The Inner Level
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The Inner Level : How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-being

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 33mm | 468g
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846147417
  • 9781846147418
  • 57,344

Review quote

It holds the reader's attention by elaborating a phenomenon most will already have observed, and by providing an explanation for the dysfunction they see around them, from the brazen disregard for rules among many corporate and political leaders to the nihilism of drug addicts and school-shooters * Economist * The question of inequality is likely to play a bigger role in the next election than it has for more than a generation. It would be better for all of us if that debate was informed by robust statistical analysis rather than the emotive politics of envy. Any politician wishing to do so would be wise to read Wilkinson and Pickett's books. -- Andrew Anthony * Observer *
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About Richard Wilkinson

Richard Wilkinson is Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.

Kate Pickett is Professor of Epidemiology and University Research Champion for Justice and Equality at the University of York.

Together, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett founded the Equality Trust, which seeks to promote public understanding of the effects of inequality.
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