Socio-economic inequality as a key challenge of our modernity

Abstract

The article is devoted to the study of the causes, essence and social consequences of socio-economic inequality in the modern world. On the basis of an economic-sociological approach, the author investigates the evolution of this phenomenon from the beginning of the implementation of neoliberal reforms to the present. The article proves that the key reason for the intensification of the polarization of income and wealth in recent decades has been the fundamental transformations of the sphere of labor and employment, as well as other economic and political measures implemented within the framework of introducing the principles of neoliberalism into economic practice. The declining share of the labor income within the national income, the blurring of the link between productivity and wage growth, the dismantling of the welfare state and weakening trade unions are the result of the neoliberalization of the global economic system and key drivers of income and wealth differentiation and our modernity of labor inequality.
The article focuses on the study of inequality in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current COVID-crisis. The author comes to the conclusion that the growth of inequality and other social problems as a result of the pandemic was determined mainly by the socio-economic policies of the states of the pre-pandemic period. The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a “social x-ray” that revealed to the world’s population the real state of modern social institutions.

About the authors

Vitalina A. Butkaliuk

Institute of Sociology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Author for correspondence.
Email: vbutkalyuk@ukr.net
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1339-6393

Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, Research Fellow at the Department of Economic Sociology

Ukraine, 12, Shovkovychna St., Kyiv, 01021, Ukraine

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