Inequality & Life Chances

Inequality & Life Chances

Upward mobility as Flawed Thinking

There is a dilemma in capitalist society. In order to maintain wealth and scarce goods, those in control of those goods must keep others from taking their goods. In order to maintain this control the higher classes create social ideologies such as the “American Dream” which promote hard work amongst the lower classes. This is the classic carrot and stick concept. People think that their efforts will be rewarded but in reality, they are usually working to make someone else rich. This theory has a great deal of merit but is also flawed.

These concept of upward mobility, while logical has never been fully actualized in the United States. The leadership of the US realizes these problems to some degree and makes decisions that limit the influence of the upper classes. For instance, it is against the law to discriminate people based on color, social status, and religion. In other countries this is not true and this is where one can truly see conflict theory in action.

Although changing, India is still a very caste bound system. Being born a beggar most likely means that you will stay a beggar for life. There is a false consciousness in this situation which is formed by religion that dictates that people were born into their position mainly because it was fated. This forms the impression that these individuals must work and maintain themselves within their class.


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