Social inequality definition Types and Examples

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 23:54 -- Umar Farooq

Social Inequality Definition

When unequal opportunities or rewards exist in a society for people of different social status or position, it is called social inequality. Inequality has different dimensions and each state has varying dimensions.

It is a common belief that people living in America are better off than most of the people living in other parts of the world. It is true to some extent but the country is not free from social inequalities. Why is that so? There are two possibilities for explaining that. The first one is blaming the poor. This concept suggests that poor are responsible for their poverty. They are not employed because they don’t have proper skills, motivation or education to find work. The second possibility is blaming the society. It suggests that the society is responsible for poverty. There are not enough work opportunities to support the families.

Types of Social Inequality                                 

Basically, there are 5 types of social inequalities. They have been listed below:

  1. Political Inequality: The inequality in which there is no civic equality in front of the law.
  2. Income and Wealth Inequality: It is the outcome or result which is primarily in the earnings of individuals.
  3. Life Inequality: This refers to inequalities of opportunities if provided can improve the quality of life.
  4. Inequality of Treatment and Responsibility: Although this idea is less examined but it generates problems in agency and responsibility.
  5. Inequality of Membership: This exists in the membership of faith, family and nation.

Examples of Social Inequality

I can give you tons of examples of Social Inequality in America. Many jobs in the country are dependent on social inequalities like income, gender, educational and racial inequalities on both regional and national level.

The most common example is that of the income gap in America between black and white. The difference in the median household income between the blacks and whites was $19,000 in the year 1967 but in the year 2012, it reached $27,000 and it is continuously increasing.

Gender inequality is another common example. Women are under-represented in their roles, decision making processes and political activities. There is no doubt about it that women participation in different fields and industries is increasing globally but they still are facing discrepancies in wages. Their wages are less as compared to that of men.

Not every individual has access to the same type of healthcare services. There are inequalities because of race, gender, economic conditions. All citizens do not have access to the same type of health care facilities. The wealthier groups can easily be seen by doctors and get medicines as compared to those who are not.

Today, there are means accessible for gathering and analyzing data related to the economies of various countries across the globe and research can be done on social stratification and inequality. There is a large amount of gap present between the wealthiest and the poorest people which needs to be addressed. Plenty of ways to tackle the problem of social inequality are present. Here are some of them:

  1. Ensure that high quality healthcare services are available and affordable for all.
  2. Tackle the problem of polarized wages. It seems that the average real wages are falling but the executive pays are increasing. It is high time to resolve this inequality.
  3. Along with better jobs, training opportunities should be provided too for developing new skills.
  4. More and more job opportunities should be created throughout the country for all.
  5. Last but not the least, fair taxes should be levied. Relief must be provided to the low-income group.

Even little steps can bring huge changes time after time in reviving the social well-being of the people.