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With Reference To Any One Dimension Of Social Inequality, Show What Interests, Structures And Agents Are Involved In Its Construction And Maintenance?

1441 words - 6 pages

With reference to any one dimension of social inequality, show what interests, structures and agents are involved in its construction and maintenance?The aim of this essay is to discuss the Irish Travellers as an ethnic minority group. It will highlight the interests of this disadvantaged group and focus on the inequalities they encounter. It will conclude with knowledge based on references on what structures and agents are involved it its construction and maintenance. I will stress the continuing difficulties experienced by Travellers in gaining human rights and how legal and bureaucratic structures help to maintain and institutional structure of discrimination.The Irish Travellers have attracted scholarly attention since the late nineteenth century and have been referred to by a variety of terms, including 'gypsies,' 'tinkers,' and 'itinerants.'(Helleiner: p.7). They have their own language, customs and traditions. These travellers are widely acknowledged as one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups in Irish society. The situation of Travellers in Ireland today can be best described as one of exclusion and oppression. Irish Travellers are the largest minority in Ireland. There are about 25,000 Irish Travellers in Ireland and 1,300 in Northern Ireland. They are a little understood nomadic community, who have many difficulties to overcome if they are to survive as a culture and gain acceptance in Irish society. Among the challenges facing them are poverty and racism.The Irish Travellers Movement is the national organisation of groups and individuals working with the traveller community. Members of the ITM are united in and acknowledgement of the nomadic ethnic identity of the Travellers and n a commitment to work to address their situation in Irish society. Faced constantly with issues of appalling accommodation conditions of accommodation, the Irish Traveller has implications for other aspects of their lives. For their accommodation needs to be met a range of optionsTravellers in Ireland are recognized as one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups in Irish society. They rate poorly on every indicator used to measure disadvantage: unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, health status, infant mortality, life expectancy, illiteracy, education and training levels, access to decision making and political representation, gender equality, access to credit, accommodation and living conditions. Many have to endure living in intolerable conditions, with approximately one third having to live without access to the basic facilities of sanitation, water and electricity. This leads to ongoing health problems among the Traveller community.Most Travellers can give a range of examples of how they have been and are discriminated against because of their Traveller identity. There are Travellers who decide not to socialise or use certain services because they are afraid that yet again they will be "made a show of", or embarrassed. Yet many...

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