Explore BrainMass

Income inequality, caste, social class and cultural capital.

Why should we be concerned with the widening income inequality in the U.S., and how would life be different if the U. S. if we had a rigid social caste system?

Solution Preview

This question is I believe, designed to see if you understand the difference between a class and caste structure. Remember that caste is a system based on the belief that certain populations are superior due to birthright. The best example of this is the history of caste in India. The structure is embedded in religious beliefs and traditions and is very strong so much so that people are limited by what jobs they can have, where they live, who they can marry and what educational opportunities they have. One cannot change their caste status.

Class is based on the combination of social and economic status. In the U.S. class status is often thought to be determined by income level but there's much more to it. The predominant belief in an 'American Dream' which posits that one can be successful if you work hard shapes mainstream middle class values. However, success is far more complicated and is connected to the type of family and the family's class status, someone is born into, the strength of education one receives as a child as well as opportunities that are or are not available to an individual in ...

Solution Summary

This solution addresses the current and widening income gap in the United States via describing the differences between caste and class structures.