Relationship between Ethnicity and Inequality.
Since time immemorial there has been a relationship between ethnicity and inequality which is even witnessed in the present times. Many other factors like gender and culture also contribute to this phenomenon. However, there is no big difference between racial and ethnical factors when it comes to their contribution towards inequality. The two aspects have led to class or stratification as (Embers 2007) says, “Inequality and ethnicity are inseparable as portrayed by history from the ancient Europe and slavery to modern racial segregation”.
In Europe, class or stratification has a long history of existence. There were nobles and indentured servants. Indentured servants were poor whites who worked for the rich as servants and later they worked in the tobacco, indigo and cotton plantations in southern states of America in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Nobles were people of higher class and they were defined through their riches and associations with royal families. Some ethnic groups were regarded as lesser human beings like Africans who captured as slaves in the 17th century to work in the Americas, since that time people of black origin or ethnicity have been segregated hence causing a large gap between the them and whites. The discrimination which even stipulated that the slaves were not supposed to go to school and many other rules like a slave should not marry a white led to the advent or emergence of class or stratification. The slaves were ethnicized as blacks. There were those who were fathered by whites, they were also classified into their class. Therefore, there were three classes of people, the whites as the top class, then the mulattos (fathered by whites) and the blacks. The mulattos were classified together with the indentured servants. However, poverty has contributed to further inequality and stratification or class.
Today the same is observed, poor people are of a certain ethnic group or race and they are the servants of the rich, the rich are also associated with a certain ethnic or racial group.
Ember, C. & Ember, M. (2007). Anthropology, 12th Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.