Social inequality

Social inequality

Social inequality refers to a lack of social equality, where individuals in a society do not have equal social status. Areas of potential social inequality include voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, the extent of property rights and access to education, health care and other social goods.

Inequality is socially created by matching two different kinds of processes. “The social roles in society are first matched to ‘reward packages’ of unequal value, and individual members of society are then allocated to the positions so defined and rewarded” [Grusky, David B. 2001. “The Past, Present and Future of Social Inequality.” Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender. Second Edition. Colorado: Westview Press.]

Social inequality is different from economic inequality but the two inequalities are linked. Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. While economic inequality is caused by the unequal distribution of wealth, social inequality exists because the lack of wealth in certain areas prohibits these people from obtaining the same housing, health care, etc. as the wealthy in societies where access to these social goods depends on wealth. “The degree of inequality in a given reward or asset depends, of course, on its dispersion or concentration across the individuals in the population” [Grusky, David B. 2001. “The Past, Present and Future of Social Inequality.” Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender. Second Edition. Colorado: Westview Press.] .

The Study of Social and Spatial Inequality (SASI) pionered by a research group with the same name at the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. The group are now offering an excellent new masters course


"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” –Plutarch [ [ Plutarch Quotes ] ]

“Social inequality is the expression of lack of access to housing, health care, education, employment opportunities, politics, and status. It is the exclusion of people from full and equal participation in what we, the members of society, perceive as being valuable, important, personally worthwhile and socially desirable” [Preston, Christine. 1992. Nagle College, Blacktown South.] .

ee also

*Horizontal inequality
*Social stratification
*Equality (disambiguation)
*Civil rights
*LGBT social movements


External links

* [ Social inequality in US hits new record]
* [ Global survey reveals growing anger over social inequality]

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