Structural inequality


Structural inequality occurs when the fabric of organizations, institutions, governments or social networks contains an embedded bias which provides advantages for some members and marginalizes or produces disadvantages for other members. This can involve property rights, status, or unequal access to health care, housing, education and other physical or financial resources or opportunities. Structural inequality is believed to be an embedded part of the culture of the United States due to the history of slavery and the subsequent suppression of equal civil rights of minority races.

Structural inequality can be encouraged and maintained in society through structured institutions such as the public school system with the goal of maintaining the existing structure of wealth, employment opportunities, and social standing of the races by keeping minority students from high academic achievement in high school and college as well as in the workforce of the country. In the attempt to equalize allocation of state funding, policymakers evaluate the elements of disparity to determine an equalization of funding throughout school districts.(14)

Combating structural inequality therefore often requires the broad, policy based structural change on behalf of government organizations, and is often a critical component of poverty reduction. In many ways, a well-organized democratic government that can effectively combine moderate growth with redistributive policies stands the best chance of combating structural inequality.

Broader Problems:
Human inequality
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
16.03.2022 – 03:44 CET