With higher economic growth, net gains are positive across all levels and political reforms are easier to sustain. This may explain why, over time, in more egalitarian societies fiscal performance is better, stimulating greater accumulation of capital and higher growth. Socioeconomic status SES is a combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education, and occupation. It is often used as synonymous with social class, a set of hierarchical social categories that indicate an individual's or household's relative position in a stratified matrix of social relationships.
Social class is delineated by a number of variables, some of which change across time and place. For Karl Marx , there exist two major social classes with significant inequality between the two. The two are delineated by their relationship to the means of production in a given society. Those two classes are defined as the owners of the means of production and those who sell their labour to the owners of the means of production.
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In capitalistic societies, the two classifications represent the opposing social interests of its members, capital gain for the capitalists and good wages for the labourers, creating social conflict. Max Weber uses social classes to examine wealth and status. For him, social class is strongly associated with prestige and privileges. It may explain social reproduction, the tendency of social classes to remain stable across generations maintaining most of their inequalities as well.
Such inequalities include differences in income, wealth, access to education, pension levels, social status, socioeconomic safety-net. In modern Western societies , inequalities are often broadly classified into three major divisions of social class: upper class , middle class , and lower class. Each of these classes can be further subdivided into smaller classes e.
Class, race, and gender are forms of stratification that bring inequality and determines the difference in allocation of societal rewards. Occupation is the primary determinant of a person class since it affects their lifestyle, opportunities, culture, and kind of people one associates with. Class based families include the lower class who are the poor in the society. They have limited opportunities.
Working class are those people in blue-collar jobs and usually, affects the economic level of a nation. The Middle classes are those who rely mostly on wives' employment and depends on credits from the bank and medical coverage.
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The upper middle class are professionals who are strong because of economic resources and supportive institutions. Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of society about social class, wealth, political influence. A society can be politically stratified based on authority and power, economically stratified based on income level and wealth, occupational stratification about one's occupation. Some roles for examples doctors, engineers, lawyers are highly ranked, and thus they give orders while the rest receive the orders.
Castes system usually ascribed to children during birth whereby one receives the same stratification as of that of their parents. The caste system has been linked to religion and thus permanent. The stratification may be superior or inferior and thus influences the occupation and the social roles assigned to a person.
Estate system is a state or society where people in this state were required to work on their land to receive some services like military protection. Communities ranked according to the nobility of their lords. The class system is about income inequality and socio-political status. People can move the classes when they increase their level of income or if they have authority. People are expected to maximize their innate abilities and possessions. The quantitative variables most often used as an indicator of social inequality are income and wealth.
In a given society, the distribution of individual or household accumulation of wealth tells us more about variation in well-being than does income, alone. A better measure at that level, however, is the Gini coefficient , a measure of statistical dispersion used to represent the distribution of a specific quantity, such as income or wealth, at a global level, among a nation's residents, or even within a metropolitan area.
There are a number of socially defined characteristics of individuals that contribute to social status and, therefore, equality or inequality within a society. When researchers use quantitative variables such as income or wealth to measure inequality, on an examination of the data, patterns are found that indicate these other social variables contribute to income or wealth as intervening variables. Significant inequalities in income and wealth are found when specific socially defined categories of people are compared.
It is to say that these other socially defined characteristics can, and often do, intervene in the valuation of merit. Gender as a social inequality is whereby women and men are treated differently due to masculinity and femininity by dividing labor, assigning roles, and responsibilities and allocating social rewards. Sex- and gender-based prejudice and discrimination , called sexism , are major contributing factors to social inequality. Most societies, even agricultural ones , have some sexual division of labour and gender-based division of labour tends to increase during industrialization.
Women are underrepresented in political activities and decision making processes in most states in both the Global North and Global South.
Gender discrimination, especially concerning the lower social status of women, has been a topic of serious discussion not only within academic and activist communities but also by governmental agencies and international bodies such as the United Nations. These discussions seek to identify and remedy widespread, institutionalized barriers to access for women in their societies. By making use of gender analysis , researchers try to understand the social expectations, responsibilities, resources and priorities of women and men within a specific context, examining the social, economic and environmental factors which influence their roles and decision-making capacity.
By enforcing artificial separations between the social and economic roles of men and women, the lives of women and girls are negatively impacted and this can have the effect of limiting social and economic development. Cultural ideals about women's work can also affect men whose outward gender expression is considered "feminine" within a given society.
Transgender and gender-variant persons may express their gender through their appearance, the statements they make, or official documents they present. Women's participation in work has been increasing globally, but women are still faced with wage discrepancies and differences compared to what men earn. This effect can be seen in the corporate and bureaucratic environments of many countries, lowering the chances of women to excel.
It prevents women from succeeding and making the maximum use of their potential, which is at a cost for women as well as the society's development.
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Once able to work, women should be titled to the same job security and safe working environments as men. Women and persons whose gender identity does not conform to patriarchal beliefs about sex only male and female continue to face violence on global domestic, interpersonal, institutional and administrative scales. While first-wave Liberal Feminist initiatives raised awareness about the lack of fundamental rights and freedoms that women have access to, second-wave feminism see also Radical Feminism highlighted the structural forces that underlie gender-based violence.
Masculinities are generally constructed so as to subordinate femininities and other expressions of gender that are not heterosexual, assertive and dominant.
These structures of masculinity ultimately contribute to the vast amounts of gendered violence, marginalization and suppression that women, queer, transgender, gender variant and gender non-conforming persons face. Some scholars suggest that women's underrepresentation in political systems speaks the idea that "formal citizenship does not always imply full social membership".
Others point out that patriarchal states tend top scale and claw back their social policies relative to the disadvantage of women. Racial or ethnic inequality is the result of hierarchical social distinctions between racial and ethnic categories within a society and often established based on characteristics such as skin color and other physical characteristics or an individual's place of origin or culture. Racism is whereby some races are more privileged and are allowed to venture into the labor market and are better compensated than others.
Ethnicity is the privilege one enjoys for belonging to a particular ethnic group. Even though race has no biological connection, it has become a socially constructed category capable of restricting or enabling social status. Racial inequality can also result in diminished opportunities for members of marginalized groups, which in turn can lead to cycles of poverty and political marginalization. Racial and ethnic categories become a minority category in a society.
Minority members in such a society are often subjected to discriminatory actions resulting from majority policies, including assimilation , exclusion, oppression , expulsion , and extermination. In the United States, Angela Davis argues that mass incarceration has been a modern tool of the state to impose inequality, repression, and discrimination upon African American and Hispanics.
Over a million African Americans are incarcerated in the US, many of whom have been convicted of a non-violent drug possession charge. Age discrimination is defined as the unfair treatment of people with regard to promotions, recruitment, resources, or privileges because of their age. It is also known as ageism : the stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or groups based upon their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age-based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination.
While some people may benefit or enjoy these practices, some find them offensive and discriminatory.
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Discrimination against those under the age of 40 however is not illegal under the current U. As implied in the definitions above, treating people differently based upon their age is not necessarily discrimination. Virtually every society has age-stratification , meaning that the age structure in a society changes as people begin to live longer and the population becomes older. In most cultures, there are different social role expectations for people of different ages to perform.