Social inequality results from a society organized by hierarchies of class, race, and gender that unequally distributes access to resources and rights. It can manifest in a variety of ways, like income and wealth inequality, unequal access to education and cultural resources, and differential treatment by the police and judicial system, among others. Social inequality goes hand in hand with social stratification. Social inequality is characterized by the existence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions or statuses within a group or society.
Current Events in Sociological Context
A: The Functionalist Perspective- Motivating Qualified People - Social Sci LibreTexts
We have seen how the economies of some capitalist countries such as the United States have features that are very similar to socialism. Some industries, particularly utilities, are either owned by the government or controlled through regulations. Public programs such as welfare, Medicare, and Social Security exist to provide public funds for private needs. We have also seen how several large communist or formerly communist countries such as Russia, China, and Vietnam have moved from state-controlled socialism with central planning to market socialism, which allows market forces to dictate prices and wages and for some business to be privately owned.
Social Stratification Has Good Consequences For Society
From a functionalist point of view, inequality plays a role in holding society together and encouraging efficiency. The structural-functional approach to stratification asks the same question that it does of the other components of society: What function or purpose does it serve? According to structural-functionalists, stratification and inequality are inevitable and beneficial to society.
Basketball is one of the highest-paying professional sports. There is stratification even among teams. For example, the Minnesota Timberwolves hand out the lowest annual payroll, while the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly pay the highest. Even within specific fields, layers are stratified and members are ranked.