Unit 6 Opportunity: SDG10

Reduced Inequalities

UN Goal 10 icon

 

 

Goal no. 10 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to reduce inequality within and among countries.

 

 

Click on the arrows to reveal more information about SDG10. You don’t need to remember everything you read – the main thing is to get an overview of this Goal.

 

Information and targets reproduced under the terms and conditions of United Nations websites. Copyright (2023). 


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Key vocabulary

Check that you know the meaning and the whole word family of these key words before you begin the Unit. (NB there may be other versions of the word forms – these are the common forms in the context of SDG 10). Also notice some common collocations in bold in the ‘Why this goal? and ‘Targets’ sections above. Add any new words, word families or collocations that you would like to remember to your vocabulary book.

Verb                                                        Noun                                        Adjective

To be equal to                                       equality/equity/equal             equal

To give (someone) an opportunity    opportunity/opportunism    opportunistic

To receive an income                            income                                     incomeless

Easily confused words – Equality and equity

  • Equality refers to the state of being equal, especially in having the same rights, status, and opportunities.
  • Equity refers to a fair and reasonable way of behaving towards people, so that everyone is treated in the same way.
Equality - 3 children of different heights standing on 3 identical boxes to see over a fence. The smallest child still can't see over the fence, however. Equity - the tallest child doesn't have a box to stand on. The medium height child has one box, and the smallest child has 2 boxes. This time all 3 children can see over the fence.
Equality/Equity

Data visualisation – The world’s wealth inequality

In Unit 5 you considered gender inequality and the ways gender can restrict the life opportunities for some. Inequalities can also be related to income, age, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, sexual orientation, religion or economic status.

  1. Have you witnessed any of the above inequalities in action?
  2. Income inequality is on the rise. Both halves of this graphic (2017) represent an equal amount of global wealth. The top half consists of the world’s eight richest billionaires. The bottom half represents the poorest half of humanity – 3.6 billion people.
    • Do you recognise any of these men or know how they accumulated so much wealth?
    • What is your view of individuals owning so much of the world’s wealth?
    • What effect does this huge wealth inequality have on life opportunities for the poorest 50%?
    • Since 2017 other billionaires have joined this list. Can you name any of them?
See the transcript
The world’s wealth inequality

Download the transcript here: Unit 6 Infographic transcript

In your local context…

According to a report by the World Bank in 2019 ‘For every $1 of aid that developing countries receive, they lose $24 in net outflows. Most of the outflows represent the illicit flow of capital from the global South to the North as a result of the use of tax havens or the reporting of false prices on trade invoices.’

Do you recognise this as a problem in your context? If yes, what are the effects? If no, what’s your view of wealthy individuals using tax havens and illicit means to divert aid from the people who need it?


Reading – What I learned when I recreated the famous ‘doll test’ that looked at how Black kids see race

Before you read

You’ve considered gender inequality and income inequality. An experiment in the 1940s looked at race inequality. The social psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark devised a test to to study children’s attitudes toward race and their self-image and to see whether African American children were psychologically and emotionally damaged by attending segregated (all-black) schools. During the experiment Clark showed children between the ages of six and nine two dolls that were exactly the same, except that one was black and one was white. They asked the children a series of questions about the dolls:

Which doll is the black doll? Which one is the white doll? Which doll is the pretty doll? Which the doll is the nice doll? Which doll is the bad doll? Which doll is the ugly doll? Which doll looks most like you?

1. Can you predict how the children answered the questions? Watch the video (1 min) or read the transcript below and see if your predictions were accurate.

Transcript

  • Which doll is the black doll? (Girl points at the black doll).
  • And which one is the white doll? (Girl points at the white doll).
  • Which doll is the pretty doll? (Girl points at the white doll).
  • Which the doll is the nice doll? (Girl points at the white doll).
  • Which doll is the bad doll? (Girl points at the black doll).
  • Which doll is the nice doll? (Boy points at the white doll).
  • Which doll is the bad doll? (Boy points at the black doll).
  • Why is that doll pretty? (Because she’s white).
  • Which doll is the ugly doll? (Boy points at the black doll).
  • Why is that doll ugly? (Because he’s black).
  • Which doll looks most like you? (Boy points at the black doll).

