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What Do You See When You Look at Social Inequality Through a Sociological Lens?

Autor:   •  October 9, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,312 Words (6 Pages)  •  192 Views

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What do you see when you look at social inequality through a sociological lens?

In a small hospital in the heart of New York City, two babies are born just a couple of doors down from each other. One is a white boy called Mark, and the other an African American girl called Hailey. Although born in the same hospital, on the same day, to two sets of loving parents, Mark and Hailey will live lives on two very different ends of the spectrum. Mark and Hailey’s lives will be shaped in two different ways based on their family’s income and wealth, racial backgrounds, and educational opportunities.

Mark is born into a middle class white family. Both of his parents went to above average colleges, where they met in law school and married at the age of 25 before having Mark a few years later. At this point in their lives, they live in a small apartment close to Central Park. They work together in a Personal Injury law firm in New York City. Due to the birth of their new child, Mark’s parents decide to look for houses outside of the city. They find a small town in the suburbs of New York with one of the best public school systems. Although taxes in this town are much higher, they agree that this is the best move in order to provide Mark with the best education possible. Mark’s parents hire a full time nanny to live with them and help with Mark in the house so that they can continue to commute to the city to work full time. However, they soon decide that Mark’s mother should only work part time in order to spend more time at home.

A few days after Hailey is born, she is brought back to a small apartment on the edge of the city. Her father is a construction worker and her mother a receptionist at a elementary school in the district over, both without a college education. Hailey’s mother did not graduate High School, as she was forced to drop out due to pregnancy with her first child, who was later put up for adoption. Although Hailey is only a few days old, Hailey’s father must return back to work immediately in order to continue to pay rent and provide for his new family whereas Hailey’s mother can thankfully stay home due to paid maternity leave. After speaking to the school district in which Hailey’s mother works in, they have agreed to let Hailey attend. Although this district is only slightly better than the one in which Hailey’s family live in, they are thrilled at this opportunity.

As time progresses, Mark graduates High School with a 3.6 GPA thanks to the help from tutors in both his classes and the SATs. As his father has moved to become the CEO of the law firm, he is able to afford his son through a very prestigious university in California. Mark is able to get in due to the combination of his grades and a recommendation letter from university alumni, who works for Mark’s father. The summer before college, Mark interns in his father’s office, learning the ropes of the law firm to see if one day he would like to do the same.

Hailey will be attending the local Community College in the fall. The fact that she graduated high school in itself is a huge deal as it is not common in her town. But to also be set to attend college is an even bigger deal, as she will be the first in her family to do so. As her college is 15 minutes from her house, she will be boarding at home which is convenient for her family as they won’t have to pay for housing or food. When scheduling her classes however, she is unable to take the evening communications class that she wants as


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