is a focus of this paper. Its circumstances related to the Global Economic Crisis exhibit that the entire country was uplifted and functioning with a lot of promise during the good years. In late 2006, the unemployment rate stood at a bit more than 4 percent; now it¶s 14 percent and climbing toward rates not experienced since the mid-1980s (Lewis 2011). These circumstances are very reminiscent in the countries that have been forced to make fiscal policy changes. There is a segment of the

population, however, that retained most of the profits from their activities while putting in place protections that personally shield them from losses and harm. How the United States is going about making inroads following the tumultous economic crisis manifests a mechanism that is intended to repel further stratification, but does not. This mechanism appears to work heavily in favor of success when booms are being engineered. Even in the boom, privately owned business struggled to create jobs in the numbers now expected to be lost in state employment (Warner 2010). During periods of lapses the mechanism is restrained socially. The mechanism is known as "trickle-down economics". Another problem to take into consideration is how social and global stratification can be combated. There is a saying, apparently misapplied to economics, that states "a rising tide lifts all boats". In the United States, a country renown for its propensity for higher education, its university output and the promise of its graduates, post-crisis, has been faltering. The problem is if it is not economics or education, what characteristics or what attitudes are reliable in shielding segments of society from the conflicts of stratification. Internet access are expensive and the new digital disadvantages may simply reflect the lower level of economic resources available to rural, female, and minority households (Wilson et al 2003). Apparently the access to information, the ability to anticipate it, and act on it appears promising in giving ordinary citizens the means to rise to a level where they can directly affect all forms of stratification, but this is only if these individuals are not corrupted at that threshold. The stratification system is maintained by various means. This means include controlling ideas, controlling information, controlling technology, and the use of force. Of all methods, the use of force is the least efficient (Henslin 2009).

The blunt force trauma of the global economic crisis as well as the jarring effects of the resilient and propagating stratification has presented another problem. More than half (56%) believe people in their generation will do less well than the one that came immediately before them (Godofsky et al 2011). How does society that finds itself wrongly complicit in a scandal and financial losses that they did not direct overcome the stratification and reclaim the confidence and the initiative to rebound?

Research Methodology The research methodology begins with identifying specific instances of stratification as well as the implications it has had on the various countries under study in terms of the Global Financial Crisis. For information peer reviewed journals as well as media reports on international countries and how their part of the Global Economic Crisis unfolded will be scrutinized and picked apart for factual details and a clearer picture. In terms of social stratification factors such as race, ethnicity, class, education, and gender will all be considered. Ultimately the focus will be placed on class because class appears to be the strongest correlation related to stratification in the global economic crisis. Class appears to be agent that spurs stratification, guides stratification, and separates the winners from the losers at the end result.

The end result according to methodology is the final bulwark of social stratification known as austerity measures. In terms of the global financial crisis and Ireland and Greece, these two countries are currently undergoing these austerity measures. The lenders demanding austerity are the globally active financial enterprises -- mostly banks that collapsed in the crisis and were rescued by their home governments (Wolff 2010). The

United States which is bearing the financial repercussions of the Global Economic Crisis does not find itself as directly joined to any economic body or cooperative and this is why the adjustments that must be made in U.S. budgets are progressing slowly and not as publically, at least in terms of outrage like in Greece or Ireland. Our analysis is based on publicly available data.. responsible policymaking requires that they share both the data and the analysis that underlies the need for bold policy with the public (Chari et al 2008). It appears that the social research methodology also follows the framework that serves to make decisions, repercussions, and solutions transparent to those who wish to be informed. The research methodology and how it is presented represents both a challenge and an opportunity. Because societies have such varied education systems that award different kinds of credentials, the processes by which young people become sorted into categories of educational attainment differ (Kerkoff 2001). The different possibilities and approaches are reminiscent of the steps that countries including the U.S., Ireland, Greece, and India attempt to take to make sure their most valued resources, their people, are properly trained and equipped to provide goods and service the needs of the nation. Attempting to get a glimpse and understand how countries train and employ as well as lay off and cut the benefits to their workforces can help determine the most effective way by which to alleviate the occurrences and severity of social stratification. Also seeing through this perspective helps identify the signs that a healthy economy is approaching stratification due to economic crisis and how these initial stages are likely to play out. Research into the culprit of unsuitable workforces appear to place the blame on government policy makers and not the private sector. Part of this is due to the lack of quality jobs for those unfortunate enough to graduate during a recession of historic force, but part is also