2. Which doll do the children ascribe good characteristics to?

3. Which doll do the children ascribe bad characteristics to?

4. What conclusions could you draw from this experiment?

Skim read

In the Clark experiment children in segregated primary schools in the 1950s viewed their racial identity in a negative light. This text is by an academic who recreated the ‘doll test’ in 2017 with her daughter who was in an integrated school. Do you expect the results of her experiment to be similar or dissimilar?

Skim read the introduction (max 2 mins) and see if you were right.

Read for main ideas

  • Which word(s) in each sentence helped you identify the paragraph the sentence belonged to?
  • Was it a word/phrase/structure that helped you decide, or was it the idea contained in the sentence?

CC BY ND

What I learned when I recreated the famous ‘doll test’ that looked at how Black kids see race

Dr. Toni Sturdivant, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Texas A&M University-Commerce USA.

Introduction

Back in the 1940s, Kenneth and Mamie Clark – a husband-and-wife team of psychology researchers – used dolls to investigate how young Black children viewed their racial identities.

They found that given a choice between Black dolls and white dolls, most Black children preferred to play with white dolls. They ascribed positive characteristics to the white dolls but negative characteristics to the Black ones. Then, upon being asked to describe the doll that looked most like them, some of the children became “emotionally upset at having to identify with the doll that they had rejected.”

The Clarks concluded that Black children – as a result of living in a racist society – had come to see themselves in a negative light.

I first heard about the Clarks’ doll experiment with preschool children during a Black studies class in college in the early 2000s. But it wasn’t until one of my daughters came home from preschool one day in 2017 talking about how she didn’t like being Black that I decided to create the doll test anew.

Struggling with identity

When my daughter attended a diverse preschool, there weren’t any issues. But when she switched over to a virtually all-white preschool, my daughter started saying she didn’t like her dark skin. I tried to assuage her negative feelings about the skin she was in. I told her, “I like it.” She just quipped, “You can have it.” But it wasn’t just her skin color she had a problem with. She told me she also wanted blue eyes “like the other kids” at her school.

Perturbed, I spoke with others about the episode. I began to suspect that if my daughter had identity issues despite being raised by a culturally aware Black mom like me – an educator at that – then countless other Black children throughout America were probably experiencing some sort of internalized self-hatred as well.

In search of the cause

The Clarks’ research was used in the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education case to advance the cause of integrated schools. Their findings about Black children’s negative view of themselves were attributed to the effects of segregation. But I knew from experience that the preference for whiteness that the Clarks found was not limited to just Black kids in segregated schools in the 20th century. It was affecting Black kids in integrated schools in the 21st century as well.

Maybe, I thought, the racial bias wasn’t related to schools as much as it was to the broader society in which we live. Maybe it was much more nuanced than whether Black kids attended an all-Black school or went to school alongside other kids.

But to verify that Black kids were still viewing their Blackness in a negative light the way the Clarks found that they were back in the 1940s, I would have to do so as a researcher. So I set out to get my doctorate in early childhood education and began to look deeper into how children develop racial identities.

A new approach

In their doll test studies, the Clarks prompted young children to respond to questions of character. They would ask questions like, which doll – the Black one or the white one – was the nice doll? This required the children to select a doll to answer the question. This experiment – and prior research by the Clarks – showed that young children notice race and that they have racial preferences.

While these studies let us know that – contrary to what some people may think – children do, in fact, see color, the tests were far from perfect. Although I respect the Clarks for what they contributed to society’s understanding of how Black children see race, I believe their doll tests were really kind of unnatural – and, I would even argue, quite stressful. What if, for instance, the children were not forced to choose between one doll or the other, but could choose dolls on their own without any adults prodding them? And what if there were more races and ethnicities available from which to choose?

With these questions in mind, I placed four racially diverse dolls (white, Latina, Black with lighter skin, and Black with medium skin) in a diverse preschool classroom and observed Black preschool girls as they played for one semester. My work was published in Early Childhood Education, a peer-reviewed journal.

I felt choosing to watch the children play – rather than sitting them down to be interviewed – would allow me to examine their preferences more deeply. I wanted to get at how they actually behaved with the dolls – not just what they said about the dolls.

Observing play in action

Without asking specific questions as the Clarks did, I still found a great deal of bias in how the girls treated the dolls. The girls rarely chose the Black dolls during play. On the rare occasions that the girls chose the Black dolls, they mistreated them. One time a Black girl put the doll in a pot and pretended to cook the doll. That’s not something the girls did with the dolls that weren’t Black.

