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Development Sociology - Essay Example

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22 October 2012. Development Sociology Introduction Race and class have had a very profound impact on the development of the United States of America (USA). Race can be defined as a group of people that are collectively classified because of their common geographic distribution, ethnicity, nationality, and/or history…
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Development Sociology
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Download file to see previous pages As a result of the growing multiculturalism, people belonging to different races have strived for the attainment of their rights in the American society. Thus, several revolutionary changes have taken place in the history of the USA, some of which are marked by the end of slavery and the empowerment of women. Racial discrimination and class system in the USA finds its roots in slavery. Slavery is the condition in which an individual or a group of people are bound in servitude in the capacity of a slaveholder’s property. During the preindustrial period of the race relations in the USA, the system of slavery was enforced that strictly prohibited the mobility of the blacks horizontally as well as vertically. Slaveholders, that primarily constituted the White Americans’ population belonged to the highest class. “…slaveholders in general constituted a broad socioeconomic class sharply differentiated from nonslaveholders by social and political behavior and by basic economic interests” (Wilson 25). The southern slaveholders had formed their domination as a ruling class in the USA by the end of the 18th century. The slaveholding elite governed the political, economic, and judicial system all across the South. Using their political power, the slaveholders formed such laws that protected and safeguarded their personal interests, the most prominent amongst which was slavery. Things started to change in the 19th century when the opponents of slavery in the north raise their concerns about the slave power of the southern planters. However, race and class continued to influence the development of the USA a lot during the period between the late 19th and the earlier 20th century. During this period, most of the American states including Delaware, Texas, California, and North Dakota had supported discrimination through the Jim Crow laws that denied the people the right to consort with the people belonging to a different race than theirs. The Jim Crow laws obliged the business owners to keep the white and the black clientele separated and people were denied the right to intermarry across different races. The biggest change in the history of the USA is market with the commencement of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955 when, the African Americans started fighting for their rights and the battle continued to this day along with a consequential improvement in the status of the African Americans in the USA. Since then, there has been a revolutionary change and improvement in the social status of the minorities in the USA. The selection of Barack Obama as the President of the USA marks the end of all discrimination in the USA at least on the basis of race. For a long time in the history of America, the White people have been privileged in that they have worked on higher ranks and positions of labor as compared to the people of other races especially the African Americans. According to Weber (36), the ability of an individual to enjoy a high social status in a country depends to a large extent on the individual’s education as well as ownership of the capital over the preceding generations. “The emergence of initial Jim Crow segregation laws directly parallels the rise of lower-class whites to political power in the labor reform movement” (Wilson 59). Class interests of the white workers reflected in the racial inequality that was designed with the aim of eliminating encroachment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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