This is the second edition of a text for the standard sociology course on social stratification. The text takes a conflict perspective on the subject of social stratification but considers all other perspectives. It examines the subject by including historical material and many examples from other countries. The comparative perspective is especially illustrated in the new chapters on social stratification in Japan and expanding and updated material on Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Special features include: updated material on social mobility; new chapter on stratification in Japan; extensive revision of the Soviet chapters; extensive coverage of the world system; complete update of all statistics on the level of inequality.