Social Inequality and Social Exclusion: Inequality and Sociologists Disagree

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Social Inequality and Social Exclusion
Social Inequality and Social Exclusion
  • Wealth concentrated in the hands of rich.
  • Barriers faced by less privileged
  • Classes structured in societies accordingly.
  • Labels used like Upper class, middle class, etc.
  • Better access and availability of resources at upper level of society


  • Inequality is when equality of opportunity is denied
  • Absence of equality
  • Liberal capitalists: Equality should be among the equals and not equality in terms of privileges as outcome will always be different
  • Individual should not face any discrimination only then equality can be achieved

Sociologists Disagree

  • Equality lies in distributive justice
  • Resources of the society belong to all
  • Everyone should have access to them
  • Only then society will be an equal society

Aspects of Society According to HJ Laskey

  • Equality of opportunity
  • Accessibility to material resources
  • Absence of titles and privileges
  • Equal treatment and rewards for equal performance
Aspects of Society According to HJ Laskey
  • Health, crime rate. Living environment, well-being
  • Socio-economic-political-cultural-civic
  • Access to services, education, skills, material resources

Social Exclusion

  • Extreme form of inequality
  • One group is debarred from larger interaction with the other group


  • Prohibition on interaction and meeting with others
  • Inter-dining prohibition
  • Prohibition on marriages


The rules of social exclusion vary with society:

  • Violation of norms in the society example inter-caste marriage
  • Occupations like scavenging
  • Lifestyle example hippies
  • Diseases like AIDS, leprosy
  • Violation of law which results to punishment in jail
  • Basis of income e. g. dwelling in slums
  • Voluntary exclusion e. g. Sadhus, celebrities


  • Synthesis of equality of opportunity and distributive justice
  • Society based on equality
  • E. g. distributive justice of equal pay
Synthesis of Conclusion


Q. 1. Who among the following theorists sees contemporary society as a death culture, with death being the ′ paradigm of all social exclusion and discrimination ″ ?

(A) J. Baudrillard

(B) U. Beck

(C) M. Foucault

(D) J. F. Lyotard

Answer: (A)

Q. 2. Who among the following argues that the withdrawal of legitimacy from an existing system of inequality is a critical precondition for conflict?

(A) R. Dahrendorf

(B) L. Coser

(C) R. Collins

(D) J. Habermas

Answer: (B)

Q. 3. The book ‘Equality’ which examines in detail the inequalities of wealth and income and their connection with the class system is written by

(a) Andre Betille

(b) Trotsky

(c) R. H. Tawney

(d) Lowie

Ans. (c)




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