Sociology Paper on Inequality in Organizations


Inequality in Organizations

This analysis describes sociologies of work in the perspective of inequality in organizations. Several theories will be applied to evaluate the dimensions of inequality in the UK, and the model and occurrences related to work inequalities in the social class. Some of the theories will include the Marxist and Weberian theories.

Organizations are attributed to the employment of the hierarchical social order in order to rank individuals. They uphold the culture of laying ideals of inequality. Such organizations are attributed to uphold equal opportunities as well as value to practices that sanction inequality. Unfortunately, the perceptions are affected due to the diverse contradictions in relation to inequality.

A combination of embedded beliefs and experiences of people in an organization as regards to inequality are a predominant cause of a slight yet a real gap between the individuals of an organization. In order to resolve the cognitive conflict in the organizations, individuals are expected to participate in individual and collective attempts to create sense from the divergence in relation to inequality. The environment of work as regards to inequality is based on the degree of effort for the employees. This is according to Ospina (1996, p.3).

Inequality in United Kingdom

One of the most pressing issues in the United Kingdom workforce is inequality. The 1960’s political victory of the civil rights movement, the 1980’s gays and lesbianism, and 1970’s 2nd wave of feminist movement, which were meted out in contemporary British workplace are yet to be implemented in the social-cultural realities. Despite the academic experience and qualification of individuals, the ethnic minorities are continuously hindered from high positions in the work place. Many women are paid less as compared to men. The prejudice pertaining to sexuality, race, religion, and age continue to be eminent in the British workplace. This is a greater obstacle to cultural and political integration. This is according to Joel & Montogue (1952).

In 1950, the Nufield Research Unit in the London school of economics conducted a research, which showed that it was impossible if not challenging to define the social class boundaries. Subsequently, the problems of social selection and differentiation appreciated as well as social mobility. The concept of the social class was hence based on the education, occupation, or property ownership of an individual. The social class changes were based on change of residential, associations, and occupation among others. This was according to Joel & Montogue (1952, p.192)

In accord with a report by Gordon, Lloyd and Heslop (1995, p.17), conducted to evaluate the extension of inequality in relation to health, people were offered medication based on their hierarchy in the workplace. Those with high positions were given expensive medication as compared to the junior employees. The duration of rest after medication was also based on the hierarchical positions in the organizations.


The works of Karl Marx and Max Weber in relation to inequality are approaches used to explain the phenomenon of inequality in the society. Marx provided a complex but profound analysis of social stratification and class system within capitalism. The Marxist theory was developed more than a hundred and fifty years ago. It continues to be used in sociological analysis of subject of class division. Karl Marx was interested on the approaches of economics systems. He anticipated a situation in the future that would require the working class and capitalist to engage in a struggle for antagonistic. This would subsequently polarize the bourgeoisies to drop into the working class level. The increasing inequality gap of “haves” and “have not’s,” was his main concern. According to Margaret & Taylor (2007, p 216), the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor who continues to become poorer all in the pursuit of more profits.

Karl Marx discussed the primary divisions in the society, which include talked about two key divisions in society: The bourgeoisie which had the “haves” and the proletariats, which described the “have not’s.” The bourgeoisies are the employers of wage labor, means of social production and the modern capitalists. The proletariats on the other hand have no independent means of production. As such, they survive by selling their labor power and are commonly known as the modern wage laborers. Marx has argues that there are diverse divisions in the society but all based on the foundation on the bourgeoisie – proletariat relationship. He goes on ahead to argue that one group which is the land lords, oppress the other which are the labor owners, subsequently, employing the aspect of the oppressor and the oppressed in a capitalistic system (Marx, 2006, p. 39). The two groups are continuously involved in a conflict. In a capitalistic system, the two categories of people are ever in constant conflicts and opposition to one another in relation to a capitalistic system. Constant conflicts results to revolutionary of the larger society if not a ruin of the contending classes Marx, (2006, p. 40)

To expand the concept of capitalism, Marx argues that the core-class division defines capitalism. According to Marx, the working class capacitated to change about inequality since they are the majority. This can be accomplished through sufficient planning, motivation, and mobilization. The occurrences of inequality hence depend on the desire for change from the working class. According to Marx & Burns (1969, p. 76) it is failure to implement on organization and mobilization skills that breeds inequality. Marx and Burn’s argument is eminent in the society of today since it is common to find groups of employees advocating for their rights. In the capitalism system, the employees continue to demand for a higher pay, while the employees implement on accumulating returns. As such, the capitalism system is characterized by multiples of conflicts.

