Example Of Research Paper On A Society Of Physical Seclusion: Social Inequalities Initiate

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Sociology, Inequality, Social Issues, Human, Power, Enlightenment, Rousseau, Karl Marx

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/29

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Prejudicial Treatment of the Less Privileged

G142 Introduction to Sociology
Prejudicial Treatment of the Less Privileged
In an ordinary society, there is usually a state of inequality that take place among different classes of people, either in terms of income distribution, the economic advantages, socio-economic status, or even in terms of health and security. This inequality among different classes of people can give the more powerful ones the supremacy to influence the way of life of the less fortunate ones. They may exert force and instigation, in such a way that it leads to physical restraint or seclusion, which deprive liberty and freedom to move.
The term physical restraint refers to “any method of one or more persons restricting another person’s freedom of movement, physical activity, or normal access to his or her body” (Council for Exceptional Children, 2009, p.1). On the other hand, physical seclusion means involuntary confinement of a person, who is being prevented from leaving the room or the area (Council for Exceptional Children, 2009, p.1). These two acts of forces can be the outcome of societal norms, in which inequalities between social classes give supremacy to those who are above, leading to prejudicial treatment of the less privileged classes.

The theory of Karl Marx

It is reflected in the theory of Karl Marx that there exists a conflict between social classes over the distribution of income, as well as other privileges that are supposed to be divided equally to each social class. In the modern capitalist economy, there are various inequalities that take place, as there exists an economic structure divided between the “capitalists” and the “workers”. In the social structure, it is the capitalists that decide on the things that are to be done, and how to do it; while the workers merely follow the capitalists. Because the capitalists own the products and the system of production, they are the ones who pay the workers for its labor, as the former reaps the benefits of the production. They likewise reap the natural resources, although in “false consciousness”, meaning that both social classes are unaware of the system of exploitation that is taking place. According to Marx, workers are the one who are “capable of recognizing the exploitation and achieving class consciousness” (Hutchison & Charlesworth, 2012, p.43). It is in this perspective of conflict that dominance, opposition, and oppression are given voice, reflecting the inevitability of conflict within the social classes of the society (Anderson & Taylor, 2008).

Inequalities in social classes

In the book of Jean Jacques Rousseau, it was made clear that there exists to be an inequality between human beings. In fact, two types of inequalities were mentioned by Rousseau: first is natural or physical; and second is moral or political inequality (Rousseau, 1754, Part I). Natural or physical inequality are nature-established, such as “age, health, bodily strength, and the qualities of the mind or of the soul” (Rousseau, 1754, Part I Introduction). Conversely, the moral or political inequality depends on convention, and it is established or authorized through consensus, such as wealth, honor, power, or authority (Part I Introduction, par.2). With this comes the notion that there is a natural right given to every human being “to keep what belongs to him [with] strong authority over the weak” (Part I Introduction, par.5). As stated, it is through passions that reason is being improved (Part I, par.19), thereby creating the desire over things that humans would want to have, that they may change their lives and their condition. This would tempt them into gaining access over the other privileges—even more than the desire of the others to gain access to it. Thus, there supersedes inequality among various social classes, as an effect of justification and reasoning.

Propagation of inequalities in the social classes

Rousseau (1754) mentioned that in the primitive state of humans, they may wander down the woodland, with no speech, no home, no industry but a stranger to war and the way of life (Part I, par.45). With only a few passions, there retains no feelings or knowledge but only the actual necessities that are confounded within the environment. They tend to disregard everything; but through discovery, there exists an understanding, until habits are formed, which distinguish one man from the other. With this comes the inequality of individuals in social classes, as there emanates strength or weakness, as an effect of education and the acquiring of understanding and knowledge. This creates a power of the mind that, according to the words of Rousseau (1754), “increases the differences which exist in proportion to their respective degrees of culture” (Part I, par.47).
In this prodigious diversity comes a manner of life that increases all the more the inequalities between social institutions—worsened by the increase of the cares of humans. More so, in as much as there exists a diversity in the natural institution of the earth, there builds a perception on the precautions necessary to build security, thereby increasing the power of a human over the others. As reflected in the statement of Rousseau (1754), “Every one sought his own private advantage, either by open force, if he thought himself strong enough, or by address and cunning, if he felt himself the weaker” (Part II, par.8). It is in this aspect that social inequality take form, for there are conveniences that the more powerful ones can achieve and thus, make way for the progress of socially institutionalized prejudices.

Physical seclusion

Unlike physical restrain, the term “physical seclusion” refers to an involuntary confinement that does not necessarily depict restriction of the freedom of movement, or the normal use of parts of the body. With physical seclusion, the aim is to confine the person within a certain perimeter inside a room or an area, where there is freedom of movement within that perimeter or area. This is usually seen in schools or in health centers, wherein the students are being forced to be confined inside a room or an area, for having done something that is not appropriate or acceptable based on school policies. It is also seen in hospitals or in hospice, in cases wherein the patients had to be confined, to protect their security and wellbeing, especially in cases when they do not have strength to move freely. Thus, there are cases wherein physical restrain or seclusion are applied, although it stresses the disparity between the roles of each person in the society (Stoley, 2002). Between those who have the power and those who do not have it, more advantage is being given to those who have access to it, as they have the capacity to direct the lives of those who are less privileged.

Effects of physical seclusion on socioeconomic status

In physical seclusion, the incident can affect the socioeconomic status of each person occupying a specific social position. This is proven in systems perspective, wherein human behavior is acknowledged as “the outcome of reciprocal interactions of persons operating within linked social systems” (Hutchison & Charlesworth, 2012, p.38). Because there is reciprocal interaction, applying force, power, and dominance of one human being over the other can cause the other to lose power and control over them and the environment. They turn to lose what the more advantaged people tend to have, and their roles within the society plunge, as an effect of the dominance that the fortunate ones apply to them. This interaction between the social systems can directly affect the roles of each person within the society, and their socio-economic status react to it, according to the system processes taking place.


Physical seclusion can either build or destroy the socio-economic status of a person, depending on their role within a situation, whether they were the one who exerted power and dominance, or the one who received supremacy of another person stated in higher position. There tend to be a primary distinction between those who own and those who do not own (Shepard, 2010). Those who have access to possession and control would have the power over other people’s capital and privileges. It is in this aspect that Marx’s theory insists how privilege is being given to those who own, as they become strong holders of the social labor process. The more they have, the greater their power and supremacy over those who do not have and those who do not own, from which emanates social inequality that is inevitable.


Anderson, M.L., & Taylor, H.F. (2008). Sociology: understanding a diverse society. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Council for Exceptional Children. (2009). CEC’s policy on physical restraint and seclusion procedures in school settings. Retrieved February 25, 2015, from http://www.cec.sped.org/~/media/Files/Policy/CEC%20Professional%20Policies%20and%20Positions/restraint%20and%20seclusion.pdf.
Hutchison, E.D., & Charlesworth, L.W. (2012). Chapter 2: Theoretical perspectives on human behavior. In E. Hutchison (Ed.), Essentials of human behavior (pp.34-69). Irvine, CA: SAGE Publications.
Rousseau, J.J. (1754). What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by natural law? (G.D.H. Cole, Trans.). Retrieved February 25, 2015, from http://www.constitution.org/jjr/ineq.htm.
Shepard, J.M. (2010). Sociology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Stolley, K. (2002). The basics of sociology. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

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