Theories of inequality

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Theories of social class inequality

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Functionalist theory of social class inequality

- There is social mobility in the uk. This means individuals can rise to higher classes than their parents. Social mobility = Fair society.

- Society is a meritocracy, this means people achieve their staus through merit and hard work.

- Society rewards talent and hard work with property, power and wealth.

- Davis and Moore (Socia inequality is fair) This is because a meritocracy system requiresw competition. Competition enables people to be selected for each position. Social class inequqality is necessary for a healthy funtioning society,

- Saunders 1990 (New right functionalist) Argues whilst society is unequal, itis not necessarily un fair; If individuals are talented and work hard, they will be rewarded. The giving of unequal reqards for different positions has a positive effet as it motivated people to work hard.

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Maxist theory of social class inequality.

Karl marx - Karl marx argues that social inequalities are based of the expliotation of the working class (proletariat) by the rulling class (bourgeoisie) in the economic system called capitilism.

- Capitilism (Economic system based on the private ownership of wealth) is expliotive. R/C owns the means of production, they want to make profit and pay W/C low wages and make them work long hours. W/C unawear or expliotation.

- Cultrual hegomony (media, educations, religion, politics) are ways of controlling the way the W/C think, they trick the W/C into not recognising inequality,

- Communist menofesto (Karl marx) to inspire W/C to make transition from being a 'class in its self' and recognise their expliotation.

- Karl marx said that middle classes would disappear and W/C and R/C would polarise into extreme positions. W/C would take over and over throw the R/C in a communist revolutions. This would mean there would be a shared distribution of wealth.

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Weberian theory of social class inequality.

- Weber critisised Marx for being one dimentional in his theory. Marx only focussed on capitlism as being resposible for social class inquality. Weber argued there are different factors behind inequality.

1) Market situation - Dual labour market theory - Primary labour sector = Secure, well paid, pospects. Secondary labour market = Low paid, unskilled, insecure.

2) Status group - There exist negitivly privileged status groups.

3) Political power - If an indivual belongs to a political party, pressure group they can access some form of power.

- Weberians accuratly preticted fragmentaion of the different class groups.

- Braverman - We should now talk about the middle classes not the middle classs.

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Postmodernist theory of soxcial class inequality.

- Reject all grand theories.

- Lyotard (1984) argued that one theory alone cannot explain the social world. Postmodernists theory takes a relatvist position; the view that there is no such thing as an onjective truth.

- Pakulski and Waters argues that in a postmodern age, the concept of your class is no longer a relevant as a marker of your identity.

- Polemus (1997) Believes that we now live in a pick'n'mix society where it becomes impossible to pigeon hole people into a particular class.

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Theories of ethnic Inequality.

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Functionalis theory of ethnic inequality.

- Functionalists blame ethnic groups (human agency) for their lack of social mobility in a meritocracy.

- Davis and Moore (1945) - If minority group gives up its own cultrual values and behaviours and adopts those of thic majority, they will achieve equality and therefore become a part ofthe meritocracy. (Become like us you are equal)

- Parsons (1996) argued that classification of 'American Negro' as second class citizens, showed USA ws immoral and corupt. He supported MLK's civil rights movement,

- Saunders (NR) argues that a disproportionate membership of thnic minorities in underclass is evidence of failings amoungst ethnic groups 'immigrants' fail to assimilate into recieving culture, casting themselves as outsiders. Ethnic minories develop culture poverty; passive and fatalistic acceptace of their poperty. Afro carribbeans have high incidence of single parent families, whoch makes them welfare dependant.

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Marxist theory of ethnic inequality.

- Marxist don't blame ethnic minorities of inequlity by capitilism (social structure). Expliotation = inequality.

- Cox (1948) agues that racism in brtian in the 40s/50s served the interest of capitilism alowwing blacks to be seen as secound class citizens helped justify low pay. Capitilist benefit from the cheap labout of ethnic minorities.

- Castles and Kosack Argue that capitilist divide and rule. Employers prefer white and minorities to be divided by raism because if black and white workers unite than they are in a strong position to campaighn for better wages and conditions.

- Gilroy (Neo marxist) There aint no black in the union jack. (1987) Ideas of britishness leads to ethnic minorites being seen as outsiders.

