The paper 'Inequalities of Life Expectancy in Irish Society' is a perfect example of a human resource case study. Inequalities of life expectancy, income, respect are just some of the numerous depictions of this phenomenon. The paper shall look at constituents of inequality, its patterns, and what can be done about it. In Ireland, there are vast differences between skilled and unskilled workers. The probability of death by heart disease and lung cancer amongst the latter group compared to the former group is about 4: 1. Income inequality in the country may not be as severe as it is in the world’ s most unequal societies such as Brazil but studies have shown that managers/ senior executives in Ireland get twenty-three times as much income as production level staff.
Resource inequality is also depicted through racial and disability lines. Inequality in respect is manifested through the lack of recognition of other people’ s concerns. Inequalities in love and care are seen through abuse among children, through inhumane conditions in prison and neglect of the elderly. Power inequalities are eminent in political structures where women are underrepresented or in employer-employee relationships.
Equalities of working and learning are illusive among low-income families. For instance, studies show that children from homes with higher professional occupations are four times as likely as those from lower occupations to attend college or any tertiary institution in Ireland. (Lynch et al. , 2009) These disparities are even worse among persons with disabilities or racial minorities such as Travellers. Ireland has also witnessed patterns of inequality based on sexual orientation, social class, gender, and age. These diverse cases of inequality have caused many entities in Ireland to respond to them.
For instance, community development movements and women's movements largely target inequality in social class and gender respectively. Also, Ireland itself has responded to these inequalities by enacting legislation such as the Employment equality Act of 1998. In the EU, the Treaty of Rome was enforced to deal with such issues. Despite these positive responses, there is still a lot more that needs to be done in order to genuinely promote diversity in Irish society generally and in Irish prisons particularly. This is because most Irish and EU actions are mere antidiscrimination initiatives; they rarely deal with the very notion of inequality.
These represent just a small portion of what needs to be done since inequalities in reward, power, prestige, and social structures have not been questioned and changed. The latter discussion has largely centered on the macro level. However, one cannot ignore other small incidences here and there that still indicate how far Irish society is from achieving true equality. For example, an article by the ‘ Irish Independent’ points towards such disparities. McHugh (2007) reported that an African immigrant worker (who was an engineer by profession) had been arrested falsely and detained because of alleged illegal immigration.
This was done even after Mr. Frank Kakopa had demonstrated to the concerned authorities that he was a legal worker through his proof of employment. The immigration service went on to place him in a high-security prison for two days. His family was left stranded in an Airport after what was a bitter end to a family vacation. The latter individual was visiting Northern Ireland from Liverpool for some days and he was well within his right to do so.
This victim of inequality was highly affected by psychologically affected by the incident and filed a discrimination suit against the Immigration services through the assistance of the Equality Commission. The presiding court ruled that the Immigration services had wronged Mr. Kakopa and that he was to be compensated for those wrongful actions through a fine and apologies. Such a scenario goes to show that if a large government institution such as the Immigration services can treat individuals in such an unequal manner, then the rest of Irish society is yet to come to terms with the concept and a lot needs to be done in order to curb such incidences.
Equality legislation is just one of the many ways in which society can achieve this effect.
Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. (1984). COE recommendations concerning foreign prisoners. 374th meeting of the ministries, R (84) 12
Spencer, J. (2009). Trying to get it right – what prison staff say about implementing race relations policy. Journal of Criminology and Criminal justice, 9(2), 187-206.
Watt, P. & McGaughey, F. (2006). Improving government service delivery to minority groups. NCCRI report
Lynch, K., Baker, J., Cntillon, S. & Walsh, J. (2009). Equality from theory to action. Basingstoke: Palgrave Publishers
Mc Hugh, M. (2007). Unfair arrest of African Immigrant. Irish Independent, 29 October