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Reproduction of Social Inequalities

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The life most people live today is as a result of the historical and institutional experiences they went through in their social lives. The facts relating to contemporary history explain the individual success or failure of women or men. The life of a person cannot be understood, and so is the history of his society, without getting to comprehend both. A few people are often aware of the intricate connection between the life they presently live and the social history they passed through (Furlong & Cartmel, 2007; Mills, 2000). This mind set is as a consequence of the various social inequalities experienced by these people in their history lane. Depending on various historical events experienced by these persons, the life lived at present is often portrayed in one way or another. Thus, it is essential always to possess a mind capable of grasping the interplay of an individual and the society. Through this, one can cope with the potential troubles of life, and control the various structural transformations that often accompany life (Mills, 2000). Sociological imagination, therefore, is vital for such people to enable the understanding of the larger historical scene particularly the social aspects (Furlong & Cartmel, 2007). An example of sociological imagination is the connection of educational experiences and opportunities with one’s present employment experiences and opportunities. Certain educational experiences can reproduce social inequalities, which can be troublesome to an individual in the future. Hence, “certain educational experiences and opportunities can reproduce social inequalities in an individual’s life.” 

Reproduction of Social Inequalities

Educational experiences and opportunities in schools, colleges and any educational institution can contribute to social experiences of an individual. Frequently, these experiences and opportunities influence the transition of a student from educational environment to employment environment (Coleman, 1988). From college everyone expects to get a job, however, the kind of job one will get and the social life in the work field often portray one’s college life. Educational experiences and opportunities are characterized by various social factors, for instance, culture, race, ethnicity and identity. Socialization of people as racial and ethnic beings often begins at early ages, schools forming part of the experiences. Race and ethnicity emerge as a result of cultural, macro structural and individual level forces, which are not uni directional or static (Carter, 2006).

Social factors such as race and ethnicity affect majorly, for example, the ethnic minority students like the African-Americans. The different ethnicities and races have also contributed to the differential performances. There has existed a huge performance gap between the ethnic minority and white students. The African-Americans and Latinos consider performing better and getting good grades as acting like whites. They, therefore, try to resist acting white by all means. On the other hand, the immigrant minorities often take the opportunity and act like whites since they want to fit in the society. This is rather contradictory to the native minority, making the employment lives of these two groups quite different. The native and immigrant minority groups obtain different educational experiences and these often influence their entry in to the employment field. Their experiences and opportunities in employment will also differ as they will have varied social connectivity. This is evident in the lives of these individuals, where the immigrant minorities seem to be assimilative while the native minorities have oppositional stances (Coleman, 1988). Such groups, if placed in a similar economic situation, tend to differ in the manner in which race and culture affect their daily educational and personal lives. Their ideologies differ in relation to beliefs, opinions, concerns, and attitudes about society. These feelings can be traced back to their school lives and how they connected to the society.

Great and best social and educational balance is evident in the cultural straddlers, which are those who understand the co-existence of both dominant and non dominant cultures. They have the spirit of embracing skills and tend to engage in the multiple cultural environments. Such individuals can transverse the cultural boundaries more readily than other groups. Therefore, straddlers have ease in engaging in multicultural social events.

Social capital is another factor fueling social inequality among most students. It is significant in introducing social structure since it is responsible for examining social norms, information channels, obligations and expectations of an individual. Social capital entails physical, financial and human capital, which are embodied in a social context among persons. Social capital if insufficient can cause school drop-outs, and it has serious effects on the family and community. Financial social capital is responsible in aiding the formation of human social capital. Hence, social capital is substantial all round and its influence in the educational situation has impacts in the employment field (Carter, 2006). Sufficient social capital enables a student to remain in school or college till graduation, and then proceed to the employment opportunities and experiences. On the other hand, insufficient social capital poses an inequality of dropping out of school, thus no chance to experience or get employment opportunities. Social capital in the family and society reduces the probability of students dropping out of school.

Physical location of students and their parents during schooling contributes to the social inequalities among students. College students are old enough to stay alone and even start working part time to earn a living. This was the norm of college students’ lives in the past, and their social lives were quite interesting. However, today college students have no social lives because they are enclosed in their small family society. Students live on and off campus, but during weekends, they pack and go home, to parents (Moore, 2013). This habit is so common among college students that they have been called suitcase students. They are ever carrying suitcases either heading or coming from home. Their reasons for living such unsocial lives are to have favorite meals, see parents who are willing to do their laundry. This is rather sad whereas such students do not get to experience the life teachings the colleges have to install in them. This habit has left many educators concerned since students are not socially competent, when they operate from campus to their rooms and home on weekends. Socialization is important to college students and this is often observed after college when students enter in to the employment field. The suitcase students often prefer staying and working close to home. At this time, they still work and head home during weekends (Moore, 2013). They even expect their parents to pay their school fees, if still learning, while their income pays their basic, personal needs. On the other hand, the social students tend to be acknowledged of their lives and environment they inhabit. They are independent unlike the suitcase students.

Conclusion

Social inequalities exist among numerous people in the world today, and they are caused by certain social factors. It is significant to pay attention to one’s social history since it contributes to the future experiences and opportunities. The paper concentrated mostly on social factors like ethnicity, race and culture as having serious impacts in one’s educational experience thus the transition to employment field. Social capital is another social factor, which families and communities need to pay attention to, to enhance consistent educational and employment experiences and opportunities. The physical location of a student to parents during education is a social factor that contributes to the social inequalities people experience nowadays. Therefore, social inequalities arising from the educational institutions, are own doings of students. They, however, have serious impacts in the transition of students in to employment field, which often affects their lives.

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