The functional viewpoint on social stratification is a sociological theory that sees social stratification as an important and useful component of society.
This point of view holds that social stratification ensures that the most qualified people hold the most significant posts, among other crucial societal tasks
Functionalists contend that social stratification is essential for maintaining social stability and order because it encourages people to put in extra effort and aim high. People are encouraged to develop the abilities and knowledge necessary to hold high-status positions in society as well as to put forth a lot of effort to keep those positions through the inherent system of rewards and punishments in social stratification.
From a functionalist perspective, social stratification is also regarded as a means of ensuring that those with the greatest aptitude and potential can make the most significant contributions to society. By placing the most capable individuals in positions of power and control, society can increase its efficiency and productivity.
On the other side, detractors of the functionalist approach on social stratification contend that it downplays the drawbacks of social stratification, including inequality, exploitation, and social strife. They contend that when people and groups struggle for limited resources and opportunities, social stratification can cause societal divisions and conflicts.
Furthermore, detractors contend that rather than talent or merit, social stratification is frequently impacted by variables like ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. This means that social stratification can be unfair and discriminatory, resulting in the exclusion of some groups from positions of influence and authority in society.
According to detractors, the functional perspective on social stratification ignores the negative effects of social stratification as well as the ways in which it can be unfair and discriminatory. In conclusion, the functional viewpoint on social stratification views social stratification as a necessary and functional part of society.