Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

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Inequality


core definition

Inequality in the social world refers to the difference in status, access to wealth, educational opportunity and cultural activities that are de facto (legally, economically, politically or socially) evident in a society or community.


explanatory context

Social inequality refers to a situation in which individual groups in a society do not have equal standing (status, class, and social circle) with detrimental consequences for the disadvantaged groups.

 

In mathematics, inequality is the relation between two different values.


analytical review

Inequality.org (undated) commenting on the Unites States explains:

Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years....

Wealth inequality can be described as the unequal distribution of assets within a population. The United States exhibits wider disparities of wealth between rich and poor than any other major developed nation....

Global inequality refers to the extent to which income and wealth is distributed in an uneven manner among the world’s population.
Tracking levels of world inequality poses a variety of statistical challenges for researchers. Different nations, for starters, tally income and wealth in different ways, and some nations barely tally reliable stats at all. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of good sources of summary data on global inequality....

How does inequality and health relate? Increasing evidence from scientists the world over indicates that many health outcomes — everything from life expectancy to infant mortality and obesity — can be linked to the level of economic inequality within a given population. Greater economic inequality appears to lead to worse health outcomes....Poor health and poverty do go hand-in-hand. But high levels of inequality, the epidemiological research shows, negatively affect the health of even the affluent, mainly because, researchers contend, inequality reduces social cohesion, which leads to more stress, fear, and insecurity for everyone....

How does inequality and health relate? Increasing evidence from scientists the world over indicates that many health outcomes — everything from life expectancy to infant mortality and obesity — can be linked to the level of economic inequality within a given population. Greater economic inequality appears to lead to worse health outcomes.
The most comprehensive data we have on racial inequality comes from the Federal Reserve Board’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances. The recently released latest edition, covering 2010, offers an updated glimpse into race and inequality against the yardsticks of both income and net worth.
The racial gap in median income has closed slightly over the last 20 years. Nonwhite families earned about half of what white families earned in 1989. This closed to 70 percent in 2007 and slipped back to 65 percent in 2010.
But the gap in assets runs much wider. White families claim about six times the net worth of non-white families, a gap that has changed little over the past generation.
The gap in median home value, for white and nonwhite homeowners, narrowed through the housing boom. In 2007, the median nonwhite-owned house held 90 percent of the value that the typical white-owned house held. But the crash saw a sharper decline in both nonwhite housing value and nonwhite rates of homeownership. In 2010, the median primary residence for all nonwhite families, not just homeowners, had about half the value of the homes of white families.


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

wealth


Sources

Inequality.org, undated, Inequality Data & Statistics, available at http://inequality.org/inequality-data-statistics/, accessed 9 March 2013, the page is still available but has been updated at some point so the content does no longer match the quote.


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017


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