The term stratification refers to the notion of strata or levels for different orders and circumstances of life. In general, the word stratification can be used both in the natural sciences (when talking about the stratification of the Earth or the atmosphere) and in the social sciences (when referring to social stratification, for example).
Stratification always supposes the existence of different levels or strata that are characterized by certain elements and that are, then, differentiable from the rest of the levels based on them. In this sense, the notion of stratification is a human creation if one takes into account that its main objective is to classify and categorize various elements, circumstances or phenomena. By establishing strata, the human being can then differentiate the various existing levels for each circumstance and thus understand them better. Although the differences between one level or stratum and another may exist without man categorizing them, it is only he who transforms it on a rational and more or less logical scale.
The most common situations in which the term stratification is used can refer to both natural phenomena and social or human phenomena. For example, it can be found in the realm of mathematics when talking about statistics, or in the realm of geology when it comes to the different strata of the Earth. The stratification of matter such as water is another of the common uses that this term receives for the natural sciences.
In the case of the social and human sciences, one of the most frequent uses of this term is when referring to social stratification, that which tells us about the classification of different social groups into layers or levels according to their power. acquisitive, their number, their knowledge or their cultural level, among others.