Sunday, September 29, 2013
People are poor because opportunities are distributed differentially in society on the basis of
things such as class, age, gender, ethnicity, and race.
INEQUALITY doesn’t simply refer to differences among individuals but rather reflects differences
that matter, differences that result in unfairness and disadvantage for some and privilege for
To understand social inequality we need a framework that integrates social structure, human agency
and social time.
SOCIAL INEQUALITY refers to relatively long lasting differences among individuals or groups of
people that have implications for individual lives, especially for the rights or opportunities they
exercise and the rewards and privileges they enjoy.
These STRUCTURES OF INEQUALITY are patterns of advantage and disadvantage that are durable
but penetrable. Durable means that it stays for a long time and penetrable means it can pass
HUMAN AGENCY is the capacity of individuals to interpret their situation and act to change.
Experience of inequality must be examined within the context of SOCIAL TIME (refers to issues of
generation and the life course) which evolves throughout one's life and is influenced by the
generation in which one is born in.
DEFINING SOCIAL STRUCTURE
SOCIAL STRUCTURE- Generally refers to relatively long lasting patterned relationships among the
elements of society. In general however, there are two dominant views of social structures.
The study of social inequality involves an examination of the factors that contribute to meaningful
differences in the rights, resources, and privileges of individuals and groups of people.