Effects of Racial Stratification in the United States


The term strata describe how the different rock layers are arranged and structured during formation. Similarly, people are stratified or arranged in social classes in different societies, and various factors determine this. The United States of American is comprised of people from diverse races and ethnic groups hailing from different parts of the world. As such, these people are stratified into different categories determined by factors like education level, occupation, age, race, and gender. The race is one of the most significant factors influencing the sorting of community members; such racial stratification has negatively impacted certain members of society through unequal access to the vital resources of society. Even though the race is not biological, it is just a social construct developed by society; it has resulted in the exploitation of physical differences among members of society.

The US comprises various people from diverse ethnic groups; these groups have been classified and socially sorted from the superior to the inferior race. As such, this has had detrimental effects on people who belong to the races that are considered inferior. These ethnic groups include Hispanic, Asian, African, Native American and Arab Americans and white Americans. Some areas influenced by racial stratification comprise employment, health and education (Monroe, 2019).

Over the past years, the health, education and employment sectors have been greatly influenced by ethnic stratification, and this has resulted in unequal treatment and distribution of essential resources. Racial stratification has resulted in positive and negative effects on different ethnic groups concerning the diverse sectors involved. It has affected medical care, employment and education by causing poor service delivery, mental and physical harm, unequal distribution of resources and unequal opportunities. It is essential to expound the impacts of racial stratification on ethnic minority like the Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans Arab Americans and Native Americans.


Health is a problem since most of these neighborhoods have few healthcare facilities. This has resulted from racial stratification whereby the government and other responsible authorities neglect the needs of the Black community. Recent statistics have shown that elderly black people have higher risks of suffering from diseases like diabetes, heart failure, and high blood pressure. This was attributed to the fact that most Black people are not provided with the relevant medical guidance on leading healthy lives. The black community is at a higher risk of suffering from mental health. Over the years, law officers have subjected African Americans to harassment and abuse. This has culminated in fear and uncertainty among the community members, especially the youth, because anything can happen that could result in their untimely deaths.

Another effect of racial stratification on the health of different races is the myth of pain resistance. During the 19th century, racist doctors conducted unconventional studies on enslaved African Americans to test their durability and resistance to pain (Williams & Rucker, 2020).

These studies resulted in the establishment of myths that claimed enslaved Black people had a high pain tolerance. A study conducted proved that some medical professionals still believe in the myths and thus deny Black patients the medical care they need (Williams & Rucker, 2020). This has resulted in poor healthcare provision since it has led to the death of Black patients while in the doctors’ care. Another effect of this aspect is that contrary to African Americans’ pain tolerance, white patients have a low tolerance for pain, and thus, they are provided with many pain-relieving drugs (Williams & Rucker, 2020). Consequently, this has led to a pandemic of prescription drug addiction, mainly among the White community.

Additionally, medical care delivery has been affected due to the underrepresentation of certain ethnic groups. The number of Native American, African American, and Hispanic doctors in US hospitals is small, attributed to racial stratification. Over many years medical schools were mainly reserved for the dominant white population, while only a few scholarships were offered to other students from other ethnic groups (Zaidi et al., 2021).

Underrepresentation of other ethnic groups in healthcare has impacted service delivery in that some patients prefer to be treated by doctors from their ethnic groups. For instance, Arabs Americans who practice Islam prefer Muslim doctors to other physicians. Furthermore, it has prevented objectivity in the medical profession (Racial Inequality in the United States, 2022). Despite professional conduct, some physicians tend to be biased in their service delivery which may prevent the patient from receiving proper medical care.

The health of most Arab Americans, especially those practicing Islam, has been jeopardized by people from different races. Over the past years, most Americans of Arab origins have been treated with little regard for their well-being due to the issues of increased terrorism in different parts of the world. They have been subjected to mental and physical stress from different people. During the 9/11 attack, most White Americans, if not all, were enraged due to the losses they had suffered. Some inflicted harm on Arabs and Muslims (Racial Inequality in the United States, 2022). This put the lives of Arab Americans in danger because some were beaten and hospitalized. Nonetheless, very little has changed after these many years as some white Americans still treat them as the enemy, which influences their mental and physical wellness.


Racial stratification has influenced the education system and delivery of the intended educational goals. In the US, educational institutions have been segregated depending on the most prevalent race residing in a given place. For instance, in the case of high schools, there are those attended by African Americans, while others are predominantly for White people (Darling-Hammond, 2018). Stratification has resulted in inadequate financing and equipping of schools.

Most public high schools have inadequate equipment, and the teaching staff can barely meet the needs of the learners. Stratification has influenced society to perceive that the black community does not need education as much as White Americans and Asian Americans (Ogbu, 2019). On the other hand, schools attended by Whites and Asian Americans have well equipped and provide enough teaching personnel. These groups are considered academically oriented, while African Americans are seen as athletes.