due to the disjuncture between educational experiences and occupational needs (Godofsky et al 2011). Fundamental background research into global and social stratification begin with Karl Marx, the conflict theorist. Marx recognized that the disjointedness in society was not due to industrialization, but has been present throughout history. Although Marx referred to several different classes or class segments throughout history, he clearly saw the ownership of property as the basis of class divisions (Kerbo 1983). This is very accurate and an appropriate closure to inquires about research methodology. By examining factors related to Ireland Greece, the U.S. and India we will begin to see passive attitudes transcend into active attitudes in terms of culpability and in terms of the ability to profit from and retain the benefits of the Global Economic crisis.

Hypothesis Classism is the dynamic that ultimately determines the winners and the losers in any aspect of the global economic crisis that we are considering. Despite whether the country is the United States, India, Greece, or Ireland there are heavily impacting scenarios that all play out in the various countries. These scenarios include but are not limited to a more sustained basis of economic prosperity across the board during any exceptional period of economic growth.

The problem with Global and Social Stratification resulting from the Global Economic Crisis is a lack of transparency into who or what engineers the financial booms to begin with. What is worse, their recovery never reached much of the rest of the economy. Efforts to broaden the recovery or extend it beyond one limp year have failed (Wolff

2010). Economic progress and its inability to reach a wider segment parallels the problem of economic recovery failing to reach a wider segment. To hypothesize on how societal segment begin to differentiate themselves with their actions and decision making it is important to examine behavior during the pre.-economic boom, during the boom, and after the crisis. Sociological segment among age groups proves to be a very promising area in which to begin understanding differences across countries. We can learn a great deal about the effect of education on social stratification processes if we study what occurs in school and in the labor forces between ages 16-25 (Kerkoff 2001). The age group correlation takes into consideration the fact that most educational institutions are no gender neutral, race neutral, and due to technology, and the proliferation of information, intellectually neutral. What goes on during this time period at school and in the labor force is an hallmark of two things as related to social stratification. Those who understand how the system works and who can derive much needed benefit that dwells within the rigors of such a system. The age group represents the time period where individuals find their identities and the cultural atmospheres that appeal to us. It is no unusual for people to delight in cultural aspects that are more timed to work. This means devoting one's time to reach the higher elevations of one's trade group, membership organization, political party, or social circle. This pertains as well to college related activities more likely to get a student placed within a leadership body or at an advantage for post grade study. "The benefit cuts ... on average will impact those in the bottom half of the income distribution more than the top half of the income distribution," said Carl Emmerson, the acting director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, an economic think tank (Wishon 2010).

Those who dedicate themselves to getting a position of power or close to someone with influence are highly likely, through ordinary communication, be spared the undesirable affects of social stratification mechanisms such as austerity programs and lost opportunities due to budget cuts.

