Social Barriers

Topics: Sociology, Economic inequality, Social stratification Pages: 6 (1875 words) Published: April 23, 2011
Social Barriers

Social Barriers
Social traditions, kinship systems, community organizations and informal settings have played major a role in poverty outcome. This is facilitated by influencing the productivity of economic assets, the policies for managing risk, the ability to pursue new prospects, and the degree at which given voices are considered when vital decisions are arrived at. However, social institutions can help the less privileged within the society to get by and get ahead. Additionally, they can also put hurdle between poor individuals and resources they require to proceed with their interests. Discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, religion and beliefs, or social ranks plays a major role in social segregation therefore locking individuals in long-term poverty. Berreman (2005).

Morals, norms and social traditions may reinforce inequalities among different groups within the society, such as the caste system in India, and the race issues experienced in South Africa and in America. Further, these social divisions can results as the grounds of relentless withdrawal and conflict within the family and work enviroment. Legal and other actions to conquer these inequalities ought to be accompanied by attempts to bring about consciousness about culturally based mind-set such as those toward females and individuals of different ethnic, religion or race.

Social barriers can assume different forms. This paper will focus on the major barriers arising from gender inequality, social stratification and social fragmentation affecting families and work in a social science perspective, giving insights through theoretical approaches on how access to resources are provided to others and denied to some, how wealth and power is unequally distributed within a society.

Gender Discrimination
The scope and manifestation of gender inequality differ in various societies, created to a substantial degree by kinship rules. Rules of inheritance establish possession of productive resources. Rules of marriage establish women’s domestic freedom. The most persistent type of gender inequality emerges where rules of both inheritance and marriage are structured in the favor of men. In disparity, where such rules appears to be balanced between the two genders, women are perceived to be vocal and hence they face minimum barriers in becoming economic independent and socially active. Customary gender norms have know to result into legal, political, economic and educational imbalances that bring about women’s lack of access to resources, participation in decision-making and taking part in public activities. Greater political representation can help achieve these, however, no country around the globe women hold more seats within parliament (Vilarroya & Navarro, 2004). Legal systems can restrain women from becoming autonomy as economic actors. In many nations, family laws tend to be against women, limiting their rights to own property and inheritance and other productive resources. The legal system continues to persist on male household headship, which women institutions perceive as the key foundation to gender inequality in the family setting and in the labor force. In many nations, women continue to struggle for their legal rights; this is evident in Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland. Women in these countries live under the guardianship of their husbands and hence they have no autonomy in the management of their matrimonial property (Vilarroya & Navarro, 2004). On the other hand, Guatemala men have the right to limit the type of employment and work their wife can carry out outside the home. Whereas in some countries, women have to obtain the husband’s consent in order to apply for a passport issued by the government institution (World Development Report, 2001). Women face multiple shortcomings in access to resources, wealth and power. This is because they have less access to education and...
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