Social Inequalities

Wealth characterizes the social and economic position of individuals. Social classes have continually been measured on the basis of the occupation, education, and income parameters but determined by the level of wealth in an individual’s possession. The possession of wealth or lack of it, thereof, determines social position irrespective of racial inclination. The consequences of wealth possession are far reaching despite the individual’s income level in the social placement in the class structures. Individual’s social standing and status as stipulated by education, income and occupation; cannot in definitive terms describe an individual’s social class, in the exemption of wealth considerations.

Homeownership and education attained illustrate the social economic disparity in wealth distribution along racial alignments. The reference of the whites as superior has provided them with a competitive edge in acquisition of assets that compound their cumulative wealth; while placing blacks at a disadvantaged position in the economic and social terms. White people acquire homeownership easily in areas, which are economically more viable than black people. However, the process of homeownership for a black person is characterized by significant challenges and “redlining,” which make it difficult or impossible to acquire homes assets in economically viable regions or acquiring significant assets.

The influence of racial profiling in the creation and enforcement of social policies has affected the American society critically. Racial influence on policy is characterized by the welfare distribution policy. The social policy, in the allocation of welfare, can be attributed to poor lower class people. This is evidenced by black people who are characterized by higher poverty margins in contrast to the white people.

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This policy aids the economic difficulties faced by the low income groups in attempting to provide the basic needs to all citizens; however, this policy is faced by drawbacks, like dependence on welfare leading deficiencies in self motivation in looking for employment and self empowerment. The racial references in this policy attribute the black race as economically dependent on others as characterized by degrading lifestyle, violence, drug abuse, and diseases.

The social welfare policy is complimented by the housing policy, which attempts to facilitate the provision of housing for all Americans. However, disposable income adequate for acquisition of housing units is limited to a small number of African Americans. Social policy favors the whites by offering them economic concessions in the acquisition of property; while the blacks are left to overcrowd in poor, underdeveloped neighborhoods.

The children of immigrants represent a cadre of social groups referred to as inferior in contrast to the indigenous, white race. Race characterizes a critical parameter in quantifying the social position of a people. Despite the human capital and representation, the children of American immigrants may not be recognized by their qualifications; but are gauged by their racial background as the immigrant Americans.

However, most immigrants despite their real human capital potential and qualification are considered to be of lower class. Hence, they are employed in menial job placements; while they attempt to adopt new cultures readily, in contrast to their parents. The parent’s inability to adapt the American language and culture creates a need for authority in their new societal environment. This is provided by the children; who are quick to adapt and assimilate to the new societal demands.

However, acculturation offers an opportunity for personal development in the economic ladder. Acculturation also influences choices made; thus, immigrant children may choose a destructive lifestyle, like joining gangs, which are symbolic to a downward assimilation into the social classes. However, choices in improving one’s economic wellbeing, like training and educational advancement, are critical in the assimilation into the middle class.

The effect of gender segregation in the workplace is predominated by wide gaps in male and female wages as illustrated by views on socialization aspects in career choices, and the traditional aspects dominating the existing economic conditions. The socialization perspective describes the wage gap as a result of differences in male and female preferences, aspirations and interests. This creates a differential in career choices; therefore, influencing the wage differential between the genders. The socialization theory attributes the choice of jobs as a factor of gender sensitive social norms. This perspective illustrates women as making choices on the basis of female attributable jobs in light of social cultural norms.

The economic perspective represents demand discrimination as the determining factor in the hiring of men and women; where, employer differential in hiring male and female individuals is critical. Hence, employer’s dismissal of women’s capability and ability to perform in jobs designated as male jobs. The discrimination is based on cultural notions, on which sex is best suited to a given job or on a statistical basis in lieu of statistical data on tasks where women have performed poorly. These perspectives significantly contribute to the segregation in the male and female wage gap.

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The industrial ladder labor market provided opportunities for advancement to the immigrant workers. These workers lacked significant educational qualifications; however, they were given an opportunity to advance through the factory hierarchical structures. On the other hand, the hour-glass market is characterized by the rise of those possessing qualifications and technical skills in the service industries; while those who did not posses educational qualification were terminated. The social status of the uneducated declined significantly while the educated service providers rose in the economic and social classes.

The change in the shape of the labor markets was influenced by technological advances where the service industry preferred educational qualification and technical skills in its operation. The advent of technological applications diminished the need for unskilled labor in critical operations. The other contributing factor is the downsizing and industrial restructuring aligning to optimize resource allocations; while minimizing operational costs in line with the economic and technological changes taking place.

Formal education factored in realigning the job market from industrial ladder labor market to hour-glass labor market. Education determined which end of the hour-glass workers will fall; with the educated and skilled on the receiving end while the uneducated and unskilled on the declining end.

Queuing theory defines the methods used in making strategic decisions, on which resource is best suited for a given task. Queuing theory influences the segmentation of labor markets on the basis of each labor market’s ability to meet demand adequately. Labor markets have distinguishing attributes whose uniqueness factors in meeting demand; which are critical in determining the optimal choice in the labor market.

The effects of the queuing theory are illustrated in the hiring preferences as illustrated in the Los Angeles hiring practices. The consideration of various attributes like social class, cultural background, education and skills, were critical in the determination of the best fit person to employ. However, despite the candidate’s qualifications, aspects of socio-cultural prejudices influenced the decisions made on hiring immigrant workers.

Prejudices and social discrimination based on race and cultural background provided employers with the option of hiring uneducated and less skilled white people in the high end of the low wages jobs. The queuing theory applied by identifying less educated and unskilled whites as the optimal choice to be employed for the high end low wage job. These choices were based on social expectations, beliefs and presented stereotypes based on purported racial deficiencies or competencies.

Immigrant networks are critical in providing a supply of workers and information in quantitative terms. A potential worker can access readily available information on the dynamics facing the low wage job market; thus, optimal choices are made in terms of wages, work environment and conditions. Qualitative information is crucial in making decisions; therefore, immigrant networks were reliable sources on the available job market and human capital. The immigrant network acts a social forum, in which immigrant’s source and channel information on jobs; while creating a basis for work opportunities to earn income.

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Immigrant networks influence the segmentation of the labor markets by creating a pool of workforce characterized by dynamic of unskilled and skilled labor force. The immigrant networks provide the optimal workforce characterized by skilled and unskilled candidates in the immigrant networks. The sourcing characteristics of immigrant networks makes it possible to categorize each potential worker; on the basis of their merit and ability to work, in the designated low wage job classifications. The immigrant network provided a variety of choices merited by skills, education, and personal attributes. Mentoring and training creates a disciplined network; hence creating a segmented labor market based on qualification, economic and technical skills.

Jobs provide the basis, where people measure and quantify their expectations, and set goals in their lives. However, the lack of jobs caused by economic depressions has critically affected the urban populations. The downsizing of organizations and restructuring of industries to mitigate the effects of the economic depression left a significant number of urban workers out of formal work. The disappearance of formal jobs created a social class embodied in poverty and informal jobs; if available.

However, despite the menial jobs in the informal sector, inadequate income leads to the reliance on public welfare disbursements to cover their daily living costs. The lack of jobs creates a demoralized people, unable to sustain their motivation for work. The inability to provide for themselves has created a demoralized social class dependent on public aid and welfare.

The declining feelings of efficacy in people contribute to feelings of racial discrimination and prosecution by inadequate allocation of jobs or public and economic investments in the ghettos. Social-cultural practices like racial discriminations in the job markets and perceptions of the blacks, as socially inferior in class and status, have led to the difficulties posed in bridging the economic gap existing amongst the American racial profiles. 

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