American Sociological Association

Inequalities and Stratification

Sociological studies of inequality and stratification examine the distribution of wealth and power within and across societies and the systems of stratification that develop including class, caste, race, and gender. Forms of inequality that arise among individuals and groups may include income, occupation, education, or health.

Sociological research includes comparative studies that identify similar and different sources of inequality, stratification, and mobility across societies. It measures their impact on individuals, families, and communities and their persistence over time and across generations. Sociologists analyze processes in institutions such as the economy, education, or religion that generate, maintain, and change social inequality and systems of stratification.

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