Chapter XI disparities in incomes and poverty

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Chapter XI


  1. Social inequalities are readily evident in all countries. Disparities in wealth, material possessions, power, prestige, access to jobs, financial resources, social services and life essentials, such as food, shelter and drinking water, and the way people are perceived and treated dominate the social life of contemporary societies. Although there are many forms of inequality, the three major forms – economic, social status, and power – have the most profound effect on the access to income opportunities, income returns, distribution and consumption.

  2. Throughout the twentieth century and especially since the Second World War, many societies have attempted to alleviate social inequalities arising from disparities in wealth, material possessions and social status, and to remedy the enduring effects of discrimination on some social groups. The major goals of chapter XI are to identify the effects of social inequalities on income differentials, identify trends in income distribution between social groups and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes that aim to ameliorate the income opportunities of socially disadvantaged groups.

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