The Spirit Level

Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

Author: Richard Wilkinson,Kate Pickett

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781608191703

Category: Social Science

Page: 400

View: 7059

This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations-is more likely to occur in a less equal society. The book goes to the heart of the apparent contrast between material success and social failure in many modern national societies. The Spirit Level does not simply provide a diagnosis of our ills, but provides invaluable instruction in shifting the balance from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more collaborative society. It shows a way out of the social and environmental problems which beset us, and opens up a major new approach to improving the real quality of life, not just for the poor but for everyone. It is, in its conclusion, an optimistic book, which should revitalize politics and provide a new way of thinking about how we organize human communities.

The Inner Level

How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing

Author: Richard Wilkinson,Kate Pickett

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141975407

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 326

Why is the incidence of mental illness in the UK twice that in Germany? Why are Americans three times more likely than the Dutch to develop gambling problems? Why is child well-being so much worse in New Zealand than Japan? As this groundbreaking study demonstrates, the answer to all these hinges on inequality. In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the centre of public debate by showing conclusively that less-equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, how it alters how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequalities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to defi ne and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status is associated with elevated levels of stress, and how rates of anxiety and depression are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount. Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are innately competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of 'natural' differences in individual ability. This book sheds new light on many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.

Health Inequality

An Introduction to Concepts, Theories and Methods

Author: Mel Bartley

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745691137

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 4048

At a time when social inequalities are increasing at an alarming rate, this new edition of Mel Bartleyï¿1⁄2s popular book is a vital resource for understanding the extent of health inequalities and why they are proving to be persistent despite decades of growing knowledge and policies on the issue. As in the first edition, by examining influences of social class, income, culture and wealth as well as gender, ethnicity and other factors in identity, this accessible book provides a key to understanding the major theories and explanations of what lies behind inequality in health. Bartley re-situates the classic behavioural, psycho-social, and material approaches within a life-course perspective. Evaluating the evidence of health outcomes over time and at local and national levels, Bartley argues that individual social integration demands closer attention if health inequality is to be tackled effectively, revealing the important part that identity plays in relation to the chances of a long and healthy life. Health Inequality will be essential reading for students taking courses in the sociology of health and illness, social policy and welfare, health sciences, public health and epidemiology and all those interested in understanding the consequences of social inequality for health.

The Equality Effect

Improving Life for Everyone

Author: Danny Dorling,Daniel Dorling,Owen Peter Jones

Publisher: New Internationalist

ISBN: 9781780263908

Category: PHILOSOPHY

Page: 280

View: 8624

Greater economic equality is beneficial to all people in all societies, both for the rich, the poor and the rest.

The No-Nonsense Guide to Equality

Author: Danny Dorling

Publisher: New Internationalist

ISBN: 1780260725

Category: Reference

Page: 144

View: 6120

A wide-ranging exploration of why inequality persists and what can be done about it.

The Killing Fields of Inequality

Author: Göran Therborn

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745679919

Category: Political Science

Page: 180

View: 1204

Inequality is not just about the size of our wallets. It is a socio-cultural order which, for most of us, reduces our capabilities to function as human beings, our health, our dignity, our sense of self, as well as our resources to act and participate in the world. This book shows that inequality is literally a killing field, with millions of people dying premature deaths because of it. These lethal effects of inequality operate not only in the poor world, but also, and increasingly, in rich countries, as Therborn demonstrates with data ranging from the US, the UK, Finland and elsewhere. Even when they survive inequality, millions of human lives are stunted by the humiliations and degradations of inequality linked to gender, race and ethnicity, and class. But this book is about experiences of equalization too, highlighting moments and processes of equalization in different parts of the world - from India and other parts of Asia, from the Americas, as well as from Europe. South Africa illustrates the toughest challenges. The killing fields of inequality can be avoided: this book shows how. Clear, succinct, wide-ranging in scope and empirical in its approach, this timely book by one of the world’s leading social scientists will appeal to a wide readership.

The Broken Ladder

How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die

Author: Keith Payne

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 069840937X

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 7820

A timely examination by a leading scientist of the physical, psychological, and moral effects of inequality. Today’s inequality is on a scale that none of us has seen in our lifetimes, yet this disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. In The Broken Ladder psychologist Keith Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically, but has profound consequences for how we think, how our cardiovascular systems respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and how we view moral ideas like justice and fairness. Experiments in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics have not only revealed important new insights on how inequality changes people in predictable ways, but have provided a corrective to our flawed way of viewing poverty as the result of individual character failings. Among modern, developed societies, economic inequality is not primarily about money, but rather about relative status: where we stand in relation to other people. Regardless of their average income, countries or states with greater levels of income inequality have much higher rates of all the social problems we associate with poverty, including lower average life expectancies, serious health issues, mental illness, and crime. The Broken Ladder explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children, and have them younger; why there is little trust among the working class that investing for the future will pay off; why people’s perception of their relative social status affects their political beliefs, and why growing inequality leads to greater political divisions; how poverty raises stress levels in the same way as a physical threat; inequality in the workplace, and how it affects performance; why unequal societies become more religious; and finally offers measures people can take to lessen the harm done by inequality in their own lives and the lives of their children.

