Explore the role of ideology in sustaining social inequality.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I had to pare down the original question, but I think that the essence has been preserved.  I think that the premise of the question lends itself to assessing how capitalism or economic structures based off it help to drive the notion of social inequality.  In this case, ideology is directly related to social inequality.  It is the role of ideologies like capitalism to present a vision of being where social inequality is an acceptable risk to the reward of greater material benefit.  Many would argue that capitalism, as an ideology, does not speak out against the reality of social inequality.  Rather, it speaks to it, perpetuating it as an "unfortunate" consequence.  In this, ideology presents itself as a force that sustains social inequality without actually taking full responsibility for it.  Some go as far as suggesting that capitalism, as an ideology, directly sustains social inequality because not everyone will benefit in it, something that the ideology predicates itself on being able to provide as part of its allure:

All of us in the working class are stuck with an economic system that steals the wealth we produce and leaves us to try to cope with what is left over.

In such sentiments, one sees how ideology plays a role in sustaining and enhancing social inequality.

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