Australia possesses social inequality due to the uneven distribution of its resources. The social inequality within Australia will be measured through earnings, where the dispersion of labour market incomes will define social classes. This will be further explored through Karl Marx’s social theory of class, sociologists measure of inequality, and the consequences of inequality.
Earnings inequality within Australia can be identified through Karl Marx’s social theory of class. Marx distinguished class by its mode of production, such as the division of labour and earnings. The working class is “exploited? and alienated from work produced by capitalist organisation that seeks profit. These categories are produced when repeated transactions across the boundary both regularly yield net advantages to those on one side and reproduce the boundary. For example, Australian mine owners hire hewers to send coal up from underground but don’t pay the hewers the value of their efforts. Instead, the owners use profit to reinforce the boundary between management and workers. This alienation produces an inequality of labour and earnings between the classes where power and control are controlled by the upper-class society. The unequal dispersion of labour market incomes within Australia has consequently created social inequality.
Sociologists measure social inequality through multiple qualitative and quantitative methods. The most widely used aggregated measure of dispersion is Gini Coefficient which represents the wealth distribution of a nation’s residents. This method measures inequality within scores between 0 and 1, where the higher score indicates inequality. HILDA survey data show that Australia’s Gini coefficient was 0.303 in 2000-01 and 0.296 in 2014-15. Although the Gini coefficient identified Australia’s overall household income inequality has barely changed, the ABS has identified that wealth distribution of Australia’s residents still indicates a difference in social classes. The ABS also identified the labour market has become more socially unequal through a sample. Therefore, sociologist’s measurements of inequality attests to the notion that the dispersion of labour market incomes define social classes and reiterate social inequality within Australia.
Australia possesses a wide variety of value-producing resources that serve as bases of earnings inequality. Resources such as the financial capital currently remain under the control of a small network of persons, compare to Australia as a whole. This control has created unparalleled potency in the production of inequality by those who control it and those who do not. For example, the working class have smaller access to technology, education and information due to earnings inequality which ultimately prevents them access to the same opportunities, qualifications and earnings than those who control the financial capital. Tilly without access to these bases, persons are limited to social change and are subject to social inequality. Consequently, Australia’s uneven distribution of earnings continues to create the social classes and the earnings inequality.
Social inequality within Australia produces an inequality of labour and earnings between the classes where power is controlled by the upper-class society. Sociologist’s measurements of inequality attests to the notion that the dispersion of labour market incomes define social classes and reiterate social inequality within Australia. Consequently, the working class are unable to break free from their inequality because their inequality prevents them access to the same opportunities as the upper-class society. Therefore, there is social inequality in Australia and it has social consequences, as seen with earnings inequality.