FORMS OF LEGITIMISING SOCIAL INEQUALITIES
The issue of social inequalities is imbued with numerous ideological, social and ethical connotations. From a sociological point of view, the phenomenon of social inequalities involves complex processes of social construction accomplished through institutionalized power structures and recurrent social practices. All of these are assimilated to multifaceted systems of legitimation. A system of social legitimation could be understood as an apparatus through which certain aspects of the social order are stabilized and activated, hence allowing manifestations of power and social influence through particular mechanisms of resource allocation. This paper theoretically overviews four modes through which social inequalities are socially legitimated: (1) political ideologies as repertoires of governmental interventionism, (2) institutionalized systems of opportunity and meritocracy, (3) ethical cultures of fairness and equity and (4) class consciousness through intersubjective beliefs and values.
Keywords: social inequalities; systems of legitimation; political ideologies; social institution.