What Is the Definition of "racial Stratification"?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 14, 2020 9:20:48 AM ET
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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.

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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.