6. What are the implications of socio-economic disadvantage for managing equality and diversity at work? Critically assess the efforts of policy-makers and employers to tackle class-based inequality and disadvantage.
The purpose of this assignment is to assess students’ knowledge and critical understanding of what is meant by socio-economic inequality and disadvantage (based on social class), how prevalent it is, why it occurs and how it affects people’s working lives, including in organisational settings. In the lecture which covered this topic I covered (necessarily briefly) the concept of social class, explained why it is sometimes believed class-based disadvantage no longer matters so much (the ‘meritocracy’ argument), and drew attention to recent interventions that have asserted the salience of social class and drawn to the inequality it can produce. How does socio-economic, or class-based, disadvantage manifest itself? What are its consequences? To what extent and in what ways is a lack of social mobility a problem, and why? The second part of the question invites students to examine, and evaluate, efforts by policy makers and employers when it comes to tackling class-based inequality and disadvantage. Is there a role for positive action by employers for example; and, if so, of what kind? How effective is positive action at mitigating class-based disadvantage? Should the onus be on policy makers in government to try and change things – what about calls to prohibit socio-economic discrimination for example? Are there other, perhaps less controversial, policy initiatives that could be applied? Clearly, the approach you take in the second part of the question will reflect how far you believe that socio-economic disadvantage is important, and thus is a priority issue to be tackled. It may well be that you think that trade unions, as traditionally class-based actors, to a certain extent, have a role to play also.
Any student wishing for further clarification about this question, or having any queries, is welcome to contact me by email.
I have also put aside some times (see below) when I will be available to talk to you about this assignment via Skype. If you wish to make use of this assignment, please email me in advance so what we can make the relevant arrangements.
The post Managing Equality & Diversity
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