Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Margaret L. Andersen
The study of inequality lies at the heart of the sociology of social problems. No matter what the social problem might be, different forms of inequality influence the generation of the problem, the consequences of the problem for diverse groups, the societal reaction to the problem, and the solutions and social policies intended to address the problem. In each of these dimensions, social problems correlate with inequality. Analyzing the relationship between various forms of inequality and social problems is central to sociological theory and empirical research. Among some of the strongest forms of inequality influencing social problems are social class, race, and gender. And, while these are some of the most significant influences on social problems, they are also problems in and of themselves. No understanding of social problems makes sense without attention to race, class, and gender. But race, class, and gender are not the only correlates of social ...