Adam Smith Social Inequality Essay

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In the discussion of social inequality, one cannot leave out the sociological theories and models proposed by Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Generally, social inequality refers to the presence of unequal treatment, opportunities and rewards tied to people of various social standings within the hierarchy of a community group or society. Some common types of social inequality include wealth and income disparity as well as social class stratification. For Marx and Smith, both had explored the various types of social inequality in society. To begin with, Marx mentioned “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (Marx, 1978, p. 473). Marx understood the history of mankind as a chain of different eras brought about …show more content…

Smith mentioned that “The division of labour, however, so far as it can be introduced, occasions, in every art, a proportionable increase of the productive powers of labour.” (Smith, p. 110). Such a phenomenon would no doubt result in an increase in productivity due to the specialisation of jobs with increased efficiency in doing work. However, due to the specialisation of jobs, the people in society would then be subjected to job positions with varying levels in wages, which could result in income inequality in the society. Furthermore, Smith added “This separation, too, is generally carried furthest in those countries which enjoy the highest degree of industry and improvement” (Smith, p. 111). Thus, not all countries experience similar levels of industrialisation, which implies varying degrees of division of labour in the workforce. This would lead to an uneven distribution of wealth among the countries and result in economic inequality among …show more content…

Marx advocated revolution by the Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie to reduce income and social class inequality. However, Smith felt that the Invisible Hand and the division of labour would eventually bring the poor out of poverty, but may not entirely resolve the income inequality or equal distribution of

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