Social Stratification: Why Some Are Rich, and Others Poor

I’m writing an essay for my high school sociology class on social stratification. I’m not trying to argue whether or not stratification is necessary, but my goal is to come up with a list of factors that would normally lead to being ‘poor’ or ‘rich.’ I’m sure this has been attempted before, but after extensive Googling I’m left to my own devices (which is not all bad…)

My list:

Poor choices (esp. Fiscal irresponsibility)
Disability (physical or mental)
Upbringing /Ascending (hard to get out of poverty)
Lack of Education
Lack of Opportunity

Opportunity (Innovation)
Determination / Hard work
Fiscal responsibility / Planning

Any other thoughts? At this point I’m just throwing out ideas on paper, I’ll organize them logically at 3am the night before its due.

(In a semi-related note: Any reason why Word XP applies formatting changes to the whole document? I select a word, hit the Bold toolbar button and my whole paper is bolded. I feel like Ellen Feiss…)

Why on earth do they have a sociology class in highschool.

This may not make you very popular but…how about ability and intelligence. Now I am sure we can find plenty of glaring examples of breaches of this, but I would think that it does have a bearing on the overall picture.

I doubt that it is politically correct to say so, but well, some people are just simply better endowed than others, intellectually, physically or whatever. This must have some bearing on outcomes.

Hiya. The SDMB is not there to help you out with your homework, k3v1n.

Good luck on your paper, but this thread is closed.