Organizations as the building blocks of social inequalities

Dustin R Avent-Holt, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Most contemporary inequalities emerge in and are constituted through organizations. In this article, we review research at the intersection of organizations and inequalities, bringing the organizational literature and social stratification literature into conversation with one another. In doing so, we outline an emerging theoretical perspective, Relational Inequality Theory (RIT), that helps to make sense of how inequalities emerge within and between organizations. RIT places social relations within organizational contexts as constitutive of inequalities in access to organizational resources such as income, jobs, and respect. Much research supports theorizing inequalities as emerging through social relations within organizations, and we suggest comparative organizational designs as the key methodological strategy to study organizational inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12655
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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