Essay Sample on Social Class and Inequality

Published: 2023-04-11
Essay Sample on Social Class and Inequality
Type of paper:  Article
Categories:  Discrimination Public relations Social issue
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 855 words
8 min read

Social class and inequality have been for ages seen in many societies where individuals or a group of people are discriminated against based on several factors. The most common factors include gender, age, race, nationality, and even sexual orientation, among others. This behavior depends on how society is structured, the norms and beliefs which guide their judgment and view on humanity. Several theoretical perspectives have tried to explain these unique behaviors being exhibited by individuals and groups of people. Often, one group would suffer at the expense of the other group. This discrimination accounts for the social instability in most societies and thus can explain even the wars and conflicts that arise, courtesy of these differences. The purpose of this paper is to discuss an article published by The Guardian newspaper, entitled "Working-class children get less of everything in education, including respect," in conjunction with the conflict theories of sociology.

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"Working-Class Children Get Less of Everything in Education, Including Respect"

The article is written by Diane Reay, a Cambridge professor who researches inequality in education. Reay finds out that different social classes are being educated differently to assume different functions in society. She realizes that even under the same school and the same roof, children of the working class were receiving less education compared to those of the middle classes. From her background, Reay realizes that her parents were also subject to this discrimination, which explained their current state, working as a coalminer. Due to this, Reay learned that she had to work as twice as hard as the middle-class children so that she could make it in life. Being a child from the working class, she was denied the opportunity to join the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Pupils who come from ethnic minorities get less funding per head. Often their schools receive less qualified teachers with a high rate of turnovers by qualified teachers. Therefore, the quality of education they receive would below and find it difficult working in better jobs since they would not have the skills required of them. From the interviews in her research, Reay realizes that the children were aware of the stratification in the school as early as the ages of fours, as there are the groups referred to as t" the monkeys" which the children are aware is not a very good group to belong to (Ferguson, 2017). Therefore, social stratification is exhibited due to the discrimination the children face.

The education quality that a child gets corresponds to the kind of work or income that their parents arrive. Those who earn more would get a quality education while those who make less get a poor knowledge. Some of the children would even be forced to learn harder, being denied their activities like art, drama, and games in the name of the pursuit of academic excellence (Ferguson, 2017). This would negate the student a privilege to develop other skills that they have like talents by restraining them to grow. The government also plays a significant role in this discrimination as Reay finds out that there is an enormous cut of funds for free school meals in those schools with a high number of students.

Conflict Theories

The conflict theories of sociology state that society is characterized by inequality, which is based on gender, social class, and other factors. It is a macro theory that looks at the community at large and interprets actions based on how individuals are treated due to their unique characteristics. This is very relevant to the article by Reay because it shows how students from ethnic minorities are discriminated against in education. The conflict theory explains that society is in constant strive for the available resources and those in dominion and power are the ones who rule, based on their desires. In the articles, those who earned more, the middle class were domineering on those of the working class. The education of one's child depended on the income status of the parent. Therefore, according to the theory, individuals fight for academic resources, which are believed to be the determinant of the kind of life one would live.


In conclusion, social inequality and discrimination are genuine and practiced in society. People struggle to be at better positions than others, which in most cases, is out of selfishness. It accounts for the high gaps between the rich and the poor. Sociology has been very crucial in understanding these differences and the impacts it has in society. It also has been significant, acting as a mirror to what is happening in the community and the potential causes of all these differences. It gives light to better solutions that can be applied to fight against injustice and discrimination as everyone stands a chance of growth and development. It would only take sober-minded individuals with consensus and conformity to lead, that discrimination would cease. It is time that governments look at the more significant benefits of identifying skills in people based on their knowledge and intelligence.


Ferguson, D. (2017). Working-class children get less of everything in education - including respect. Retrieved from

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