Free «Social Inequality Integration» Essay Paper
Civilization of world passes through very difficult and challenging moments. Many nations suffer, scramble, and succumb to very deplorable environment or institutional inequalities. Addressing such situation properly will likely help the government to assure its citizens of good health and growing economy. In the nations, where inequality is the order of the day, women, children, and men suffer equally in struggle to make life worth celebrating. It is vital that the world in general promotes and supports women’s call for social and economic equality. This is the only way to appreciate the work by women and even to exploit the hidden strengths and abilities of women. For instance, in the United States, social inequality is growing since the beginning of the twentieth century. This growing trend leaves many other people suffering in the various sectors. Many of such sufferings result from the poor economic development through bad governance, which creates a huge gap between the poor and the rich. The gap between the rich and poor grows larger, the U.S., among other countries, has the highest degree of income inequality in the developed world; large racial income and wealth disparities between African and whites are persistent. This paper explores numerous issues associated with social inequality integration on the various levels.
On the onset, it is noteworthy to state that numerous efforts to address the issue of social inequality remain fruitless. In fact, the solution was clear to many policymakers, since they have contributed to the enactment of the “No Child Left behind (NCLB) Act” legislation passed by the centralized administration in 2001. It raised the stakes for school to close inscriptive realization gaps; hence, reducing stratification largely. Presently, the NCLB has frustrated many educators and sociologists, because it ignores a fundamental sociological insight surfaced in the past forty years. Baumeister and Bushman (2012) affirm, “Lack of correspondence in students’ own family backgrounds generate achievement gaps than inequalities within and between schools themselves”. It is noteworthy that students with families that can sustain their daily needs record higher grades, as compared to the poor students; it happens due to the large differences in the societal class and inequities surrounding domestic didactic resources. Some of these inequalities include children’s health and nutrition, families’ residential, mobility, quality of housing, and parents’ childrearing approaches. No matter what happens at school, the broader structure of social stratification produces class; racial disparities in learning and school reforms cannot eliminate the social class (Berger, 2005).
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Both black and white students have different forms of inequalities in children’s learning. Well-established impact of the non-school factors is that some of scholars downplay the role of schools themselves in producing social class disparities in learning. Numerous compelling studies separate summer learning from school-year learning. Baumeister and Bushman (2012) show, “Bigotry in class settings in learning grow primarily during the summer months. This implies that non-school factors are principally answerable for class based achievement gaps while schools serve as ‘great equalizers’ of such disparities”. Whilst coaching is accountable for creation of social class variation in learning, the same applies to the creation of disparities in some levels. The two researchers found out that black students’ academic skills fall behind those of white students during kindergarten and 1st grade, but not during the summer. Using the same national dataset another study found no summer setback for the black students, gives similar conclusion (Aaronovitch, 2007). Each of these studies limits in certain key results; for example while Baumeister and Bushman (2012) and (Aaronovitch, 2007) meticulously separate school year learning from summer learning, they conclude that during the school year the black/white gap widens without providing the reasons.
Recent literature points out a fundamental issue regarding social class disparities in the learning institutions. Disparate non-school environments generate social class discrepancy in learning, while inequalities within the school create disparities between the blacks and the whites. This scenario requires immediate response in order to avoid further disparities within the learning institutions. To understand what goes on when schools are closed and when schools are open, it is vital for the partakers to consider examining the situation during both learning periods. Students create class gaps, when schools are closed, since some can afford to attend private tuitions, while others are not capable to do so. During summer, students meet different people from the diverse background that are likely to influence the students’ thinking. This is because students are easily swayed by other people’s ideas, some of which might be their peers and others – the family members. The gap between the whites and blacks also widens, because of the numerous reason. Some of the reason include the lack of funds to facilitate their tuition, poverty levels, and lack of tutors to support the blacks when schools close. This remains a major challenge that without proper and immediate measures, it may ruin the education and particularly the grades of several students.
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“Typical studies on Black/White achievement disparities treat social class as a mediating variable confounded with other non-school factors” (Aaronovitch, 2007). In this approach, people view the achievement gaps of both black and white inequalities as an impediment to the entire learning process of other students. By contrast, in my conception, key axis of inequality is social class. The key that produces its own achievement gap through primarily non-school mechanisms; hence, contributes to the black/white gap via blacks’ unduly lower positions in the class structure. The conception allows for an unraveling of possibly distinct sources of class and black/white achievement gaps.
Non-school environments that vary in terms of social class and class disparities in learning include family-related factors, health-related factors, and cultural and social capital. Varieties of health-related problems that may inhibit learning often affect the children in families situated near the bottom of the social class hierarchy. They include poor health (lack of health insurance), and poor nutrition, low birth weight, and learning disabilities. Poor health also leads to absences from school, which may contribute to the class disparities in learning. Some studies show that living in single parent and larger “Families inhibit academic success, compared with living in two-parent and smaller families because they are more common among the working class and poor” (Aaronovitch, 2007). Net of economic circumstances and other factors is debatable even if these effects persist. “Typically, adjustment of economic circumstances reduces, but does not eradicate the impact of family structure and size” (Aaronovitch, 2007). This is because poor families cannot afford stable housing; therefore, move more often. This makes their children change schools and miss school days frequently (Aaronovitch, 2007). Some studies debate on the impact of childcare on a child’s learning outcome. Since some types of childcare are costly, children’s exposure to different types of child-care may vary by class. Though longitudinal analyses of students’ early school-year gains, which are able to rule out assortment effects by controlling for students’ preexisting handiness, suggest that center care provides no learning advantage over parental care (Brown, 2004).
