Sample Sociology Paper on Social Stratification and Intersectionality

In the article, Black Feminism and Intersectionality, by Sharon Smith, the prevalent
themes allude to the different ways women of color experience discrimination and unjust
categorization due to their gender and race. The term ‘intersectionality’ is widely used with the
foundation of its application relying on historical data and crucial developments surrounding
black women in society. The author elaborates that the term was coined by a black legal scholar
Kimberle Crenshaw in her instrumental 1989 essay titled Demarginalizing the Intersection of
Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and
Antiracist Politics (Smith, 2015). Based on traffic intersection, the concept of intersectionality is
meant to express how black women are more likely to experience sex or race discrimination, or
both. The persistent analogy is that the contemporary form of discrimination experienced by the
subject group cannot be categorized as either racism or sexism. Instead, it’s somewhat of an
amalgamation of both and the existing frameworks make black women legally ‘invisible’ and
without legal course. Subsequently, Smith (2015) additionally addresses the complexities faced
by black women in the labor market, particularly how nonwhite women experience more
difficulties due to tougher jobs and surplus types of discrimination.
On the other hand, Betty Adams’ YouTube Video, 9 Out of 10 Americans Are Wrong
About This Mind-Blowing Fact, focuses on wealth distribution in the United States. The analysis
conducted in the video exposes the disparity apparent in modern society by painting the unjust
system characterized by the monopoly of wealth and power in a particular group. In the survey
used, Adams (2013) elaborates how most people are wrong about how wealth is currently
distributed, how an ideal distribution would look like, and the facts and numbers characterizing
reality. Even though multiple aspects play part in the distribution of wealth, the eye-opening

video depicts how social stratification through the socioeconomic status framework has
influenced inequalities. Moreover, Adams (2013) acknowledges that the situation has gradually
worsened as the wealthy and rich populations continue acquiring more money at the expense of
the poor, bottom, and middle population. The inconsistency is expected to continue affecting life
opportunities, lifestyles, and prestige of everyone in the United States.
A comparison of both the reading and the video shows an interrelationship characterized
by themes of stratification and discrimination. Both black women and the non-wealthy groups
are categorized based on attributes such as their race, gender, income, and wealth. Typically, it is
because of these aspects that these groups continue to face different kinds of injustices. For
instance, in the case of black women, the amalgamation of both sexism (gender) and racism
(race) seems to influence discrimination in employment, which influences multiple life aspects
including the education acquired, lifestyle, or overall income (Smith, 2015). Comparably, the
poor and bottom-and middle-class categories of the United States cannot uplift their wealth and
income because of their socio-economic class. Ironically, the social stratification that appears to
have played a significant part in their predisposition as non-wealthy or destitute populations
continues to perpetuate the injustices by ensuring consistent suffering for them while the wealthy
go on increasing their wealth (Adams, 2013). Resolutely, even though other prevalent themes
could be highlighted through a comparative analysis of the reading and video; the prevalent ones
allude to discrimination, social stratification, and a pattern fueled by both.
An understanding of how stratification relates to intersectionality and the Matrix of
Domination needs a preliminary definition of each. First, stratification is defined as the
categorization or classification of something into different groups. From a sociology perspective,
it can be deemed as the application of race/ethnicity, sex/gender, age, religion, disability, and/or

socioeconomic status in deciding who gets what and how much they acquire over time. Second,
as mentioned earlier, intersectionality alludes to the combination of discrimination based on race
and gender. Consequently, there exists a positive association between stratification and
intersectionality. Moreover, intersectionality can be labelled as a sophisticated form of social
stratification (Smith, 2015). For instance, the distribution of labor and income among black
women is extensively influenced by their race and gender. Therefore, intersectionality prevails as
a form of praxis that can be applied in challenging inequalities by using the experiences of black
women in identifying common threads of injustices instigated by stratification.
On the other hand, the Matrix of Domination, also known as Matrix of Oppression
prevails as a sociological paradigm. It explicates matters of oppression that deal with gender,
class, and race, particularly the interlocking and interconnected system formulated by these
aspects. Consequently, the relationship between stratification and the Matrix of Domination is
also based on an outcome explanation. Primarily, the Matrix of Domination emanates from
stratification based on a combination of race, class, and gender. For instance, for African-
American women, their race/ethnicity, sex/gender, and socioeconomic class might apply in the
perpetuation of injustices and common inequalities (Smith, 2015). Similarly, the association
between intersectionality and the matrix of domination is prevalent through their ability to assist
sociologists in comprehending power relationships and frameworks that oppress different people
in society. For instance, the matrix of domination explores the collective organizations of power
in a different setting while intersectionality can apply in understanding the precise societal
positions of an individuality utilizing mutually assembling topographies of oppression.
Finally, the conflict sociological perspective best elaborates the core premises and themes
of the subject reading and video. Typically, the conflict theory emphasizes the competition

between groups, particularly over limited resources. The main theory maintains that social and
economic institutions are tools of struggles between groups or classes. Consequently, based on
the subject perspective, social stratification contributes to a world where specific groups benefit
and at the expense of others. For instance, as depicted in the wealth distribution video, it is
wrong to continue giving the wealthy more money or income with the lower socioeconomic
classes continue to suffer in destitution (Adams, 2013). The conflict theory would agree that such
developments only thrive due to the prioritization of capitalism. On the other hand, an
understanding of intersectionality and the matrix of dominion aligns with conflict theorists’
attempts to create awareness of different insecurities. For instance, a foundation based on the
mutual experiences of black women and how race and gender contribute to these outcomes could
assist in fixing these challenges (Smith, 2015). Consequently, as per the principles and
philosophies of the conflict perspective, stratification is the foundation for most of the problems
including division based on wealth and power, and the deep disaffection, sequestration, and
despair of groups such as African American women that experience consistent oppression.



Adams, Betty. 2013. “9 Out of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing
Fact.” YouTube Website. Retrieved December 4, 2020
Smith, Sharon. 2015. “Black feminism and intersectionality.” International Socialist Review.
Retrieved December 4, 2020 (