Redlining and Inequality - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1837 Words
Date:  2022-12-12


Redlining is defined as the systematic renunciation of certain services to people of certain racially associated communities or neighborhoods either raising of prices selectively or directly mostly in Canada and the United States. Denial of financial services such as insurance and banking are some of the widely known examples of redlining. The locating of retail businesses such as supermarkets, far away from some residents can go in one way or another lead to the redlining effect. John McKnight, a sociologist in the 1960s, explained the term redlining as the discriminatory practice whereby businesses such as banks were fenced off from investing in some areas as a result of community demographics. Inequality, on the other hand, is a low state among people. Social inequality happens when the resources available in society are unevenly distributed classically through allocation norms which engender specific patterns within the socially distinct classes of people lines. This paper tries to explain the concept of redlining as well as social inequality and the theories (social cognitive and social ecological theories) that will help explain more about redlining and social disparity.

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Social inequality is the differentiation partiality of access of worldly possessions in the society which are brought in by race, class, power, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, gender, prestige, age as well as kinship. The generally accepted social rights include participation, labor market, freedom of speech, the source of income, political representation, healthcare, and education. Economic inequality can be linked to social inequality mainly because it is usually explained by the unequal distribution of wealth or income and in most studies, it is generally taught as a type of social inequality. Even though both the discipline of sociology and economics employs the use of diverse theoretical approaches to study and understand the issue of economic inequality, knowledge from both fields is used in research of economic inequality.

Natural as well as social resources are also unevenly distributed in many societies hence leading to social status. Norms of allocation may also play a significant role in affecting the distribution of social power, rights and privileges, transportation, access to public goods such as judicial system or education, financial and credit services such as banking, adequate housing as well as other social products and services. Redlining is a form of social inequality which can be traced back after the second world war whereby there were new funding initiatives as well as federal policies which were created to allow the veterans who participated in the fight to buy single-family homes at readily affordable rates. Government regulations guaranteed loans for white homeowners who were separated from the non-whites mainly because the federal housing association had warned that the non-white families could undermine the values of the real estates in the new suburbs.

This led to the evacuation of hundreds of cities in America for financial risk giving the whites highest ratings marked in green and the minority communities were given the lowest scores marked in red. It was as a result of this that most loans and mortgages went to suburban America benefiting the white community and out of the $120 billion underwritten by the government, only less than 2% went to the non-white families. Today these policies can still be felt mainly because in comparing net worth between a white family and a black family, that of a black family is a 1/8 of that of a white family. The historical and longstanding inequality also have resulted in a difference in achievement and performance of children these two families who are at the same income levels (Connolly et al. 2018). In measuring the equity among the two families based on income only is not enough without considering the wealth differences between them.

The social cognitive theory argues that some portions of a person's knowledge acquisition may be related directly to the observation of others in the context of outside media influences, social interactions as well as experiences (Hogg, 2016). It is used in communication, psychology, and education and was advanced as an extension of the social learning theory by Albert Bandura. This theory states that people usually remember the system of events as well as subsequent guide behaviors when they observe a model carrying out a behavior also its consequences. The observation of a model may also force the viewer to engage immediately in an already learned behavior. Generally, people learn new behaviors by reapplying the action of others rather than trying them to either succeed or fail and whether there was a reward or punishment as a result of the act as well as the behavior's outcome, the observer has the choice to replicate the modeled behavior.

The learned behaviors by the observer can be central to the personality of the observer, and it is as a result of these that most social psychologists argue that the action of an individual is dependent mainly with the environment of upbringing hence cognition is also essential to ensure learning of behavior. Cognition, environment as well as the expression of an individual act as a base of people's ability to learn through observation since the three factors influence the development in a mutual triadic relationship. According to Bandura, there are three concepts that when they interact, they affect the reproduction of observed behavior and they include the personal, the response as well as the environment. By private he thought of whether the individual's self-efficacy toward the behavior is either high or low, after performing a behavior the response that an individual receives and the environmental aspects that in one way or another influences the completion of a behavior successfully of an individual. The figure below illustrates the social cognitive theory;

