This is a graded discussion: 7.2 points possible
************************************due Feb 2/ 350-400 word count/single spaced
There is not doubt that social inequalties exist. If you were to pursue Sociology as a field you would read book after book and journal article after journal article about inequalties that exist in the U.S. that you would find downright shocking.
Social inequalities exist due to gender, we already know women make 75cents for every dollar a man makes. They exist due to race, Black Americans are three times more likely to be in poverty than Whites. They exist due to a number of other factors as well.
Social status is more than just income, it also has to do with the wealth of family, their debts when weighed against thier assets. For most Americans thier assets include small savings and thier home equity but for those in the top of society’s income bracket, wealth including real estate, investments and business are a reality. Generational wealth provides the oppurtunity for many to start life a step ahead of others.
Social status also includes the amount of power(aka influence) occupational prestige, educational achivement and social capital (social networks) a person has. These factors influence the health, values, oppurtunities and political leanings of individuals life-long.
For this discussion and the next this week, I want to focus on inequalties related to race. Many people find it difficult to acknowledge that inqualties due to race exist in the U.S. but they very much do. This does not erase inequalties experienced by Whites by any means but its important to acknowledge that Black Americans have signficant disadvantages in the U.S.
For this question, identify a current event that highlights social inequalties faced by a minority in the U.S. and identify what factors are playing a role in this inequality. Is there a solution?
This is an article on the current water crises in Flint, Michigan. Many in this city, a city populated largely by Black Americans living below the poverty level, have experienced lead poisening, especially children. Critics argue, and rightly so, that had this been a city largely populated by Whites or those with higher incomes this issue would have been addressed much more quickly. It is reported the city knew about the pipe corosion three years before it became public.
Based on this article, we can see that the residents impacted by this water crises lack significant income, wealth and social power. Because of this. before the story reached the media, they had little advocates to bring change to these circumstances. This has signficantly impacted thier physical health and mental health and has the potential for long-reaching effects on thier morale, thier physical health and political leanings. When a population is denied a basic necessity such as water, society is sending the messege that their health, ability to bathe and wash thier clothes is not a priority for citizens in those areas when compared with others.
The solution being suggested by residents in this community is advocacy for change in how the city officials respond to the needs of its communities members.