When it came time to do either of the Black dolls’ hair, the girls would pretend to be hairstylists and say, “I can’t do that doll’s hair. It’s too big,” or, “It’s too curly.” But they did the hair for the dolls of other ethnicities. While they preferred to style the Latina doll’s straight hair, they were also happy to style the slightly crimped hair of the white doll as well.

The children were more likely to step over or even step on the Black dolls to get to other toys. But that didn’t happen with the other dolls.

What it means

Back in the 1950s, the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, used the Clarks’ doll test research as evidence for the need to desegregate schools. Yet in my own doll test study, more than half a century later in an integrated setting, I found the same anti-Black bias was still there.

Children are constantly developing their ideas about race, and schools serve as just one context for racial learning. I believe adults who care about the way Black children see themselves should create more empowering learning environments for Black children.

Whether it be in the aisles of the beauty section of a grocery store, the main characters selected for a children’s movie or the conversations parents have at the dinner table, Black children need spaces that tell them they are perfect just the way they are.

 

NB This version of the article, with permission from the author, does not include the hyperlinks to supporting articles found in the original. Click the title for the full version of the text, published under a CC BY ND licence in The Conversation, which should be used for reference and sharing.

What do you think?

  • What do you think about the fact that black primary-school-aged children had developed a preference for whiteness?
  • The results of the ‘doll test’ were instrumental in the decision to de-segregate schools in America. What do you think of the idea of segregated schools? What beliefs do you think underpin the creation of such schools? Which people do you think are in favour of segregation?

Grammar – Double comparatives ‘as … as’ and ‘the … the’

Read the four sentences from the text and notice the structures in bold that demonstrate equal or unequal comparisons:

  1. The children did not find the black dolls as attractive as the white dolls.
  2. The level of bias the children showed the black dolls was almost as high as in the original doll test.
  3. The children’s response to the black dolls was nowhere near as positive as their response to the white doll.
  4. The more black children see themselves reflected positively in the media, the more likely they are to develop a positive self-image.

Double comparatives ‘as … as’ and ‘the… the’

  1. We use ‘as … as’ with an adjective to make an equal or unequal comparison:
  • e.g. The children did not find the black doll as attractive as the white doll.
  1. We use ‘as … as’ to compare equal quantities:
  • e.g. The level of bias the children showed the black dolls was almost as high as in the original doll test.
  1. We can modify ‘as … as’ with adverbs such as ‘nowhere near’. If the difference between the two items is only slight, we can use ‘almost’, ‘nearly’ or ‘not quite’:
  • e.g. The children’s response to the black dolls was nowhere near as positive as their response to the white doll.
  1. We use ‘the… the’ to show proportionate increase or decrease: the + comparative expression + subject + verb:
  • e.g. The more Black children see themselves reflected positively in the media, the more likely they are to develop a positive self-image.

 

Practice

Complete the double comparative structures with appropriate information:

  1. The world’s eight richest billionaires own as much… as…
  2. The more the world’s wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few men the more…
  3. The more we examine our own biases the more…
  4. SDG10 aims to reduce inequalities so that people everywhere have as many… as…
  5. People in developing countries have nowhere near as many… as…

Listening – India Tomorrow part 4: women  and gender (8 mins)

Credit: India Tomorrow 4. Annabel Bligh, host of The Anthill podcast. Licence: CC BY ND

Carol Spary, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, UK; Indrajit Roy, Lecturer in Global Development Politics, University of York, UK; Sneha Krishnan, Associate Professor in Human Geography, University of Oxford, UK

Before you listen – Vocabulary associated with social groupings

In this podcast Annabel Bligh interviews academics Carole Spary, Indrajit Roy and Sneha Krishnan about women members of India’s parliament, the Lok Sabha.

  1. In Unit 5 you learned about the way gender can affect a person’s life chances. In this listening you’ll hear about the way both gender and caste affect opportunities available to women in the Lok Sabha (the Indian parliament). Match these key terms to their correct definition.

2. Look at the word cloud created from the transcript. The most frequently used words (the biggest ones in the cloud) are: women (33), politics (14), know (10), Dalit (10), politicians (7). With the title in mind (’Women and gender’) create a sentence that uses as many of these words as possible that predicts the main point of the listening.

