I agree with the statement that stratification makes us not to think for ourselves and feel powerless to create change for social and economic justice. Karl Marx allotted modern culture two major and one minor orders: the bourgeoisie (industrialist class), the petite bourgeoisie (little entrepreneur class), and low class (laborer class). Marx made these divisions dependent on whether the “methods for creation, for example, manufacturing plants, machines, and apparatuses are possessed, and whether laborers are enlisted. Entrepreneurs are the individuals who claim the strategies for development and utilize others to work for them (McLeod 31). Laborers are the individuals who don’t claim the methods for generation, don’t contract others, and in this way are compelled to work for the business people. Little business people are the individuals who possess the methods for generation however don’t utilize others. These incorporate self‐employed people, similar to specialists, legal counselors, and tradesmen. As per Marx, the little entrepreneurs are just a transitional, minor class that is at last bound to getting to be individuals from the low class.
Marx held that abuse is the unavoidable result of the two noteworthy classes endeavoring to exist together inside a similar society. So as to endure, laborers are pressured into buckling down long, hard hours under less‐than‐ideal conditions to amplify the benefits of the entrepreneurs. Regardless of Marx’s fizzled forecasts, considerable monetary disparities exist today in the United States. Riches alludes to the benefits and income‐producing things that individuals possess: land, investment accounts, stocks, securities, and shared assets (McLeod 34). Pay alludes to the cash that individuals get over a specific timeframe, including compensations and wages. Current social insights show the least fortunate 20 percent of Americans procure under 5 percent of the absolute national pay, while the wealthiest 20 percent acquire almost 50 percent of the aggregate. Further, the least fortunate 20 percent hold far under 1 percent of the complete national riches, while the wealthiest 20 percent possess more than 75 percent of the aggregate.
The second premise of social stratification is the influence, or the ability to impact individuals and occasions to get riches and notoriety. That is, having influence is emphatically corresponded with being rich, as prove by the mastery of well off guys in high‐ranking legislative positions. Wealthier Americans are additionally bound to be politically dynamic as a method for guaranteeing they have proceeded with influence and riches. Conversely, more unfortunate Americans are more averse to be politically dynamic, given their feeling of frailty to impact the procedure. Since riches is dispersed unequally, the equivalent is unmistakably valid for influence. World-class scholars contend that a couple of hundred people hold the majority of the power in the United States (McLeod 40).
These power first class, who may originate from comparative foundations and have comparative interests and qualities, hold key positions in the most elevated parts of the administration, military, and business world. Struggle scholars hold that just a few Americans-the business people-hold most by far of intensity in the United States. They may not really hold political office, yet they, in any case, impact legislative issues and administrative arrangements for their very own advantage and to secure their interests (McLeod 41). A model is an extensive partnership that endeavors to confine the measure of charges it must pay through political commitments that eventually put certain individuals into office who at that point influence strategy choices.
Part 2: what I have learned in this course
One of the greatest lessons that I have learned from this course is that people’s or rather, our life chances are determined by our social statuses. Life chances mean the opportunities that lead one into obtaining resources which are considered as desirable in the society. Persons who are financially well-off in the society have a higher status, are more powerful, and hence, have better life chances. For instance, a wealthy person in society can have some form of control in the government. In other words, rich people have the power to control the way the government functions. Leaders in the government depend on them to fund not just their campaigns but they also allege to give financial support to various programs run by the government (McLeod 45). As a result, they tend to ask for favors that in the real sense, enable them to achieve what they want in life. For example, a rich person might have their way by negotiating with the government to impose little taxes on their businesses. Even worse, sometimes they tend to bribe the leaders with large amounts of money so that their interests can be safeguarded. Practices such as imposing little tax on wealthy people enable them to become wealthier each day. Better still, people who belong to a high social class can participate in politics so that they can continue having control over resources as they wish.
Apart from the monetary factor, I have learned that education is at the core of the unequal distribution of resources caused by social stratification even though it is also largely determined by an individual’s social status. What I mean is that a person who is financially healthy has no problem in acquiring education unlike people from socioeconomically deprived backgrounds. Apart from a few instances, the more educated you are, the more chances you have for a bright future and achieving what you want in life. Being educated can get you a good job which means financial stability and eventually, more power. In the current administration, everyone is educated. Not just having primary education but tertiary education. Many of our leaders have multiple bachelor’s degrees, masters, and PhDs. Education influences the manner in which resources are distributed among various groups in society. For example, only highly educated people are assigned to develop rules regulations, programs, structures, processes, and policies. As such, uneducated people who are mostly low-class individuals have little or no say on how wealth should be distributed.
From this course, I have also come to understand that the gap between the poor and the rich continues to expand each day. This is mainly due to the individualism exhibited by the wealthy and the powerful in society. Normally, rich people have more resources because they have a lot of influence on the government, the economy and education (McLeod 46). Since they are only concerned with their well-being and the future of their children or families, they tend not to think about what will become of the poor people when influencing the policies being developed. Most of the government’s money comes from the middle and low-class individuals but not from the rich people. This makes the rich to become richer and the poor to become poorer.
Part 3: Plan of action
The campaign against discrimination on African Americans
This plan of action is all about creating a movement that will be matching in the public to seek for action against inequalities, oppression, and harassment of people in the U.S. The campaigns will be all-inclusive as there are many people from diverse ethnicities who largely oppose racial discrimination. Racial discrimination is rampant in the U.S. Despite the multiple efforts that have been made over the years to make the situation better, the blacks are largely discriminated against and this has limited their life chances. In the employment sector, for instance, employers, who are mostly white tend to favor members of their ethnicity even when they have the same qualification as the blacks. What is more, there it is clear on how the U.S criminal justice system oppresses African Americans. The main reason for choosing this plan of action to seek social justice for blacks is because I feel that campaigning is the most effective way to challenge various forms of oppression in society. The campaigns will be inspired by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1990s which achieved a lot regarding alleviating discrimination against the blacks.
The first step towards the campaign against discrimination will be asking for the support of the like-minded individuals. Asking for assistance from politicians and leaders who share similar sentiments will greatly help as they can offer protection from people who might oppose our course. Additionally, to seek justice for African Americans who are prejudiced due to their color, the campaigns will be held mainly during the weekends as this is the time that many people will be available. The crusades will also be held in diverse cities in the U.S and will also be peaceful.
McLeod, Jane D. “Social stratification and inequality.” Handbook of the sociology of mental health. Springer, Dordrecht, 2013. 229-253.