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Understanding Social Inequality Essay

884 words - 4 pages

Still today John Porter’s idea of a Vertical Mosaic remains powerful image in Canadian society. Porter describes Canada as a society of various social groups, in which they are categorized according to their ethnicity, class, religion and language. In recent decades, the vertical mosaic has been reinterpreted where the subordinate positions of women, disabled people, aboriginal peoples and visible minorities have been prominent. Even two decades after publishing the Vertical Mosaic, John Porter himself questioned the durability of ethnicity as an organizing principle in the vertical mosaic and coauthored a paper proclaiming “the collapse of the vertical mosaic”(Pineo and Porter 390). The ...view middle of the document...

A finding by Lautard and Loree (1984) showed ethnicity as a basis for inequality which concluded that inequality among ethnic groups had declined over time. Lautard and Loree claimed that “occupational inequality is still substantial enough to justify the use of the concept ‘vertical mosaic’ to characterize this aspect of ethnic relations in Canada” (1984, p. 342). Porter (1985) repeated his earlier analysis with the 1971 census and, agreeing with Lautard and Loree, claimed that “ethnic stratification has persisted through to 1971” (Porter, 1985, p. 48). And with Pineo (Pineo and Porter, 1985), Porter showed that association between ethnic origin and occupation had weakened in recent decades.
In order to know the domination of one group over other group and to know the pattern of occupational stratification to make comparison among groups and to determine trends across censes years we need help of index of dissimilarity. It is the total of all positive or negative differences percentage of ethnic group members who would have to have a different occupation in order for the group’s occupational distribution to match that of the total labour force. The table showed in census of Canada (1991) contains indexes of dissimilarity for 16 ethnic groups and 17 as of 1981 and 1991(Statistics Canada, 1993, c. 93-315). Between 1971 and 1981 occupational differentiation generally declined. The only exceptions are the indexes for men of Dutch and Scandinavian origin and Jewish women each of which are at one point higher in 1981 than 1971. Over the 1980s, occupational dissimilarity declined among both men and women for 9 of the 17 ethnic groups including Jewish, British, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, South Asian, Métis, Black...

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