Cyberspace and Social Inequality

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Caste Pages: 9 (2818 words) Published: April 22, 2008

Social Inequality

Table of Content

Social Stratification and Inequality4
Cyberspace & Communication9
Erosion of Stratification through the Internet10
Cyberspace’s Negative Side11


Throughout the years, communication, availability of information, self education came at a very high price which not many people could afford. Just like communication, information and education, freedom, equality, respect from others came at a high price.

Social Stratification takes place in almost every society across the world. It is a system by which societies create hierarchies within itself by providing power and privileges to some while denying it to others.

With the help of technology, people have a greater opportunity to avail themselves of all kinds of information available. Technology has helped to simplify communication between people from all over the world and has also helped to make it economical.

Even with the changes that have taken place, and with the improvements in technology, there are negative aspects. For instance, social stratification is gradually decreasing is most societies and the internet has also played a part, but the information available on the internet can, at times, mislead the reader or can be extremely opinioned which can be taken at face value and this will leave the reader misinformed. The internet also contains information that can be viewed to be hurtful to some people.

Social Stratification and Inequality

Social stratification is a sociological term for the hierarchical arrangement of social classes, castes, and strata within a society. While these hierarchies are not universal to all societies, they are the norm among state-level cultures (as distinguished from hunter-gatherers or other social arrangements). Slavery, caste and class are the major systems of Social Stratification. Apart from them, gender, race, age and disabilities also have a significant role to play with respect to social stratification.

Slavery is the social and legal designation of specific persons as property, for the purpose of providing labor and services for the owner without the right of the slave to refuse, or gain compensation. It has been an unfortunate part of our past that still compels some people to partake in it. Historically, slaves were captured. Warfare often resulted in slavery for prisoners if one paid no ransom. It originally may have been more humane than executing those who would return to fight if they were freed, but the effect led to widespread enslavement of those of other groups; these sometimes differed in ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race, but often were the same. The dominant group in an area might take slaves with little fear of suffering the like fate, but the possibility might be present from reversals of fortune. In many cultures, persons convicted of serious crimes could be sold into slavery. The proceeds from this sale were often used to compensate the victims, and as a consequence, the criminal might be sold only if he lacked the property to make the compensation.

Many people were enslaved because either, they had commited a crime, or they could not repay their debt. It most cases it was considered that the children of slaves are themselves the property of the master. The more popular notion of slavery originates from the collectivist identity that identifies a certain race of people as inferior merely because of their skin colour or ethnicity. This collectivist identity (even in the more individualistic cultures) explains why even after slavery is abolished the indentured serfs and their descendants were still exposed to discrimination and suffered from the misconception that they were intellectually 'less human'. A popular rationalisation was that God provided blacks as a source of slave labour.

The main characteristic of slavery is that some people own...

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