Social Class and Inequality in the Community
In Moreno Valley, city changes have been witnessed in the size, technology, and demography of the community since 1990. The population of Moreno Valley has tremendously increased over the last twenty years. The occupational and ownership of property and the general economic endowment have changed hands from the traditional owners-Native Americans to a more universal ownership and residency. This implies that the concentration of wealth in the city is widely spread among the people, residing in the city. Moreover, there have been transformations in the wealth and income numbers and its general distribution among the people living in the city. The levels of prestige and standards of living in the city also have continued to shift to more people, as the economy of the city grows. This research report presents the social, economic and political changes that have taken place in the City of Moreno Valley over the last twenty years. The paper specifically explores institutions that have organized the social class in the city, the observable patterns of social mobility, the stability of social classes and its members, and finally, consequences of social class to the lifestyles and well-being of this city residents.
Numerous studies reveal an ever-dynamic trend in social, economic, and political formation in many cities around the country. Since 1990 cities have experienced structural as well as social changes in every corner. Available data indicate that the constituent of social fabric in Moreno Valley had a well-defined reason and purpose that were inclined towards social orientation. For a start, in Moreno Valley a family was strictly considered to constitute a man, woman and children. The arrival of a child to a newly marriage couple was considered as the final nail to bind a couple forever. The concept of divorce was unheard and people entered into marriage with the intent of staying together until death parts them. However, with increased civilization family changes with time, and what is acceptable today may not be acceptable tomorrow. The institution of family as was known in earlier days has drastically changed, especially in terms of constituents and chores that each member is supposed to do. In fact, the concept of single parent families has become a common stay in many societies. It is almost acceptable to have a single parent family. Furthermore, the chores and duties that each member does have also been evolving, and the 21st century epitomizes this evolution. More men are carrying chores that were traditionally performed by women. One of the reasons for this, as revealed in several studies, is the increased number of women, who are educated in Moreno Valley and currently engaging in formal jobs as well as men.
The population in the City of Moreno Valley has increased at a rate of 2 percent for the last twenty years. According to the available data from American FactFinder (2013), the population of the city was near120,000 in 1990. Currently, the city has more than 200, 000 residents of all races in the country, majority being the whites. Most of the people in the city have been attracted with urban lifestyle combined with the need to find a job. The city is currently a cosmopolitan area, hosting people around the country from different cultural and education level. Most of the people, who reside in the city are educated and working in the companies that have pitched camp in the city. Many of the residents in the city are techno-savvy in their approach to social and economic issues. In this city education plays a crucial role in the development of communities, residing here. A number of schools, colleges and universities have built their main campuses or branches in the city thus contributing to the increased population in the city. However, during the recess period most of the students and staff, working with the institutions in the city, go back to their hometowns and therefore the population of the city fluctuates depending on the season. It is agreeable that the modern political, social and economic developments, witnessed in this city and across the country, are a result of the better education system in this place. However, in cities where the government influences directly the kind of education that people access, it can be difficult to achieve any social development as people remain oppresseddue to the chains of barbaric and medieval traditional practices. Education plays an important role in the development of communities living in this city. Through education, societies that embraced explicit discrimination and isolation have become integrated and the developmental projects are ongoing. Education is also credited in helping to open up once closed and carefully knit societies to the entire country through their cultural and traditional practices. The cultural practice of a given society is exposed to the outside to the country through learning, and both the society and the country have benefited from the cultural interaction.
Nevertheless, despite the numerous benefits that are accrued as a result of internationalization of education, some activities in this city have remained closed up to the cultural and traditional practices that have continued to perpetuate the social, economic and political inequalities among the residents of this city. Through hegemonic education systems, some communities have continued to reinforce an education system that does not emphasize the importance of resources equal distribution among their people and equal access to various development opportunities between men and women. Such communities still perpetuate education systems that do not respect other traditional practices, such as religion and leadership. It is evident that, for a long period of time such education systems have failed to develop features and institutions, that make an attempt for breakaway that is difficult to achieve (US Gazetteer files, 2012).