Inequality

A New Zealand Crisis

Author: Max Rashbrooke

Publisher: Bridget Williams Books

ISBN: 1927131510

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 296

View: 8639

The divide between New Zealand’s poorest and wealthiest inhabitants has widened alarmingly over recent decades. Differences in income have grown faster than in most other developed countries. New Zealand society is being reshaped, stretching to accommodate new distance between those who ‘have’ and those who ‘have not’. Income inequality is a crisis that affects us all. A diverse gathering of New Zealand scholars, journalists, researchers, business leaders, workers, students and parents share these pages. Their voices speak to the complex shape of income inequality, and its effects on the communities of these Pacific islands.

The Spirit Level

Poems

Author: Seamus Heaney

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466855746

Category: Poetry

Page: 81

View: 6625

In The Spirit Level, as ever with Seamus Heaney, personal memory and humble domestic objects -- a whitewash brush, a sofa, a swing -- are endowed with talismanic significance, and throughout the collection he addresses his growing concerns, which inevitably include the political situation in his native Northern Ireland, in a poetry that never ceases to be fluid, alert, and completely truthful.

The Health Gap

The Challenge of an Unequal World

Author: Michael Marmot

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408857987

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 400

View: 1556

There are dramatic differences in health between countries and within countries. But this is not a simple matter of rich and poor. A poor man in Glasgow is rich compared to the average Indian, but the Glaswegian's life expectancy is 8 years shorter. The Indian is dying of infectious disease linked to his poverty; the Glaswegian of violent death, suicide, heart disease linked to a rich country's version of disadvantage. In all countries, people at relative social disadvantage suffer health disadvantage, dramatically so. Within countries, the higher the social status of individuals the better is their health. These health inequalities defy usual explanations. Conventional approaches to improving health have emphasised access to technical solutions – improved medical care, sanitation, and control of disease vectors; or behaviours – smoking, drinking – obesity, linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These approaches only go so far. Creating the conditions for people to lead flourishing lives, and thus empowering individuals and communities, is key to reduction of health inequalities. In addition to the scale of material success, your position in the social hierarchy also directly affects your health, the higher you are on the social scale, the longer you will live and the better your health will be. As people change rank, so their health risk changes. What makes these health inequalities unjust is that evidence from round the world shows we know what to do to make them smaller. This new evidence is compelling. It has the potential to change radically the way we think about health, and indeed society.

99 to 1

How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and what We Can Do about it

Author: Chuck Collins

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

ISBN: 1609945921

Category: Political Science

Page: 150

View: 1897

Discusses the wealth gap and its effects on society, including what can be done to remedy the situation and give the one percent a voice.

The Great Invention: The Story of GDP and the Making and Unmaking of the Modern World

Author: Ehsan Masood

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1681771810

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 8012

The fascinating story of one of the twentieth-century's most influential and dangerously addictive ideas, told through the lives of those who invented it. The world’s principal measure of the health of economies is gross domestic product, or GDP: the sum of what all of us spend every day, from the contents of our weekly shopping to large capital spending by businesses. GDP also includes the myriad things that our governments pay for, from libraries and road-line painting to naval dockyards and nuclear weapons. The Great Invention reveals how in just a few decades GDP became the world’s most powerful formula: how six algebraic symbols forged in the fires of the 1930's economic crisis helped Europe and America prosper, how the remedy now risks killing the patient it once saved, and how this fundamentally flawed metric is creating the illusion of global prosperity—and why many world leaders want to be able to ignore it but so far remain powerless to do so. Drawing on interviews, firsthand accounts, and previously neglected source materials, The Great Invention takes readers on a journey from Capitol Hill to Whitehall—on the trail of theories made in Cambridge, tested in Karachi, and designed for global application—into the minds of unworldly geniuses seduced by the allure of power and the demands of politics.

