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Does Equality Exist in Social Structure?

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One place that inequality exists in our society is in our education systems. We want to believe that every child has the same opportunity when it comes to public schooling. In reality, these children do not have equal opportunities. Each school district has a certain amount of money to utilize on their schools. If a child’s family cannot afford to live in a nice neighborhood, with a good education system, that child will not get the same education as the child who’s family can afford to live in that neighborhood. The graduation rates in a higher class community tend to be higher also. For example, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Oak Hills High School has a graduation rate of 98%, and a median household income of $54, 210. While at Western Hills Traditional High School, they have a graduation rate of 61%, and a median household income of $42,573 (Public School Review 2003-2008). Oak Hills High School has areas of higher income in their district; therefore those children get a better opportunity than those who live in the Western Hills High School district.

Areas with better income have more opportunities to have additional things available that can affect the quality of learning for the students who attend those schools. While, in the schools in lower income districts cannot afford to have these materials in their schools, therefore, those students do not get the same opportunity. Where a person lives affects what school they attend, which in the end affects their future. All children have different opportunities and it all depends on what their families can afford. Education, therefore, is structured inequality. Inequality exists in almost all social structures. There is always someone who gets ahead, or who is “in charge.” “As people interact, some will almost always emerge with more of the valued things than the others” (Charon, Vigilant, 2009, p.54).

There will never be equality in the social structure. As much as we would like to believe there is equal opportunity, and there is no inequality… it is simply not reality. The education system is just one social structure that has inequality that people are unaware of. Every social structure, as small as a dyad and as large as a society, has inequality. There will always be that person, or group of people, that will want to get ahead or obtain their high rank. Once a person gets his/her power they do not give that power, prestige, or position up. There is inequality, for the most part, in every social structure in America, and there always will be.


Charon, Joel and Vigilant, Lee (2009) The Meaning of Sociology, 9th ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.

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