What Is the Definition of “racial Stratification”?

Vinoth Chandar/CC-BY 2.0

Racial stratification is the systematic social classification of people based on race. Such classifications are often intentionally exclusive or limiting in nature and lead to imbalances in opportunity and advantages.

Racial stratification is often an extension of common stereotypes based on the common ancestry of a group of people. Wages, health, employment, education, political office and crime rates are common areas in which racial stratification is applied, often in the construction of statistics necessary to support a cause or argument. It is generally accepted that racial stratification occurs across five main groups in the United States: Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and Native Americans.