The Politics of Volunteering

Author: Nina Eliasoph

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745669565

Category: Political Science

Page: 200

View: 8722

Many of us may have participated in grassroots groups, changing the world in small and big ways, from building playgrounds and feeding the homeless, to protesting wars and ending legal segregation. Beyond the obvious fruits of these activities, what are the broader consequences of volunteering for the participants, recipients of aid, and society as a whole? In this engaging new book, Nina Eliasoph encourages readers to reflect on their own experiences in civic associations as an entry point into bigger sociological, political, and philosophical issues, such as class inequality, how organizations work, differences in political systems around the globe, and the sources of moral selfhood. Claims about volunteering tend to be astronomical: it will create democracy, make you a better person, eliminate poverty, protect local cultures, and even prevent illness. Eliasoph cuts through these assertions by drawing on empirical studies, key data, real-life case studies, and a range of theoretical analyses. In doing so, the book provides students of sociology, political science, and communications studies with a framework for evaluating the role of civic associations in social and political life, as well as in their own lives as active citizens.

The Spirit Level Delusion

Fact-checking the Left's New Theory of Everything

Author: Christopher Snowdon

Publisher: Democracy Institute/Little Dice

ISBN: 9780956226518

Category: Political Science

Page: 172

View: 5864

Do Cubans live longer than Americans? Are Scandinavians happier than the British? Do Oscar winners live longer than other actors? Does capitalism cause mental illness? Does inequality lead to murder? Would higher taxes make us slimmer, more trusting and more charitable? The Spirit Level Delusion shines the light of reason on some of the extraordinary claims made in favour of big government in the twenty-first century. Several books (The Spirit Level, Happiness and Affluenza amongst others) have called for a radical shift in power from the individual to the state based on the supposedly devastating effects of wealth, economic growth and inequality. By examining all the available evidence, Christopher Snowdon tests the theory that 'more equal' countries are healthier, happier and more successful. Through a sober assessment of the facts-including some inconvenient truths-The Spirit Level Delusion shows that the theory not only lacks empirical support but also fails the basic test of believability. "If you haven t read a book that made you laugh out loud on the bus or the Tube in a while, try Christopher Snowdon s superb release, The Spirit Level Delusion. But the book s subtle humour is not the reason I am recommending it. The Spirit Level Delusion is, above all, a book that delivers and goes well beyond the promise of its subtitle 'fact-checking the left s new theory of everything'... It may well be that the next big battle for a free society will be fought against the new anti-wealth egalitarianism. Christopher Snowdon has provided defenders of freedom with powerful ammunition." Kristian Niemietz, Institute of Economic Affairs "Snowdon picks so many holes in the theory that were it a building it wouldn t be passed as structurally sound by the most crooked of third world local government surveyors... I wish that everyone who espoused The Spirit Level would read The Spirit Level Delusion, which explains just how dubious the science behind this grand theory is." Ed West, The Telegraph "The Spirit Level Delusion not only successfully and dramatically undermines much of the evidence in The Spirit Level, but also takes on the other fashionable opponents of economic growth... His engaging discussion unpicks the evidence of the anti-growth brigade and demonstrates that it is selective and partial. This book is excellent tube reading . Philip Booth, City AM

Jihad vs. McWorld

Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy

Author: Benjamin Barber

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 0307874443

Category: Political Science

Page: 432

View: 6117

Jihad vs. McWorld is a groundbreaking work, an elegant and illuminating analysis of the central conflict of our times: consumerist capitalism versus religious and tribal fundamentalism. These diametrically opposed but strangely intertwined forces are tearing apart--and bringing together--the world as we know it, undermining democracy and the nation-state on which it depends. On the one hand, consumer capitalism on the global level is rapidly dissolving the social and economic barriers between nations, transforming the world's diverse populations into a blandly uniform market. On the other hand, ethnic, religious, and racial hatreds are fragmenting the political landscape into smaller and smaller tribal units. Jihad vs. McWorld is the term that distinguished writer and political scientist Benjamin R. Barber has coined to describe the powerful and paradoxical interdependence of these forces. In this important new book, he explores the alarming repercussions of this potent dialectic for democracy. A work of persuasive originality and penetrating insight, Jihad vs. McWorld holds up a sharp, clear lens to the dangerous chaos of the post-Cold War world. Critics and political leaders have already heralded Benjamin R. Barber's work for its bold vision and moral courage. Jihad vs. McWorld is an essential text for anyone who wants to understand our troubled present and the crisis threatening our future. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Challenge of Affluence

Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain Since 1950

Author: Avner Offer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198208532

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 454

View: 4240

Since the 1940s Americans and Britons have experienced rising material abundance, but also a range of social and personal disorders, including family breakdown, addiction, crime, obesity, inequality, and economic insecurity. Avner Offer argues that well-being in these societies has lagged behind affluence, because they present an environment in which consistent choice is difficult to achieve over time and in which the capacity for personal and social commitment is undermined by the flow of novelty. This is then demonstrated in comparative studies of US and British market consumption (advertising, obesity, appliances and automobiles), and of personal relations (inter-personal regard, social status, heterosexual love, and parenthood). Drawing on the latest cognitive research, Offer provides a detailed and reasoned critique of modern consumer society, especially the assumption that freedom of choice necessarily maximizes individual and social well-being.

