Inequality among people and communities is the condition of being treated unequally or with disparity. Research concerning the condition of unequal or disparate treatment examines unequal opportunity or difference in treatment based on some factor other than the initial personal inequalities of intellect, talent, or physical ability.

The Ethics of Inequality

Inequality is a fact of life. People do not even have equal amounts of something as ubiquitous as air. Football teams run out of oxygen midgame when they play in Denver, and those who venture to climb high mountains must cope with thin air. So the ethical question surrounding inequality is not whether inequality should or should not exist—it does. The question becomes instead, “How much inequality is acceptable in a community that prides itself ...

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