Inequality in Retail Sector

Essay by winchiUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, January 2008

download word file, 12 pages 4.0

In the contemporary world, there still is a high degree of social inequality which exists and continues to perpetuate within the society. The presence of inequality can affect and harm majority of the people. Christine Williams's novel Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality focuses on the inequalities that occurs in the two toy stores, Diamond Toys and Toy Warehouse, where she was employed. The method she used in examining the presence of inequality is effective since she actually worked in the toy stores for six weeks in order to get the first hand experience and observe inequality in the workplace. This essay will focus on the workplace culture and the working conditions employees had to deal with by working for a company that practices minimum wage pays, few or no benefits, and a harsh working condition. I will argue that working and shopping in retail stores like toy stores promotes and perpetuates social inequality in many various ways.

For workers, the inequality is experienced through the job segregation, organizational hierarchies, and stereotypes on gender and race. For shoppers, inequalities are also felt through the superior and VIP� treatment given to white female in comparison to the other visible minorities.

Retail stores are rapidly growing industry that employs over 22.5 million workers. (Williams, 2006:48) With the large percentage of people working in retail stores, I strongly believe that the working conditions and workplace culture must be transform to better the lives of many millions. Working in a retail store today demands much from the workers. The contemporary working conditions are very much different as it was in the past. Today workers are pressured to work with flexibility, insecurity, accept minimum benefits and wage pay, and harsh working conditions. Moreover, they are also required to resist union, which means they are...