Sociologists use the term class structure to refer to the hierarchical organization by which a society or community is divided into classes. The word class, though problematic as there is no consensus on what it actually means, can be defined with reference to a number of persons regarded as forming a group by reason of common attributes, qualities, or traits. It may also refer to people who share the same (or similar) social, economic, or educational status. The word often merges with the definition of social stratification in which a society is divided into layers (or strata) whose occupants have unequal access to social opportunities and rewards. People on the top of the strata enjoy privileges that are not available to other members of the ...

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