Social ecological models were propounded with the aim of acknowledging the dynamic interrelations between numerous environmental as well as personal factors. These models were introduced to urban studies by Chicago School sociologists immediately after the first world war in reaction to the developmental psychologists' narrow scope of research. Socio-ecological models hence tend to bridge the gap between anthropological theories and behavioral theories which are small settings focused. The models were in 1979s introduced as a conceptual model and later in the 1980s; it was formalized as a theory which was continually revised by Bronfenbrenner all through till his death in 2005. Bronfenbrenner argued that there is a need to take into account the whole ecological system as well as the genetic and biological aspects of an individual or a human to understand human development.

Social, ecological model is, therefore, a framework that helps in the understanding of the interactive and multifaced effects of environmental and personal factors which determines the way of doing things as well as for identifying organizational and behavioral leverage points also intermediaries for the promotion of health in organizations (Golden et al. 2015). The five hierarchical levels of the social, ecological model include enabling or policy environment, individual, organizational, interpersonal as well as the community. In the order of the figure below;

For the individual level, the model argues that it is an individuals' characteristics which influence the change of behavior and these characteristics may include developmental history, knowledge, religious identity, sexual orientation, expectations, stigma, self-efficacy, gender, financial resources, literacy, attitudes, ethnic or racial identity, goals, behavior, age, economic status, values, and many others. This level focuses on behavior change communication. On the interpersonal level, the informal, as well as formal social support systems and social networks which can influence the behaviors of an individual, include traditions or customs, family, religious networks, peers, friends as well as co-workers hence this level focuses on behavior change communication and social change communication.

On the community level, the relationships among informational networks, organizations, as well as institutions within the defined boundaries, include the transportation, built environment such as parks, businesses, community leaders as well as village associations hence this level focuses on social change communication. On the organizational level, social institutions or organizations have operational rules and regulations that affect how or how well services are offered to groups or individuals hence focuses on social mobilization. Finally, on the enabling or policy environment level global, state, local and national laws and policies such as policies on resource allocation for the child, maternal and newborn health as well as access to healthcare services, restrictive systems or lack of child immunization policies hence deals with advocacy.

The social cognitive theory would explain the issue of redlining and inequality present today as a learned behavior through observation of today's generation from the past generations. The behavior of redlining which was introduced after the second world war and it exists today because the behavior of racism has been passed along from one generation to the other through observation. A child learns to do what the parents do and grows up knowing that it is the right thing to do hence the environment by which the whites of today have been brought up, seeing and observing their parents exercise redlining or racism behavior has resulted to the continued redlining behavior or inequality in the society today.

The social cognitive theory from the perspective of redlining and inequality shows that there are some social factors which if not appropriately addressed today, may result in future consequences which will be difficult to deal with. The reason is that the issue of redlining in America has become an issue that is not easy to resolve since it was instilled into the Americans by their forefathers and it continues to be passed on to future generations. The government tries to end the inequality in attempting to ensure equal distribution of incomes among all the races but fails mainly because it does not address the issue of wealth inequality among the people of these races which is a considerable margin. To address this issue of the disparity, the government opt to ensure equal distribution of wealth among the people of all races living in the country a callous decision that will incur the government a lot of funding.

The social, ecological model would explain the issue of redlining and inequality based on its five levels that the problem of redlining is as a result of an individual's characteristics such as ethnic and racial understanding. People's knowledge, skills, and attitudes are what influences the issue of racism today whereby they would prefer a race as more important than the other. Public policies or rules and regulations may be a key player in supporting the issue of inequality and redlining where the law is used to restrict how people interact with others. Cultural norms and values may also lead to the point of difference mainly because different cultures have different standards and values hence the issue of inequality between two different cultures.

Social networks and the environments that most individuals are brought up in may also play a significant role in the continued redlining and inequality behaviors in most societies today according to the social, ecological model. This model shows that many factors may have resulted in the issue of redlining and inequality today which may include social, e...

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