William Julius Wilson is a famous U.S. sociologist, born in Pa., who taught at the University of Chicago and later Harvard University.

Wilson has argued mainly that racial and ethnic tensions in the U.S. result from changes in the global economy rather than racism or welfare dependancy. This global economy pulled low-skilled manufacturing jobs out of the inner city so that only race-neutral programs could alleviate the problems of the underclass.

Wilson analyzes the social and economic inequality Europe and links the causative factors in economic advancements that produce trends in city poverty. Contrasting Europe and the United States in differences of urban inequality, Wilson states that the level of concentrated poverty and racial segregation is representative of American cities whereas these are not readily seen in European cities: “there is no real European equivalent to the plight of the American ghetto.” However, he explains, there is a shift in this contrast so that the European cities are beginning to see increases “concentrated poverty.” These differences between the United States and Europe can be explained by specific history of power struggle and economic trends.

Wilson states “the sharp rise in inner-city joblessness in the United States and the growth of unemployment in Europe and Canada stems from the swift technological changes in the global economy.” He backs this statement by explaining that there has been a decline in mass production, an important idea relating economics, productivity, schooling, market forces, industry, and technology together. Changes in technology produced new jobs but at the same time, he argues, removed others creating an ever more widening gap between the higher and lower educated groups so that “educated workers {benefited} from the pace of technological change {while} less skilled workers…face{d} the growing threat of job displacement.”

Wilson describes that many European people tend to avoid the typical low paying jobs that are taken by the poorer trained workers because of “Europe’s relatively munificent social safety nets” since Europeans rely on “unemployment compensation” leading to increase in unemployment and wages to a lessening aggressive industry. Wilson goes on to describe certain elements in the European economy versus the American economy in dealing with employment. In America, for example, many more new jobs have been created when compared to Europe, but these jobs were mainly in the “service sector,” largely for unskilled workers with low educations. Global competition and pressure to change is key in describing European and American tensions. There is stress mainly on European countries to become more competitive but Wilson agrees that this will only cause increasing unemployment.

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