As to assimilate to their gender, in order
As our society continues to evolve and modernize, so do our social constructs and norms. Issues surrounding the LGBTQ community, racism, and gender equality are prominent in today’s society. These are all examples of social constructs that are still progressing. However, small actions have been taken around the nation, as movements such as Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights Movement, and the legalization of same sex marriage have come to fruition. Living in the age of information and technology, the media is another source that perpetuates social constructs. Through advertisements, social apps, and immediate news coverage the media is able to alter the way that society views things. Inequality in the United States is based on the different sources of power, which is socially constructed. Through the media, sources of social power, and social differences, it is clear that inequality plays a role in social constructs. A social construct is an idea or concept that is generated by a certain community or society, any action or belief outside of that construct or norm is deemed abnormal. Social inequality is a result of resources in a community being distributed unevenly. An example of social inequality is unequal reward for people in different statuses in a group or society. There are various social differences that impact social inequality they are known as gender, race, occupation, schooling, ethnicity, ancestry, and power. Gender inequality is defined as men and women being treated differently based on their masculinity and femininity. The assignment of gender roles is an example of gender inequality. A gender role is a behavior that a person performs in order to assimilate to their gender, in order to fit in with cultural norms. “They’re learning how it is possible for them as boys to be in the world and engage in their relationships and behave in ways that will be socially acceptable. And in learning to accommodate those ideals, they’re learning to conceal or downplay qualities that are traditionally associated with girls and women.” (Newsom 2015) Racial and ethnic inequality is the result of ranking social placement based on one’s characteristics such as skin color and other physical traits. Some races are privileged and can endeavor into the job market easier than other can. As a result of this they are then more than those who don’t have that same privilege. While race is not a biological trait, is has become a powerful social construct that can prevent or empower the social status of individuals or communities. “Race is a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflict and interests by referring to different types of human bodies” (Omi, Winant 56) Marginalized groups are also faced with limited opportunities due to racial inequality. Over time this construct evolves into cycles of poverty and political marginalization. When certain ethnic groups become a part of the minority category in a community is an example of political marginalization. Mass incarceration of African Americans is a case of racial inequality and discrimination. There are over a million African Americans incarcerated in the United States, and 15 percent of these people were convicted of nonviolent drug possession. Inequality of social class is also known as social stratification, which is the ranking of social class, political influence, and wealth. Societies are commonly stratified based on different levels of power and authority. Doctors, engineers, and lawyers are highly ranked in society because they have the some of the most important jobs so they make the most money. Often times occupation determines people’s income which then determines their class, culture, lifestyle and opportunities afforded. People who have higher paying jobs are exposed to a better lifestyle and afforded better opportunities than the people lower class communities. People who live in lower class communities and have low paying jobs are not exposed to the same privileges and experiences of those that are ranked higher in society, therefore they are unequal.The media plays a colossal role in perpetuating the social construction of reality, which is the way that they shape their audiences view on the world. According to dictionary.com, media is the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, that reach or influence people widely. Today’s society is highly dependent on technology and the information that is provided by these devices, this is the age of information. People can now customize their news experience because of the of the social construction of reality. Different media outlets take political stances to cater to their audience. “The lens through which we receive these images is not neutral but envices the power and point of view of the political and economic elites who operate and focus it.” (Gamson 374) There are some negative aspects to media companies growing and merging into conglomerates because it decreases the amount of information we are receiving. This gives them the power to share what they want people to think is the truth. Hegemony is when powerful people use their influence to persuade people with less power to do things that will benefit the power elite. ” This claim by the politicians, if correct, confers on their policies popular legitimacy. In fact, what they are really doing is not just invoking popular opinion but shaping and influencing it so they can harness it in their favour.” (O’Shea, Hall 8) The expansion of these conglomerates can result in the creation of monopolies which are illegal in the United States. Marketers also use media to sell products to advertisers. Media companies have also found another way into the pockets of their viewers, through children. “The rise of 360 degree immersive marketing where they get around the child in every aspect of every avenue”. (Barbo et al. 2008) Technology has evolved to the point that a majority of society is completely dependent on their phones and cannot live without them. An advantage of the growth of evolvement of technology and media is that it has helped make the world a smaller place and bring people together, and the formation of more communities. “Technologies of texting and social networking also play a role in the establishment of a romantic relationship” (StadLee 125) Power is the capability to utilize one’s will over another. Inequality is the being of unequal opportunities for different social statuses within a group or society. “Of all developed nations, the United States has the most unequal distribution of income and wealth” (Kornbluth 2013) The main sources of power in the United States are made up of corporations, the military, and politicians. According to C. Wright Mills the people in those positions are known as the power elite. Power in the America is centralized which makes it easy for manipulation of citizens. Mills argues that the people are dependent on actions corporation, the state, and the military. The power elite are the people whose decisions influence everyday people’s lives. The elites constitute the means of power. The structural conditions of inequality are studied by wealth, poverty, educational attachment, occupation and power. Education plays a role in how far people can make it in the workforce and different races are often exposed to different types of education. Wealth is measured by the United States social security administration, they set the official poverty line. It is based on the requirements that people need to live a subsistence life, although professionals set the line studies have shown that the cost of a basic nutritionally adequate diet multiplied by three. Money inequality is also shown through gender. In a study conducted in 2011 it was proven that women make seventy seven cents to every dollar that men make. Two out of every three impoverished adults in the United States are women. Wealth inequality is also affects people of color, although white men have the highest poverty numbers black and hispanics are three times more likely to be impoverished. Poverty doesn’t discriminate in age either, in a study conducted in 2000 almost 1 in 3 African American and Latino children were living in poverty, as were forty percent of all children living in female headed households. The United States also holds the record for the highest child poverty rate, yet we rank number one in military spending. The elderly happen to have a lower poverty rate than the conventional population, they have a higher rate of being near poor. The culture of poverty perpetuates a impoverished mindset and ways of being which only buries them deeper in poverty. People have been making strides to end poverty for a long time and It won’t be fixed unless the government steps in and implements a budget to help impoverished people get attain the resources that they need to get back on their feet. Through the media, sources of social power, and social differences, it is clear that inequality plays a role in social constructs. Social differences like race, wealth, education, and gender have lead to creation of social constructs. The media’s power over their viewers and ability to shape people’s take on what happening in the world makes them an a threat. The education opportunities for different races are unequal, as well are the poverty rates and how much money the government has that they don’t put towards poverty reform.