For a long time sociologists have studied the ways, in which the activation and inculcation of cultural and social capital vary by social class, and the way it shapes children’s educational experiences. In the context of educational stratification, students are advantaged, when they possess tangible things, like educational resources at home, what (Brown, 2004) terms as “objectified” cultural capital, and when they are looked upon favorably by the middle-class institutional agents. For instance, participating in extracurricular activities or behaving well in class embodied cultural capital. Social capital can take various forms, depending on the way one traces the concept. According Brown (2004), “Social capital is access to resources embedded in relationships and is unevenly distributed along the lines of social class”. “Cultural and social capital are both key to the reproduction of educational inequality along class lines” (Brown, 2004). Theoretical explanations emphasize organizational processes, teacher attributes, resources, and student body composition. Most relevant organizational process to black/white achievement gap as curriculum differentiation. This is a situation, where teachers tailor instruction to groups of students according to their level of academic preparedness. This process guarantees students from advantaged social class backgrounds higher/faster learning groups than their disadvantaged peers.
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In the end, “Black students have lower learning groups than White students” (Brown, 2004). If most institutions have different set courses, they are likely to have huge impact on the learning outcome of the students. In most cases, it creates huge gaps between the students’ achievements. The grouping or the students that one associates with while at school usually determines the achievements levels of students. Many parents are unable to account for the differences in levels of achievements for their children. Some believe that poverty plays a significant role in edification process of any student. Additionally, communication plays an essential role in improving relationships in several institutions. Given power to improve communication among people, one would struggle to eradicate the barrier of “jumping into conclusion”. This is because it has always been difficult to achieve effective communication whenever either of the parties involved in the communication process has predefined conclusion against the other. Jumping into conclusion in a communication process also involves an individual making his/her own interpretation of another’s statement without necessarily seeking for clarification. This affects the grades of many students, because they usually develop certain perceptions or conclusions concerning the way a teacher conducts himself/herself.
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“Schools with predominantly poor and minority student bodies tend to employ teachers with lower levels of education and certification and fewer years of experience than do schools serving more advantaged students” (Cole, 2007). The credentials of the educators influence efficacy in the classroom since they may add to black/white disparity in learning. Cole (2007) shows, “Lack of educational resources, poor physical conditions, congestion, and high levels of student turnover contribute to disorder in segregated schools which serve predominantly poor and minority student bodies across the U.S.”. Researchers provide mixed substantiation on the effects of resources like student expenditures, textbooks, and physical conditions of schools.
Students also have the mandate to improve their cognitive dissonance, as it helps in improving learning outcomes. Cognitive dissonance is used to describe individuals with more than one conflicting cognitions. Cognitive dissonance refers to the examination of the level of individual’s relationship with cognitions. Human beings are, however, presumed to have motivational drives that play an incredibly decisive role in reducing dissonance by minimizing the prevailing conflict of interest (Cole, 2007). Cognitive dissonance can as well be described as distressing mental status, which makes human beings engage in activities that do not coincide with their beliefs and knowledge. To facilitate long-term balance between the reality and their beliefs, human beings are advised to engage in dissonance, reduction process by altering one of their dissonant facets, by increasing consonant elements, or by reducing the significance of one of the discordant factors. Moreover, cognitive disagreement also aids in the exploration of human social and psychological wellbeing that include: childhood development, ethnic prejudice, conformity, and human psychological makeup.
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Additionally, the society plays a significant role in eradicating inequality. This is because social inequality affects all levels of development in the society as a whole. In that line, coexistence in a society is largely facilitated by compliance with social psychological principles. Social psychological principles and theories are essential in explaining the unfolding events in the society. The use of groupthink principle, conformity principle, and cognitive dissonance principles to explain and analyze events in most societies is a clear indication of the role and significance of social psychological principles in the society. Failure to comply with the requirements of social psychology principles can to a great extent lead to confusion and conflict in the society. The society plays an essential role in shaping the future of a child. A society that is economically empowered ensures that the students within that setting get quality education. Most importantly, in an enabling learning environment, the student gets an opportunity to concentrate in whatever they are doing to ensure that they excel in their studies.
To sum, the government and the relevant departments must employ immediate measures in order to curb social inequality in the educational institutions. Eradication of poverty remains one fundamental undertaking that will reduce the learning gaps between the blacks and whites. Society’s role remains significant in the process of ensuring that the children receive quality education. However, concerning the impact of segregation on the black/white achievement gap, Cole (2007) asserts, “Emphasis must be made concerning the effect of school national composition”. As per the ideologies of the architectures of the “No Child Left Behind” Act, schools must consider change in their syllabus to guarantee that they maintain higher standards of education. Students, teachers, parents, and the institutional management at large must emphasize the need to provide all the students with the entire requirement that facilitates smooth learning process. Disparities in educating children are problems that affect many states, and addressing this issue is likely to contribute greatly to the success of thousands of students globally.