Social classification is among the common forms of groupings used within a specific society to define a particular group. Even though the most common social classes comprise of lower-class, middle class, and high class, the United States may not be appropriately categorized. The society consists of vast inequalities of income and wealth distribution that no single system can completely classify. Additional complicating efforts made to organize social classes asserts that in other regions of the globe and societies, other stratification schemes are employed grounded on those societal norms and values (Arthur and Sharron 1270). This paper tends to explore patterns of class inequality and its impact on income and wealth distribution. It will further explain the effect of mass media versus social media in a person’s life.
The United States income inequality may be similar to other industrialized nations before transfers and taxes; nevertheless, it is among the highest after transfers and taxes, implying the United States shifts proportionally lesser income from high-income family units to low-income households. According to Wildeman, Christopher, and Emily, quantified for working-age families, marketplace income inequality is the United States shifts from dependence on marketplace income to reliance on income transmission later in the citizen’s life (1470). Social inequalities may be discussed in regards to equalized household income that takes into account the number of people that income would support, and the expenses incurred by that household. It is normally measured as the ratio of high incomes too low; for instance, at the rate of 20% of the top equalized household income to as little as 20% (Brewer 64).
Regarding the effects of class inequality on education, achievement between the income groups in various geographical location will differ. Arthur and Sharron assert that class inequality would lead to unequal attainment of education among the social classes and different family background due to inequitable distribution of resources between this classes (1265). While other people argue that incompetently managed schools are responsible for low student achievement, social inequality and education would explain the middle ground for the arguments and emphasize on the effect of labor markets, families, and neighborhoods on schooling result. The social domain in the United States as per Arthur and Sharron would bear a direct impact on how much and what students learn (1269). Children from low-income neighborhoods, for instance, are likely to experience constant stress due to crime and violence that might hinder cognitive development. The inequalities between the poor and the affluent communities and families have increased, aggravating the variances between schools hence widening the opportunity gaps.
The effect of class inequality on health can be portrayed in the incomes of the middle and poor class in the United States remaining worse or stagnant. This classes of people do not have enough money for responding to an unintended expense without selling possession or borrowing. It leaves many individuals to choose between care and debt hence the medical bill become the collection agency’s most significant business (Wildeman, Christopher, and Emily 1467). Obamacare to an extent provided a partial solution to inequity in healthcare to the low and middle class. The healthcare inequality is distinctively American as it is expected that every wealthy nation is expected to shield its citizens from the illness costs by a broad and universal health insurance program. The growing class inequality in the United States has impacted on the healthcare negatively worsening the conditions of individuals having lesser income. Therefore, the health gap between the poor and the rich has widened over the years.
Through wealth distribution there exist a difference between various household’s property, stocks, income, and assets. Brewer asserts that the capability to own or buy housing will depend on the income level or any other wealth source which would be a significant factor in the increasing divides between the high and low class (61). Low-income families usually lack housing mobility thus, regularly left with fewer options. The high-class have ready access to fresh food, recreation, and childcare making them live in the suburb areas comfortably. Unaffordable housing remains a crucial issue due to class inequality in the United States, and the zoning laws have intensified the divide. On the distribution of what one can change is the provision of quality, affordable and accessible education for every person regardless of the social class. Arthur and Sharron explain that a well-educated nation has the ability, skill, and well-off; education perhaps is a critical tool the poor class of the population might utilize to rise to either middle or high class (1267). With proper training, there will be continuous class competition.
Mass media plays a significant part of an individual’s life. People from different parts of the world are viewers, listeners, and readers. Listening to the news on the radio, watching television and reading magazines and newspapers is the principal means of acquiring a variety of information (Michael and Jeremy 39). They give extensive coverage of fashion, entertainment, cultural life, sports, and news. The most influential of all channels is the television as it exposes thousands of images of celebrities, sex, advertising, and violence hence it influences a person’s way of thinking.
The media has a significant effect on public opinion. According to Alwagait et al., they might shape the opinion of the public in various methods in consideration of the goal (1097). For instance, after the 9/11 attacks, the media presented a massive reporting of the event which exposed the terrorist leader guilty as informed by authorities. Through this coverage, it shaped the opinion of the mass to back the counter-terrorism war. The only disadvantage is when the mass media get precise information, and the opinion of the mass supports a wrong cause it may be disastrous (Michael and Jeremy 43). Other methods in which the media may influence opinions is through trends and polls, particularly political campaigns.
Mass media may also be utilized for different purposes such as advocacy for both social and business concern. This comprises political communication, public relations, propaganda, marketing, and advertising. The aspect of entertainment is also present in mass media through performances such as sports, music, acting, and currently video games. Televisions specifically provide an opportunity to see the favorite actors and meet famous individuals, in other words, it brings the world to one’s room. People become well informed through watching documentaries, political issues, discussions, and science programs.
Social media has made a connection and communication easy. Alwagait et al. observe that it was complicated a decade ago to connect and find other people who are far away even with the power of web (1293). The social sites like WhatsApp, Google+ and Facebook have made it easier for individuals to search for one another and re-join after a long period. This site gives a better way to observe what happens in the lives of family and friends in addition to meeting new people having the same thoughts and interest.
Social media sites give a potential marketing platform and in the previous years in which the operators have benefited most from using this sites. Michael and Jeremy note that most companies are in fact choosing have registered and become part of the social media sites instead of just buying advertising (34). This approach has enabled a faster connection between companies and consumers, hence better service and excellent products. Provided the firm is not so evident about promotions and advertisements, many users would not mind
transacting with the firm.
Regarding entertainment, social media has made a significant step. One can watch videos posted in another person’s timeline, play games, read stories as well as view pictures. Even if a person is using a tablet, a smartphone or traditional computer, very many people are using social media in their everyday life for entertainment (Alwagait et al. 1094). The sites undoubtedly have made a step on the road to globalization.
Wildeman, Christopher, and Emily A. Wang. “Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA.” The Lancet 389.10077 (2017): 1464-1474.
Brewer, Rose M. “Theorizing race, class, and gender: The new scholarship of Black feminist intellectuals and Black women’s labor.” Race, gender and class. Routledge, 2016. 58-64.
Sakamoto, Arthur, and Sharron Xuanren Wang. “The Declining Significance of Race in the twenty-first century: a retrospective assessment in the context of rising class inequality.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 38.8 (2015): 1264-1270.
Alwagait, Esam, Basit Shahzad, and Sophia Alim. “Impact of social media usage on students academic performance in Saudi Arabia.” Computers in Human Behavior 51 (2015): 1092-1097.
Hilt, Michael L., and Jeremy H. Lipschultz. Mass media, an aging population, and the baby boomers. Routledge, 2016.