More than a half a century after Davis and Moore offered their controversial theory, the concepts they identified are still an important topic of discussion and debate in academia and in practical circles. This paper explores this thesis in greater detail and casts a light on the debate it has fostered. By understanding the forces behind the theory's development, the reader will gain a better grasp of many of the intricacies of the class systems that continue today in modern, industrialized societies.
With the classification of the rewards offered by Davis and Moore there need be little argument. Some question must be raised, however, as to whether any reward system, built into a general stratification system, must allocate equal amounts of all three types of reward in order to function effectively, or whether one type of reward may be emphasized to the virtual neglect of others. This raises the further question regarding which type of emphasis is likely to prove most effective as a differential inducer. Nothing in the known facts about human motivation impels us to favor one type of reward over the other, or to insist that all three types of reward must be built into the positions in comparable amounts if the position is to have an inducement value.
Coaster Buddy - The Davis Moore Thesis