What Are Some Kinds of Social Inequality Identified in Sociology?

Social inequality types identified in sociology consist of inequality of opportunities and inequality of conditions. These two types are consistent with each other, although inequality of conditions does not necessarily result in inequality of opportunities.

Inequality of conditions refers to the unequal distribution of wealth, power and material goods. It is a characteristic of complex modern societies and is often present in small-scale, hunter-gatherer societies. Inequality of opportunities refers to the unequal distribution of life chances among individuals. It occurs where differences in possession of power and wealth cause definite advantages and disadvantages in pursuing personal success. This type of social inequality is reflected in measures such as the level of education, treatment by the criminal justice system and the health status of individuals within a society.