Social inequality

Social inequality

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  • Brain Surgeon
  • Teacher
  • Farmer
  • Karl Marx described the three class theory by dividing it into the upper class(bourgeoisie), middle class (petite bourgeoisie) and the working class. The upper class are the individuals who own and control all of the resources in society. They own most land and corporations. The middle class are neither poor or wealthy, they have decent jobs as merchants, farmers or contractors, but still rely on selling their labor to survive. They also may own small portions of land. The working class are the ones who struggle the most. They are working long hours doing labor intensive jobs, while being under paid. This made it very difficult to get out of the poverty cycle because they were never able to earn enough money.
  • Social inequality is "the unequal distribution of valued resources, rewards, and positions in society" (p. 268-269). For example, an individual having less opportunities or resources due to income, ethnicity, religion or gender. In this diagram is shows a brain surgeon (white male), teacher (white female), and farmer (black male). While this is not always the case, this demonstrates how much power your ethnicity and gender have when it comes to social equality.
  • Capitalism is an economic system where private owners control industries and resources rather then the government. Therefore these private owners control all labor jobs, which is why the working class is paid so little. Ideology is a "way of thinking that supports and justifies the ruling class potion of power" (powerpoint, Whittington-Walsh). In other words, a belief system made by the petite bourgeoisie that keeps the system going.
  • To conclude, social inequality is being treated unequally due to a factor(s) you are unable to change. The 3 class theory, is dividing society into upper, middle and lower class based on income and power. Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership. Ideology is the beliefs held by an entire group, society or individual person. Ideology can be connected back to primary and secondary socialization, where we learn our beliefs and values. As for To Kill a Mockingbird, Maycomb is mostly made up of middle and working class individuals/families. No one in Macomb would be considered "upper class".
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Finch's are an excellent example of middle class. Atticus Finch has a job as a lawyer which makes him a "professional". He has enough wealth to provide for his family, own property and own a housekeeper. He does still have to sell his labor to earn a living, which is why he is not considered upper class. Atticus also enforcers ideology within the judicial system, he knows he will lose the Tom Robinson court case but does nothing to try and change that.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Cunningham's are an example of working class. Mr. Cunningham is a farmer, and cannot afford to pay Atticus with money so he pays him in goods. His son Walter rejected a quarter from Miss Caroline because he knew he could not repay her. They can barely afford to live and they are aware of their situation so they only take things they are able to repay. It shows that they are working class because Mr. Cunningham does not have a job which allows him to provide for his family, they are barely scraping by.
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