Social Inequality In America Essay

972 Words 4 Pages
Social inequality in today’s America is very apparent, yet seemingly unaddressed by the government. Sociologists have long asked, what are the causes of social inequality? One of the answers to that very question is race and ethnicity; a familiar concept to most, yet the impact of race and ethnicity on an individual’s life chances and social mobility are not fully appreciated or understood. In America, non-whites do not enjoy the same coverage of healthcare, are more likely to be discriminated against in the workforce, and receive lesser quality education. These types of resource inequalities are directly related to social inequality and the inability of many minorities to rise in social strata. Modern American social institutions further exacerbate …show more content…
Similar to the harsher punishment given out by school administrators to minority students, our law enforcement is also disproportionately harsh on minorities in America. Disadvantaged communities which are often occupied by majority non-whites, are more heavily patrolled by law enforcement (Cohen, 1981), leading to higher rates of criminal charges even when the crime rate is similar between non-whites and whites (NAACP). These underprivileged individuals are more likely to receive harsher treatment by police and the criminal justice system as a whole (Cohen, 1981). Stricter punishment and longer incarceration negatively affects minorities in long run by reducing chances of employment, which leads to poverty and ultimately social reproduction. On the legislative side of government, legislature such as tough on crime and war on drugs policies would instill long mandatory minimum sentencing for drugs that were more localized to poor minority communities. These laws caused a large racial disparity in drug sentencing by race and ethnicity (Conley 366). When all the negative effects of institutionalized racism are applied to a community, it becomes very hard to break free of poverty and obtain social

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