Social equality


Social equality

Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the extent of property rights. However, it also includes access to education, health care and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole society.

Social equality requires the lack of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the lack of unjustified discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. For example, gender, age, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.

Social equality, however, does not require communism or income equality. "Equal opportunities" is interpreted as being judged by ability, which is compatible with a free-market economy. A problem is horizontal inequality, the inequality of two persons of "same" origin and ability.

Perfect social equality is an ideal situation that does, for various reasons, not exist in any society in the world today. The reasons for this are widely debated. Reasons cited for social inequality include commonly economics, immigration/emigration, foreign politics and national politics. Also, in complexity economics, it has been found that horizontal inequality arises in complex systems.

A counterexample to social equality was the social inequality of the medieval Europe, where a person's estate, which was usually inherited, determined the legal and social rights the person had. For example, clergy could claim the benefit of clergy to receive a more lenient punishment for a crime.

ee also

*Horizontal inequality
*Social stratification
*Social inequality
*Equality (disambiguation)
*Civil rights
*LGBT social movements

References

*Russell Blackford [http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/689/ Genetic enhancement and the point of social equality] Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. July 20, 2006
*Thorvaldur Gylfason and Gylfi Zoega [http://cesifo.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/49/4/557.pdf Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape] CESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 49, 4/2003, 557–579


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