David-Moore Theory

Subject: Economics
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 303
Topics: Capitalism, Community, Inequality, Social Inequality

David Moore thesis attempt mainly explains the aspect of social stratification which is founded on the ‘functional necessity’ idea. In the same light, this thesis puts forward the importance of the existence of social inequality. According to the thesis, social inequality is important because it tends to fulfill the vital needs of the societal system (Panayotakis, 2014). David and Moore argue that there is no society which is not stratified which means that inequality is a universal thing. Therefore, the universal nature of inequality means that it is unavoidable and necessary if the society is to function properly (Panayotakis, 2014). Additionally, the thesis argues that social inequality actually benefits the society in that it is a way that a society ensures that the important positions within it are usually and conscientiously filled by persons who are the most qualified (Panayotakis, 2014). This means that in every society must differentiate individuals regarding both esteem and prestige and therefore, it must have some level of institutionalized inequality.

This theory has, however, faced some criticisms. For one, the theory has been criticized in terms of the rewards that are associated with it. The scarcity of rewards is not usually a ‘natural’ scarcity. Rather, the scarcity of rewards is something that is usually artificial (Panayotakis, 2014). This is especially the case because of the system of private property that is in production. This means that rewards do not guarantee performance. Another criticism of the theory is that some rewards are usually not determined functionally at all (Panayotakis, 2014). They fail to indicate clearly the reason as to why some positions need to be considered to be more worthy than others.

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  1. Panayotakis, C. (2014). Capitalism, Meritocracy, and Social Stratification: A Radical Reformulation of the Davis‐Moore Thesis. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 73(1), 126-150.
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