Social Injustice: Causes, Consequences And Examples

The social injustice is a situation or state in which an individual or community are discriminated against or treated unfairly. It is expressed through social inequality where some have more opportunities or rewards than others, basically due to the relative position they occupy in the social power structure.

The unjust actions of society are manifested through social injustice, where there is no equal treatment. In other words, the same – which in this case is the person – is treated unequally. This situation generates a state of disturbance that fuels resentment and social conflict.

Social injustice

Social injustice is closely related to poverty, but also to other problems such as social and cultural inequality. Lack of education, gender, racial origin, age, and sexism also contribute, just to name a few.

The social inequality suffered by the affected communities or peoples is what creates the need to vindicate social justice. The social group at a disadvantage compared to the others is deprived of job opportunities, education, services, food and access to justice.


There are several causes that influence social injustice. Here are some of these:


Poverty leads people to have fewer opportunities to develop and improve their living conditions. Likewise, it prevents access to food and quality public services, such as drinking water, shelter and electricity.

Generally, poverty deprives people of access to adequate health services, which reduces their life expectancy. This is not only the case in poor countries, but also in many rich countries where there are marginalized sectors.

Access to education

Education is the main cause of social mobility for people or groups marginalized in society.

Through education it is possible to climb positions socially. So when access to quality education is limited, a social gap is generated.

Educated people have more opportunities to emerge than those who are not educated or trained for work. An uneducated person is more likely to be discriminated against, exploited and mistreated.

Unfair laws

There are social sectors that are treated unfairly by laws that discriminate for cultural, religious, economic and social reasons. Even in more advanced societies, some laws can generate injustices, such as labor laws.

There are also societies in which the limitation of civil and political rights through oppressive laws generates social injustice. Such is the case of authoritarian government regimes (left or right dictatorships).

The same happens in Islamic or tribal fundamentalist states, in which discrimination against women is justified for cultural reasons.


– Labor or sexual exploitation of communities and people (immigrants, marginalized, etc.) by dominant sectors of society.

– Labor and wage discrimination for legal reasons and ethnic origin.

– It prevents people from showing their talents and contributing to social development by not being able to train and participate.

– People or groups can be verbally or physically abused by other communities, and even by the State itself, due to cultural, religious, ethnic, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, values ​​or skills differences.

– Social injustice has historically been the primary reason for armed revolutions, uprisings and other forms of violent reaction on the part of those who feel oppressed, humiliated or mistreated.

– A permanent state of social injustice produces moral degradation and the loss of dignity of both the oppressor and the oppressed.

– In general, low incomes, lack of decent housing, bad education and poor nutrition are also a source of social injustice.


Here are some of the most relevant examples of social injustice in today’s world:


Segregation by multiple individuals of a person or a social group is perhaps the greatest sign of social injustice.

It can be generated as a consequence of differences in terms of skin color, age (ageism), ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political ideology, sexual orientation, gender, and physical disability, among others.

Discrimination is a form of social injustice and inequality because the person or group is permanently and systematically denied their human rights.

For example, you may be denied access to education, public services, work, or political participation, among others.


Inequality occurs as a consequence of social injustice. Privileged groups control, limit or monopolize access to sources of employment, as well as educational, hospital services, etc.

Labor exploitation

Immigrants and the most vulnerable sectors of society are often exploited at work because they are not protected by legislation.

Workers suffer mistreatment, abuse, sexual harassment, threats and unjustified dismissal. Many times these people are subjected to situations similar to those of slavery.

Gender violence

Gender violence is another example of social inequality, as it is directed towards a person or group that is subjected due to their sex. In Ibero-American societies with a strong sexist tradition, women are the most affected by gender violence.

This form of social inequality manifests itself through various crimes. These include assaults and rapes, physical and sexual violence, forced prostitution, castration, employment discrimination, trafficking in women, workplace harassment, etc.

Persecution of minorities

The political, legal, religious, ethnic and sexual persecution of minorities is another form of social injustice in force in today’s society.

People or groups belonging to minorities in a country are subjected to all kinds of harassment. The victims of these abuses are often homosexuals / lesbians, indigenous people, foreigners and diverse religious minorities.

Persecution for these reasons was typical during Nazism in Germany and in the Soviet communist regime. At present it is observed in countries like Cuba, Syria and in the socialist regimes of Africa.

Violation of human rights

The abuses committed or consented to by the State constitute a violation of human rights and, therefore, a form of social injustice.

Also forms of social injustice are the segregation of minorities, subjecting a people to hunger and disease for political reasons, disrespect for civil and political rights, torture and murder of dissident groups.


  1. Inequality: Causes and Consequences. Retrieved May 9, 2018 from
  2. Social injustice cutting life expectancy, UN report say. Consulted of
  3. Social Justice Issues. Consulted of
  4. Causes, Consequences and Measures to Reduce Inequality of Income Distribution. Consulted of
  5. Social Injustice: Discrimination | Honor Society. Consulted of
  6. 8 examples of social injustice in the world. Consulted of

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *