Income Inequality In Sociological Research

1864 Words8 Pages
The underlying causes, ideology, and history surrounding crime and social classes lie within social constructs in society that deliberately deny people freedom and liberty for the privilege of others. The law defines what actions are harmful and this gives direction to the powers created that make the judicial system function. Therefore law and order can be used as an oppressive mechanism employed to protect privilege of other unequally or it can be the call of conscience reminding us that we should establish equality for everyone. One of the concepts that intersect in all of crime is social class along with others like race, gender, age, etc. One prevailing ideology of the 20th century was Marxism which asserted that all of human history…show more content…
Although exposure to violence affects all SES groups, lower SES individuals and families appear to have increased exposure. Browne, Salomon, & Bassuk (1999) found that women who resided in households that earned less than $10,000 annually had a 4-times-greater risk of experiencing violence than women in wealthier households. Bassuk et al. (1996) found that homeless mothers reported significantly more severe instances of physical and sexual assault over their lifetime than low-income housed mothers. Buka, Stichick, Birdthistle, & Felton, (2001) found youths from low-income neighborhoods witnessed significantly more severe violence (viz., murders and stabbings) than youths from middle- and upper-income neighborhoods. African American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than Caucasian children. American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian families are more likely than Caucasian and Asian families to live in poverty (Costello, Keeler, & Angold, 2001; National Center for Education Statistics, 2007). Unemployment rates for African Americans are typically double those of Caucasian Americans. African American men working full time earn 72 percent of the average earnings of comparable Caucasian men and 85 percent of the earnings of Caucasian women (Rodgers, 2008). A criminal record reduces one 's opportunities for employment; thus, they are more likely to…show more content…
It is being proposed that people should not criminalize poverty. Drugs are intensively criminalized among the poor but largely unregulated among the rich. One policy that has been enacted that helps to do that is The Fair Sentencing Act. In 2010, Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA), which reduced the sentencing disparity between offenses for crack and powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1. The scientifically unjustifiable 100:1 ratio meant that people faced longer sentences for offenses involving crack cocaine than for offenses involving the same amount of powder cocaine – two forms of the same drug. Most disturbingly, because the majority of people arrested for crack offenses are African American, the 100:1 ratio resulted in vast racial disparities in the average length of sentences for comparable offenses. On average, under the 100:1 regime, African Americans served virtually as much time in prison for non-violent drug offenses as whites did for violent
Open Document