Psychology of social class-based inequalities: Policy implications for a revised (2010) UK Equality Act
The UK is currently facing a social and economic crisis in which social class-based inequalities continue to deepen, with psychological consequences that are not widely understood.
18 July 2022
The UK is currently facing a social and economic crisis in which social class-based inequalities continue to deepen, with psychological consequences and precursors that are not widely understood. Evidence for the asymmetric impact of the Covid 19-pandemic and related crises, an ongoing Equality Act (2010) Review, and a policy context focused on ‘levelling up’ opportunities converge to demonstrate the need to take stock of the evidence base concerning the psychology of social class-based inequalities. This report provides a first of its kind rapid review and synthesis of research in psychology on social class-based inequalities with an orientation toward the UK policy context. It reviews primary and secondary research published within the discipline of psychology (within the UK or a related context), examining the impact of class-based prejudice and discrimination, and/or the psychological processes that contribute to social class-based and wider socioeconomic inequalities. A central aim is to synthesise the disparate evidence base around three core UK policy areas common to the research (Education, Health and Work), and to consider the implications for the inclusion of social class as a protected characteristic into the Equality Act (2010).