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SOC101 Sociology

Published : 01-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


The purpose of the following discourse is to present the concept of “fairness” in the social and personal context. The method used is the paper follows the readings of the articles of the two authors on the topic. The paper concludes that the social and behavioral aspect on the people from underprivileged seem to be general victims of the unfair treatment in the society in terms of opportunities. However, the paper is not vague in terms of the reflection of the concept of “fairness”.


Fairness, in a wider sense, refers to the just and impartial behavior or treatment meted out without any discrimination or favoritism on the part of the person who delivers the treatment. It is the quality of delivering an equal and fair treatment to people in a right and reasonable manner. The term “fairness” may also refer to a consideration of all factors involved in a matter so as to put forward a just judgment or consideration. Thomas Sowell, an American author, social theorist who was earlier an economist and a political philosopher, opines that the word with the vaguest meaning is the word “fair”. According to him, the word has caused a huge damage to the thought processes of people. He opines that the word has even brought about damage to the actions of people that are needed to carry out thinking.

In the article titled “The Fallacy of ‘Fairness’”, the author Thomas Sowell opines that there is nothing that can be fair in the exact sense of the world (Thomas Sowell., 2017). It is seen that life presents us with the privileges right from our birth. It is generally seen that the first-borns of a couple generally have a higher IQ as compared to those born after them. They tend to achieve more than their siblings. Therefore, it may be said that life itself meets out unfair conditions to living and this can never be made fair no matter how hard we try. According to Sowell, there was a big outcry among the applicants for jobs and those who applied for admissions in colleges. They deemed the mental tests that the candidates had to go through unfair and biased. I agree to Sowell on the point that if being fair meant that life would present the same odds to every one for achieving success, then life could never be fair for anyone. It is absolutely impossible for life to be fair in those criteria.  We generally blame the society for being unfair but thinking on a serious and sensible note, we cannot blame anyone if we are not the first born of our parents. The differences created or found in organizations, both academic and corporate, are already existent in nature and society. Nature itself helps in the discrimination process. The geographical locations of certain places deem them vulnerable to attacks by external forces while the others remain safe due to being inaccessible to the foreign invaders. There can be found a huge difference between the literates and the illiterates. This difference has been there for centuries. It cannot be said the Romans who introduced the writing style in Europe were at fault for not crossing over the huge mountains and reaching the Slavs or vice versa. No one can be blamed for the fact that the written form of languages spread over Western Europe faster than it did in the eastern areas of the continent.

In his article titled “The Fallacy of Fairness Part II”, Sowell puts forward a condition that had occurred in a high school in Berkeley (Thomas Sowell., 2017). In this school, four jobs as science teachers had been eliminated in order to use the saved money to help those who were classified as the low achievers. In the concerned school of Berkeley, the students belonging to the Latino and Black communities were performing poorly as compared to those belonging to the white and Asian students. There is not a single person, not even in the community in discussion, who believes in the theory that the reduction in the number of teachers in the science division would help in the upbringing of the students who have been achieving low in the field of academics. The point aims at closing the educational gaps among the groups. Most advocates of equalization advise to equalize the issue by lowering those on the higher levels. This proposal aims to redistribute money to social work from science. It aims to provide each student with people to advise on the process of taking notes, managing time and other such learning skills. This idea is taught in all schools across all schools around the country that provide education.

People around the world want to treat each other equally. In his third article stated “The Fallacy of Fairness Part III”, Sowell argues that the laws should be equal for all around the world. I agree to the theory put forward by the political philosopher that the criteria for rewarding on the basis of economy, education. This is in contradiction with the idea that idea of fairness among intellectuals. It is evident from the above discussion that Thomas Sowell has focused on the social and familial hypocrisy on the matter of fairness. He has shown many example on the unjust happening and daily happening in terms of the “unfair”. As discussed in the first two Articles of T. Sowell on the “Fallacy of Fairness”, he implies his idea on the fairness as the conceptual role play of the third parties (Thomas Sowell., 2017). He also suggests that the birth ors as the accidental factor on the natter of justice o fairness. Thaw author wants to convey the message that despite being wide range of educational opportunity in the society, there are illusion of the differences in the prioritization of these opportunities, which is certainly unethical or unfair. However, there are undue advantages of the opportunities as well. Therefore, the change in the society as well as in the cultures and subcultures is needed in terms of eliminating hypocrisy and unfair practice in the society. Here in this connection, the author has given fine examples of the birth as the accidental factor that works as the advantage for the privileged communities in the society and disadvantage for the unprivileged communities in terms of the educational opportunities. It is the unjust behavior of the people in the society that are leading the civilization to the dangerous conflicts within them. The people are to blame the society for not getting the expected outcome for their past deeds and get frustrated which leads to the social conflicts. In regard to this, the political correctness also plays a vital role in determining the injustice to the community people in terms of the social and educational opportunities. The political correctness does not really correct the situation of the community people; rather it builds public relations with them which are less required for them.  The author wants to state that the overall fairness lies in the betterment of the overall situation.

The next and final article of Thomas Sowell refers to the both individual and groups in terms of their performance on the given same opportunities. The author has used most practical and common examples for conveying his idea about the above statement. Moreover, in this connection he goes on saying that any individual having rich and intellectual genetic past, is more likely to possess same IQ level and intellectual abilities and is generally successful in the career. To exemplify this author sates that the immigrant Jews scored more than average in the mental tests that indicates the genetically advantages of them. Similar things can be seen in the European and Chinese in terms of their technological and economical achievements over the years. They are unduly privileged with their rich past of economy and technology and this is the reasons they are leading the world in this aspect. However, the author refers to this past or genetically advantages of the people to be unreasonable (Thomas Sowell., 2017). This situation is referring to the dysfunctional and unequal divisions of power and economy in the society.     

Another article by Gene Mark proposes that ironical conceptualization of the word “fairness”.  The article centers on the black child and his ability to personal responsibility. Mark refers to the idea of the unfair by providing reference of the poor black children and how they are the victim of the inequity and underprivileged (, 2017). The central idea of the article is the racial identity development which is forced by the society on the poor and black skinned people. The basic message of the article that the author wants to convey raises the question that regarding the consequences of the poor black children in terms of receiving equal and direct opportunities of from and within the society. Again, here the birth can be mentioned as Sowell in his article marks the same as the accidental factor. The poor black people are the victim of not only the society but also their own birth. Even the professional opportunities also seem unreasonable for these people. In addition, the author also mentions the indigenous people and referred to the poor conditions of them in the society in terms of receiving the opportunities. However, both the writer has reflected in their writing of the social and behavioral unjust treatment to the underprivileged people, which is again, is the result of the same.


"If I Were a Poor Black Child"...White Saviorism and the Politics of Personal Responsibility. (2017). Tim Wise. Retrieved 11 October 2017, from

Thomas Sowell. (2017). Retrieved 11 October 2017, from

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