Image showing key words in the audio transcript. The most frequently used words are: women (33), politics (14), know (10), Dalit (10), politicians (7).
Word cloud created from the audio transcript.

Listen for detail

Play the audio here.

(Or access The Conversation podcast and listen from 18.33mins to 26.34 mins).

Before you listen, read the summary below. When you have finished reading, listen to the podcast. Because this is a summary of the podcast, and not the whole transcript, you need to listen and select a relevant word or statistic from the flow of information while at the same time reading ahead, as some of the detail will, of course, be absent from the summary.

 

Download the transcript here: Unit 6 Listening transcript


Writing – Reduce inequality

Essay title

‘Investing in equal access to education, jobs and public services for young people with disabilities or learning difficulties will help to reduce world poverty.’ Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain the reasons for your opinion.

 

 

Access this web page and click on the same image for SDG10.

 

 

So far in Units 5 and 6 you’ve learned about inequalities relating to gender, income and race. Here you’ll learn about inequality relating to disability. Look at the graphic art strips that give you ideas about how to write an answer to this question. Use the arrows in the bottom right of the page to move through the images and see ideas for the introduction, paragraph 1, paragraph 2, and the conclusion. There is an audio recording button on each page to help you access the images and to give you listening practice with a range of different accents that you can hear as you read. You can listen to the text by clicking on the green ‘play’ button in the top left corner of each page.

If you need some more ideas or help with your writing you can click the arrows in the bottom right to find three interactive tasks (with answers) to complete before you write your essay. Use the infographic and the suggested writing structure to guide you to write four short paragraphs on the topic of reducing inequality.

If you are using a screen reader access the same page and search for either SDG10 or the essay title (‘Investing in equal access to education, jobs and public services for young people with disabilities or learning difficulties will help to reduce world poverty.’ Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain the reasons for your opinion) instead of looking for the image.


Speaking

  1. Think about the various inequalities you’ve learned about and discuss the questions:
  • Income inequality is on the rise. Do you think that some people deserve to be wealthy, either through inherited wealth or hard work, or do you think wealth should be more evenly distributed in society?
  • You’ve heard about the way gender can restrict the life opportunities for some. What is your view of this? Do women deserve equality of opportunity?
  • Should race influence people’s life chances?
  • To what extent should society seek to improve the life chances of people with disabilities?
  1. Read the summary, which looks at climate change and inequalities, and discuss the questions that follow:

SDG10 summary

By disproportionately affecting the poorest and most vulnerable groups, climate change and ‘natural’ disasters contribute to exacerbate existing inequalities within and across countries.

On the other hand, environment can contribute to the reduction of inequity, including through sound management of natural resources and critical ecosystems, as well as supporting institutional arrangements regarding the use and access to natural resources.  Lack of access to natural resources on the other hand is a major contributor to inequality.

 

Reproduced with kind permission of the UN Environment Programme. Copyright (2023). All rights reserved.

  1. How might climate change reinforce existing injustices (who has contributed most to greenhouse gas emissions, and who is most vulnerable to climate change that they have caused)?
  2. Can climate change create opportunities to address these injustices (think about some of the innovations you’ve learned about in Units 1-6)?
  3. ‘It’s not the mountain we conquer, it’s ourselves’. This quote is by Edmond Hillary. He and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, in 1953. What do you think he means?
  4. Can you give a definition for the words in bold above?

A reminder that if you have access to the internet and are studying by yourself without other people to practice your spoken English with, you can use artificial intelligence (AI) to gain fluency practice. See here for instructions and prompts.

Here are some prompts related to this Unit:

  1. ‘Let’s have a debate about whether some people deserve to be wealthy, either through inherited wealth or hard work, or if wealth should be more evenly distributed in society. Give me opportunities to agree or disagree.’
  2. ‘Let’s have a debate about whether women deserve equality of opportunity. Give me opportunities to agree or disagree.’
  3. ‘Let’s have a debate about whether race should influence people’s life chances. Give me opportunities to agree or disagree.’

Extension activities

After every two Units you are offered a choice of extension tasks. Use the menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen to access Extension Activities Units 5 and 6.


Looking Ahead to Unit 7

In Units 7 & 8 you’ll be focusing on the life chances of children in various parts of the world. Are there factors that negatively affect the life chances of children in your local context?

 

 

Licence

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Develop Your English Copyright © 2024 by Susan Robbins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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