When Canada was conceived it was in the early stages of the industrial era, it was an economy that was still a manufacturing based society, it was based on an abundant work force and viable transportation infrastructure. As the nation grew though, it developed into a post-industrial society that experienced a shift toward a knowledge/service driven economy. This has done much to further our society, but has also produced major social inequalities through labor markets and work organizations. This essay will discuss these major social inequalities and will compare the ability of different theoretical perspectives to explain these inequalities, and will comment on the most effective public policy responses. From this it will be clear that Canada's labor market has inequalities that are based on class structure and power relationships, but through proper government intervention, these inequalities can be minimized.
Within our capitalist system, there are vast inequalities, some people earn more than other, some people have more favorable jobs than others, and others do not work at all they just live on investments like real estate.
[...] This classification system that Olin puts forth is very useful as it breaks down the labor market and framework of work organizations and provides a good starting point for explaining the inequalities that exist within these markets. Another theoretical perspective was developed by Wallace Clement and John Myles. They came up with four main classes of individuals based on how much they control the means of production and how much they control the labor of others. These four classes are: the capitalist-executive class which includes self-employed people with three or more employees and managers and executives who have wide-ranging decision making powers; the new middle class which are those who control and manage others; the old middle class which are those who have two or fewer employees; and finally the working class which is the largest group and includes all other labor force participants. [...]
[...] This is occupational status, and while it may not be as important as differences in income, benefits and job security, it is a source of inequality in the labor market. This is important because it plays a large role in creating the self-image that we attach to our jobs. (Krahn & Lowe, 2005: 106). It is typically those of the more socially disadvantaged groups that are those who suffer from the inequalities inherent in the labor market. To get to the bottom of the problem, we must examine the class structure of our society, and from this it will be seen that social class plays a significant role in the workplace inequality. [...]
[...] There are also inequalities in the labor market that are created by differences in gender and region. Gender equality in the labor force has long been improving, but there is still progress to be made as often women are excluded from some jobs (or some jobs with equitable pay with men) for no other reason than their gender. There are also inequalities based on region as those in rural communities do not have the same employment opportunities as those in urban areas. [...]
[...] (Krahn & Lowe, 2005: 111). This model tries to explain how people are divided into different occupational positions through a focus on the different characteristics that individuals possess. Those with skills particularly higher education and training are more valued by employers in the workplace, and therefore demand a higher salary, more benefits and higher levels of control. It also explains how socioeconomic backgrounds give some people an edge in the job market over others, and this accounts for inequality in the labor market. [...]
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