SOC215 – Social Stratification, Capitalism, and Inequality: All the Sad Things


This week we’re introducing the alliterative and uber important concept of social stratification: how people are sorted into different hierarchical groups based on the intersections of class, race, gender, wealth, etc. Using the perspectives of Karl Marx and Max Weber, we discuss capitalism’s role in this hot unequal mess. Take a listen to the episode, as we break it down the current state of inequality in the world. And don’t forget to give us a rating and review after you listen! Mahalooooo!


Social stratification, wealth, income, inequality, capitalism, Karl Marx, Max Weber


  1. What is social stratification? Social Stratification involves hierarchical differences associated with economic positions, social status and political power. How people are sorted into different groups based on class, race, gender, wealth, etc. Social stratification has a significant effect on how valuable resources (and by extension, class status and power) are allocated in society (adapted from Ritzer’s Introduction to Sociology)
  2. Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto can be accessed for free here
  3. Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Economy and Society excerpts here
  4. Guess how much money Jeff Bezos makes? Too much.
  5. Amazon employee Vickie Shannon Allen who hurt her back while working in an Amazon factory that did not meet safety standards.
  6. Zuckerberg San Francisco General hospital overcharging their patients for care and medicine
  7. Of course, Ellen brought up Rachel Dolezal again… Wonder what she’s up to?
  8. Free online copy of The Great Gatsby. If you haven’t read it before, you should go back to your 6th grade teacher and ask him/her what in the heck they were teaching that year that they didn’t make you read The Great Gatsby.
  9. After the recent HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland” about Michael Jackson, The Simpsons pulled an episode featuring the pop star
  10. Stem cell treatment curing HIV/AIDS in the UK– Hooray!

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