Injustice (revised Edition)

Why Social Inequality Still Persists

Author: Daniel Dorling,Dorling, Danny

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 1447320751

Category: Political Science

Page: 473

View: 4773

In the five years since the first edition of Danny Dorling's Injustice was published, poverty, hunger, and destitution have increased dramatically in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Globally, the richest 1% have never held a greater share of world wealth, while the share held by most of the other 99% has collapsed, with more and more people in debt, especially the young. And as long as we tolerate the injustices that underpin this inequality, it will persist and, terrifyingly, continue to grow. This fully rewritten and updated edition of Dorling's approachable yet authoritative, hard-hitting, and uncompromising book revisits his claim that the five social evils identified by Beveridge at the dawn of the British welfare state (ignorance, want, idleness, squalor, and disease) are being replaced by five new tenets of injustice: elitism is efficient; exclusion is necessary; prejudice is natural; greed is good; and despair is inevitable. By showing these beliefs are unfounded, Dorling offers hope of a more equal society even in these most remarkable and dangerous times. With every year that passes, it is more evident that Dorling's call to action is essential reading for anyone concerned with social justice.

On Inequality

Author: Harry G. Frankfurt

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400873274

Category: Philosophy

Page: 120

View: 1078

Economic inequality is one of the most divisive issues of our time. Yet few would argue that inequality is a greater evil than poverty. The poor suffer because they don't have enough, not because others have more, and some have far too much. So why do many people appear to be more distressed by the rich than by the poor? In this provocative book, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of On Bullshit presents a compelling and unsettling response to those who believe that the goal of social justice should be economic equality or less inequality. Harry Frankfurt, one of the most influential moral philosophers in the world, argues that we are morally obligated to eliminate poverty—not achieve equality or reduce inequality. Our focus should be on making sure everyone has a sufficient amount to live a decent life. To focus instead on inequality is distracting and alienating. At the same time, Frankfurt argues that the conjunction of vast wealth and poverty is offensive. If we dedicate ourselves to making sure everyone has enough, we may reduce inequality as a side effect. But it’s essential to see that the ultimate goal of justice is to end poverty, not inequality. A serious challenge to cherished beliefs on both the political left and right, On Inequality promises to have a profound impact on one of the great debates of our time.

Medicine, Health and Society

Author: Hannah Bradby

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446258459

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 4993

Sharp, bold and engaging, this book provides a contemporary account of why medical sociology matters in our modern society. Combining theoretical and empirical perspectives, and applying the pragmatic demands of policy, this timely book explores society's response to key issues such as race, gender and identity to explain the relationship between sociology, medicine and medical sociology. Each chapter includes an authoritative introduction to pertinent areas of debate, a clear summary of key issues and themes and dedicated bibliography. Chapters include: • social theory and medical sociology • health inequalities • bodies, pain and suffering • personal, local and global. Brimming with fresh interpretations and critical insights this book will contribute to illuminating the practical realities of medical sociology. This exciting text will be of interest to students of sociology of health and illness, medical sociology, and sociology of the body. Hannah Bradby has a visiting fellowship at the Department of Primary Care and Health Sciences, King's College London. She is monograph series editor for the journal Sociology of Health and Illness and co-edits the multi-disciplinary journal Ethnicity and Health.

The Impact of Inequality

How to Make Sick Societies Healthier

Author: Richard Wilkinson

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1595586601

Category: Social Science

Page: 355

View: 7375

Comparing the United States with other market democracies and one state with another, this book offers irrefutable evidence that unequal societies create poor health, more social conflict, and more violence. Richard Wilkinson, a pioneering social scientist, addresses the growing feeling—so common in the United States—that modern societies, despite their material success, are social failures. The Impact of Inequality explains why inequality has such devastating effects on the quality and length of our lives. Wilkinson shows that inequality leads to stress, stress creates sickness on the individual and mass level, and overall society suffers widespread unhappiness and high levels of violence, depression, and mistrust across the social spectrum. The evidence he presents is incontrovertible: social and political equality are essential to improve life for everyone. Wilkinson argues that even small reductions in inequality can make an important difference—for, as this book explains, social relations are always built on material foundations.