• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is the position of ethnic minorities explained by theories of the underclass?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is the position of ethnic minorities explained by theories of the underclass? There are roughly three distinguished classes within the human societies: the upper class, the middle class and the working class. Nevertheless, sociologists add another dimension: the so-called 'the underclass', which recently has become a relatively popular phase. However, it is being placed at the bottom of the stratification system, considered as the lowest stratum which beneath the working class. One of the reasons for this can be accounted as the gradually increase in the number of ethnic minorities in the past and in contemporary societies in countries such as Britain and the United States, since the position of many immigrants are deemed as living under a hard situation and have a high rate of committing criminations. Therefore, ethnic minorities raise concerning to governments and many sociologists have drawn a set of theories to analysis this phenomenon, one of them is named: 'the underclass'. However, should we write an equation which ethnic minorities are equal to 'the underclass'? Is every approach of the position of ethnic minorities be explained fully by theories of the underclass? In order to answer these questions, we need to first analysis what is ethnic minorities. The definition is slightly different from the one given to 'race', which is more rooted from biological aspect. ...read more.

Middle

In contrast, those who do not qualified for a high and stable paid job will drop through the net and became a member of the secondary labour market. Workers within this section mainly are in less important position and thus make up the underclass. Women and ethnic minorities always have the disadvantages in the societies and therefore, it is said they are often likely to become the members of the underclass. Anthony Giddens then pointed out that ethnic minorities are also the victims of discrimination and prejudice.4 Employers in the labour market recruit them to underclass jobs; they get the lowest paid occupations, or are in long term unemployed. However, another finding suggests drawbacks to this way of thinking. The self-employed rate-the ratio of the number self-employed to all paid and self-employed workers-is 14.6% for non-Whites compared to 12.3% for Whites.5 Despite the fact that discrimination accounts for up to half of this difference, ethnic minorities are actively seeking a better way to live and want to get rid of the poverty. On balance, are they really entitled the name of 'the underclass'? On the other hand, sociologist Wilson takes a structuralist approach argues that blacks and Hispanics living in inner-city areas to form an underclass because of forces beyond their control. Historical roots create barriers for them to escape from the ghetto. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, people argue that there is in no sense to deem ethnic minorities as a particular group, ' a detached and isolated group cut off from the rest of society'.11 To sum up, a number of different definitions of the underclass have been proposed, each giving a slightly different 'map'. 'The underclass' said to be the lowest class, always associated with ethnic minorities and immigrates, as well as the long-term poor, unemployed and female single parents. Although ethnic minorities indeed may be the major part of the underclass due to its disadvantages we discussed in this essay, there are many other approaches which proved ethnic minorities to one or another degree are not belong to a underclass, not all members of ethnic groups are in disadvantaged positions. In many host countries such as Britain and the United States, by the given definition to the underclass, it then involves whites and blacks altogether. What is more, especially under the myth of the term 'the underclass' itself, do we really have an underclass nowadays? May be yes, but many others may argue against it. The position of ethnic minorities therefore cannot be explained by the theories of the underclass thoroughly. Our understanding of ethnic minorities is likely to be advanced more by examining the activities of real people rather than by sophisticated attempts to redefine it in accordance with general class theories. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Outline and account for the disadvantages experienced by minority ethnic groups in British society.

    Ethnic minority groups experience disadvantages in a number of areas for example, employers attribute characteristics to Afro-Caribbean and Asian applicants which are used to exclude them from better jobs (Wrench and Lee, 1978). Teachers stereotype Afro-Caribbean boys as lazy, troublesome and non-academic, Asian boys and girls as hard-working but over-ambitious (Brah, 1986; Mirza, 1992).

  2. Demography topic revision notes. The study of populations and their characteristics is called ...

    lived longer than males, nor why deaths from infectious diseases, such as measles and infant diarrhoea, actually rose at the time of improving nutrition. Medical Improvements Before the 1950s, despite some important innovations, medical improvements played almost no part in the reduction of deaths from infectious disease.

  1. Sociological Perspectives

    and structure, temporarily placing it into chaos; this being demonstrated in the results of his famous breach experiments, which are well documented in his works Studies in Ethnomethodology (1967). Garfinkel discovered that when a person was faced with a situation where utterances and actions were incompatible within the context of

  2. - APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY

    The biological approach assumes that mental illness can be treated by invasive, physical intervention. It's assumed there's a physiological cause, so a physiological treatment is used. There are three main somatic therapies: psychotherapeutic drugs (chemotherapy), ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), and psychosurgery which may be used to treat clinical depression and even acute anorexia.

  1. Assess the causes and consequences of changes in the UK population

    and maternity services, and improved medication from the NHS all helped to decrease the death rate. * Public health measures and environmental improvements were brought in such as laws on improvements in housing, purer drinking water, laws to combat adulteration of food and drink, pasteurisation of milk and improved sewage disposal methods.

  2. Major Theories in Sociology

    They use aggressive methods to bring on such supremacy. And argue men and women should lead separate lives. Marxist Feminism believes that women have no means of income so they suffer in society. The first feminist was Marry Wollstonecraft, was born in London in 1759.

  1. Black Male perception, of Secondary School Attainment and Opportunities. "Explore reasons for the academic ...

    Success or failure can be influenced by what happens within the school and classroom. If teachers have low expectations of an ethnic minority it may affect the actual progress of a pupil. Teachers have the power to manipulate students with their words until they become what they first perceived them to be.

  2. Outline the different reasons why women and ethnic minorities are more likely to experience ...

    A statistic issued by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation states that whilst 40% of ethnic minorities are living in poverty, only 20% of the white British population are. In education, ethnic backgrounds performance is clear to see as according to National Statistics, Afro-Caribbean?s and Pakistani children perform less well in examinations in comparison to Indian children.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work