What Is the Definition of Social Hierarchy?

According to Dictionary.com, social hierarchy, or social stratification, is defined as the hierarchical or vertical division of society according to caste, rank or class. This term is used in the field of sociology to describe the way people in a civilization interact with each other.

The concept of social hierarchy involves the classification of people into groups based on economic, social, political and ideological dimensions. It is based on four core principles, the first being that social hierarchy is a trait of instead of a reflection of societal differences. The second is that social hierarchy carries over from generation to generation, while the third states that stratification is universal but variable. The fourth principle states that this hierarchy is determined not just by inequality but also by belief.