Is social inequality apparent in today’s society? Social inequality basically means treating someone unfairly because of his or hers social status in society. For example, the amount of money they make, the type of house they live in, or things they have or don’t. Social inequality can affect people of all ages, races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. Social inequality was extremely prominent in Alabama during the Great Depression. Everyone has probably been affected by social inequality in some way, shape, or form.
The unjust effects of social inequality can cause people to unnecessarily change their lifestyles or personalities. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, social inequality was displayed in many ways. In the public schools, discussed in the book, students were treated differently for many reasons. One of the boys who attended school with the main character, Scout, barely attended school and the faculty accepted it because they knew his family didn’t have much money. Many other students were in the same financial predicament (Lee 2). It is wrong and unnecessary for people to disown someone for doing their job.
At school many students taunted Scout and her brother because they claimed he was a “nigger” lover. Since Atticus and his family were white, many residents of Maycomb County felt it was wrong for him to defend a black man (Lee 6). “They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience” (Lee 11). All people should be accepted when they are in Gods home or their place of worship.
One day the maid takes the kids to a “colored” church called First Purchase. A fellow black church member criticizes the maid for bringing “white” children to the church (Lee 17). Social inequality affected the characters in the book, but they were able to overcome it without changing their personalities. In the movie Mean Girls directed by Mark waters, social inequality is displayed in the high school setting. In many cases new students are treated different than the well known students. The main character, Cady, was able to befriend a “gothic” teenage girl and a “gay” teenage boy.
Many other students wouldn’t associate themselves with her simply because of the fact that she’s a “new” student (Michaels). Meeting new friends is always good when they are caring and genuine. Even though Regina and her friends allow Cady to join their social group, they are secretly mistreating her because she’s the new girl (Michaels). When the girls do bad things they then force Cady to take the blame for it and she does because she wants them to accept her (Michaels). Taunting and demeaning other students or people in general is always wrong.
Cady and friends constructed a burn book, which outside students and faculty might view as wrong because it insults and degrades students because of their appearance or their belongings or lack thereof. This demonstrates social inequality in schools and how it affects one’s self-esteem. In society in general social inequality is demonstrated in a variety of methods often by social classes. The social classes in this world are based on race, religion, education, etc. The society doesn’t look at a person because it thinks they might be a good person but because of other qualities or lack thereof (Manusu).
This basically means that because a person can be treated differently because they don’t have education. The biggest problem that arises in Race and ethnic relations is prejudice, which is born out of pre-judgment and lack of knowledge. When one pre-judges someone based on their appearance it really shows one’s character. But far worse is its effect on society; it leads to discrimination which leads to inequality (Manusu). As long as people continue to pre-judge racism will exist. “Children must be taught that all people are equal and otherwise thinking is wrong (Manusu).
This article titled “Exploring Social Inequalities in Society” shows how this society treats other members. Most people who suffer from the cruel effects of social inequality choose not to change their personality but to express themselves in other ways such as music, like the song Unpretty by TLC. People frequently change their character to be welcomed in society. In the song the girl feels that even if other people tell her she’s pretty it’s not true unless that special boy tells her (TLC 5, 6). She looks in the mirror but feels that she’s the same. “Look into the mirror who’s inside there, the one with the long hair,
Same old me again today (TLC 7, 8, 9)”. Meeting new people can often make people feel insecure. When she meets the boy she begins to feel insecure about her appearance (TLC 26). The girl looks to do other things to satisfy the boy. After doing things like this most people come to their senses and realize the mistakes they’ve made. The girl realizes that she shouldn’t change for a boy. She also realizes that doing this will help her focus on herself (TLC 32, 33). This shows that people can change just suit other people and end up being unhappy. Treating someone differently because of the social status is inequitable.
People can change just to please others. Doing this can cause people to become unhappy and decrease their self-esteem. Like in the movie Mean Girls the girl changed for her new friends who ended up betraying her. Or like in the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” the kids were treated differently because of their fathers’ occupation. Social inequality is the exclusion of people from full and equal participation in what we, the members of society, perceive as being valuable, important, personally worthwhile and socially desirable. People can be greatly affected by social inequality and can alter their lives to make other people view them differently.