Social inequality, despite the rampant advances in social justice in the past few decades, remains high in both school (particularly in the university level) and in the workplace. Social inequality can take place in many forms, but can be defined as a distinct difference in privileges and opportunities (whether social, political or economical) between different groups of people. Deindustrialization has led to rampant social issues within the inner city communities of America. The changing economy and deindustrialization led to higher wages, more time spent working for lower pay, and decreased leisure time; this has affected total income between people of different social classes and acted as a barrier to economic advancement. Social mores collapsed along with deindustrialization – with the collapse of industry in the inner city came little economic growth and few prospects for minority youth. This has led to a lowering of social mores, as inner-city minorities turned to crime and violence in order to interact with each other (Hillmert and Jacob 320). Given my experiences with minorities and those of lower and lower-middle class persuasions, as well as the research and statistics regarding social inequalities, I believe that these phenomena exist, particularly in inequalities between white and minority university students and colleagues in the workplace.
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I have seen many university classrooms that had a limited number of minority students, who were then socially ostracized or expected less of because of their race; this extends to the workplace, where affirmative action programs have to be put in place to assist otherwise-qualified black workers with employment. This is due to systemic social and racial divides that create discomfort with working alongside minorities, and a perception that they are not intelligent enough (Gamson and Modigliani 137). There are those who believe that these individuals do not find work or do not attend college because they are not smart or skilled enough, and that affirmative action programs instead disenfranchise equally skilled majority students of privilege. However, I believe that this constant inequality between minority and white students exists, and that other factors that whites are not cognizant of must be overcome with these programs to allow minorities access to the same level of employment and education as those who enjoy such privilege.
In conclusion, I believe that social inequalities exist both in school and in the workplace, particularly between minorities and whites. The inherent privilege of white Americans against minorities continues the disadvantages they experience.. First, the amount of time spent placing minorities at such an overt disadvantage has diminished their ability to ” catch up” with the progress of white Americans. Furthermore, the distance placed between each race leaves white Americans to have many different myths about other minorities and their inability to gain advantage. It also places minorities at a disadvantage because of the lack of informal contacts they can access. Despite the skepticism of many who believe that such social inequalities do not exist, either through ignorance or malice, these problems remain systemic and will continue to do so unless greater efforts at communication and reconciliation are made.
Gamson, William A., and Andre Modigliani. ” The Changing Culture of Affirmative Action.”
Research in Political Sociology vol. 3, pp. 137-177, 1987. Print.
Hillmert, Steffen and Marita Jacob. ” Social Inequality in Higher Education. Is Vocational
Training a Pathway Leading to or Away from University?” Eur Sociol Rev vol. 19, no. 3,
pp. 319-334, 2003. Print.