Another effect of racial stratification on education is the issue of proceeding to colleges and attaining a bachelor’s degree. Most Hispanic and African Americans rarely proceed to college, and if they do, most end up dropping out. These two groups are awarded very few academic scholarships (Kao & Thompson, 2020). Society perceives them as non-academics; thus, little effort is directed toward their academic achievements. Conversely, Asian and white Americans are provided with many college and university scholarships.

The enrollment and completion rate among these groups are considerably higher than those of the Hispanics and Blacks; this has been attributed to the poor education foundations that these groups are provided with right from the lower levels of education. Furthermore, Asians and white Americans have higher chances of getting advanced education because they have a suitable mental capacity (Kao & Thompson, 2020). Unlike Black and Hispanic Americans, who mostly get primary education. This stratification has robbed the members of these groups of the opportunity to achieve their academic goals.

Racial stratification in education has created the notion that only African Americans can excel in sports and athletics. As such, athletic scholarships are mostly reserved for Black students, while only a few are given to students from other races. Asian, White, and Hispanic students are only allocated a few slots, while African Americans students are given the most chances. Even though it benefits the Black community, it displays the effects of racial stratification by disregarding their academic capabilities (Kao & Thompson, 2020). This has continued for years and thus has led to a decline in the number of Black professionals in the academic world.


Racial stratification has significantly impacted the employment of different members of various ethnic groups. Based on a study, White people are more likely to get employed than equally qualified people from other races. The researcher conducted research by sending resumes to companies with racially identifying names. The study’s results proved that those who used names generally considered white were fifty times more likely to be called back than those who used names that e identified with the Black and Hispanic groups (Shannon et al., 2019). The study concluded that African Americans and Hispanics were less likely to secure top-tier job opportunities than equally qualified White people (Ogbu, 2019). Additionally, in terms of employment, Asian Americans and white Americans had higher chances of securing top-ranking jobs than Blacks and Hispanics.

Stratification based on race led to the stereotype that Black and Hispanic people were well-fitted for manual labor while Asians and white Americans were preferred for office jobs. For instance, during the construction of the Gauley Bridge in Virginia, Black people were given many opportunities as manual laborers. Out of the 700 people that died during this project, 76% were African Americas (Pager & Shepherd, 2018). This study was conducted to establish that stratification has degraded the Black and Hispanic communities hence the low allocation of high-level jobs. Through racial stratification, Asian Americans are considered highly resourceful and knowledgeable; as such, they have higher chances of securing employment.

A study was conducted on a group of professionals with equal qualifications performing similar tasks (Pager & Shepherd, 2018). The results confirmed the effects of racial stratification; white employees were paid more money than their Black and Hispanic colleagues. Despite the passing of many years, racial stratification continues to impact the lives of many members of different communities in the US.


Racial stratification has dealt with positive and negative impacts on the different ethnic groups in the US regarding different factors. Some of the most affected groups include Arab Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and White Americans. Stratification has influenced the health sector in terms of service delivery and the individual well-being of the members of these ethnic groups. The health sector is underrepresented, which inhibits its ability to provide adequate care.

Racial stratification has influenced the provision of education in the US. The quality of facilities and services is unequally distributed among the groups depending on the cultural assumptions of a particular group. Employment has been influenced by the stratification of different members of society. Some are considered as high value while others are allocated manual labour jobs. These effects have been and continue to inhibit equal distribution of resources among the people of the US.


Darling-Hammond, L. (2018). Unequal Opportunity: Race and Education. Brookings. Web.

Kao, G., & Thompson, J. S. (2020). Racial and ethnic stratification in educational achievement and attainment. Annual review of sociology, 417-442. Web.

Monroe, M. (2019). Linking racial stratification and poor health outcomes to economic inequality in the United States. Equitable Growth. Web.

Ogbu, J. (2019). Racial stratification and education in the United States: Why inequality persists. Teachers College Record, 96(2), 264–298. Web.

Pager, D., & Shepherd, H. (2018). The sociology of discrimination: Racial discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and consumer markets. Annual review of sociology, 34, 181. Web.

Racial Inequality in the United States. (2022). US Department of The Treasury. Web.

Shannon, C. A., Rospenda, K. M., Richman, J. A., & Minich, L. M. (2019). Race, racial discrimination, and the risk of work-related illness, injury or assault: findings from a national study. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine/American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 51(4), 441. Web.

Williams, D. R., & Rucker, T. D. (2020). Understanding and addressing racial disparities in health care. Health Care Financing Review, 21(4), 75–90. Web.

Zaidi, Z., Young, M., Balmer, D. F., & Park, Y. S. (2021). Endarkening the episteme: Critical race theory and medical education scholarship. Academic Medicine, 96(11S). Web.

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