Component 2 Section B


Income and wealth

  • 2013 = the 5th poorest of UK paid 37.5% of their income to taxes, whereas the richest 5th only paid 35.1%
  • The High Pay Centre = the 100 largest companies got a pay rise of 49% in 2012. In that same year, the “disposable people” got a pay rise of 3%!  
  • The Globe = the richest 1% own half of the world's wealth
  • Some argue that wealth is linked with social class, others age - for example, the Birmingham Commission found that those in the 55-64 ages have the highest level of wealth 
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  • The Trussel Trust = 2014 = 4.7 million in poverty compared to 26,000 in 2008
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Social mobility

  • Goldthorpe: the Oxford Mobility Study = found that, through studying a sample of 10,000 men, men in the service class had better chances of upward mobility than those in the working class   
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Functionalism + social inequality

  • Davis and Moore (1945) = "effective role allocation" - states that social class is completely necessary and has always been a feature within society as it ensures that everybody fits within their effective roles 
  • Idea of Meritocracy = Tony Atkinson states that most of wealth is inherited, meaning that the rules of Meritocracy don't really apply 
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The New Right + social inequality

  • Charles Murray (1984) = States that there is an issue with the benefit system as it creates a "dependency culture." He also believes that the underclass puts themselves in a postition of helplessness and argues that if the welfare is reduced then so will poverty
  • Peter Sanders (1990) = developed Murray's ideas and argued that inequality and poverty encourages people to work harder! What a controversial statement, Sanders
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Marxism + social inequality

  • Karl Marx = primitive societies = communist societies. However, class divisions appear when they evolve and become capitalist societies and therefore blames capitalism for class inequality. Also states that there is "polarisation" between the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat which is a gap that is widening. Workers also experience “alienation” as they are not satisfied with their job and are being used to profit - states that an "economic crisis" is bound to occur
  • Braverman (1974) (Neo-Marxist) = argues that the middle class have now been "deskilled" due to manual work taking over and capitalism becoming "trans-national" - worldwide 
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Weberian + social inequality

  • Max Weber = states that inequalities are based on differences in status, power and wealth and social class are a group who share the same "market situation." Also argues that there are four main social classes; propertied upper class, petty Bourgeoise, property-less white-collar workers and manual working class
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Feminism + social inequality

  • Pamela Abbott (1990) = argues that studies ignore the experiences of women and states that there is a need to study their social mobility as the experiences of men and women are very different 
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Postmodernism + social inequality

  • Pakulki and Walters (1996) = argues that "class is dead" and therefore inequality is now based on culture and consumption rather than economy 
  • Beck (1992) = argues that social class is no longer important as we all face the same wider issues in society 
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Gender inequality (female)


  • The ONS = more men work in professional jobs which have higher levels of pay, caring occupations = women-dominated and men take up top 10% of workers   


  • The Oxfam (2008) = income of retired women is 40% less than mens 
  • United Nations (2014) found that women take up 50% of the world's population but only 1% of the world's wealth 

Poverty and life chances;

  • Global Citizen (2014) = found that women take up 50% of the population but 70% of the world's poor
  • Trussel Trust (2014) = mothers experience food poverty more in order to protect their children
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Gender inequality (female)

Gender and social mobility;

  • Devine (2011) = women are more likely to achieve downward social mobility and less likely to achieve upward social mobility than men 
  • Savage (2011) = studied social mobility in the 200's and found that men are 40% more likely to go up the career ladder than women

Gender and ethnicity; 

  • Black African and Caribbean women have experienced a 15-20% fall in full-time employment whilst white women remain mostly stable
  • Muslim women experience a significant career barrier 
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Gender inequality (male)


  • Boys are twice as likely to have literacy problems, twice as likely to have special education needs and four times as likely to be excluded. Ofsted (2012) argues that white working class boys are the most underachieving group within society because of anti-school subcultures 
  • Mac an Ghail (1994) = "crisis in masculinty" - argues that boys no longer have a clear path due to de-industrialisation and feminism


  • 2017 = women have a longer life expectancy; men = 79, women = 83
  • ONS (2010) = found that men develop heart disease 10 years earlier than women and are more likely to have drug/alcohol problems - 75% of cannabis users are men and 80% of alcohol users are men
  • 2017 = there were 5,821 suicides in Britain and 75% were men whilst 25% were women
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Gender inequality (male)

Work and income;

  • 95% of the 200 killed in the workplace are male 
  • ONS (2010) = men work 39 hours a week wheres women work 34 hours a week
  • David Benator (2012) = states that men are the least desirsable, low security, dangerous and low paying workers
  • Gayle Kaufman = states that men struggle to juggle the role of the provider with no emotional support
  • Varin et al (1999) = men are still expected to be the bread-winners and super-dads which is intensified by consumerism and children's intensified need for consumer goods 
  • The Equal Opportunities Commission = men aren't given the same flexibility with their work as women - 1/8 fathers work 60 hours a week
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Functionalism + gender inequality

