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Weber and Modern Day Social Inequality

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    Weber’s Theory

    Weber’s theories were much like those of Marx, however Weber was a bit more detailed in some of his classification and also for saw a different outcome than did Marx. Weber describes a differences in classes based on some ownership characteristics, but he also talks about the relationship of these classes based on the relationship the class members have with each other (Marger 2014). Weber suggested within his theory there were three areas in which social inequality happens. I would have to agree with Weber that there are more areas in which a society classifies people than workers and owners (Marger 2014).

    Class

    Like Marx, Weber believed that there are different social classes in which people are separated. Weber believed that instead of the two classes that Marx proposed there were more classes and separated in a more detailed way. Where Marx described two classes, the workers and the owners, Weber’s theory was that there were far more things that separated the people (Cultural Reader 2014). His biggest argument for this is that there could be multiple individuals that have jobs and are both workers but because of the differences in their jobs, such as certifications, and education, they would be in different classes (Sociology Guide 2018).

    Video Reflection

    In the video Goffman talks about two boys that she has a relationship with, she tells of their circumstances while growing up as young black boys. The struggles that they have with law enforcement reflect some of the of the struggles that Weber spoke about in his theory (Goffman 2015). The boys in Goffman’s story were of a lower class than the school officer, or other officers of the law. Because of that they were treated differently than young boys of higher class. Because of these boy’s economic status, their options for the future are limited. They are already viewed as lower class status because of the economic status of their parents, this status does not allow the boys to transition to a higher class because of the limited opportunities they are given (Marger 2014).

    Status

    Weber also felt like there was more to it than just separating into different classes. He felt like a person’s status, or prestige would also determine how a person was grouped and classified (Cultural Reader 2014). An example of this would be lifestyle, Weber believed there would be cases in which an individual might also be a worker and not an owner, but have a lifestyle that affiliates them with more prestigious crowds (Sociology Guide 2018).

    Video Reflection

    Goffman’s story of the young boys starts with the oldest one getting into an altercation at school. The officer at the school decided to file charges against the boy (Goffman 2015). Like Weber’s theory on status, if the boy would have had an affiliation with a more prestigious crowd, this charge would not have been filed. If in fact the charge was filed, the boy’s family would have been able to get him out of the situation without any documentation to further follow the boy. The boy’s status is determined by the affiliations that he has, and those affiliations come from the lifestyle that he leads, or that he has been born into (Marger 2014).

    Party

    The third aspect to this separation was party. This is equated to political power (Marger 2014). Those that have political power and are in the position to be able to develop and decide on laws would find themselves in a different class than others.

    Video Reflection

    Goffman definitely speaks about a separation of society with an emphases on party or political power (Goffman 2015). Our society is currently struggling with the separation of power. We have a division amongst our social classes where there are those that make and enforce the laws and those that these laws effect. Unfortunately, most of those that are making the laws are not familiar with how it effects those like the boys in her story (Goffman 2015).

    Modern Day Social Inequality

    In the video Goffman tells some accounts that she witnessed with two young boys and their struggle with social inequality. There are many forms of social inequality today, much like those she described in the video many are in situations similar to these young black boys and their struggle with the law enforcement agency (Goffman 2014).

    Reflection

    I was no surprised by the information that was given in the film. I work with a couple of young men that have similar struggles. I have witnessed some of these similar situations. It is extremely disheartening. She made a statement at the end of the video that stuck with me and I feel like is a true statement to what is happening. She agreed that these individuals were in fact breaking the law however, what she said that I appreciated is that we as a society are expecting these children who have the least amount of resources, and support to walk the thinnest line possible to stay in a position where they can succeed (Goffman 2015).

    Moving forward into the future I would agree that there are some changes that need to be made to our system. I believe that our policy makers need to put more legislation in place to supplement our education system. The inequality of education that happens in our state, does not help the issues. Students from lower income families are entering school behind the other students. As they go through school the system makes it difficult for these students to close the gap. I am not sure of the policy that could be developed to help combat this situation, but I do believe that more research and money needs to be put into all the education systems. I agree with Goffman that we do need a change in our justice system.

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    Weber and Modern Day Social Inequality. (2022, Jan 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/weber-and-modern-day-social-inequality/

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