Inequality in America has greatly risen in the recent years with new developments dismantling what had previously developed to facilitate distribution of wealth through out country to all citizens. According to McBroom (1996) many people who had previously describe America with phrases such as “a mass of people who have melted together and are essentially the same as one another,” can do the same given the prevailing condition of class stratification. Currently, the best words that can be used to describe the American society are kaleidoscope, made up of clear distinctions of a variety of people who stay together in a field of diversity in race, religion, job, education, interests, gender, and ethnic backgrounds. Among this categorization also lie those who are extremely and rich and those who are extremely poor. To many idealists, the American society would sound like an ideal society embracing diversity in the best way possible. Regrettably, like any other society, any other society the American society suffers numerous set backs for being diversified. The differences have resulted into the exaggeration of the differences and discrimination in the way they are treated. There are great disparities in terms of opportunities available the people, the respect accorded to them and the money they receive or their income. As a result of these disparities layers and strata have developed with in the American societies leading to what can be referred to ass classes (Institute for Research and Poverty, 2009).
Cause of classification and inequalities in the United State
The stratification in the American society is based on the socioeconomic a status (SES) of individuals or families. The complexities of socioeconomic status is brought about by the interaction of three major factors; education, occupation and income (Spark Notes. n.d.). In this context, the total number of year someone spends in school (educational achievement), the prestige accorded to his or her occupation and the amount of money people make determine how they are classified.
Education influences this classification in various ways mainly dependent on the level of academic achievement. People who have high academic achievement such as degrees are grouped and classified together in one class. Also those who possess degrees from college are placed in their own group or class. Those who do not possess any kind of degree are also classified according to the level of learning they attained. The use of such educational backgrounds to classify people however has two main shortcomings. The school systems within the country have no uniformity when it comes to the quality of education that learners receive. Second, the access to primary, secondary, as well as higher education is not equal as far as every citizen is concerned. Though there is free compulsory education in the country, the education system is highly decentralized. Critical decision on issues such as what should be include in the curriculum are made locally thus great disparities concerning what the learners are taught.
Also higher education has great disparities brought by the huge variety of institutions of higher learning in the U.S. The country has vocational colleges, four-year colleges, junior colleges and universities. Coupled with this variety is the aspect of some colleges specializing in giving learners certain kinds of knowledge preparing them for specific carriers while on the other hand some colleges specialize in giving or imparting intellectual and life skill to the learners. Religiously oriented colleges specialize in spirituality and theology in addition to other academic material. In addition to this some colleges encourage learner to take graduate degrees as well as assisting the middle age people who have been away from the education system for some time to secure degrees
Great disparities also exist in term of resources available to public schools. Some school produce graduates destined for higher education while some whereas some produce learners with poor language skill as well as poor skill in other subjects such as mathematics. Such graduate can only qualify to take up certain types of jobs thus limiting their economic and social achievement. Quality of education as such is highly dependent on the school budget which is in turn dependent ion the tax base of its location. Wealth place certainly have superior technologies, good teachers, at recent academic materials as compared to places located in poor towns. In poor communities the rate of school drop out is also high thus making it difficult for some student to achieve their goal in life. As such when educational background is used to classify people they are classified lowly.
The subject of occupational prestige is that same as it is I numerous industrial developed countries. To secure a good job one must have incredible academic qualifications with extensive schooling as well as intellectual acuity. In most cases those that can afford degrees of great professional autonomy are the ones considered to be prestigious. In the U.S. such jobs include judges, CEOs, University professors, Physicians. There are also jobs the demand manual labor. Those employed in such profession are considered to clean or serve other and therefore considered to be less prestigious. Jobs under this category include occupations such Truck driver, janitor, mechanic, and maid. Jobs tell us about people; their academic achievement and level of income and thus we can categorize people we come across easily.
Income on the other hand is the most unreliable parameter for classifying people as compared the other two. It is normally assumed that people incomes come mainly from their occupations. However income is dependent on various factors namely educational level, job experience, geographical region and the size of the company or organization in which an individual works (News Batch, 2009).