Social inequality

When it comes to having access to social services and goods like education and healthcare, different groups of people as defined by society are placed in unequal positions. This is known as social inequality.

Age, class, gender, race, and ethnicity are used by the culture to categorize individuals. The different types of inequality are shaped by structural variables like citizenship and location (Froyum, Blochc & Taylor, 2017). Social disparity can be attributed to a number of things. For instance, social inequality is encouraged by stereotyping's pervasiveness in society and by how people perceive gender roles. Legislation that is discriminatory can also promote social inequality. The concept of social inequality is a global phenomenon since it exists between classes, countries, religious and ethnic groups.

Race and Ethnicity

Ethnic inequality refers to the political along with the economic disadvantages experienced by the minority groups. For the sociologists, the terms race, ethnicity and minority group have distinct meanings. Race refers to the superficial physical differences that are considered important by a particular society while ethnicity refers to the shared culture. On the other hand, the term minority groups describe the group of people who are subordinate and have no power in the society regardless of their country of origin or skin color. For instance, in the contemporary history, the elderly are regarded as minority groups due to their diminished status that is as a result of the prevalent discrimination as well as prejudice against them.

The concept of race has changed immensely across eras and cultures. As a result has become less connected with the family and ancestral ties. The superficial external characteristics determine a person's race. The past theorists defined race according to skin color, ethnicity, and geographical regions. Considering myself as an example, I have faced racial prejudice. I am a Chinese and a third-year college student in the US. Upon admission to the College, I shared a room with non-Asian students who had grown up in America. They had been living together for the last three months, and I was the only new member of the group. The housing staff had sent them an email to notify them that I would be their new roommate. They started mocking me on realizing that my last name was Chinese. They joked that they would vacate the room because of me. They avoided me and denied me a chance to socialize with any of them. Besides, they joked that I would stay alone in the room playing video games and sleep at 11 pm every day. I was disappointed with my roommates for their attitude and behavior towards me.

Ethnicity refers to the shared cultures, values, beliefs and practices of a group of people. The commonalities among members of the same ethnic group maybe religion, language, traditions among others (Froyum, Blochc & Taylor, 2017). Just like race, individuals and institutions still identify themselves ethnicity through day-to-day personal relations, census, and non-discrimination law or simply in initiatives for affirmative actions. Individuals from the minority ethnic groups always face social inequality while those from the largest ethnic groups enjoy certain privileges. For example, my parents are from the Han community which is the largest ethnic group in China. Most people in the Republic of China belong to the Han ethnic Chinese. As members of the largest language group, we benefitted immensely. We lived in the fertile and productive region of the Songliao Plain. I attended the best elementary school in the region. Besides, I enjoyed a rich culture as the Han Chinese had their distinct way of life.

Gender is another area where inequality is rampant. Gender inequality has deep roots in China. The women are discriminated at their workplace and also in the educational institutions. As a girl, growing up in a society infested with gender inequality. The society believes that a girl child should only learn how to cook, take care of her home and her future husband. I faced criticism from my neighbors every time they saw me going to school. Besides, most of my classmates at the elementary school were male. They often bullied us claiming that we were supposed to be at home doing the household chores. I learned to ignore them and worked hard to achieve and fulfill my dreams. My mother, who worked as a nurse in a nearby hospital always encouraged me to work hard and ignore the critics.

When I joined the college in the US, I faced various challenges due to my sexuality and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation describes to the preference of an individual for sexual relationships such as homosexuality, bisexuality or heterosexuality. During my first year, my roommates happened to have different sexual orientation. They were lesbians and being a heterosexual; there were endless conflicts in the room. They tried to introduce me to lesbianism, but I resisted vehemently. They used to invite their gay friends into our room without my knowledge. I was always agitated with their behavior and most of the times; I ended up spending my nights in the library going through the books. My life with the roommates was unbearable, and I applied severally to the housing staff for a reshuffle to no avail. I learned to ignore them and spent most of my time outside the hostel.

Social control is another area where social inequality is felt. Social control describes the societal or political mechanisms that govern the behavior of an individual or a group leading to the compliance to the rules and regulations of a state, society or social groups (Froyum, Blochc & Taylor, 2017). At first, ii encountered challenges in socializing with other students at the college. My society has different norms and beliefs. I could not socialize easily with my schoolmates since we were different in various ways. Besides, I found it hard to communicate with them since my pronunciation was different. They always laughed at me, and this lowered my self-esteem. During group discussions, I could not express my opinions and they never gave me an opportunity to present the results of the discussions. Immigration also acted as another area of social inequality. Before admission to the college, I had to prove that I was capable of paying my fees and afford a decent life while in the US. At the college, the other students brought up in America called me an immigrant who had come from a country with no quality education system. Besides, my Chinese background also contributed to the treatment I received. I could not walk freely in the community due to my skin color and nationality.


Conclusively, social inequality is a global phenomenon which need to be addressed. The different forms of inequalities include racial ethnic, gender among others. The inequality affects the lives of individuals immensely. Everyone in the society is aware of the inequality, but ignorance is the greatest threat. The society needs to address the issue for all people to enjoy equal opportunities.


Froyum, C., Blochc, K., & Taylor, T. (Eds.). (2017). Creating and Contesting Social Inequalities. New York: Oxford University Press.

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