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Is inequality 'just an excuse' for personal failure?

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Introduction

Is inequality 'just an excuse' for personal failure? This essay will consider the question, 'Is inequality 'just an excuse' for personal failure?' first by looking at the intended meaning of the question itself and possible interpretations of it. The essay will then move on to consider different arguments and opinions on the matter to draw a sound conclusion in order to answer the question. Inequality is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as 'a lack of equality' which of course means, as one might expect, the definition and indeed existence of equality are paramount to that of inequality. The definition of equality is 'the state of being equal' in turn the definition of equal is 'evenly balanced'. This indicates that if two things are equal they can be considered to be the same and therefore two unequal things are not the same. The question is examining whether people who are different from the majority in someway are disadvantaged or if they would be unjustified to claim so. In the practical situation of looking at inequality amongst people there are of course countless criteria which could be considered; race, gender, economic situation or class and age just to name a few. ...read more.

Middle

then available to look after the children so no or only a part time income becomes the norm amongst single parent families with little opportunity to increase this. Since the Thatcher government of the 1980's it has been the principal view that it is the fault of the poor themselves that they are poor. Thatcher introduced a policy of Laissez faire by which state intervention was reduced, by privatising many public sector industries, such as the railways. Also taxes for the wealthy were cut to encourage economic growth; however the benefits of this were not seen in traditional working class jobs, further widening the gap between the poor and the rest of society. (Giddens 1990) The Meritocratic values of the masses lead to the misguided opinion that jobs are assigned on ability alone which obviously leads to the conclusion that the reason that the poor are not in well paid jobs is because they would not be able to do the job. As one's class is a key factor in determining one's life chances it is difficult for the children born into poverty not to be caught in the same situation as their parents; they do not have the same possibilities as their wealthier counterparts. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is unrealistic to say that it would be impossible for someone in poverty to get themselves out of it; the class system in Britain is very fluid in comparison to other social stratifications. At the same time one must acknowledge that inequality inevitably leads to unequal opportunities, meaning that it is easier for some than others. If the opportunities available to everyone were made equal it would be the responsibility of the individual to succeed or indeed fail in life. In this society the value that is placed on wealth means that one is automatically disadvantaged simply by not having it. The essay aimed to look at and perhaps answer the title question. It is accepted that the issue has been massively over simplified and it could be argued as a result not even touch upon however the question itself is unclear and would never have a single answer. Any individual could and probably would answer both yes and no as success in most areas of life is a complex combination of ability, dedication, opportunity and chance. Inequality is definitely more than just an excuse for personal failure but responsibility does need to be accepted by the individual. ...read more.

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