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Ashley Garcia

Sociology 1
22 November 2015
Video/DVD Analysis
Moyers&Comanpy: The United States of Inequality explains how in the Silicon Valley, a
city that is home to wealthy companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple the social statuses
range from extremely wealthy to extreme poverty; the middle class no longer exists. The video
goes on to explain how inequality matters in society and those that claim that it does not are the
ones who are of high social class and refuse to see that there are those on the bottom. The Silicon
Valley is a city known for a dramatic line between those who are extremely wealthy and those
that are in extreme poverty; there is no middle class to bring balance to this society. Explained in
the video, Silicon Valley is known for having an affect on economy by having jobs that would
bring extreme wealth like engineers and scientists but cutting jobs such as manufacturers and
support positions; which is what brings forth a gap and leaves no room for a middle class to
exist. The reason for the phasing out of the middle class is that many people whom held blue
collar jobs were laid off and forced to find jobs that paid less than minimum wage leading to
them no longer being able to afford housing and food; this lead to many falling into poverty. The
video goes on to explain that the Silicon Valley has the intelligence as a community to resolved
the issue of extreme poverty but it falls into the hands of the wealthy. The video goes on to
explain how no one explains that when the stock market is improving or going up it means that
many work places have let go employees in order for this to occur and to increase investor
profits. Another point that the video goes on to explain is that inequality is brought forth by those
whom are extremely wealthy avoiding paying taxes while those of middle and lower class are
left paying higher tax rates.

Comete would interpret this video as the laws of society which is divided into
social static and social dynamics. Social static, as Comete explains are the principles that hold
society together and hold order and social dynamics are the factors that let change occur and
shape the direction and nature of the change that takes place. The inequality that is seen in
Silicon Valley would fall under social dynamics because the events that took place when many
blue collar jobs were lost and when manufacture jobs and support jobs came to an end is change
what brought forth the distinguishing line between the wealthy class and those that are in
extreme poverty. Comete would most likely explain that social static is not presented in this
video because the society in Silicon Valley is not being held together nor is there being order
maintained. The phasing out of the middle class is what disrupts the order in this society because
it does not allow for there to be balance.
Marx would interpret this video as inequality continuing due to the power and control
that the wealthy people have over the resources that are available. Marx would continue to say
that the lack of technology is what takes part in there being extreme poverty because it prevents
society from meeting the needs of everyone. Another way that Marx would describe what is
going on in the video is that inequality exists because class is defined based on the materialistic
items that one obtains; those that fall into extreme poverty have nothing to call their own which
leads to the number of items the wealthy people have outweigh those who are poor. Alienation
would be another way Marx would explain how inequality was created in the Silicon Valley
because people would have issues from distinguishing the line between creativity to create
products, making products, and pushing away coworkers. Alienation would apply to this video
because when those who worked in blue collar jobs were laid off their skills were limited to just
the jobs they had previously worked leaving it hard to find another job; this meant that they had

no way of distinguishing the line between creating new products and the products they already
know how to make.
Durkheim would explain that the inequality seen in Silicon Valley is a result of
social decline, leading to a weakened social integration. Durkheim would say that his theory on
how the division of labor means that individuals experience life different and no longer have
common ground nor do they have same experiences and life values would be proven true. The
wealthy class in no means can say that they experience life the same way those whom are poor
do, because the poor people are living in tents alongside freeways and creeks, while those that
are wealthy enjoy the comfort of their multi-million homes. The distinguishing line between
those that are wealthy and poor in the Silicon Valley according to Durkheims theory would
mean that the two classes hold no common ground; therefore bringing a disruption in social
order.
The paradigm that is most represented in this video would have to be the conflict
perspective because of the distinguishing line between the wealthy class and those that are poor.
The conflict perspective explains that social structure helps maintain privileges of certain groups
and the inferior positions of others; this is clearly explained throughout the video because those
who are extremely wealthy deny that poverty is a huge issue in the Silicon Valley because they
refuse to notice anyone who is of lower social standing. Those that fall into the wealthy class
have all the means and power to help close the big gap that exists between them and those that
are poor but refuse to do so because it would mean having to give up a portion of the resources
and power that make them so wealthy.