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Social Inquality

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As we prosper through time, inequality is slowly less evident. A lot of people don't realize that although things are improving with time, inequality is still prominent in our society. The people that are failing to realize that there still is inequality, are the fortunate ones. They rise well above the poverty line, and usually live relatively economically sound lives. They are the people who are supplied with our society's benefits.

The people that are in pursuit of social change, and constantly bring attention to issues of equal rights and privileges, are often the people that do not have them. They are the ones who suffer daily from different levels of inequality.

The majority of post-secondary students are considered to be privileged people. This tends to cause an ignorance, or lack of education, towards inequality because most of the students do not experience great levels of inequality. When our class was given our first quiz, everybody was able to feel a sense of inequality. As the class was divided into the different time groups, every student felt the unequal opportunity. Even the students that were allotted the most time for the quiz were able to at least see the inequality. As different times were announced the less fortunate students began to complain, and the more fortunate ones realized that their once equal peers, were now placed in an unequal situation. Since most of the students do not experience great amounts of inequality, the unequal time distribution shocked them.

Fortunately for myself, I have grown up in an upper-middle class family. Although my parents have always tried to educate me on inequality, I never experienced much of it. During a class exercise I was placed in a group, and was given six minutes to complete my quiz. Although this was almost enough time for me to complete my quiz, I was definitely jealous of the students that were allotted more time. Even though the groups were arranged randomly, I still felt like I was treated unequally to my peers. I felt unequal to both my peers that had more, and less time, than me. The situation made me angry, and I wanted an explanation from the instructor for the unequal situation that was forced upon me. I felt the injustice because I had a different time to write my quiz than a neighboring peer; who pays the same tuition, and attends the same class as I do. I wanted to know why some of my peers were given more time than I was, thus enabling them to possibly score higher on the quiz. This quiz was the first mark of the course, and was I worried that my first grade was going to be a poor one.

When the instructor explained the purpose of the exercise I realized what an excellent point he had proven. He forced us in an unequal situation that was out of our control. It was nothing we could have predicted or done anything about.

This unique exercise put me on a new level of stratification that I was not used to. It made me feel how other people, not only in my society, but worldwide, feel about inequality everyday. The difference was that I was soon given an explanation, and returned to my regular level of stratification. Many people in our society are given no explanation to their forced inequality. Although the classroom exercise does not compare to the real world, it still stirred feelings of rage, helplessness and discouragement. Looking through the window of the unequal situation changed my views on lower groups of society. It made me realize how difficult social mobility can be. I can understand the Davis-Moore thesis, which states that stratification has beneficial consequences. It is easy for people on the higher end of the stratification hierarchy to agree with this because they believe that the harder one works, the more they will achieve, thus promoting production in society. Individuals at lower ends of the stratification system disagree with that. Their social status prevents them from achieving their best because all of the benefits and advantages are given to those of a higher status. The lower class is constantly denied society's privileges, such as education. This tends to discourage them, often leaving them feeling helpless. Unfortunately this helplessness tends to be viewed by many higher class people as laziness. What is not realized is that social stratification is a character of society, and not just a reflection on individual differences.



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