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

    Advances included the introduction of antibiotics, widespread immunization, blood transfusion, higher standards of midwifery and maternity services, as well as the setting up of a single publicly funded National Health Service in 1949. More recently, improved medication, by-pass surgery and other developments have reduced deaths from heart disease by one-third.

  2. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    the conflict is between the sex's mallet females. Feminists also believe that women have been disadvantage within society and the men have more power than the women and this is not right. The three main types of feminism theory are:- * Marxist feminist * Radical feminist * Liberal feminist Marxist Feminist Marxist Feminists believe that men and women are still unequal in society.

  1. - APPROACHES IN PSYCHOLOGY

    Psychosurgery is now possible without cutting through the skull. Radiosurgery is used to concentrate radiation (the so-called gamma knife) into a single, tiny point of brain tissue in the emotional centres of the brain. This tissue is destroyed while the surrounding healthy tissue is spared damage. There are issues involving undesirable-effects and the irreversible nature of psychosurgery.

  2. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    It is important to point out that within different ethnic minority groups there is a great deal of difference in educational underachievement. This is show by the research of Kysel (1985)

  1. Assess whether those from ethnic minorities achieve less in education than those from other ...

    and those who migrated here after the age of 16, showed that overall, second generation achievement was much better than the migrants generation. However, the results showed that Pakistanis and Bangladeshis had made the least progress. However it is important not to generalise, as males and females from different ethnic

  2. Sociological Theories

    It is a consensus theory which means it is non-conflict. "Functionalists see agreement as the basis of social life and without it; society would collapse" (Taylor, Richardson, Yeo, Marsh, Trobe and Pilkington, 1998. P13). The Marxism theory however, is a conflict theory.

  1. "How sociologists measure the extent of poverty is largely dependent on what definition of ...

    don't have the finances as back up to deal with a problem, on paper they are showing that they are not poor, but in realistic terms they are, this is where the new method of defining poverty 'Relative' comes into play also by the 1960's peoples needs changed, this making

  2. Major Theories in Sociology

    It is linked with Emile Durkheim in 1900, then in 1950 to Talcott Parsons. It is also known as consensus theory that is the theory of agreement. Many Functionalist believe that these institutions are linked with each other in such a manner that they together form a system.

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