Download Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System by Douglas S. Massey PDF

By Douglas S. Massey

The us holds the doubtful contrast of getting the so much unequal source of revenue distribution of any complex industrialized country. whereas different constructed nations face related demanding situations from globalization and technological switch, none competitors America's singularly negative checklist for equitably dispensing the advantages and burdens of contemporary fiscal shifts. In Categorically Unequal, Douglas Massey weaves jointly historical past, political economic system, or even neuropsychology to supply a complete clarification of how America's tradition and political procedure perpetuates inequalities among various segments of the inhabitants.

Categorically Unequal is extraordinary either for its theoretical originality and for the breadth of subject matters it covers. Massey argues that social inequalities come up from the common human tendency to put others into social different types. In the USA, ethnic minorities, ladies, and the terrible have constantly been the ambitions of stereotyping, and therefore, they've got been exploited and discriminated opposed to through the nation's historical past. African-Americans proceed to stand discrimination in markets for jobs, housing, and credits. in the meantime, the militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border has discouraged Mexican migrants from leaving the U.S., making a pool of exploitable employees who lack the criminal rights of electorate. Massey additionally indicates that women's advances within the exertions industry have been targeted one of the prosperous and well-educated, whereas low-skilled woman staff were relegated to occupations that provide few percentages for profits mobility. whilst, because the wages of low-income males have fallen, extra working-class ladies are final single and elevating youngsters all alone. at the same time minorities and ladies proceed to stand those hindrances, the innovative legacy of the recent Deal has come lower than frontal attack. the govt. has handed anti-union laws, made taxes extra regressive, allowed the genuine worth of the federal minimal salary to say no, and significantly lower social welfare spending. accordingly, the source of revenue hole among the richest and poorest has dramatically widened when you consider that 1980. Massey attributes those anti-poor regulations partly to the expanding segregation of neighborhoods by way of source of revenue, which has insulated the prosperous from the social results of poverty, and to the disenfranchisement of the negative, because the inhabitants of immigrants, prisoners, and ex-felons swells.

America's unrivalled disparities usually are not easily the inevitable results of globalization and technological switch. As Massey exhibits, privileged teams have systematically exploited and excluded lots of their fellow american citizens. by means of delving into the foundation explanations of inequality in the United States, Categorically Unequal presents a compelling argument for the construction of a extra equitable society.

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Additional info for Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System

Example text

Making use of new, ultra-fast computer chips and fiber optics, program­ mers wrote software that obviated the need for human interven­ tion; service workers were replaced with canned algorithms and user-friendly interfaces controlled directly by managers or con­ sumers. Armed with these new cybernetic tools, one modestly trained technician could perform all of the tasks formerly carried out by scores of expensive, white-collar workers, often in a fraction of the time and usually at a fraction of the cost.

Spatial segregation renders stratification easy, conven­ ient, and efficient because simply by investing or disinvesting in a place, one can invest or disinvest in a whole set of people (Massey and Denton 1993). Stratification thus becomes more effective to the degree that so­ cial and spatial boundaries can be made to overlap. When members of an out-group are well integrated spatially, stratification is more difficult and costly because disinvestment in the out-group must occur on a person-by-person, family-by-family basis.

At least we will know where to look Thus, a natural place to begin a study of stratifica­ tion in the United States is to consider trends in the economic status of social groups known to have suffered historically from exclusion and discrimination. Social structures and processes are character­ ized by considerable inertia and do not change overnight. As a re­ sult, groups that experienced inequality in the past are likely to 36 Rise and Fall of Egalitarian Capitalism continue to do so in the future1 even though the stratifying mecha­ nisms may change.

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