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Overview of social inequality

Video transcript

okay let's talk about social inequality now when we talk about social inequality what we're saying is that the resources in a society are unevenly distributed now an excellent example of this is the wealth distribution in the United States where the top 20 percent have 72 percent of the wealth of the country and the bottom 20 percent only control about 3 percent so as we can see that's a great deal of inequality when we think about social inequality we often think about our society and how its structured into different classes one of the ways that we do this is by labeling society is containing the upper class middle class and lower or working class and these class distinctions are often made on the basis of people jobs or incomes and one of the things that we know is that as you go up the social ladder you often have better access to quality education health care and other services such as housing or good nutrition one other things that we can think about is that the groups of the population and that are really disproportionately affected by this social inequality minorities for example ethnic minorities or racial minorities tend to have greater degrees of inequality as manifested by lower incomes lower educational opportunities and reduced access to health care and the health care they do get is often substandard in addition to racial and ethnic minorities we should also consider that people who are very poor or in pop of war in poverty also face considerable barriers to obtaining the same health care education and other resources such as housing as other people so really being an ethnic minority racial minority or being very poor puts you to great social disadvantage in some ways gender does - we know that being female carries with it disadvantages in regards to social equality in that females often experience differences in terms of pay known as the gender pay gap where they may be paid less than their male peers they may also experience the glass ceiling effect where they may be more poorly represented in higher positions more powerful positions within companies and other institutions even even public institutions so gender is also an important consideration so what happens when we have these high rates of social inequality people may feel increasingly socially excluded they may separate out and live in segregated neighborhoods and they may also feel politically disempowered this potentially creates a a combination of things which can lead to civil unrest and also may ten people into criminal activities so what can we do about social inequality well we can have a variety of government schemes to allow financial support or social support such as food stamps for individuals facing considerable hardship we can try and identify and remove barriers to health care and education for people facing these considerable hardships additionally we can carry out further research into these vulnerable populations to help understand their needs and try and figure out suitable interventions where we can make a difference into their lives and allow them to integrate better into society