Social Inequality & Minorities

Topics: Sociology, Minority group, United States Pages: 5 (2005 words) Published: September 14, 2008
Social Inequality and Minorities in the United States

In this course I have learned about many different kinds of social problems in societies around the world and in the United States, such as poverty, social inequality, race and cultural discrimination, gender stratification, environmental damage, population growth, and urbanization. I chose my final essay to be on Social Inequality and Minorities in the United States. For me this subject raises many points of our daily life and brings us to the point of reality in our world. My paper will discuss why is deviance found in all societies? How does who and what are defined as deviant reflect social inequality? What effect has punishment had in reducing crime in the United States? Let’s start off with what are social inequities and what is minorities? Social inequality refers to a lack of social equality, where individuals in a society do not have equal social status. Areas of potential social inequality include voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, the extent of property rights and access to education, health care and other social goods. Inequality is socially created by matching two different kinds of processes. “The social roles in society are first matched to ‘reward packages’ of unequal value and individual members of society are then allocated to the positions so defined and rewarded” Social inequality is different from economic inequality but the two inequalities are linked. Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. While economic inequality is caused by the unequal distribution of wealth, social inequality exists because the lack of wealth in certain areas prohibits these people from obtaining the same housing, health care, etc. as the wealthy in societies where access to these social goods depends on wealth. “The degree of inequality in a given reward or asset depends, of course, on its dispersion or concentration across the individuals in the population”. ( I also feel economic inequalities goes well with these examples before I go further…… Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. The term typically refers to inequality among individuals and groups within a society, but can also refer to inequality among nations. Economic Inequality generally refers to equality of outcome, and is related to the idea of equality of opportunity. It is a contested issue whether economic inequality is a positive or negative phenomenon, both on utilitarian and moral grounds. Economic inequality has existed in a wide range of societies and historical periods; its nature, cause and importance are open to broad debate. A country's economic structure or system (for example, capitalism or socialism), ongoing or past wars, and differences in individuals' abilities to create wealth are all involved in the creation of economic inequality. The existence of different genders, races and cultures within a society is also thought to contribute to economic inequality. Some psychologists such as Richard Lynn argue that there are innate group differences in ability that are partially responsible for producing race and gender group differences in wealth (see also race and intelligence, sex and intelligence) though this assertion is highly controversial. The idea of the gender gap tries to explain differences in income between genders. Culture and religion are thought to play a role in creating inequality by either encouraging or discouraging wealth-acquiring behavior, and by providing a basis for discrimination. In many countries individuals belonging to certain racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be poor. Proposed causes include cultural differences amongst different races, an educational achievement gap, and racism. Now let’s take a look at minorities’ definition as I thought was the best way to describe as a minority or subordinate group is a sociological...
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