  • George Murdock (1949) = women are found in the private domestic sphere of the home and men in the public sphere of labour due to gender differences. Argues that this gender division of labour is absolutely essential for society to function and reaffirm social order
  • Talcott Parsons and Bales (1955) = gender differences are due to men having an "instrumental" role within society whilst women have the "expressive" and caring role 
  • Talcott Parsons (1955) = sees the nuclear family as a "warm bath" - men come home from a hard day at work and are able to relax due to the role of the woman which then ensures social order and reaffirms the Organic Analogy - society works! Wanna drown in that warm bath, Parsons?
  • Emile Durkheim = men have more human capital (knowledge, experiences and attitudes) and are therefore have better job opportunities 
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The New Right + gender inequality

  • Charles Murray (1984) = argues that men should take part in the public sphere of work whereas women should be located in the private domestic sphere. Also argues that the nuclear family is absolutely essential as it reaffirms social order and the Organic Analogy as the nuclear family withold consensus
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Marxism + gender inequality

  • Friedrich Engels = states that women's subordinate position within society is due to the capiatlist system and that the exploitive relationship between the Bourgeoise and the Proletariat is translated into the household
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Weberian + gender inequality

  • Barron and Norris (1976) = "dual labour parket" = primary labour market = high security jobs, men and secondary labour market = low security jobs, women. States that this causes women to experience "social closure" = being socially excluded 
  • Horizontal and vertical segregation 
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Lib Feminism + gender inequality

  • Ann Oakley (1974) = gender role socialisation through the processes of "manipulation" and "canalisation" - this instantly opresses women at birth 
  • Sue Sharpe (1994) = compared the attitudes of women in the 70's and the 90's. 70's = family-orientated whereas in the 90's they were career-orientated 
  • Sylvia Walby = criticises liberal femininsm as it doesn't consider the ways the structure of society affects social inequality 
  • Black feminism = critical of liberalists as don't consider women of ethnic minorities 
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Marx feminism + gender inequality

  • Diane Feeley (1972) = argues that family teach children to submit to a form of parental authority that is patriarchal and that a family supports patriarchal ideology as it suggests that men and women have different roles. Also argues that the capitalist system leads to the oppression of women
  • Ansley (1976) = "takers of ****" - argues that women act as a "safety value" for men and are the takers of **** - men come home from work and take out their frustations on the woman
  • Margret Benston (1972) = states that the unpaid domestic labour of women supports the capitalist system as the wife looks after the husband and makes him fit and healthy to work
  • Catherine Hakim = critical of Marxist feminists as she argues that women just aren't as commited to their career as men and that inequalities are the result of different attitudes
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Rad feminism + gender inequality

  • Johnson (1995) = "patriarchal terrorism" = violence which is the result of the man's right to "control their woman" - patriarchal aggression. Also argues that patriarchy is the root cause of gender inequality as everything is MALESTREAM and the nuclear family ensure male domination through female subordination
  • Millett (1970) = argues that men aquire power over women through biological factors; periods, pregnacy, etc 
  • Atkinson = "political lesbianism" = men use patriarchal ideology to enforce female heterosexuality in order to enforce their control and argues that no woman is inherently straight
  • Sylvia Walby = instead argues that there is an interplay between different forms of inequality = "intersectionality" - critisises radicalism as it states that patriarchy is universal and unchanging
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Postmodernism + gender

  • Argues that gender is now on a scale and there are no longer any fixed ideas about it due to "blurred boundaries." 
  • Polhemus = "supermarket of style" - youths now have the diversity and choice to "pick and mix" their identities and gender inequalities no longer exist because of this 
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Ethnicity inequality


•14% of the population in 2014 belonged to an ethnic minority group •Black males were most likely to be unemployed – 48% •Black females were also most likely to be unemployed – 34% •Pakistani males were most likely to have low skilled jobs – 57% •Gypsy females were most likely to have low skilled jobs – 71% •Bangladeshi (54%) and Gypsies (54%) were most likely to be working part time

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Ethnicity inequality

  • The Joseph Rowntree Foundation = found that ethnic minority graduates (particularly women) are finding it harder to gain higher level positions. Davidson (1997) = “concrete ceiling”
  • Battu and Sloan (2004) = found that ethnic minority graduates are more likely to be over-educated
  • Heath and Yu (2005) = found that first generation black Indian and migrant males faced ethnic penalties in access to professional jobs
  • Wood et al (2009) = found that there is a discrimination in favour of “white names” over foreign names in the workplace. Vikam Dodd found that ethnic minority women wished to come across at white
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