One of the mainstream changes in this city in particular and the state in general took place in the family, which until 1990s was seen as a sexual relationships where two people, who intended to marry, were not expected to participate in sexual encounters with each other before marriage. Marriage was a highly sacred institution that cohabitation or sexual encounter before marriage was seen as a taboo to many families in the US. Parents jealously protected their children from engaging in any sexual encounters before solemnizing their marriage officially. During this time children were taught how to respect the opposite sex. They were invariably condemned if they did overlook these instructions. Probably most parents and older people conformed to this trend and even proposed it to others as it was the norm in many families across the country. The man was always supposed to be the leader of the house, because he was supposed to engage in productive activities outside the house. The woman, on the other hand, was deemed strong if her house was always impeccably arranged and there was order in the house right from arrangement of furniture to the cooking and child care (US Gazetteer files, 2012).
In the last twenty years also different communities, living in the city, expected couples to share responsibilities of parenthood, including doing house chores. From the studies conducted in several families, there was a revelation that couples did not spent time arguing who does what in the house. Child bearing was a responsibility that each parent identified with and hence parents were willing and readily available to help each other with the activities of looking after the welfare of their children. However, gender stereotyping was rampant among different communities, living in this city, and some chores were particularly considered as belonging to a certain member of the family. For instance, it was uncommon for men to do laundry while women rested in the living room. More taunting was when women were fixing a broken window or door in the presence of men. This kind of role specification formed the mainstream trend in many families of the city in 1990.
Child bearing formed the basis for many families in the city in the 1990s. The current family, residing in the city, is not focused on the child bearing. According to the available data by American FactFinder (2013), the average number of children per family dropped from four to two in the last twenty years. However, this drop has not resulted the drop in the population growth of the city because of the high mobility rate of people to migrate to the city and the rapid growth of industrialization and educational development. Most parents were concerned with the welfare of their children and this formedd the basis of their discussions during their time together. In the 1990s, Politics was not an important issue to them even as the structure of a family was undergoing tremendous changes in terms of gender roles and the contribution of women in national development. Even though in the public women seemed to be disgruntled by their positions in public management, at the family level, these women felt a greater duty to their family than they expressed in the public (Levister, 2008).
The experience of older residents of this city fit in the mainstream trend of communities during their time, because specific people such as the blacks or Indians performed certain tasks in the community. Most men were the only employed members of their family, mostly by the government and therefore they were the sole breadwinners. Child bearing was a priority to them and this led them to have from four to six children. This number was the average size of a family during that time. However, with the Sexual Revolution of the 1970s, some educated women were able to get jobs in some companies in the neighborhood. This reduced the time they were available at home to do housework and in essence contributed to the increase the time that men participated in doing housework. With time, women became active members of their communities, becoming also the breadwinner, and contributed in buying household commodities that were previously exclusively bought up by men (Levister, 2008).
Another phenomenon that has become evident in the communities, living in this city, is the development of different social classes within the communities. The distinction between the elite, the middle class and the lower middle class has become more explicit in the last twenty years. The elite forms the institutional leaders in the corporations, schools, and other institutions. There were also land owners and business people with immense wealth possession. The upper middle class is represented by well educated people in the city and include doctors, lawyers and architects among other people. These people are well educated and have high incomes and enjoy greater social prestige. This group of people is defined not so much by what they earn, but also by their lifestyle and social respect, that they have from their communities and the general city residents. The lower middle class in this city are represented by clerical and administrative officers, working in offices and corporations. Mostly they provide professional support services to the upper middle class. The group forms the bulk of the people living in the city. The level of wealth concentration among the lower middle class in the city is higher compared to other neighboring cities and this has contributed to the rising costs of living in this city in relation to other cities.
The other development is the institutions that reinforce democracy and security of the people living in the city. The policing institutions, operating in the city, have increased in numbers over the last twenty years to provide security and order to the residents. The local government has also become more efficient in the provision of social services such as hospitals, schools and garbage collection. Most of public schools are owned by the local government even though there have been an increasing number of private schools in the recent past. This is mainly a result of the high demand of education among the people, who come to reside in the city. The communities have also vested a lot of resources in development of private health centers and support amenities for older people. In the city the number of people living longer life has also increased, thus necessitating the need to have facilities for older people. Technological development in the city hit all time in the 21st century, coupled as a result of the technological buzz which was taking place throughout the country. A number of technology companies have built their base in the city, benefiting from the availability of human resources, especially from young people, who are techno-savvy. The city is also home to some of well-known information technology companies not only in the country but also throughout the world. Generally, the city has achieved a social, economic and political growth in the last twenty years, which can be compared to what was achieved over the past hundred years, until 1990.