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Class/Inequality. This Was Written In The First Person Discussing My Own Experience With Various Class And Inequality Aspects Of Life.

1433 words - 6 pages

Untitled

ESSAY 4

PG. 1

CLASS/INEQUALITY

"Social class is the social structure position groups hold relative to the economic, social,

political, and cultural resources of society. Class determines the access people have to these

resources and puts groups in different positions of privilege and disadvantage. Class also shapes

language, dress, mannerisms, taste and other preferences"(Class notes). Social class can shape

life chances in that, those who have access to more, have more opportunities to achieve more.

If you live in poverty and attend subpar schools the chances you have to succeed become

greatly hindered. On the opposite side of this coin, if you have wealth and attend private

schools with greater education possibilities, the opportunities that you are afforded are greatly

increased. This also translates to adulthood where those that have an economic advantage

tend to also have social and political advantages that those with less do not have access to. All

of us fall into one category or another even though there are those special cases where people

transcend these categories in one way or another. Whether that be those that have much and

lose it or those that have little and either through hard work or luck(lottery winners) gain much.

In my particular case, just like everyone else, my social class has shaped experiences

throughout my life. As a child, my family lived in a "rough" neighborhood and I attended a

public school that was good but not the best. After a couple of years my father got a promotion

and we moved to a great neighborhood. Along with this promotion came a lot more money and

I began attending a private school. We were not rich but we were probably considered upper

middle class. Along with this movement in class the ability to have access to things such as a

ESSAY 4

PG. 2

private education and social activities became much more prevalent. The friends that I

had from my old neighborhood became lost in the transition because they were no longer a

part of the group of people I had become a part of. This is just one example of the inequality

that social class creates between groups.

There are various theories that deal with social class and inequality and two of them

that are prominent are the functionalist theory and the conflict theory. The functionalist

theory basically says that there is a need for a hierarchy in society to maintain some

semblance of balance. Therefore, inequality exists so that there is a group that has the

money, power, and position and there is the group that does not have these things.

According to this theory, if everyone had the same position in life there would be no balance

and cohesion. The functionalist theory requires people to run business and people to actually

do the work of the business. The conflict theory works on this basis as well, but focuses

more on the conflict that occurs...

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