Songs about Social Inequality

Updated September 10, 2022

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Songs about Social Inequality essay

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I have chosen the song “Long Way to Go” by Gwen Stefani and “Them Belly full” by Bob Marley because they both addresses the current biggest social inequality issues, and they have a very powerful message about social biases. Social inequality is a very sensitive concept. Therefore, its definition could vary from person to person. Someone people may define it as discrimination,and someone may define it as unequal sharing of resources. But, for me, it is hard to put social inequality in one sentences Because there are several factors(Such as race, gender and wealth to name a few) that play a role into social inequality.

Of course, we all have some unique set of strength, characteristic, ability and identity that describes who we are. However, our difference should not be a reason to treat people differently and unfairly. In fact, we should accept our differences and use it for our benefit. We do not always have to agree, but we must find common ground and support each other, and use our difference as a bridge to chase our dream and to overcome all the obstacle we face. The songs that I have chosen are basically about social inequality. Specifically, they talk about social class, gender and racial inequality, and they explain how people are suffering from social biases.

One of the biggest social inequality issues that addressed in the song is that racial inequality. racial inequality can simply define as treating people differently based on their race and ethnicity, and it is one of the main issues in the U.S. In “Long Way to Go”, Stefani says “Beauty is beauty, whether it’s black or white” to emphasize the racial discrimination that people are facing because of their skin color. Think about the U.S for instance, people of color to be more specific, They have been discriminated against because of their skin color and identity, not because they are less talented or educated. As a result, they tend to have the low paying job(mostly labor), and they live in poverty. In addition, they are considered as they have no meaningful role in the country as if they are not a human being. On other hand, the white people are considered as educated and talented, and they take the well paying jobs and higher positions. This is the issue that mostly people of color struggle with.

The other social issues that Stefani addressed in her song is that gender inequality. Through the song, she explained how gender inequality exists and how should people treat each other. This social inequality is still an issue in the United States of America. There is still wage, job position difference based on gender. We are living in a very competitive society, all about who came up with a better idea and have a better skill, and yet there exist such issue as gender inequality that segregates people based on their gender. According to Conflict theory, gender inequality came to exist because the men are trying to maintain power and privilege at the cost of the women benefit(Simon).

It is really important to note that the role of men and women are explicitly defined right from birth based on culture and society, Which allowed men to be dominant. Therefore, women have always underrepresented in any political activities as well as decision making-processes. Because stereotypically men are better leader and skillful than women. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), women earn about 77% of what men earn for the same job(ILO). Even in job that requires less physical strength, such as office work, women tend to earn less than men. They might be physically weaker than men, but that does not make them any less than men. In fact, they are hard worker than men.

In addition to Stefani, Bob Marley addressed social class issues in one of this song called “We Hungary”. “Them belly full, but we hungry”(Marly). This line of song explains the uneven distribution of wealth among the societies. This inequality is common in the economically developed countries (such as America). As we all know, the only way to achieve enough wealth and fulfill your dream is by earning more income. But unfortunately, many people can not reach their dream because of low income. The United State of America has been experienced this social inequality for centuries now. The rich are getting more rich while the poor are struggling to survive, and it is increasing the gap between the classes. According to the Marx’s conflict theory, there is always battle between “men and women”, “social classes”, conflict never end (Simon). Although it might seem unfair to see rich people blowing money on unnecessary things while others are living in poverty, social biases will always exist.

The main character in the songs is the society. To more specific, the groups who are bearing the brunt of social inequality and feeling the most uncertain future. The overall messages of the songs is to fight the socially constructed perception about society together, and respect each other.

In conclusion, social inequality is the uneven social status in any society, coming from unequal opportunities, and fewer rewards for effort. Inequality is always exist, we can not abolish it. Most of the social inequalities are socially constructed therefore their definition varies from person to person. There are several factors that could cause social inequality. Such as race, gender and social class to name a few. Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment of people, based on their gender. Racial inequality is the belief superiority of one race over the other, and social class is a combination of all social inequality.

Work Cited

  1. International labour Organization(ILO). Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_457267/lang–en/index.htm
  2. Marley, B. We Hungry. retrieved from, https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=them+belly+full+lyrics&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
  3. Simon, R. M. (2016). The conflict paradigm in sociology and the study of social inequality: Paradox and possibility. Theory in Action, 9(1), 1-31. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ccbcmd.idm.oclc.org/10.3798/tia.1937-0237.16001
  4. Stefani, G. Long way to go. retrieved from, https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&hs=ao9&ei=27mnW9eyM4KKggfB5a-ABw&q=long+way+to+go+lyrics+gwen+stefani&oq=long+way+to+&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.35i39l2j0i20i263i264j0l7.45241.52851..54383…2.0..0.109.1160.16j1……0….1..gws-wiz…..6..0i71j0i67j0i131j0i20i264j0i131i20i264j0i10j0i22i30.H9c3v996ntU
  5. Simon, R. M. (2016). The conflict paradigm in sociology and the study of social inequality: Paradox and possibility. Theory in Action, 9(1), 1-31. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ccbcmd.idm.oclc.org/10.3798/tia.1937-0237.16001
Songs about Social Inequality essay

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Songs about Social Inequality. (2021, Apr 15). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/songs-about-social-inequality/


What are some songs about inequality?
Here are 10 social justice songs that made history: “Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol. “We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger. “Blowin' In The Wind” by Bob Dylan. “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. “Imagine” by John Lennon/Yoko Ono. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley & the Wailers. “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy.
What is a song associated with social change?
1. Blowin' in the Wind – Bob Dylan . Bob Dylan's classic instantly became a civil rights anthem when it was released in 1963. The song had a major influence on American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, who was so moved by the song he began to perform it as part of his live set.
What is a song that represents equality?
5. Imagine – John Lennon . Calling for a unified world, where greed and violence don't exist, this song about equality is an anthem that has inspired so many to fight for peace and love. Imagine stands out as a message of hope with Lennon's faith that if we come together we can make a better world.
What is a song that represents justice?
“ Blowin' In The Wind” by Bob Dylan “Blowin' In The Wind” is considered an anti-war song and Civil Rights anthem. It played a role in inspiring Sam Cooke to write “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
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