Deprivation of opportunity

an aspect of cultural decline and social fragmentation


Deprivation of opportunity is part of the process of cultural decline and social fragmentation and takes place when authority structures seek to increase control by depriving people of opportunities for experience.

Why this is important

Without opportunities people cannot connect and share ideas or gain experience and without experience cannot enjoy full autonomy or control over their lives as individuals. If someone is unemployed they need opportunities to share skilsl or experience with others through work or some other meaningful occupation through which they can at some point get paid and participate in life.

Therefore deprivation of opportunity is a major impediment of cultural development and social progress which would lead to subsequent economic development through a more equal distribution of financial and material wealth. Ultimately due to the process aspect it also acts as an impediment to human evolution.

The reason for deprivation of opportunity

Deprivation of opportunity is usually as a means of control through either restricting access to resoruces or a denial of opportunity, for example as a result of status loss in social stigma. Deprivation of opportunity is at its most extreme in social exclusion and is a common experience among the unemployed and homeless who often have the least access to resources and opportunities.

Types of deprivation of opportunity

There are different types of deprivation of opportunity which can include:

  • community - restrictions of access to community space
  • social - often on the basis of social stigma and status loss
  • resource - restriction of access to resources
  • economic - austerity measures and cuts in public services
  • communicative - restriction of access to ifnromation or technology


A lack of opportunity may not always be down to deprivation of opportunity but may also be the result of someone being unable or unwilling to perceive an opportunity. However in many cases people are able to percieve and make use of opportunities but the opportunities don't exist as a result of deprivation, not an inability to perceive opportunities. This is a central issue in unemployment where those who believe in authority also tend to believe that there are jobs out there and this is part of a strategy to brand unemployment as a personal failing, rather than a social or political failing.

Effects of deprivation of opportunity

Many social issues we see today are the outcome of deprivation of opportunity, which include poverty, inequality, unemployment, homelessness, social exclusion, and social conflict. Deprivation of opportunity is a central component of social fragmentation and an outcome of cultural decline.

See also

Contact us