The article reflects the burgeoning academic interest in social cleavages and various ways of their politicization. It addresses their origins, identification, interpretation and also — to a limited extent — the ways they can be applied to politics. The article shows that cleavages are historical and social constructs that exist in time. On the other hand, they also confirm the existence of real divisions and inequalities already present in a social structure. The divisions discussed in the paper are, first of all, distinguished through the existing inequalities, their depth, and then the politicization and social-political consequences. At the same time, the cleavages, as phenomena observed at a group level, can also by symptomatic of asymmetric intergroup relations. They are most often manifested through inequalities of power, creation of unfair hierarchies, and structures of domination. Such an approach makes it possible to discuss the authoritative dimension of the cleavages, their asymmetries and implications for social development.