Patterns of Inequality:a Social Psychological Perspective
This review paper examines the various patterns of inequalities from a social psychological perspective. Inequality is a social-psychological phenomenon that cut across all societies and all social spheres; to a very large extent, inequality affects the adequate functioning of the society. Over millennia, as society evolved, the patterns of inequality have also eaten deep into the society. This paper investigates its universality and variability, the forms that it takes and the unique features of inequality processes across social entities. It revealed that growing inequalities may be socially and psychologically disruptive, not just within a country but beyond national and global boundaries. Consequently, social inequality cannot be exterminated in any society and it recognizes the power of economic and political elites to preserve an inequitable status quo. Inequalities among people are inevitable because people are not born with the same abilities, attitudes and emotions; hence they occupy different social statutes and have different life chances. The advantaged people enjoy an inordinate share of income, wealth and other valued resources while others struggle. Valued resources and desired outcomes are distributed unevenly in such a way that people have unequal amounts or access to the basic necessities of life. Hence, to achieve relative equality, it entails the removal of various barriers to human capabilities, freedom to acquire quality education, access to quality health care and livelihood.
Keywords: Inequality, Perspective, Psychological, Social