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Cyberspace And Social Inequality

Essay by   •  April 23, 2011  •  2,767 Words (12 Pages)  •  1,452 Views

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Cyberspace

&

Social Inequality

Table of Content

Introduction 3

Social Stratification and Inequality 4

Cyberspace & Communication 9

Erosion of Stratification through the Internet 10

Cyberspace’s Negative Side 11

Conclusion 12

Bibliography 13

Introduction

Throughout the years, communication, availability of information, self education came at a very high price which not many people could afford. Just like communication, information and education, freedom, equality, respect from others came at a high price.

Social Stratification takes place in almost every society across the world. It is a system by which societies create hierarchies within itself by providing power and privileges to some while denying it to others.

With the help of technology, people have a greater opportunity to avail themselves of all kinds of information available. Technology has helped to simplify communication between people from all over the world and has also helped to make it economical.

Even with the changes that have taken place, and with the improvements in technology, there are negative aspects. For instance, social stratification is gradually decreasing is most societies and the internet has also played a part, but the information available on the internet can, at times, mislead the reader or can be extremely opinioned which can be taken at face value and this will leave the reader misinformed. The internet also contains information that can be viewed to be hurtful to some people.

Social Stratification and Inequality

Social stratification is a sociological term for the hierarchical arrangement of social classes, castes, and strata within a society. While these hierarchies are not universal to all societies, they are the norm among state-level cultures (as distinguished from hunter-gatherers or other social arrangements). Slavery, caste and class are the major systems of Social Stratification. Apart from them, gender, race, age and disabilities also have a significant role to play with respect to social stratification.

Slavery is the social and legal designation of specific persons as property, for the purpose of providing labor and services for the owner without the right of the slave to refuse, or gain compensation. It has been an unfortunate part of our past that still compels some people to partake in it. Historically, slaves were captured. Warfare often resulted in slavery for prisoners if one paid no ransom. It originally may have been more humane than executing those who would return to fight if they were freed, but the effect led to widespread enslavement of those of other groups; these sometimes differed in ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race, but often were the same. The dominant group in an area might take slaves with little fear of suffering the like fate, but the possibility might be present from reversals of fortune. In many cultures, persons convicted of serious crimes could be sold into slavery. The proceeds from this sale were often used to compensate the victims, and as a consequence, the criminal might be sold only if he lacked the property to make the compensation.

Many people were enslaved because either, they had commited a crime, or they could not repay their debt. It most cases it was considered that the children of slaves are themselves the property of the master. The more popular notion of slavery originates from the collectivist identity that identifies a certain race of people as inferior merely because of their skin colour or ethnicity. This collectivist identity (even in the more individualistic cultures) explains why even after slavery is abolished the indentured serfs and their descendants were still exposed to discrimination and suffered from the misconception that they were intellectually 'less human'. A popular rationalisation was that God provided blacks as a source of slave labour.

The main characteristic of slavery is that some people own other people. Initially, slavery was not based on race but on debt, punishment, or defeat in a battle. Slavery could be temporary or permanent, and was not necessarily passed on to one's children. North American slaves had no legal rights and the system was gradually buttressed by a racist ideology.

Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social stratification, such as clans, gentes, or the Indian caste system. The word caste is derived from the Portuguese word casta, meaning "lineage". Caste systems are typical of agrarian societies. A rigid sense of duty and discipline are critically important in such societies. Industrialization helps to increase personal choice and individual rights, but this still does not end social stratification. India is an excellent example that can be used to show distinctions based on the caste systems.

The caste system, with respect to india is such that members of the upper class, or �Brahman’, lived in comfortable conditions enjoying all available liberties. On the contrary, the lower-caste people, or the �Sudra’, live in conditions of great poverty and social disadvantage, forming the most impoverished segment of a very indigent country. The religious word for caste is 'Varna'. The highest Varna is of the Brahman. Members of this class are priests and the educated people of the society. The Varna after them in hierarchy is Kshatria. The members of this class are the rulers and aristocrats of the society. After them are the Vaisia. After them in hierarchy are the Sudra. Members of this class are the peasants and working class of the society who work in non-polluting jobs. Even then, the members of the sudra caste were, and in certain occasions still are, considered to be untouchables. The first three castes had social and economical rights which the Sudra and the untouchables did not have. The first three castes are also seen as 'twice born'. The intention in these two births is to the natural birth and to the ceremonial entrance to the society at a much later age.

This concept of 'upper' and 'lower'

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