Finding/ Results The findings are that society is stratified along both class and social lines. The way that governments have tried to fix the problems that resulted from the Global Economic Crisis reveals that a specific class is favored as typically being in charge of decisions. One cannot indefinitely fight a correction in private debt by expanding public debt, for it merely transfers the problem from one to the other (Warner 2010). The economic and employment landscape has varied among the countries studied. Paying attention to minor successes and things that have been avoided or done particularly well by other countries in a region has the ability to reveal possible oversights that have been made. Early employment is much more stable in Germany than France, UK, and US (Kerkoff 2001). It appears that the earlier a workforce is trained and integrated into society the more empowered they are to recognize that changes may need to be made. Integrated , highly, trained and an education workforce with a deeply engrained work ethic appear to be privy to potential economic crisis on the horizon and more importantly they are more in touch with their leaders and political systems. India was not affected significantly by the global economic crisis and did not have to risk further social stratification within their societies because they valued their resources, including labor. India¶s problems also include an increased fiscal stress; rise in the oil, fertilizer, food subsidies; pay commission, and debt waivers, etc (Mohan 2009). There is

an indication that when the overall health of a society appears secure, that is, when there are resources to meet a majority of the population's basic health and lifestyle needs the focus centers around taxes rather than combating pockets of poverty. Once a country reaches a particular standard of industrialization specifically 1st world, modern economy and society its system of tax collection becomes taken for granted. When this happens those with the most resources benefit from not paying taxes. Attitudes towards taxes may reach a consensus with a significant segment of society due to ignorance of the actual figures and repercussions related to the disparity. They¶d done this not so much to expose tax fraud²which was so common in Greece «.but to find drug lords, human smugglers, and other, darker sorts (Lewis 2010). A society's direction and what is deem promising by government, financial, as well as academic institutions have the ability to directly affect how much society as a whole will benefit. A society such as that of the communist sort is designed to devote resources and initiatives to benefit the entire society fairly while society's with a market economy only has potential to benefit those that work, earn profit, or are recipients of donations. Unlike the US and Europe, India did not face the problems of subprime lending, toxic derivatives, bank losses threatening capital erosion, bank credit crunch and mistrust between banks (Mohan 2009). The initiatives that were pursued and information related to sustainability is not always public knowledge. Public knowledge is vital for the most basic services as well as the most complex corporate decision making without government intervention the public cannot be protected. Ireland lent money to people to buy land and build, mainly with money it had borrowed from foreigners. It was not, by nature, systemic. It became so only when its losses were made everyone¶s (Lewis 2011). It appears that governments are only

complicit in doing the right thing when the thresholds of personal interest and the public's interest in government resources collide.

Findings are promising that increased education as well as remedying the technical ability of societies and their communities prove beneficial to reducing the complications that emerge from social stratification. This methodology is also applicable to the complications that have arisen from the global economic crisis in the United States, Ireland, and Greece.


In observing the circumstances related to the global economic crisis it was not extremely difficult to pinpoint the causation of social stratification due to the Global Economic Crisis. What was integral to formulating a hypothesis was looking at the major players and the actions that they took. Also the complicity of society at large spurred inquiries into how such a large segment was lulled into a sense of passivity while actively participating in an economic trend that proved unsustainable. All of the countries under consideration in this paper had weaknesses within the societies that were exploited and fueled their areas of complicity in the Global Economic Crisis, for Greece the inability and unwillingness to collect taxes paved the way for their bonds to be exploited and likely for default. Ireland was extremely lax in regulation of its banking system, so much so to the point where the government was driving the banks into undertaking irrational and unsustainable actions in order to benefit the people. In the United States, the continued reliance of Trickle Down Economics to build the careers of young people and small businesses has continued as the concept has been proven increasingly ineffective.

It takes education, awareness, and the reining in of political systems in order to reduce the effects of social stratification including those due to the Global Economic Crisis. In addition to this awareness, for large segments of the population to be protected collective action is required. This collective action is a function that governments are typically assigned to serve. The basis of stratification, however, is the detachment between politicians and the needs of the people. This detachment is replaced with a social culture being fostered that generates many uninformed and personal interests that politicians devote energy to as their attention is being favored with monetary and increasingly personal benefits. India's ability to avoid the brunt of the Global Economic Crisis demonstrates that concerns for societies basic needs is a sufficient distraction from the political wheeling and dealing that fueled the Global Economic Crisis.

Works Cited
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