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The Structural Basis of Social Inequality

Aage B. Sørensen
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 101, No. 5 (Mar., 1996), pp. 1333-1365
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2782357
Page Count: 33
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The Structural Basis of Social Inequality
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Abstract

This article discusses the concept of rent and its use in analysis of inequality in society. Rents are resources that provide advantages for incumbents of social positions that are independent of the characteristics of the incumbents. Inequalities created by rents generate interests in the protection and the acquisition of advantages that can be said to from "objective" interests attached to positions in social structure. Rent, therefore, is the basis for the formation of classes, in the general meaning of conflict groups. The article also discusses rents not located in positions in social structure but based on natural abilities.

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