Inequality in Capitalist Societies

Inequality in Capitalist Societies

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Inequality is one of the most discussed topics of our times. Yet, we still do not know how to tackle the issue effectively. The book argues that this is due to the lack of understanding the structures responsible for the persistence of social inequality. It enquires into the mechanisms that produce and reproduce invisible dividing lines in society. Based on original case studies of Brazil, Germany, India and Laos comprising thousands of interviews, the authors argue that invisible classes emerge in capitalist societies, both reproducing and transforming precapitalist hierarchies. At the same time, locally particular forms of inequality persist. Social inequality in the contemporary world has to be understood as a specific combination of precapitalist inequalities, capitalist transformation and a particular class structure, which seems to emerge in all capitalist societies. The book links the configurations to an interpretation of global domination as well as to symbolic classification.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 152 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 12.7mm | 454g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 7 Line drawings, black and white; 15 Tables, black and white; 7 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138683752
  • 9781138683754

Table of contents


1. Understanding Social Inequality

2. Classes and Habitus in Germany

3. The Capitalist Transformation in Laos

4. Understanding the Class Struggle in Brazil

5. The Indian Story of Inequality

6. Capitalism and Inequality on a Global Scale

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About Boike Rehbein

Surinder S. Jodhka is Professor of Sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was Visiting Professor at various universities in Europe, North America and South Asia and is winner of the Amartya Sen Award. He specializes in inequality, caste and development and has published 12 books in these fields.

Boike Rehbein is Professor for Society and Transformation in Asia and Africa at Humboldt University, Berlin. He was Visiting Professor in Latin America, India, Laos, South Africa and Switzerland. He specializes in inequality, social theory and globalization and has published 25 books in these fields.

Jesse Souza is Professor of Sociology at the Universidade Federal de Fluminense, Brazil. Previously, he was Professor at various universities of Brazil and President of IPEA. He specializes on social theory and inequality and has published 23 books in these fields.
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