Society’s Real and Ideal
Have you ever looked forward to something, but ended up not being what you were expecting? To many people, living in the United States is no exception. An outsider most likely views the United States by our ideal culture, the American dream, where Americans pride themselves in representing equality and justice. People from all over the world associate words such as freedom and hard work with America, and immigrate to the US for opportunities to create a better future. We believe that the American dream is not partial to whom or what your are, but a well informed citizen understands that who you are does matter, and that there is a huge disparity between real culture and the ideal America just described. Unlike any other place in the world, we have greater access to education, career opportunities, and freedom to choose whom we love and marry, but the realities of these subjects are far different than we expect.
The first example of ideal culture differing from real culture in the U.S, which may be shocking to many, is gender inequality. Equality is a staple of the constitution, yet gender inequality often exists in the workplace illustrated in the types of jobs women attain, their salaries, and their treatment in the workplace. According to the US Department of Labor, women mostly occupy administrative support and service work. These jobs are more often then not at the low end of pay, have male supervisors, and have limited opportunities to advance. Only 15 of the fortune 500 companies CEOs are female CEO, (Macionis, 278) and the highest paid woman only makes as much as the ninth highest paid male. Additionally, sexual harassment remains a serious problem even for women in high business positions. In 1988, researchers revealed that 90% of large corporations reported sexual harassment complaints by women employees, showing that women today are not taken as seriously as they deserve. (Sandroff)
The subtle yet strong barrier blocking women from moving up in the business world, the “glass ceiling”, is still present today despite the strong effort to break it. (Macionis, 279) The equal pay act of 1963 aimed to diminish wage disparity based on sex, but today many people would say this act did not complete everything it was set out to do. The median female income in 2008 was $35,903 compared to $46,556 for men, women only earned about .77 cents for every dollar men earned. Only until recently, 46 years after the equal pay act was signed by president Kennedy, was an act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed for equal pay of the same work. when woman filed suit against Goodyear Tire Co proving she was purposely paid less than male coworkers for performing the same job. Other efforts have been made to remedy this situation, In 2010, the affordable care act banned insurance companies from charging woman more than men for the asme coverage. The future for gender equality...