Weber inequality theory

Weber inequality theory argued that land, physical strength ownership of capital, and intellectual knowledge determines the ability to control the power. In accord with Weber (1945, p. 36), the inequalities in many organizations of today can be based on Weber’s perception. In relation to the present stratification, individuals with capital build businesses and then give the most learned to manage them. The management provides working opportunities for day-to-day production to individuals with less education. Lesser jobs are given to those with physical strength but no intellectual dexterity. Profits are shared according to the levels of stratification. The owners of capital get the highest returns while the manual workers get the least of returns.

According to Weber, everybody is concerned about making the best out of every situation. As such, capitalism continues to be the primary root of all inequalities. He argues that, “capitalism is not an undifferentiated whole to be equated with an acquisitive instinct or with pecuniary society rather it’s a scale of types each of which has a peculiar institutional features” (Weber, 1991, p.66). Subsequently, observations shows that capitalism differed from one organization to another even though it has a universal driving force which is; “earn more profit”. This is eminent in the fact that some strikes occur based on employees demanding for justice in relation to their wages. The striking employees demand a fair compensation for their labor while others are content and just walk away.

Inequality studies would be incomplete with the exception of Emile Durkheim, one of the key intellectuals who played the role of explaining the social inequality concept. Durkheim argues that present social hierarchies point to the evaluation of synthetic social standing evaluation. This expresses the practical significance of functions of occupation, and the prevailing importance and principles of its nature. He observes social stratification in the context of progressive social differentiation. According to Pakulski (2004, p.72), Durkheim brings stratification in relation to inequality based on three perspectives: socially functional stratification, culturally legitimate stratification and morally acceptable stratification

On the hand, Emile Durkheim based inequality on division of labor. He argued that division of labor is based on the productive capacity of an individual. Durkheim, & Halls ( 1984, p. 167) observes that and I quote;“Those who use less physical effort, which is more tiring, are paid less compared to those who use the brain but lesser effort, they also have more opportunities to earn more.” In the present, the management of organization spends little energy in the offices despite spending the entire day in the offices, yet earns the greatest figures as compared to individual who do the manual jobs.

In accord with Durkheim’s argument, we can argue that for the continuity of the society, inequality is paramount. If all people were equal, cultural differences would be the only cause of conflict. As such, this would exempt the functioning of hierarchical differentiation. According to ears Pakulski (2004, p.73), the argument of Durkheim on stratification in relation to unequal distribution of property is improper in the context of proletariats raising their grievances to unresponsive parties.


The root of social inequality in the society of today points to social stratification. The individual’s social position in the hierarchy is dependent on education attainment, political position, type of occupation, and ownership of property, among other factors. Marx argues that society comprise of two people, which include the capitalists and middle class, also known as the proletariats. He observes that the system supports those who have against those who “have not.” Weber and Marx agree in relation to the fact that stratification is made manifest based on class, status, and party. On the other hand, they disagree on the basis that Weber advocates for stratification and inequality based on the argument that it is healthy for the continuity of society. Durkheim agrees on the being of inequality and also states of its significance in the society.

Inequality is evident in the society including the postmodern world. Multiples of employees continuously advocate for their rights while multiple of governments on the other hand, including the United Kingdom, continue to oppose the cries of the employees. Nevertheless, employees seem not to give up on advocating for their rights.


Durkheim, E & Halls, D 1984, the Division of Labor in Society, Free Press, London.

Gordon, D, Lloyd, L & Heslop, P 1995, “Jersey Health Survey: The measurement of Health,” viewed 10 March, 2010,