功能主义方法有点类似于后现代主义方法，两者都强调一个类的存在是为了支持其他类。换句话说，功能主义者会认为阶级制度是一些管理职位变得最重要的原因，高失业率使得这些职位变得更重要，获得更高的地位成为可能。同样，后现代主义者也认为不平等的分配是贫困和不平等持续存在的原因。因此，这两种方法的根本原因是相同的，表明不同阶层的人的存在是贫困和不平等存在的主要原因(Harrison, 2007)。冲突理论几乎指出，阶级制度完全失灵，可能导致资本主义过度，贫困和不平等加剧。劳动力市场理论还认为，劳动力就业阶层的差异是一些企业繁荣的原因，并指出阶级制度定义了不平等的分配。因此，社会分层或阶级制度似乎是所有这四种解释贫穷和不平等的方法的基本公分母(Holmwood, 1996)。然后，必须通过适当的衡量工具来评估社会分层，这些工具可以就把社会分层作为加剧贫穷和不平等的主要公分母的合法性提出令人满意的答案和结论。
The functionalist approach is somewhat similar to the postmodernist approach where they both focus that one class exists to support other classes. In other words, the functionalist will believe that the class system is the reason for some managerial positions to become of prime importance, and higher unemployment makes it possible for such positions to become more important and attain high status. Similarly, the postmodernist also thinks that unequal distribution is the reason of consistent poverty and inequality. Thus, the underlying reason is the same in both approaches indicating the presence of different classes of people as the prime reason for the existence of poverty and inequality (Harrison, 2007). The conflict theory almost states that the class system is completely dysfunctional which can lead to excessive capitalism and escalating poverty and inequality. The labour market theory also thinks of the disparity in the classes of labour employment to be the reason for the prosperity of some corporations, pointing to the same reason that class systems define unequal distribution. Thus, social stratification or class systems appear to be the fundamental common denominator among all these four approaches to explain poverty and inequality (Holmwood, 1996). Social stratification then must be assessed through proper tools of measurement which can then give satisfactory answers and conclusions about the legitimacy of its usage as the prime common denominator to escalate poverty and inequality.
Labour market theory agrees with the conflict theory when it comes to the use of the poor and unemployed to progress the rich and powerful. The conflict theory maintains that the rich and powerful remain rich and powerful by suppressing the poor due to the low income and lower economic background of the poor, whereas the labour market theory also talks about the advantageous situation of the rich who uses the rising unemployment and mass demand of labours to maintain their outgo in terms of wages. Thus, these two theories are similar in their outlook towards the use of the poor status of employees as a means to meet the end of progress by the rich and powerful (Bergel, 1962).
The functionalist approach is the most different out of the three, as it seems to justify the poor to explain the importance of the rich positions and the status they achieve. This theory explains the process of the increase in the importance of the positions of the rich and powerful through the existence and availability of the poor and unemployed. Poverty and inequality have not been explained as per the expectations of the poor and the unequal or disadvantaged leading to perception conflict. This is because these theories call for their own interpretations without really recognising the actual conditions of the poor.It must be assessed about what constitutes their thinking of being poor and unequal,and being barred from opportunities and rights that are available to the rich and powerful. Poverty and inequality will always remain the most often discussed topics among scholars of sociological research.The quest for a definitive conclusion will always be ambiguous, as the definitions of these issues are difficult to meet through a single theory of application.