Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: October 22, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956260 | Print ISBN: 9781412916523 | Online ISBN: 9781412956260| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dirk C. Gibson & Tabatha Roybal & Marc Olivas
Egalitarianism suggests that there should not be different levels of equality or preference given to some. Inequality violates the basic notion of the same rights for each person irrespective of one's education, occupation, age, ethnicity, or social class. The core idea of egalitarianism is the view that all humans are equal and should be treated as equals not only in terms of political rights but also in the allocation of resources. This is true not merely with respect to property and other forms of wealth but in political, social, cultural, and other aspects of life as well. The English word egalitarian is derived from the French word égal , meaning equal. In this entry, five main topics will be considered, beginning with a definition of egalitarianism. A brief history of the term is followed by a discussion of the various different types of egalitarianism. A critique of egalitarianism will be ...