Socioeconomic Status in the U.S.

Introduction

Socioeconomic status (SES) is frequently determined using a mixture of factors such as education, earnings, as well as professions. A constant observation of SES as gradient discloses its magnitude in promoting unfair provision and distribution of resources. The increasing trend of discrimination in the allocation of resources is evident in the U.S. This disparity in SES hinges on ethnic diversity in the country. In addition, SES and ethnicity form close links. This intertwinement is a lucid signal why SES has been present in the American society for generation with Blacks at the bottom of the scale and the second-generation immigrant minorities taking the second position.

Disparate Levels of Racial/Ethnic Discrimination

The U.S. is made up of racial ethnic hierarchies that are a major contributor to the disparate socioeconomic levels in the country. This hierarchy probably originated in the ancient legacy of immigration where people from different parts of the world settling in the country were introduced into socioeconomic levels. Due to rampant discrimination in accessing various opportunities, the majority of immigrant ethnic minorities became incarcerated into positions never to move up the hierarchy.

Although Latinos do not experience as much discrimination as African Americans, they are more discriminated as compared to Asian Americans (Hispanic/Latino Americans 5). Fifty four percent of Hispanic immigrants believe that discrimination is a key challenge in socioeconomic success. They experience formal discrimination in institutions as some organizations are biased in terms of employing or promoting them. Furthermore, they have poor access to quality education resulting to a high number of student dropouts. These discriminations have made some Hispanic Americans to adopt illegal practices such as drug abuse and trafficking, and forming criminal movements.

Asian Americans, on the other hand, are barely discriminated especially those who come from economic powers like China, Japan, and Korea. They rank second after Whites in the hierarchy of American ethnic groups (Asian Americans 3). They are highly educated and thus they can access good employment opportunities. These types of disparities caused by different levels in racial hierarchy make Latinos to have a lower socioeconomic status than Asian Americans.

Immigration Policies/ Political Contexts of Reception

Presumably, the descendants of immigrants who entered the US through a legal process have a higher chance of having socioeconomic success than the descendants of illegal immigrants because children of illegal immigrants grow up in unstable families in unsecure residential areas with fewer economic resources. This assumption is evident in the relationship between Hispanic immigration history and SES (Tsuda 56).

History of American immigration shows that during the era from 1940s to 1964, there was a massive entry of Mexicans into the US through the Bracero Program. Close to two and half million Mexicans were imported to offer manpower in American industries and farms. In the process, another group of illegal immigrants from Mexico entered the US through social networks with the Mexicans who were already in the country.

Eventually, both the illegal and legal immigrants were assimilated into the American culture. Since most of these illegal immigrants were not recognized by the government, they lived under impoverished lifestyle and raised their children under difficult conditions. Consequently, their descendants have access to little resources thus making it difficult to achieve socioeconomic success.

Conclusion

Socioeconomic status in the US has resulted to discrimination in the provision of various facilities. The second-generation immigrant minorities are evidently having disparate SES because of the racial hierarchy and historical immigration policies. However, it is not only social positioning, but also personal mindset and abilities. Therefore, irrespective of ethnic group everyone should aim at achieving a socioeconomic success.