Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Social policy plays a central role in redistributing resources to ensure greater equality or at least increased opportunities for members of disadvantaged groups. This essay considers how the U.S. welfare state redistributes incomes through social policies, while reinforcing other forms of stratification. The essay begins by comparing inequality in the United States to other advanced industrialized countries, and shows that the level of income inequality is higher in the United States than in most of these nations. It then presents data on inequality in the United States by race and gender. Finally, it discusses how specific policies alter levels of inequality by redistributing income or institutionalizing sources of income inequality. In general, U.S. social policies help to reduce inequality, but they have limited effectiveness, particularly in comparison to other advanced industrialized countries, in reducing inequality by race, class, gender, and family structure.

Keywords: inequality, race, gender, welfare, social policy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.