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Social Inequality Essay

1371 words - 6 pages

Social Inequality

What is social inequality? What are the sources of social inequality? For me, social inequality cannot be described in one sentence. Factors such as race, wealth, class, gender, age, among others all play roles into why people can sometimes be treated unfairly. However before I introspectively reflect on social inequality, there is one theory that suggests where today’s society is heading for me.
Karl Marx is known as a prominent economic and political influence that lived during the 19th century. Marx’s theory of stratification is very applicable to where society, especially in the United States, is heading today. According to Marx, society would become divided ...view middle of the document...

Now money is the driving force on what is “acceptable.” Only Mexico and Russia have a higher level of economic inequality than the United States in a survey of 30 developed nations at the turn of the century. (Smeeding, Timothy) Some economists even refer to Russia and Mexico as “developing” countries. Essentially the United States has the biggest economic gap among all developed countries. Why has that occurred? CEO’s, professional athletes, actors ect. make most of the money earned in this country, leaving everyone else to work for them while they make a ridiculous income and the workers settle for just enough to have a modest lifestyle. The other day I was watching a film that promoted a similar theme to what I am trying to convey.
The production was called In Time starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Basically instead of money people were paid in time that they had left to live. In the movie we see a huge disparity in how different people live based on how much time they had. The important figures in their society used the time they had to manipulate everyone else because they could afford to give some away. This represents how money is influential in today’s culture. Through outlets like social media, advertisements, and important public figures having money is portrayed as being paramount. However the opposite, if someone is living in poverty, something must be wrong with them or they aren’t as valuable to the community. To create a successful, tolerant, and synergistic society money cannot determine someone’s worth to society.
Obviously some people living in poverty put themselves in that position through drug use, financial problems or through other poorly executed decisions. However this doesn’t mean society should reject them or look down at impoverished people. Not everyone in poverty put himself or herself there. Some people were born into it and never had the opportunity to get out. Ideally we would do the opposite and help them get back on their feet. With that said there is a fine line between people taking advantage of aid and using it effectively. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link. To close this economic gap we have and to end economic turmoil, the key is helping the lower class. That’s just my opinion, but I guess we will see how the Obama administration handles these next 4 years.
Despite having the 1st African American president ever elected 4 years ago, race still plays a role in social inequality. Although race doesn’t play as big of a role as it has in the past or as money does today it still needs to be addressed. According to an article on cnn.com, “blacks remain twice as likely to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty and more than six times as likely to be imprisoned compared with whites, according to the group's annual State of Black America report.” Those statistics are staggering. However I think they may be skewed due to the...

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