The Killing Fields of Inequality

The Killing Fields of Inequality

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Inequality is not just about the size of our wallets. It is asocio-cultural order which, for most of us, reduces ourcapabilities to function as human beings, our health, our dignity, our sense of self, as well as our resources to act and participatein the world. This book shows that inequality is literally akilling field, with millions of people dying premature deathsbecause of it. These lethal effects of inequality operate not onlyin 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, millionsof human lives are stunted by the humiliations and degradations ofinequality linked to gender, race and ethnicity, and class.

But this book is about experiences of equalization too, highlighting moments and processes of equalization in differentparts of the world - from India and other parts of Asia, fromthe Americas, as well as from Europe. South Africa illustrates thetoughest challenges. The killing fields of inequality can beavoided: this book shows how.

Clear, succinct, wide-ranging in scope and empirical in itsapproach, this timely book by one of the world's leadingsocial scientists will appeal to a wide readership.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 180 pages
  • Polity Press
  • United Kingdom
  • 0745679897
  • 9780745679891

Table of contents

Figures page vi

Tables vii

Introduction 1

I. The Fields 5

1. Human, Nasty and Short: Life under Inequality 7

2. Behind the Doors of Exclusion 20

II. Theory 35

3. Theoretical Cross-Draught 37

4. Three Kinds of (In)Equality and Their Production 48

III. History 69

5. Inequality and the Rise of Modernity 71

6. A Historical Six-Pack: Three Inequalities in

Global and National History 79

IV. Today's Unequal World 101

7. Current World Patterns and Dynamics of Inequalities 103

8. Three Puzzles of Contemporary Inequalities 132

V. Possible Futures 151

9. Overcoming Inequality - Yesterday and Tomorrow 153

10. The Decisive Battlefields of Future (In)Equality 166

References 185

Index 202
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Review quote

"Covering the world, G ran Therborn shows how devastating arehis three types of inequality (vital, existential and resource) andtheir mechanisms of reproduction (distanciation, exclusion andexploitation). Lucid, persuasive and learned The Killing Fieldsof Inequality is a must-read for those concerned about the mostpressing topic of our time."
Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley

"A great book. With a light touch, it provides a brief butcomprehensive survey of all the main dimensions of inequality.Written with insight, commitment to social justice, and ability tosee what matters, it becomes a book about social progress itself.It ends with a perceptive discussion of the next steps towards amore egalitarian future."
Richard Wilkinson, University of Nottingham
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About Goeran Therborn

G ran Therborn is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at theUniversity of Cambridge and author of The World: ABeginner's Guide.
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67 ratings
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