Social Inequality Within a Society

Topics: Sociology, Social class, Social stratification Pages: 5 (1758 words) Published: October 4, 2012
Neil Fadia
10 LA 3
10 May 2012

Social Inequality Within A Society

Throughout history, social classification has been a basis of economic and social stability. Social classification was introduced to even the predecessors of human civilization, the Mesopotamian civilization. But, due to natural flaws within the structure of the social classification system, this system concluded in becoming biased towards the upper class and unrighteous toward the lower class. Because social classification consistently had flaws which made the system more prejudiced to the lower class, throughout historical times, social classification primarily affected a society in a negative manner. Provided the idea of social inequality through the means of social classification, numerous ancient civilizations including the civilization of Athens, practiced a rigid social classing structure. In the ancient civilization of Athens, the social classing structure was extremely rigid. The upper class of Athens citizens was permitted only to pure blooded male Athenians who were born into their class. The social structure in Athens was very misogynistic toward females. Women were considered vile and loathsome. They were often treated as outcasts and even slaves. According to Bridges, “Women were rarely seen outside the home and had no rights in the Athenian democracy.” Due to the rigid social class structure of Athens, women were denied all rights. Even though the principles of democracy state that everyone be treated equally under the rule of law, because of the social class structure of Athens, women were completely denied any rights in a democracy. This form of class structure did not only prevail in European civilizations. But, this rigid classification system also prevailed in Middle Eastern and Indian civilizations as well. Indus River Valley civilization practiced an inexorable and rigid form of social classification. One had to inherit their social class by being born into the class. Mobility between classes was impossible. According to Kogl And Moore, “People were born into social classes that could not be changed. There were 4 Social classes, which were Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishiyas, and Shudras. ” Due to the immobile class structure of Indus valley civilization, the citizens were locked in a single class forever. There were four classes which were practiced in Indus Valley Civilization. The Shudras class was considered the lowest class and this class primarily consisted of peasants and serfs. The Shudras were treated as feculence and were also denied natural rights and justice such as freedom to liberty and property. Due to the rigid social class structure in civilizations such as Athens and the Indus River Valley, many classes were predilected upon while the other classes were denied of their social and natural rights. In addition to the historical examples of social inequality and class struggle, many novels also base the idea of social inequality as their major theme. One of such novels is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Since To Kill A Mockingbird was written in 1954, this novel circulates around the idea of social inequality due to racism. Since Africans were viewed as slaves in the 1950s, these foreigners were denied many of the basic rights which were guaranteed to the Caucasians by the Constitution. In this novel, the central conflict revolves around the Tom Robinson case. Tom Robinson is falsely accused of raping white woman, Mayella Ewell. When Dr. Atticus Finch, the protagonist’s father accepts to continue the case on behalf of Tom, he is severely criticized and dishonored to the point where the people of Maycomb agree severely injure Dr. Atticus Finch. According to a character named Bob Ewell in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, ‘“ Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin' bastard? ”’ (Lee 118). The discrimination due to social class is still prevalent during...
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