Introducing social work: a starter kit
Introducing social work: a starter kit

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Introducing social work: a starter kit

1.3 The extent and forms of social disadvantage in society

The impact of inequalities relating to gender, ethnicity, disability or age is affected by poverty in particular ways, resulting in differences in people’s experiences. For example:

  • In 2013, 26 per cent of female employees were paid below the living wage compared to 16 per cent of male employees (MacInnes et al., 2014).
  • Black African and Caribbean adults had (MacInnes et al., 2014) the highest unemployment of any ethnic group, at 12 per cent. This rate was twice as high as the unemployment rate for the whole population. When in employment, these groups were more likely to have lower rates of pay than white adults.
  • Research in Scotland revealed that families with a disabled adult are nearly twice as likely to be in poverty as others (Kenway et al., 2015). A factor contributing to the risk of poverty that disabled people face is the extra costs they incur in most areas of their everyday life due to their additional needs.
  • Experiences of poverty can also vary depending on a person’s geographical location, their kind of neighbourhood and the access it provides to jobs and services such as education, transport and social care.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371