The Davis-Moore thesis has been made by Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore in 1945. According to this thesis social stratification has positive consequences for the operation of a society. It makes the society productive and efficient.
According to Davis-Moore thesis, more important jobs shall offer greater rewards. Answering phone calls, bagging in a grocery store, or entering data on a computer are fairly easy and can be done by almost anyone but jobs such as web programming, accounting audition, or designing automobiles are more advance and require personnel with sufficient trainings and experience. Greater rewards create motivation for people in the society to educate themselves. This Process can create an educated/skillful society.
One thing that can lose its value in an egalitarian society is the quality of work. According to Davis-Moore egalitarian society last as long as people let anyone perform any job. Workers in an equal society will have little incentive to do their best because everyone gets the same rewards regardless of any extra effort. Why would corporate workers have any incentive for promotion when they would get the same rewards with less responsibility? Why would factory workers work extra time when they don’t get compensated for it? And why would anyone want to work in a mine?
But to what extent the stratification is beneficial? An average full-time employee at Starbucks makes roughly $17,000 annually where as MR. Howard Shultz the CEO of Starbucks makes more than $41 million a year2 the amount that would take 2,411 years for an average employee to make! Melvin Tumin(1953) criticized Davis-Moore theses based on three reasoning: First, the invalid assessment of job’s importance and misconnection between award given and contribution made. Second, disregarding the cast element of social stratification. Third, augmenting monetary values and diminishing humanitarian’s.
By studying Davis-Moore thesis one may object Tumin criticisms. First, the Davis-Moore thesis does not suggest what reward a society should give to any given job or how unequal the wealth should be distributed. The thesis merely suggests more rewards for more important positions in order to distinguish between different talents and create incentives. Second, it is true that children of rich families are more privileged but given a fairly equal educational opportunity everyone can have a chance to progress. Third, people need money in order to trade goods and services even in an egalitarian society. The only difference is the people in an egalitarian society are confined in limitation where as in meritocracy there is no limit.
1. Macionis John J. Sociology.Pearson prentice hall .Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: 12th Edition.