- Hall(1979) Media used 'immigration problems' in the 1070s to diver attentio away from economic recession.

- Islamophobic - The fear and disgust of muslims; increase in racist and relgious based crime against muslims.

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Weberian theory of ethnic inequality.

- Weberians do not blame ethnic minorities for inequality, but the social structure, Factorys behind ethnic inequalities are multidemtional.

1) Market situation - Borron and Norris argue that  black people are more likely to b found in the secondary labout market as they are less likely t gain primary sectory employment because employers may subscribe to racist beliefs (ethnic penalty). And even practice discrimination against (institutional racism).

2) Status inequality Ethnic minorities suffer status inequality. Even M/C asains doing professional jobs may experiance status inequality in form of prejudice attitudes. Parkin (1968) argues the M/C practice social closure to keep out minority ethnicities. Ethnic miorities are negitily privileged. Not a glass ceilling but concrete.

3) Political power Legal and political frame work support black people are weak.

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Postmodernist theory of ethnic inequality.

- Reject all grand theories.

- Lyotard (1984) argued that one theory alone cannot explain the social world. Postmodernists theory takes a relatvist position; the view that there is no such thing as an onjective truth.

- Modood (1997) critical of approaches which protray ethnic miorities as victims. He wants to develop a more plual approach. The world is characterised by fragmentation, fluidity and ethnic divercity. Modood argues hat there is now a divercity within ethnic groups. Groups can be pick'n'mix or ethnic hybridity.

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Theories of Age inequality

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Functionalist theory of age inequality.

- Functionalists argue there is a value consensus that the elderly do not have neccassary skills to be acctive in society.

- Disengagement theory - Elderlt should remover (disengage) themselves from social roles to make way for younger generation to engage.

- Cummings and Henry - Interviews 279 elderly white people in the USA and the conclution was there is a value concensus between all elderly.

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Marxist theory of age inequality

- Vincent (2006) Capitilist society expliots young and old. They are the reserve army of labour. They can be hired and fired at will.

- Beatrix Campell Young women use having a baby as a mwans of acquiring an adult status, which lack oppitunities has otherwised denied for them.

Kidd (2001) Enderly are neglected by capitilist society, no longer have spending power or labour power. Elderly are a dran on our country = neglected.

 Child benefit and state pension = part of ideological state apparatus (cultral hegemony) Brain washing young ad elderly make them dependat on the state and therefore grateful.

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Weberian theory of Age inequality

- Weberians argue that old age and retiremwnr can be associated with a loss of status power and power i socety. Dual labour marker theory - negitivly privileged status groups and glass ceilings.

- Dual labut market theory will apply. They will be a negitivily privlidged status group and the older you are there is a glass ceiling.

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Postmodernists theory of age inequality

- Reject all grand theories.

- Lyotard (1984) argued that one theory alone cannot explain the social world. Postmodernists theory takes a relatvist position; the view that there is no such thing as an onjective truth.

- Featherstone and Hepworth (1999) There is no sigle life course in out society. Some elderly are poor ad living off benefits and state pension, spme have to carry on working after retirement. Others want to carry on working, others have private pension.

Andrew Blaikie (1999) argues thyat consumer culture has changed stereotypes of the elderly. Marketing companies have recognised the buying power of the elderly, magazines emphasise te joys of retirement.

- Blakie argues that identity is a matter of chioce (Pick'n'Mix) rather than determined by age. Medical advances could lead to stereotypes breaking down to the extent that we become close to the end of an old age.

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Postmodernists theory of age inequality

- Reject all grand theories.

- Lyotard (1984) argued that one theory alone cannot explain the social world. Postmodernists theory takes a relatvist position; the view that there is no such thing as an onjective truth.

- Featherstone and Hepworth (1999) There is no sigle life course in out society. Some elderly are poor ad living off benefits and state pension, spme have to carry on working after retirement. Others want to carry on working, others have private pension.

Andrew Blaikie (1999) argues thyat consumer culture has changed stereotypes of the elderly. Marketing companies have recognised the buying power of the elderly, magazines emphasise te joys of retirement.

- Blakie argues that identity is a matter of chioce (Pick'n'Mix) rather than determined by age. Medical advances could lead to stereotypes breaking down to the extent that we become close to the end of an old age.

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