Sociology 381 introduces students to one of the most important—and burning—issues of our time: the study of the causes, the conditions, and the consequences of inequality in human societies. As students will see, inequality in the world today can be observed through a number of different dimensions—most notably in the forms of economic, social, and political inequality. According to many reports, including those from non-government organizations, current estimates show that both global and national inequality have reached unprecedented levels over the past several decades. Never in recent recorded history have the rich owned and controlled such a disproportionately large share of global wealth, and never have the poor owned such a disproportionately small share. The global income gap between the fabulous wealth of the few and the abject poverty of the many has never seemed so stark and so severe.