Australia possesses
social inequality due to the uneven distribution of its resources. The social
inequality within Australia will be measured through earnings, where the
dispersion of labour market incomes will define social classes. This will be explored
through Karl Marx’s social theory of class, sociologists measure of inequality,
and the consequences of inequality.

Earnings inequality
within Australia can be identified through Marx’s social theory of class. Marx
distinguished class by its mode of production, such as the division of labour
and earnings. The working class is exploited and alienated from work produced
by the capitalist organisation that seeks profit (Andrew 1983: 577). These
categories are produced when repeated transactions across the boundary both
regularly yield net advantages to those on one side and reproduce the boundary.
For example, Australian mine owners don’t pay the hewers the value of their
efforts. Instead, they use the profit to reinforce the boundary between
management and workers. This alienation produces an inequality between the
classes where power and control are controlled by the upper-class society
(Tilly 2005: 183). The unequal dispersion of labour market incomes within
Australia has consequently created social inequality.

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Sociologists measure
social inequality through multiple qualitative and quantitative methods. The
most widely used aggregated measure of dispersion is Gini Coefficient which
represents the wealth distribution of a nation’s residents. (Mierlo et al.
2016: 3). HILDA survey data show that Australia’s Gini Coefficient was 0.303 in
2000-2001 and 0.296 in 2014-2015 (University of Melbourne 2016: 29-37).
Although the Gini Coefficient acknowledged Australia’s household income
inequality has scarcely altered, the ABS has identified that wealth
distribution of Australia’s residents still indicates a difference in social
classes (University of Melbourne 2016: 29-37). The ABS also identified the
labour market has become more socially unequal through a sample (University of
Melbourne 2016: 29-37). Therefore, sociologist’s measurements of inequality
attest to the notion that the dispersion of labour market incomes define social
classes and reiterate social inequality within Australia.

Australia possesses a
wide variety of value-producing resources that serve as bases of earnings
inequality. Resources such as the financial capital currently remain under the
control of a small network of persons, compare to Australia as a whole. This
control has created unparalleled potency in the production of inequality by
those who control it and those who do not (Tilly 2005: 184-188). For example,
the working class have smaller access to technology, education and information
due to earnings inequality which prevents them access to the same
opportunities, qualifications and earnings than those who control the financial
capital (Tilly 2005: 188). Tilly (2005) states that without access to these
bases, persons are limited to social change and are subject to social
inequality (2005:188). Consequently, Australia’s uneven distribution of
earnings continues to create the social classes and the earnings inequality.

Social inequality within
Australia produces an inequality of labour and earnings between the classes
where power is controlled by the upper-class society. Sociologist’s
measurements of inequality attest to the notion that the dispersion of labour
market incomes define social classes and reiterate social inequality within
Australia. Consequently, the working class are unable to break free from their
inequality because their inequality prevents them access to the same
opportunities as the upper-class society. Therefore, there is social inequality
in Australia and it has social consequences, as seen with earnings inequality.