The Vox website has posted an article entitled “American segregation, mapped at day and night.” The subhead is very descriptive: “The racial makeup of neighborhoods changes during the workday. See how yours changes.” The article includes a video, infographics, and an interactive map to help readers explore the segregation of Asian, Black, Latinx, and White workers. It is quite informative!
Mercella Fiddler — March 17, 2019
Social Stratification and Inequality
In order to understand the issue of social stratification and inequality from a sociological perspective a contextual definition must be established. As such, Social stratification can be defined as a socioeconomic system that places individuals in society at different levels of the social ladder. It is what distinguishes the haves from the haves not. On the other hand, inequality is the unfair sharing of social rewards and resources within society or group. I find this blog interesting because it discusses the issue of social stratification and inequality in the American Society. inequality is woven in the social fabric of the American society. Consequently, the abolition of slavery serves only as a law and the removal of shackles and cutoff of the transatlantic trade via the “middle passage”. It failed to discontinue the profound prejudice and inequality toward minority groups. This practice of unjust treatment and discrimination can be linked to failure on the part of government and groups that control the means of production that implicitly segregate society based on their race which further places minority groups in a certain class, neighborhoods and work groups. This further place them at disproportionate levels of the educational system which determine the quality of education these groups can access. The cycle continues after school to the workplace and pinnacle into the affordability of the location of choice minority groups reside.
Walts supports this claim when he said “Government policies forced people of color into poor, racially segregated neighborhoods... And these neighborhoods ended up being the basis for how we form our social networks”. (1)
It can be argued that social stratification is necessary because it allows for better control and governance in society, we all cannot be doctors and lawyers, if so, who would clean the toilets or look after our parents when they get old? However, if an individual is a janitor but aspire to become a doctor, he or she should be given the equal opportunity to pursue his or her ambition despite their race or ethnicity. Additionally, one cannot expect a janitor and a doctor to be paid the same salary, as such different pay scale is necessary to organize different groups in society. However, it would be nice to see equality in the management structure of the corporate system relating to race and ethnic orientation. Notwithstanding, I support the idea of social stratification, but it should not be used as a tool to dehumanize a group based on their color, race or ethnic differences.
The social advantages and disparities that affect African Americans and other minority groups manifest in the unfair distribution of wealth, power, and life opportunities. The constitution echo argument leading to the belief that all are made equal, it is taught in schools that with hard work and a solid education people of all race can make a living for themselves. This statement is a misconception. This fallacy is further discussed in an article entitled the historical evolution of black-white gaps in access to opportunity. The article outlines major trends that has developed through slavery and the remnant of the Jim Crow law, though subtle dictates the level of opportunity a non-white individual have compared to their African American counterparts.
I absorbed from the article that for the most part white people are top managers, while minority perform the everyday strenuous work. This is sometime the only mixing of the two groups as they socialize at different places and reside different place based on where they are located on the social ladder.
“In other words, these workplaces are more diverse — but that’s because all the managers are white and all the janitors are black and brown”.
Walt Jacobs “Dispatches from a Dean” American Segregation at Home and at Work, March 10, 2019. https://thesocietypages.org/dean/2019/03/10/american-segregation-at-home-and-at-work/ March 17, 2019