Societal institutions in the US today have constructed modes of class discrimination, everywhere I go and the people I've met have proved this theory to be right. These complex social forms reproduce themselves as government, media, family, corporations and legal systems. We have discussed some of the areas in the past and the effects on minorities and different levels of social class, for example how supposedly the US government has given corporations tax cuts in order to create more jobs and help the people return to work and not live in poverty (helping our economy grow). This time I will like to concentrate more on institutions themselves and try to determine what causes the creation of class inequality. Let’s analyze this concept and see where it takes us.
It is known that the mass media is an institution in charge of shaping our society, sometimes even controlling how we think about each other. “Twenty-three corporations own more than one half of all the daily newspapers, magazines, movie studios, and radio and television outlets in the United States” (Mantsios, Rothenberg 610). I think the media is a tool to keep the general population entertained and brainwashed, a lot of people nowadays think that by wearing certain clothing or being part of the electronic revolution (iPhone, Android, etc.) makes them better than other people. Newspapers will sometimes concentrate on irrelevant points of an issue, to cover up certain truths or make a particular person look bad in the eyes of society; not lying just deviating. We can see how influential the mass media is in molding public consciousness. “Americans spend an average of twenty-eight hours a week watching television. They also spend an undetermined number of hours reading periodicals, listening to the radio, and going to the movies” (Mantsios, Rothenberg 610). We are constantly conditioned with all this information, that if we really think about it can be looked as propaganda. Because of it, we look at each other and criticize our cultures and the way we live. For example, “Jersey Shore” (horrible TV-show) generalizes the way all the people dress, act, interact in that region. They show them partying, drinking and doing very ignorant things on television. In my eyes this is bad, but the media makes it look like this a very attractive way of life and that if you don’t you are not part of it, you won't be considered “In/Cool”. There are different reactions that society will take on this, but the majority will follow them and imitate their lifestyle. To me this just keeps the general population living in that lifestyle, controlled like puppets and following the majority of people without self-control. “The news media provides meager coverage of poor people and poverty. The coverage it does provide is often distorted and misleading” (Mantsios, Rothenberg 610).
There are only a number of institutions that promote help for the poor, animal shelters, education, etc. And some of them are often attacked or criticized for the way they run their organization, not very popular at all in the mainstream. I think we should address and help organizations that promote a more positive society; a good example of this is KPBS. In Mitt Romney’s campaign it was mentioned that he wanted to shut them down for numerous reasons, to me it didn't make sense at all. The more educational programing is the less attention it gets from the general population. I have noticed that people just want to see humorous, party, fashion and reality programing instead of educational. This is true; I live it every day as a Musician and Artist (but that’s a different subject). But I do notice that people are more interested in listening to “Party” scene music, rather than philosophy or real life situations.
We can see how the government now days not supporting education as much as before, the budget for them keeps getting smaller and smaller; almost like if they don't want our children to be informed about what’s going on in today’s society. This puts our children at risk, since this will create more uneducated people and not be able to progress in the workforce creating inequality and only opening doors for the wealthy that are able to afford a higher and better education. It seems like the system keeps changing to only benefit the rich, this is why a lot of people start making conspiracy theories on this subject. This system also forces us to obtain student loans, but after we graduate some of us can end up in a worse situation than before. To me it seems like certain institutions are promoting slavery in our system, since the more we try to create better lives for ourselves, we end up with more debt that keeps us working the rest of our lives to pay everything off. Now I understand why some people prefer to move up in the corporate ladder by experience, instead of going back to school and earn a degree creating social inequality.
The government along with other social institutions should work together to eliminate this problem, at least work to try and diminish it as much as possible. After reviewing all of this information, this possibility seems far in the future since it’s currently not convenient for them as it keeps them obtaining revenue and control of the general population. In my view, the more educated our population is the more chances of becoming a greater society increases in many levels. This will not change if we continue to support these institutions and keep living as conditioned human beings, to me it’s unnatural and ridiculous. If one already knows this, we can transmit our opinions and points of views to others with the hope more people waking up to this issue.
Rothenberg, Paula. Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study. 8th Edition
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