IJMB SOCIOLOGY ANSWERS
Social inequality refers to the unequal distribution of resources opportunities and power among individuals or groups in a society based on various factors such as social class race gender and age. It highlights the disparities in social economic and political positions that can result in individuals or groups having different life chances and access to resources.
Max Weber a prominent sociologist had a comprehensive understanding of social inequality. He believed that social inequality could be analyzed in terms of three distinct dimensions: class status and power.
Weber defined class as a group of people who share similar economic interests and are positioned in a similar position within the market economy. He argued that social class is determined by an individual’s access to wealth property and occupation. Weber recognized that class is not solely determined by economic factors but is also influenced by factors such as education and social connections.
Status according to Weber refers to the social honor or prestige accorded to individuals or groups in society. It is based on social attributes such as ethnicity religion occupation and lifestyle. Weber considered status as an independent source of social inequality alongside class highlighting that individuals can experience different levels of social respect and privilege based on their status.
Power in Weber’s view is the ability to achieve one’s goals despite resistance from others. It refers to the capacity to influence and control others’ behavior and outcomes. Power can be ascribed (based on inherited or ascribed characteristics) or achieved (based on individual efforts and accomplishments). Weber emphasized that power is a crucial aspect of social inequality as it allows certain individuals or groups to influence social decisions shape institutions and maintain their interests.
(i) Political Instability: Ethnic divisions have often led to political instability in Nigeria. Competition for political power based on ethnic considerations has led to conflicts tensions and even violence. Ethnicity has been exploited by politicians to mobilize support resulting in a divisive political environment.
(ii) Resource Distribution: Ethnicity influences the distribution of resources in Nigeria. The competition for resources such as land oil and government positions often follows ethnic lines leading to unequal distribution and limited access for certain ethnic groups. This can result in economic disparities and social exclusion.
(ii) Social Segregation: Ethnic divisions can perpetuate social segregation and undermine national cohesion. Ethnic groups tend to cluster in specific regions or areas leading to limited interactions and cultural exchange between different groups. This can foster stereotypes prejudice and conflicts among ethnic communities.
(iv) Identity Politics: Ethnicity plays a significant role in shaping individual and group identities in Nigeria. People often identify strongly with their ethnic community which can lead to a sense of belonging but also create divisions and competition between groups. Identity politics based on ethnicity can hinder national integration and foster a sense of “us vs. them” mentality.
(v) Marginalization and Discrimination: Certain ethnic groups in Nigeria face marginalization and discrimination in various aspects of life including education employment and political representation. This can contribute to social and economic inequalities and perpetuate cycles of poverty and exclusion.
(i) Reproduction and Socialization: The family is responsible for the reproduction of the population. It provides a social and biological framework for raising children and transmitting cultural values norms and traditions from one generation to the next. The family is where children learn social roles values and behaviors through socialization.
(ii) Economic Support: The family serves as an economic unit by providing financial support and resources to its members. It involves the pooling of income sharing expenses and the provision of material necessities such as food clothing and shelter. The family also offers emotional and social support ensuring the well-being of its members.
(iii) Emotional Support: The family provides emotional support nurturance and a sense of belonging to its members. It is a social unit where individuals can find love care and emotional security. Families offer support during challenging times celebrate achievements and foster emotional bonds among their members.
(iv) Social Control: The family plays a vital role in social control and the regulation of behavior. It establishes and enforces norms rules and values within the family unit teaching individuals appropriate social behaviors and disciplining deviant behavior. Family members learn the importance of social norms and consequences of their actions.
(v) Sexual Regulation: The family plays a role in regulating and organizing sexual behavior and relationships within society. It establishes rules regarding sexual activity marriage and reproductive choices. The family provides a framework for the formation of intimate relationships and the fulfillment of sexual needs.
(a) Survey research: Survey research is a research method that involves collecting data from a sample of individuals or groups through standardized questionnaires or interviews. Surveys use structured questions to obtain quantitative or qualitative data about attitudes behaviors opinions or characteristics of the target population. This method allows researchers to study large populations identify patterns and make generalizations about a specific phenomenon. Surveys are cost-effective efficient and provide a snapshot of people’s opinions and experiences. However they may suffer from biases respondent errors and limitations in capturing complex or nuanced phenomena.
(b) Case study: A case study is an in-depth analysis of a particular individual group event or phenomenon. It involves collecting detailed data through various methods such as interviews observations and document analysis. Case studies provide a comprehensive understanding of a specific case allowing researchers to explore complex issues and gain insights into unique contexts. This method is particularly useful for studying rare or unusual cases and generating rich qualitative data. However case studies may lack generalizability and can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
(c) Historical research: Historical research involves examining past events processes and documents to study social phenomena. It relies on primary and secondary sources including official records diaries newspapers and archival materials. Historical research aims to reconstruct and interpret historical events changes and trends within a specific context. It allows researchers to understand the origins development and impacts of social phenomena over time. Historical research is valuable for analyzing long-term social patterns and providing insights for understanding the present. However it relies on available historical documents may face biases in historical accounts and can be limited by gaps in available data.