Power refers to the ability to determine other people’s behaviors and actions regardless of whether they resist them or not. Fortune, as well as, misfortune of some individuals in a social structure depends on how differently people access materials and services in the society (Lemert, 2011). For instance, in the case when the people in power do not preach the spirit of equal rights among individuals in the society, then only few people will be rich while others can be extremely poor. Therefore, distribution of power among individuals significantly accounts for differences within different social structures. Modern forms of power include prestige, authority, bureaucracy, and class power (Lemert, 2011). Authority and class power have a significant influence on the experiences of youth in the contemporary society, because they affect how young people follow rules and regulations, as well as how young people experience discrimination in the labor market based on racial identity.
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Lemert (2011) defines authority as the regulations and rules that people should follow in order to carry out or avoid various activities in the society. For instance, the management of an organization defines what employees cannot and can do. Regulations and rules are extremely significant because they promote order within the society. People may not be able to alter rules and regulation easily even when the rules become useless or cumbersome. Class power refers to social opportunities assigned to various groups by virtue of the group’s lesser and greater access to scarce facilities and commodities, especially wealth sources. Therefore, class structures have a significant effect on the economy of social worlds. According to Lemert (2011), class and authority is a primary instrument of power.
According to Stack (2001), employees must conform to the rules and regulations of an organization to work in the organization comfortably. However, even some rules and regulations may be unfavorable for the organization, changing the rules and regulations may be extremely hard and time consuming. For example, some organizations do not reward their workers irrespective of the experiences they acquire in the course of working for the company. The management in some organizations, such as the fast-food organizations in Oakland treats experienced employees like unskilled workers (Stack, 2001). Therefore, employees express a wish for the management to alter the rules into employee friendly rules. Employees may continue to suffer because they do not have an opportunity to alter the constitution of the fast-food organizations.
Authority is analyzed in the article by Stack in which the functioning of an organization follows the influence of its leaders during the recruitment exercise, as well as in the course of employees’ participation (Stack, 2001). The managers of the fast-food organizations in Oakland do not consider the skills that employees acquire during their participation to be significant. The skills include time management, long-term and short-term planning of jobs, multitasking, acquisition of allies, and negotiation among workers from varied cultural backgrounds. Fast-food employers contend that the chores in the fast-food organization enable employees to know how to use alarm clocks, appear well gloomed and clean, and report to their workplace on time (Stack, 2001). Employers and franchise managers of fast-food organizations consider the jobs in these organizations as dead-end. The article “Coming of age Oakland” also depicts authority as Lidia showed a little concern regarding the family rules and regulations that her parents had set. Traditional Mexicans did not like children to violate rules and regulations that the parents set for their children (Stack, 2001). She wanted to live on her own, which was against the wish of Mexicans, who considered young women living away from their parents on their own as prostitutes.
Class power is evident in the article “Homeless gay and transgender youth of color in San Francisco: “No one likes street kids” even in the Castro”. In this article, the homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth of color experience unfair treatment as compared to the White counterparts (Reck, 2008). According to Reck (2008), in the United States, youths, especially African Americans, Southeast Asians, Latinos, and American Indians, have experienced significant wealth and income inequalities for a number of years. The population of these inferior social classes has grown significantly, thereby leaving few living-wage occupations with benefits. Marginalization of the youth in the United States that take place due to the sexuality, race, and gender of the youth put individuals at risk of becoming homeless. The gay and transgender youth of inferior social classes becomes homeless due to family problems, homophobia, poverty, discrimination and prejudice against transsexual and transgender people (Reck, 2008). The homeless LGBT youth expects to get assistance from and respite in the gay communities of adults. They report seeking support within the Castro. The interpersonal exclusion of the marginalized youth from the superior population positions the youth as outsiders, which denies them access to community resources.
In the article “Homeless homeless LGBT youth of color in San Francisco: “No one likes street kids” even in the Castro”, the youth, who belongs to the inferior social classes experiences harassment from the police even when they have not violated any law (Reck, 2008). Individuals, who belong to the superior social class, may not undergo any punishment upon violating a variety of laws. In the Castro, the marginalized youths believe that commodities and wealth determine their poverty in the community. This is because they use most of their little money for buying commodities. Therefore, the young individuals of the inferior social classes find Castro stores to be homogeneous, expensive, and inaccessible. It has been evident that family transience, homophobia, economic vulnerability, and abuse have a high likelihood of thrusting LGBT youth of the inferior social classes into homelessness (Reck, 2008). Individuals of the superior social classes devalue these youths because they exist in the inferior social category.
In the article “Coming of age Oakland”, social classes determine the ease with which youths gain employment in the fast-food restaurants (Stack, 2001). For instance, Whites have a higher likelihood of gaining employment opportunities than is the case with their African Americans, Latinos, and Asians counterparts. The rejection of African Americans is even higher than is the case with Latinos and Asians. The management of the fast-food organizations fires the African American workers at an extremely high rate just because the workers belong to an inferior social class. Fast-food organizations allowed the Asian and Latino workers daytime shifts at their restaurants, which present a distinct configuration of workplaces, including shifts organization and use of language groupings in assigning workers to different workstations. Lidia Valesco’s diary provides a significant amount of evidence regarding the unfair treatment of the unfortunate members of the society (Stack, 2001).
Main Argument and Conclusion
The article “Coming of age Oakland” depicts authority. In the article “Coming of age Oakland” In general, authority involves a set of rules and regulations that the society requires individuals to follow strictly. Rules and regulations may not undergo alteration easily even when people find them useless or cumbersome. This article depicts that the set of rules and regulations in the fast-food organizations are not useful to the young workers who carry out their chores on the part-time basis. The pay is extremely low, and the youth do not experience any promotion regardless of the challenging roles they accomplish successfully. Managers do not increase the remuneration for the youth even after the young individuals have worked for a number of years. The article “Homeless gay and transgender youth of color in San Francisco: “No one likes street kids” even in the Castro” also portrays class power and how class power affects the lives of youths in the society (Reck, 2008). It is clear that youth of color, who belong to the inferior social classes in the society, are always less fortunate than is the case with their counterparts belonging to the superior social classes. Even in the Castro, adult gay members do not allow the homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth of color to express their sexual and gender identities. Evidently, in the Castro, the LGBT youth of color experience community and policy harassment, commodification, invisibility, and sexualization because the young individuals belong to the inferior group of people.