Our social world, with its rules, practices, and assignments of prestige and power, is not fixed (….) By writing and speaking against them, we may hope to contribute to a better, fairer world (Delgado et al. 3)
This essay question asks to discuss some of the ways in which differences and inequalities persist over time. Thus demonstrating that they are not fixed, but forever changing, being caused in diverse ways by society. The essay will first define ‘Inequality’ and ‘Differences’. It will then use two strands, ‘Making Lives’ and ‘Ordering Lives’ to discuss how they persist and will look at some differences and inequalities within, wealth, homelessness, law, and class. Concluding the whole world is effected by continuing inequalities and differences, which is only getting worse.
Education still remains the institution that indorses equality of opportunities in America society as the textbook explains. Even though education diminishes inequality among individuals with different backgrounds, inequality still exists in the sense that not everyone who graduates from high school has the same opportunity to attend college. Individuals born into wealthy family will have more opportunities in attending college compared to someone born to a poor family. Although, opportunities are more limited in America, having education will compensate those that do well in school by rewarding them with life opportunities. Social class, race, and gender play a major role for education success, experiences, and outcomes.
Imagine living in a world that consistently devalues your existence and is heavily populated with individuals who are quick to use and abuse your resources, but are slow to share the wealth that is accumulated from those resources. How would you feel? Unfortunately, certain populations do not have to visualize the disparity that is pictured above. This is because inequity is one of the most demoralizing social issues that plague America today. The worst thing about inequity is the fact that it continues to disproportionately burden individuals who are categorize as being minority in today’s society.
Throughout this essay, the term ‘social inequality’ will be used to discuss the question in hand. For clarity, a definition of this term, and what is meant by it’s ‘reproduction’ will be laid out here. When referring to ‘social inequality’, what is meant is unequal opportunities, or life chances, due to hierarchies within social
The media carries a significant role in the distribution of information in American society. The American populace rely on entertainment and news networks to properly feed them updates on science, politics, celebrities and so much more. The media has this kind of power due to the fast pace way of life Americans live as well as their inability, or lack of want, to read pure and unadulterated academic articles on any given subject. While the media never seems to stop covering vast topics of interest to great length it is fundamentally failing at properly commenting on one of the most important social issues of the century, class and its relation to social inequality. The media is downright disrespectful and negligent in the way it goes
Society is a structured hierarchical system of classes. The higher class you hold, the higher power often associated to you. With this construction of society one-group claims dominance over another doing so with “power over” (Bishop, 2015). Power over others can be visible through physical strength, wealth, resources, and access to opportunities, etc. These dominate groups not only spread ideas, but often are in charge of the creation of ideas, their importance, and the norms and roles for society and classes labeling groups different than their own as inferior.
Oppression exists at varying levels and the way in which we choose to view it can have a significant impact on our ability to break down the barriers that continue to oppress disenfranchised groups. Much like the analogy of a caged bird facing both individual cage wires as well as the confining cage as a whole, examining the microscopic and macroscopic levels of oppression is essential in furthering our understanding of social justice. Long-term and persisting injustices towards subordinate social groups can also lead to internalized oppression, creating a complex system of disempowerment and self-loathing. As members of society committed to social change, it is important that we continue to educate ourselves on the issues of oppression and oppressed groups while ensuring we act at allies and advocates in our efforts to tackle these barriers.
Privilege and oppression provides a framework for understanding how institutional structures and ideologies shapes individual experiences. Privilege and oppression also explains “how power operates in society” which led to the formation of “a dominant group and a marginalized group” (Launius and Hassel, Threshold Concepts, 72-73). “Oppression can be defined as prejudice and discrimination directed toward a group and perpetuated by the ideologies and practices of multiple social institutions” (Launius and Hassel, Threshold Concepts, 73). While, privilege refers to the “benefits, advantages, and power that accrue to members of a dominant group as a result of the oppression of marginalized group”,
The works of Richard Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, and Allan Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Difference, address privilege, inequality, and capitalism through sociological and historical references. Through reading and analyzing these works along with our class lectures it has become apparent that there is a clear relationship between these systems. Capitalism causes and enforces systems of inequality and privilege. Capitalism is able to do this through the construct of social reality, the matrix of capitalist domination: segmentation of class, gender, and race, and through the manipulation of society by capitalistic culture.
Since the time we are born we are fed the lies of capitalism. We are taught that capitalism hurts no one and that capitalism is the only way. Johnson and Robbins have some very influential ideas about capitalism. Johnson writes about the complexity of privilege. He also addresses why some privileged people do not feel privileged through the matrix of capitalist domination. Robbins gives us a background on how privilege became what it is today. He addresses the anatomy of the working class by drawing attention to how they were mobile, divided, powerless, and anxious for a revolution. Through Johnson and Robbins’ eyes we can begin to see how the world is not the one we were taught it was.
Such social inequities are not new, in fact, for a long time oppression, discrimination and more has built blockages for individuals who are not socially accepted (Chung & Bemak, 2011). As social injustice spreads into the light so does the relationship between power and social justice (Chung & Bemak, 2011). Practitioners and advocates spread their awareness on how such power can feed into social injustice.
In our world, inequality among men is considered an aspect of social organization, not a divinely ordained attribute of the human condition. Few still believe in transcendental justifications of inequality. Goodness and talent too often go unrewarded and those who carry the burden of poverty too often also suffer the stigma of social discrimination. Inequalities have changed over time, and we can infer that particular inequalities are alterable.
A world of system designed to keep people in unjust and unequal positions is held in place by several interrelated expression of "power over": political power, economic power, physical force, and ideological power (Bishop, 1994: 36). So, we can say power is defined as a possession of control, authority or influence over others. In terms of power of dominant groups over subordinate groups, we define power as domination of one group of people over another in major important spheres of life. Power inequities have been in existence throughout the history of humanity and the ways of manifestation evolved from extreme overt oppression to subtle, covert oppression. Three major forms of power inequalities discussed in this paper are
The ability to awaken people’s imagination toward an alternative way of living is crucial for social change. We feel powerless when facing world, believing that no one could really pull the formidable social forces that forged the current condition to another direction. As members in different communities, we torture people both inside and outside of our communities with unfair rules and unreasonable expectations while subjecting ourselves under the very same misery. We label certain groups of people with hostile and wicked moral characters while loathing ourselves for not having the ability to break out the boxes that are tabbed by stereotype. Yet, some of us refuse to accept such a doomed fate for the human race. Ayelet Shachar and Ran Hirschl undertake the mission of dismantling the deep-rooted, socially constructed, unfair system of citizenship inheritance, while Jeffrie Murphy and Angela Davis venture to clear the names for imprisoned populations; Jamaica Kincaid endeavors to knock some sense out of the complacent Western tourists, while the hosting committee of Burning Man aims to create an two weeks, anti-capitalism civilization. They attempt to challenge the symbolic assumptions that people always make toward groups of people (communities) and propose new possibilities upon which institution could be built to regulate these gatherings of people (communities) in a way that reduce the level of injustice and increase the level of equality. In fact, I argue that since