Davis and Moore believed that stratification existed in every known human culture. They contend that all social systems have basic functional conditions that must be satisfied in order for the system to exist and function properly. If these conditions are not met or removed, then conflict will inevitably arise between those who possess power within the social structure and those who do not.
Stratification can only be described as a series of graded levels that divide up the population of a society into different groups based on physical strength, intelligence, etc. Stratification exists when there are differences among people in terms of power, prestige, authority, etc. The two main factors that determine how much stratification exists in a given society are the type of social organization being used and the amount of inequality present within that organization.
All social organizations can be divided into two broad categories: hierarchical and consensual. Hierarchical organizations include governments and armies, while consensual organizations include families, communities, and religions. Within each category, there are various forms of organization available for use by society's members; however, no social organization is completely independent of dominance and control. This means that one group within any given society cannot avoid becoming subordinate to another group with greater physical strength or influence.
Within hierarchical organizations, one group usually has more power than another.
According to the Davis-Moore theory, social stratification is favorable to the operation of a society. They stated that the more functionally important a job is, the more benefits society bestows on it. Thus, higher up on the corporate ladder are found offices with window seats, private rooms, and executive dining rooms.
They also believed that the more unequal a society is, the more likely it is to have strong leadership which can make decisions that benefit everyone.
In conclusion, the Davis-Moore theory states that greater inequality leads to stronger leaders who can make decisions that benefit all their citizens.
Melvin Tumin challenged the Davis-Moore idea in "Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis" in 1953. Tumin inquired as to what factors influenced the value of a work. Davis and Moore argued that the system benefits society as a whole since it provides some advantage to everyone. Thus, they claim all classes are equal under the system.
Tumin pointed out two problems with this argument. First, he noted that the only way for everyone to benefit is if someone else (i.e., the lower class) pays for the products and services used by the upper class. However, this cannot be true since economists have shown that increased productivity leads to reduced prices and therefore greater equality between the classes.
Second, Tumin asked how we can say that the lower class is equal to the upper class when they perform different functions? He argued that although they may appear different on the surface, there is really no reason why they could not be performing these functions voluntarily without being paid. For example, an aristocrat might prefer to work with others rather than be responsible for any task himself. Therefore, he would not want to be paid for his efforts since this would make him feel like a worker instead of an aristocrat. In addition, Tumin noted that many workers lack the ability to choose their tasks since they do not have a choice about what job they will have.
According to Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore's functional theory of stratification, social disparities are functional for society because they create an incentive for the most capable persons to hold positions that are vital to the orderly maintenance of a community. The theory proposes that these positions should be distributed according to ability, but also includes other factors such as age, gender, and race.
Stratification is the process by which people are divided into different levels or groups on the basis of their abilities or qualities. These groups may be based on physical strength, intelligence, skill, or any other factor that distinguishes one person from another. Social classes are divisions within societies that are defined by their possession of economic resources or status symbols. Economic classes can be divided up between those who are wealthy and those who are not; political classes can be divided up between rulers and ruled; and social classes can be divided up between high-status and low-status individuals.
Stratification exists in all human groups, although it may not be evident through physical force alone. It is possible to identify social classes with accuracy if we look at the characteristics and behaviors associated with each group.
Argument The hypothesis is an effort to explain social stratification using the concept of "functional need." According to Davis and Moore, the most challenging professions in every community are the most vital, and thus demand the highest benefits and remuneration to properly encourage people to complete them. They argue that this is true not only for professionals such as doctors or lawyers, but also for skilled tradespeople (such as electricians or plumbers) who require strong incentives to continue their work.
Their argument is based on two main assumptions: first, that the needs of society are best met by having a diversity of skills among its members; and second, that the distribution of these skills is determined by economic factors - in other words, that money talks. If both of these assumptions are true, then we should expect to find that different occupations are required depending on what kind of community you are looking at. In a small town, where the need for many services can be met by the same people, there will be a tendency for those services to be performed by unskilled workers paid low wages. But if those same people were living in a large city, where many different tasks have to be done by different people, then they would be expected to acquire new skills needed by the diverse population.