Explain sociological theories of social inequality – is it a good or bad thing? – Functionalism, Marxism, Weberianism and Feminism. Social stratification is a system in society which is based on a hierarchy of power, privilege, and prestige; this then leads on to what is called social inequality. Social inequality is commonly tied to ethnicity, class and gender. White men being at the top of major corporations and black females working in the elderly care sector can and will raise debates of social inequality. Why is it mainly white males as the predominant directors and CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies? This essay will look into and critique social inequality and what certain theorists have to say about it. Unequal opportunities are what is mentioned a lot when social inequality is brought up; unequal opportunities for different social status’ as well as different ethnicities. Moreover, the majority of the Upper Class and Middle Class in this country are white families and the South Asian community and African as well as Eastern European so being treated differently in regard to social status links in very heavily to ethnicity as it coincides to an extent.
There are a lot of opportunities that certain people in society do not have. Inequality of opportunities in Lehman’s terms is not getting the same chance at a better life because of your skin colour or gender or social class. As previously mentioned, why is a black male who was publicly educated more likely to spend time in prison than a white man who in return had a private education as therefore he is more likely to ascribe wealth and success because of this inequality of opportunities? The proletariat are the workers in society and the bourgeoisie are the ‘affluent’ business owners and doctors and lawyers of society. Karl Marx, who was a Marxist and started the movement, said that society has two classes of people and they are the two which have just been mentioned.