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Class, Racial And Gender Inequalities In Uk

1106 words - 4 pages

Inequalities in UK PAGE 1
Running Head: CLASS, RACIAL AND GENDER INEQUALITIES IN UKClass, Racial and Gender Inequalities in United Kingdom[Name of the Writer][Name of the Institution]Class, Racial and Gender Inequalities in United KingdomThe gender gap in wages in numerous countries has been well researched in sociology and economics, but scholars have paid less attention to the gender gap in wealth. Using wages to indicate gender-based economic advantage and disadvantage is revealing, but it is also somewhat limiting.Wages can fluctuate over time as women move into or out of the labor market and increase or reduce their hours of paid work. Moreover, individuals with similar wages can have very different assets and savings - or debts - and these differences impact the degree of their economic security considerably (Sara Cantillon and Brian Nolan, 2001, 6). Researching wealth enables us to move beyond the snapshot picture of short-term gendered economic inequality that we obtain when we analyze wages and onto exploring the longer term buildup of gendered economic inequities. In this way, the intensity of the economic disadvantage women face can be better revealed and its implications better analyzed.Gender is a key variable in the analysis of inequalities in wealth and is the focus of this article. Yet the sociological and economic literatures on women's and men's economic positions reveal an increasing focus on other, non-gendered, social differences. Paying more attention to these other social divisions' means that we are able to develop a fuller understanding of the picture of economic advantage and disadvantage in contemporary society. In the 2002 special issue of Feminist Economics devoted to theorizing gender, caste, race, and class, Rose M. Brewer, Cecilia A. Conrad, and Mary C. King (2002, 6) lamented the fact that much of the research published in the journal has centered purely on gender and, in so doing, has neglected the ways in which gender is shaped by other divisions.Examining only what unites women and separates them from men passes over major, significant divisions such as race and class that have ramifications for understanding the experiences of different groups of women and men in society. Put simply, as bell hooks (2000: 19) asked in her well-known critique of the feminist call for ''equality with men'': ''[S]ince men are not equal in a white, supremacist, patriarchal class structure, which men do women want to be equal to?'' The attention that is now being paid to class, race, and other divisions, alongside gender, reflects the impact of an increasingly sophisticated theorizing of ''social divisions'' that has raised two pertinent issues for our understanding of inequalities in society. First, one of the core characteristics of a social division (such as gender, class, race, sexuality, and so on) is that it is socially constructed, not natural, and as a result can vary over time and across societies. Second is the growing...

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