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WSU Research Inequality of opportunity

Inequality of opportunity

Causes and consequences

History has shaped the social and economic justice landscape in the United States. Evolving policies—political, social, economic, and educational—have expanded opportunities for some demographic groups while restricting those for others. As people around the world become more interconnected, efforts to promote social justice grow increasingly complex.

WSU researchers analyze the effects of policy, globalization, and multinational trends on social and economic justice. They examine barriers to an informed and equitable society, among them:

  • Lack of women and historically underrepresented groups studying in the science, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines
  • Inequities associated with the digital divide, or access to communication technology
  • Disparities in access to health care
  • Fragmentation of the political landscape

Building a better educated and more equitable society requires research across the spectrum of society itself. It involves big data, culturally sensitive qualitative research, and an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of instructional practices throughout our nation’s educational systems. The combined efforts of social science and clinical science faculty across WSU foster equity and social justice for people throughout Washington and beyond.

Research areas

  • Causes and consequences of injustice and inequality
  • Understanding history and its relevance to contemporary society
  • Social and cultural context of science and technology
  • Media’s influence in shaping societal and political discourse
  • Cultural studies in education
  • Why people act for the common good

    Professor identifies traits that underlie human cooperation

    Social interactions depend on fairness and equity, but much of the world works because people are willing to give time, money, or other support for little or nothing in return. Citizens approve bond issues for schools and playgrounds they’ll never use. They donate to radio stations they don’t listen to and people they’ll never meet. They volunteer to fight and die in wars.

    In the WSU Department of Psychology, Professor Craig Parks has deciphered the social and psychological calculus behind caring and cooperation, distilling some common traits among public goods that succeed while others fail. He and … » More …

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Washington State University