Social Inequality occurs when resources are distributed unequally; this including Wealth, Prestige, and Power. The presence of social inequality in the United States makes for men to earn more than women, the power elite to keep their authority, networking, and knowledge, and allows for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.
An example of social inequality in our society occurs with different paying jobs in the United States. Fast food working employees for example, are demanding higher wages and respect for entry level jobs. People don’t want to take the time and effort to get a higher education that would make for a better job. People at the bottom want what the people at the top have, they just aren’t willing to put fourth effort to earn what their successors have earned. Inequality occurs because some people are willing to work hard to be successful and some aren’t.
In the United States Women make 77 cents to the Men’s dollar, but why is this? If a manager has an opportunity to offer a promotion to a man or woman, they are most likey going to give the offer to the man soley because of the stereotypes women have attained from being in the workplace: Men are seen as being more stable, less emotional, and more reliable than women. I believe this scenario is beginning to change and women are starting be recognized as equals, but the transition isn’t happening fast enough.
The social class we attain can impact our access to outside resources and opportunities, mostly because of the respect that comes with which class you belong to. Someone living in the lower class with lower class jobs isn’t going to get the respect that someone belonging to the upper class has. Someone with an entry level job isn’t going to be offered a promotion before someone higher up than them is offered the job first, primarily because the higher up most likely belongs to a higher class. The barrier between social classes exist because higher classes are entitled to more success than the others, which allows for them to have more money, more respect, and more power than the lower classes.
With the United States having an open class system, social mobility is encouraged which makes it possible for one to climb from the bottom to the top of that social ladder; it is more difficult for someone from the bottom to make strides towards the top than someone who has been born towards the top or born close to the top of the social ladder, but never impossible. Social mobility takes place frequently, but it very rarely makes that big of an impact on the person’s treatment by society which barely changes the treatment of people and allows for inequality to stick around.
I think the problem with social inequality is that when someone wants to improve their class status, the upper classes make it very difficult for them to do so. The stereotypes and lack of respect that people get when belonging to the lower classes can be very discouraging. This applies to both males and females in the workplace; it is a challenging task to climb the social ladder when someone is constantly bringing you down and treating you poorly due to your class status. With that being said, social class doesn’t define a person or mean that they are any less important, yet for some reason people connect class status to someone’s well being. If people start looking past labels and stereotypes there wouldn’t be class barriers and prejudices that apply to certain statuses.
Witt, Jon. “Social Class.” Soc. Third ed. Mcgraw-Hill, 2014. 238-247. Print.