Social inequality represents the difference in the standard of living and in the conditions of access to rights, goods and services between members of a society . Social inequality definition
Social inequality can manifest itself in different ways, in the economic, school, professional, gender spheres, among others. Therefore, it is also common to use the term in the plural: social inequalities .
The phenomenon of social inequality is mainly marked by economic inequality generated by the concentration of income . The concentration of income creates an imbalance in the way of life of the groups that make up society.
Thus, in the same society, some groups have full access to their rights and a decent life, while other groups are excluded. A large portion of the population gradually tends to poverty, to the absence of material conditions to guarantee their own existence. Social inequality definition
This gradual distinction can be observed from the social stratification, or the division of society into classes. Each social class has its own way of life. This is reflected in their own consumption pattern and, above all, in the difference in access to fundamental rights, such as: food, health, security, housing and education.
Causes and consequences of social inequality
For philosophers of liberalism such as John Locke and Adam Smith, social inequality is part of human nature and the way individuals organize themselves in society.
For Marxist thinkers, influenced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, social inequality is the result of a historical process based on the exploitation of one social group by another.
Despite the divergence about its origin, there is a consensus on the definition of some factors that are causes of social inequality: Social inequality definition
- bad income distribution
- mismanagement of public resources
- lack of investments in social policies
Social inequality has effects as a number of other inequalities, such as gender inequality , racial inequality , regional inequality , among others.
As a consequence of social inequality, several social problems arise that affect society:
- Favelas (slum)
- Gentrification (poor people are driven to live in outlying areas of cities)
- Food insecurity (increase in hunger and misery rates)
- Child mortality
- Decrease in average life expectancy
- Maintenance/increase of unemployment
- Increased school dropout
- Decrease in the average schooling of the population
- increased crime
- Increased differences between social classes
- Delay in the development of the economy in the country
- Difficulty in accessing basic services such as health, public transport and basic sanitation
- Decreased access to cultural and leisure activities